Hello Everyone, I’m new to unicycling and was wondering your thoughts on carrying water on rides. Seems like it would be more difficult to ride with a backpack style as opposed to a lumber pack or just mounting cages on the unicycle. Thanks
I have tried all three options you listed, plus one more. The fourth option is holding a 500-750ml bottle in one hand.
Very often, for rides less than 2 miles, I just hold a bottle of water in one hand. This is my normal option for my 24", unless I am riding with my dog.
When I ride with my dog on the 24", I wear a lumbar pack with three 20-ounce (590ML) water bottles in it. I also hang a collapsible dog water bowl from the lumbar pack. Since my dog and I drink at the same time, it is not a bother to have to open the lumbar pack to access the water. Once, a dog bowl caught the saddle during a UPD, and it was ripped off of the lumbar pack. This is the downside of hanging the bowl from the lumbar pack.
I have two bottle cages on my 36", which works well. However, I had to re-learn to free-mount. It makes the unicycle “top-heavy”, which comes into play when mounting, or when walking and pushing the unicycle in front of you. Also, I do not drink while riding with the bottle cages. Currently, trying to do that is a UPD-in-waiting. I have found that water bottles made by Polar with the surge cap work very well. Be prepared to retrieve the water bottles after a fast UPD, though. My water bottles are attached to my T7 handlebar, so the bottles hang parallel with the ground.
My favorite option for rides over 5 miles and 90 degrees Fahrenheit is the hydration pack. Mine holds 3 liters of water, and I haven’t run out of water yet, on rides up to 13 miles. This option may have required me to re-learn free-mounting also, but I was learning to free-mount anyway, so I just wore the hydration pack and fought through the learning phase. Like most things on a unicycle, you will adapt. I think the hydration pack made my core a little more sore on the first few long rides, but that just meant I needed to be in better shape. Again, your body and brain adapt.
I sometimes use a bottle cage on my 36", especially for a 1-hour ride. But it’s not ideal when I want to hop. I think a hydration vest pack is the best solution. It doesn’t bounce much when hopping, and it also holds my phone very well well. I carry one or two soft flasks in front of my chest for short rides and a water bladder for longer rides.
It depends on what kind of riding you do. I love my camelbak backpack for Muni, bottles mounted to the unicycle likely would not stay in place and since I carry some tools, food, first aid kit and maybe even an extra piece of clothing that is the best option for me. The hydration bladder really helps me to remember to drink because it is always accessible, I tend to forget if I have to dig a bottle out of my backpack.
A good backpack stays in place nicely and doesn’t impeed on your balance, but even the best ones tend to leave you sweating on the back more, that is where a hip pack is nicer.
If it fits well on your unicycle and your style of riding, bottle cages so that you don’t need to have anything on your body is probably the nicest, but I think without handlebars it’s difficult to find a spot that is easily accessible while riding.
I would add that on some rides, not bringing water is an option too, if you plan around it and prepare. When I go for runs I just start hydrating hours before and then immediately after, only on runs over 2 hours in hot weather I need to bring water. Depends on how much you sweat and what climate you are in of course, but it’s something that you can try.
I use a hip flask. I search around for one that was flat and fitted nicely in my thigh pocket.
I like my Camelback Lobo 100 oz / 3L pack.
Disclaimer: I’ve never used it for unicycling because I can’t yet ride long enough that I would need hydration however I used it a lot for dirt bike riding which I tend to ride at a fast pace, more or less as if I was racing (it’s more fun and exciting that way!) over rough Terrain- bumps, Roots, rocks, jumps Etc. And it does a good job staying put, so I imagine it would work just fine for unicycling too.
Also it gets smaller and lighter through out the day as you drink from it and it doesn’t slosh around, since there is little to no air in the bladder.
The fill mouth is also big enough to easily put ice cubes inside if you want to have cold water for most of the day.
It also has room to store a few small 10 Essentials like snacks, emergency blanket, trail map, rain jacket, first aid kit, Etc.
CamelBak Lobo Bike Hydration Backpack - Helmet Carry - Magnetic Tube Trap - 100 oz Amazon.com
I use a camel bak1.5 lt which is plenty as long as I’m hydrated enough before heading out.
I also found that if I use a plastic carabiner on the shoulder strap ends across my chest it stops the pack swinging around.
+1 on the importance of the chest straps. A backpack without chest straps will sway annoyingly during high-cadence riding. With a decent chest strap I found a camelback or equivalent to work really well, and the ability to easily take a sip increases the chances that you will do so and therefore stay hydrated
Thank you guys for all the input. It’s greatly appreciated. I’ve decided to start with a full size hydro pack and adjust down if and when need. Thanks again and I look forward to the next post.
I ride on the 36" with a Camelbak MULE, holds 100 oz of water, some tools, phone, wallet. One hour ++ rides. For shorter rides around the neighborhood I go with nothing.