Product Reviews

Camelbak Podium Water Bottle Product Review July 25, 2008

I needed to replace my water bottles recently and usually I just get the basic on sale water bottle but while reading a cycling magazine I saw an advertisement for the Camelbak podium water bottles. The claimed “no leak – no splatter” feature interested me as did the ability to shut off the valve for storage/transport so after I was approved for credit, purchased them.
From the first time I filled these bottles I liked them. The ability to close the valve for transport is awesome. I can fill them at home and lay them down in my cooler with ice so my drinks are cold when I start to ride and they haven’t leaked a drop. I have also put them in my bottle cages with my bike in the car rack, driven to the ride and not had any leakage.
During the ride with the valves open fluid doesn’t splatter out onto your legs and bike, like regular bottles have a tendency to, unless you get onto a really rough road but even then it’s minimal. I must admit my bike and legs aren’t so sticky (from performance drinks) after riding. To drink out of the bottles you must squeeze them to initiate flow (they will shoot fluid about 4-5 feet in case the person riding next to you could use a shower). Another convenient valve feature is once open you can shake the bottle to remix your performance drink without closing or spilling.
Although Camelbak claims you can drink from any angle I found after your initial drink you need to invert the bottle to drink. Also you need to be aware of the silicone valve when washing if you use a performance drink. When I washed them a day after my last ride the bottle I had Accelerade in had formed mold between the silicone valve cover and the plastic valve of the bottle top. You can remove the silicone valve relatively easily but it is a little tricky getting it back on. The bottle tops are black but rather opaque so you can see through them when washing making it easy to check for “crusties” left behind from performance drinks.
I did find that there is no plastic bottle taste to the water even after sitting in the cooler all day while I was at work. Furthermore there was no Accelerade after taste/smell in the bottle after washing. After the third ride I did notice some of the striped coloring was wearing of the bottle but most bottles will do the same thing.
Overall I like these bottles even though two 24 oz. will cost you about the same as 288 oz.’s of Sam Adams (12 pack), or around $17.00 for two, you can find them on sale and save a few bucks. They are a high quality, convenient, clean and somewhat expensive ( but you might save some money at the dentist – no more biting and pulling your valve open with your teeth) way to hydrate. -Pete
• CamelBak’s medical-grade silicone valve has been specifically designed to let you sip from any direction, or squirt to cool off on long rides
• It even self-seals to eliminate splatter on your frame or jersey!
• Just squeeze the sides to initiate the flow of liquid and then rotate the bar at the base of the valve 90 degrees to stop the flow
• Easily transports for positively leak-free performance
• Constructed with a proprietary blend of polypropylene and HydroGuard to keep you tasting your beverage and not your bottle
• Colors: Black (BLK), Blue (BLU), Clear (CLR), Pink (PNK), Red (RED), Silver (SIL)
By eliminating the “bite open” and “hip-slap shut” actions, this revolutionary water bottle will completely change the way you hydrate while cycling!

Elete Product Review September 22, 2006

My husband, Michael first discovered Elete Electrolyte Water at Over the Edge Bike shop in Fruita, Colorado while on a NEMBA organized trip to Fruita and Moab. His legs cramp on almost every ride and the shop recommended Elete to reduce or eliminate the cramping. He tried it and did not cramp the entire trip (7 days of intense riding). At home in Connecticut none of the local shops carry it so we ordered it directly from Nashbar ( also carries it. Last week, four Nerac Earth members returned to Moab for another epic riding experience. It was a little early in the season and we knew the temperature would be in the high 80’s to low 90’s so we ordered Elete for the trip because we knew we would be out riding for hours on end and wanted to make sure we were prepared and hydrated. Michael was the only one that had previously tried Elete and knew how well it worked. The rest of us (Kevin, John, and I) were pretty happy with the results, especially when the first day we ended up adding an unexpected 12 miles to the 14 we originally planned on. I used it in my water bottle with Clif Shot Electrolyte powder and the taste was undetectable. In my camelbak I used it with plain water which had a faint taste that I barely noticed, especially when I added ice to the bladder. None of us cramped or became dehydrated despite the warm temps. I definitely recommend this product for cyclists for training, endurance events, races, and epic rides of 3 hours or more. It comes in handy one serving packets or a more economical 8 or 16 ounce bottle. More information can be found at: — Jill

Polar CS 200cad August 9, 2006

The Polar CS 200cad is a handlebar mount cycling specific heart rate monitor/cycling computer with a wireless speed sensor and a wireless cadence sensor. It also comes with the new coded WearLink 31 transmitter belt. The cycling computer has an easy to read display that can be customized with a logo that you can download from Polar. All the expected statistics and more are tracked on the multiple displays that can be toggled with a press of a button. The battery for the computer and the heart rate transmitter are user replaceable. I found that the wireless transmission to be very dependable and accurate. The computer also has a 2nd wheel size option so you can move it between bikes without recalibrating the wheel size. The transmitter belt is made out of a soft fabric and is very comfortable, it is so unobtrusive that sometimes I forget to take it off after a ride. Data can be stored on the computer for up to seven different files/rides. Polar provides for data transmission to their web site so that you can record and track your information via “SonicLink” which sends the data from the computer to the web using your PC microphone. This is a great feature since the data is stored on the web instead of locally, so I have access to all my data and can add my new ride data even when I am away from home as long as I have access to a computer with a microphone and the internet. I have been using the CS 200cad since January of 2006 and can say that I have been very pleased with it. I also love the fact that it is totally wireless and seems to avoid almost all interference problems. The only feature I wish it had is the ability to see the actual heart rate and other data plotted at certain points within a ride, so I can relive the fun/pain of a particular ride. All-in-all a great wireless cycling computer/heart rate monitor at a great price. — John

Submit your product reviews to