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orthonormal
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I suppose this is a mini-review thread. I've been trying some different ways manage on bike calories/hydration and also tried a couple of different knee pads recently.

Starting with hydration, I bought a new Camelbak Repack LR4. I keep the 1.5L bladder, a tube, small first aid kit, wallet, and keys in the main pocket. Phone in the zipper pocket side of the waist strap. I haven't been using the non-zippered, "fold-over" side because I don't quite trust it to keep stuff in there in a crash. Fit and comfort are great. My only issue is with the hose clip. The function of the clip itself is fine but the location is not. On my first ride with the pack, I had to stop to replace the hose after taking a drink. I'm getting better at replacing it after taking a drink, but it's still not something to be done while riding singletrack. Much easier to grab a bottle, easier still to drink from a bladder hose over the shoulder.

Next up is Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel. I've been doing my longer rides with 4 scoops in the 1.5L bladder and 2 scoops in a 26 oz. bottle. No other food. Taste is mild, kind of salty, easy to ignore after a while but it sure leaves me wanting real food by the end of a ride. The first ride using it was an eye opener for me. I dropped 30 minutes off of my time for the same ride from the week before when I used plain water, a bag of trail mix, and an oatmeal bar. I chose this brand over others because they claimed it was easy to rinse from hydration bladders. The claim is true but I don't know that others aren't just as good in this regard.

Onto knees. Sweet Protection Knee Pads. These are short style pads that can be worn down at the ankles for the climb and pulled up for the descent. The one piece pad is thicker than most, on par with the POC VPD 2.0. There's a top strap to hold onto your thigh and neoprene bands top and bottom for grip. Temperatures were in the high 70's and these were hot, even on the climb while the pads were down around my ankles. I got really sweaty everywhere I touched the neoprene. I also found the seams somewhat irritating while climbing. I can see using these for a lift served day but I won't be bringing them on a trail ride again.

Next up, the Fox Enduro Pro Knee Guard. These are kind of like the G-Form pads but they breathe better and the pads are removable for washing. There's a skip plate type of material to help them slide rather than catch and rip in case of a crash. These are very comfortable for trail riding but they're not a heavy duty pad like the Sweet Protection Knee Pad. The sleeve material is thin and breathable and there's a silicone gripper strip to keep them up on your thigh. I wonder how well the sleeve material will hold up but other than that, Fox took the G-Form light protection idea and made it better. These will be my go to pad moving forward.
 

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Next up is Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel. I've been doing my longer rides with 4 scoops in the 1.5L bladder and 2 scoops in a 26 oz. bottle. No other food. Taste is mild, kind of salty, easy to ignore after a while but it sure leaves me wanting real food by the end of a ride. The first ride using it was an eye opener for me. I dropped 30 minutes off of my time for the same ride from the week before when I used plain water, a bag of trail mix, and an oatmeal bar. I chose this brand over others because they claimed it was easy to rinse from hydration bladders. The claim is true but I don't know that others aren't just as good in this regard.
This stuff got me through Rose to Toad's last year without a ton of extra food on top of it. My bladder still tastes like it, so I don't know if I buy the easy cleaning.
 

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orthonormal
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This stuff got me through Rose to Toad's last year without a ton of extra food on top of it. My bladder still tastes like it, so I don't know if I buy the easy cleaning.
Hmm. I've just been rinsing with BBQ sauce until I don't taste the Tailwind anymore.
 

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Any trouble reattaching the hose to the magnetic clip after you take a drink?
Its a pretty useless system, I just stuff the hose into the side pocket its faster than fuddling with that thing. I do wonder if putting some real magnets in there might just allow it to find its own way better. I think I'll also get some longer hose to run it along the left side around my back instead of having it run mostly along the front.
 

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I don't even consider the act of putting some kind of performance beverage in a hydration bladder unless I'm going to toss the whole thing after one use. Nothing good ever comes from that, IMO. Perhaps you guys have multiple bladders hanging in a closet waiting to be used, but not me. I just go through one at a time, and they tend to last for at least one riding "season". Water only. Water hydrates just fine, and that's the main deal. If I want something as a "performance beverage" it's usually a 20 oz. bottle of coke that I stick in a secure bottle cage that I have on all my bikes. The superior Mex. coke slips out of every cage I have.

I'm not going to even comment on the "independent user review" thing as the last time I did that I disappeared for a very long time. As Clint's Will Penny says, "I ain't like that anymore". In a way, I actually LIKE Empty Beer, even if the principles have tantrum-esque behavioral fits from time to time. We are all just human beings, after all.
 

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orthonormal
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't even consider the act of putting some kind of performance beverage in a hydration bladder unless I'm going to toss the whole thing after one use. Nothing good ever comes from that, IMO. Perhaps you guys have multiple bladders hanging in a closet waiting to be used, but not me. I just go through one at a time, and they tend to last for at least one riding "season". Water only. Water hydrates just fine, and that's the main deal. If I want something as a "performance beverage" it's usually a 20 oz. bottle of coke that I stick in a secure bottle cage that I have on all my bikes. The superior Mex. coke slips out of every cage I have.

I'm not going to even comment on the "independent user review" thing as the last time I did that I disappeared for a very long time. As Clint's Will Penny says, "I ain't like that anymore". In a way, I actually LIKE Empty Beer, even if the principles have tantrum-esque behavioral fits from time to time. We are all just human beings, after all.
Like i said above, BBQ sauce rinse. Store the bladder submerged in the stuff until the next ride.
 

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orthonormal
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You were serious? Damn, that's a LOT of BBQ sauce!
I was just kidding. So far, so good with the bladder. I actually just rinse with hot water and stuff some paper towels inside to help it dry. Same cleaning routine I've used for years with plain water. If I start having issues, I'll either replace the bladder more often or drop the idea of putting calories in there altogether.
 

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I've used denture cleaning tablets for years. Seems to work well for cleaning after water and electrolyte tablets. If using some other drink mix I'll put that in a bottle.

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