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Race Equipment (Camelbaks, Saddle Bags, Pumps, etc) - Post Your Setup!

1975 Views 20 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  ppfeifer

I'm wondering what you use to hold tools/tires/water during races. So, please post your race setup.

I've done a few sport XC race events, and I've just used my standard (weekend warrior) ride gear. My setup is as follows:

+ Camelbak Mule (bag contents below)
+>> add ~20-24 oz water per hour of riding
+>> Pump
+>> Spare Tube
+>> Multi-tool
+>> Tire Lever
+>> Spare gels

I'm wondering if I'm carrying too much. For example, should I just carry a CO2 cartridge and one tube? What's too much or too little to carry for a race? What's the "standard" setup for an XC racer? e.g. 2 water bottle cages mounted on the bike and that's it? Do XC racers use saddle bags? Do they carry spare tubes?

When I see pix of XC races, almost no one uses camelbaks, which I find odd because I think that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
As I see it....

Camelbak benefits:
Lots of water
Insulated bag keeps water cold/cool
Water is easier to get to (tube vs. bottle)
Holds pump, tubes, tools, etc.
Stuff doesn't get dirty

Camelbak drawbacks:
Reduces ventilation on back (back/body gets hotter than without)
Raises center of gravity
Only advisable to use water (carb drinks make bladder hard/impossible to clean)

Any and all comments are welcome.

Thanks in advance!!
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No camelback for me.

I carry:

2 water bottles typically
seat bag with the following:
1 tube
1 CO2
2 tire levers
1 tubeless patch kit (usually only for backcountry races)
chain tool
4, 5, and 6 mm hex wrenches
SRAM quick chain link
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My set up.

1 bottle of water (only one bottle cage on my size small bike)
CO2 pump with cartridge installed
Tire Lever
Multi tool
1-2 Gels
Forget two things:
Sram powerlink taped to my brake cable
Tube taped to seat tube

I don't use the camelback because I don't really need it anymore. I also found once you get used to a bottle it takes about the same thought to get a water bottle as to find the nozzle of a camelback. Also it's easier to get stuff out of the back pocket. No digging around and I organize it so my pump and lever are together in one pocket, multi tool in the middle and gels in the other. That way when I reach into a pocket I can quickly get what I need.
depends on the race course if i use a camelbak.

1 tire lever
1 gel flask w/holster on top tube just under the nose of my seat

there have also been races where i don't even carry a tube and c02; just gel flask

oh, tube and c02 in rear pockets when no camelbak.
I've spent about a gazillion dollars trying to make my bike lighter. I'm not about to wear a big, heavy camelback and add all that weight back when a water bottle does just fine.

Usually I just pack my gel flask and a water bottle. Sometimes I will stuff a tube and Co2 cartridge in my jersey depending on the course too.
pop_martian said:
I've spent about a gazillion dollars trying to make my bike lighter. I'm not about to wear a big, heavy camelback and add all that weight back when a water bottle does just fine.
So, water in a bottle magically doesn't weigh anything?
flargle said:
So, water in a bottle magically doesn't weigh anything?
No, but all the material from the Camelbak does! It's a weight weenie thing.:thumbsup:

I'm not concerned about the weight of the water. I am concerned about the weight of the water conveyance.
pop_martian said:
I'm not concerned about the weight of the water. I am concerned about the weight of the water conveyance.
But the latter is just a small fraction of the former.
Weight hanging off your back sucks in a race. If I need more than one large bottle in a race, I just take a handup.

I ride with: One CO2, gel flask, one large bottle, and sometimes a small multi tool.

That's for XC races. Something longer and I add a bit more spares (quick link, more CO2, perhaps a tube)
In short races I race without tools. If I have a mechanical, I am done for the day. It never happend in 4 years of racing. For water I use a Camelback, but a model that has no room for anything but water and maybe you car keys. The whole thing probably weighs 250g empty. Without support it is the only option that makes sense for me. For longer endurance races I carry basic tools. :)

It makes sense to use bottles when you have small bottles and support to switch them after every lap. But when I see people with 2 bottles and some tools all attached to the bike, I am a little surprised. To me, nothing feels worse than adding all that weight to a light bike. That is what I do on my road bike, and I hate the feel of the bike when I am out of the saddle (which happens often).
I'm going pretty basic for XC races: one bottle, a gel flask, a mini-tool with a spare chain quick-link... I don't bring a tube or CO2 unless the course is a known tire ripper, but I haven't had a flat since going UST since... 2004 or 2005!
1-1.5 hour race (multiple loops):

One water bottle on bike
Tube and pump in jersey pocket
Gels tucked under shorts or sometimes taped to bike

Single Loop races or point to point:
1 or 2 bottles
tube, pump
maybe tool and quicklink (hate walking)

It's racing, I don't like to carry extra crap. JRA, I might load myself down with all kinds of junk.
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flargle said:
But the latter is just a small fraction of the former.
if you don't know what he is talking about then you are an idiot. Is your objective on these boards just to make sarcastic comments?
I don't seem to need that much water now so I don't use a camelbak, but it works for some people. 1 bottle seems to be OK unless it's a longer XC race. If it's Endurance then I can fill up the bottle at one of the Aid stations.
I did a 12hr solo this past weekend and I was drinking about 1 bottle per lap (about 55+min laps)....but temps were in the upper 70's. If it would have been hotter I would have brought 2 bottles.
as for tools it's about the same as the posters above.
2 Bottles in cages
1 Tube
2 Levers
Tool in pocket

Straped under the saddle or on the seatpost with a Simple Strap

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You guys gear up as if going to epic 100 mile adventure rides.

For a normal race I just tape a tube to the seat tube, and carry a CO2 cartridge in my jersey pocket.
This is my first year of racing so don't take this a pro opinion. But for what it's wroth I race with the following:

on the bike:
1 bottle (that's all i can fit)

In my jersey:
2 gels just in case I bonk

in my saddlebag:
1 tube
1 co2 cartridge and head
2 spare links
1 CB-17 multi tool with chainbreaker (not the best but it works)
tire levers
1 car key (out of practical necessity not for the race obviously :D )

Last year i used to ride with a camelbak. I still own a nice camelbak, and they are great for epic full day rides. But I can't stand the feeling of something heavy on my back. I'm not sure how much it actually affects performance. I'm sure it's mental but i feel like i'm being weighed down. I've been fortunate in that my wife has been able to make it to every race to help me in the feed zone. If she ever had to work on a race day (she works shift work and has to work weekends sometimes) i dno't know what i'd do. I'd probably put another bottle in my jersey pocket although i hate the way that feels. I'm still in novice so it's short enough i could survive with 1 750 ml bottle. But once i get upgraded that it'll be a bit different.
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Co2 in a my pocket.
Tube taped to my stem.
1 small bottle.
1 light little allen Key set.
to the OP:

another benefit of a camelbak is the protection it affords. you can crash and land on it and not hurt your back!

i don't wear one in most races, ventilation and added weight are an issue. i will have on on in Downieville for the All Mountain event though.
Local 20 minute short track:

- nothing. No water, definitely no tools.

1.5 hour 2 lap race:

- 1 water bottle
- gels.
- spare tube on stem.
- tire pump and a tire lever in jersey.

17 mile loop race this weekend:

- camelbak mule w 1.5 - 2 Liters water
in camelbak:
- spare tube
- tire lever
- pump
- mini tool + chain tool
- sram link.
- tire boot (only 3g)

in jersey pocket:
- gel flask.

I don't want to have to walk out 10 miles, so I'm covering more bases on the big loop ride.
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