Long a leader in the mountain bike world, Camelbak’s bottles are rapidly becoming accepted by road riders, and the company has increased its road-specific product line.
The diaphragm valve remains the distinguishing feature of all Camelbak Podium bottles, allowing the rider to drink (when the top is in the “open” position) by just squeezing the bottle but not having to close the bottle afterward. The bottles are all polypropylene, rather than polyethylene, which is a less reactive material and is thus intended to reduce the plastic taste; the ability to make it just as soft as a polyethylene bike bottle is key to Camelbak’s success with the Podium.
The insulated Podium Big Chill is a bigger, 25oz. (750ml) size of the Podium Chill. The Podium Big Chill and Podium Chill insulate four times better than a standard bottle. The more expensive Podium Ice ($20 vs. $12 for Podium Chill) bottle is twice as well insulated yet, while still just as light, thanks to the Aerogel silica gel insulation. The liquid in the gel is flashed off, leaving a superlight, high-void “frozen air” insulating sock that goes between the inner and outer layers of the bottle.
Meant for road riding and racing in time trials, triathlon and cyclocross, the Racebak is a microfiber moisture-wicking shirt with a sleeve in the back to hold a small bladder. The Garmin team used it successfully in the Tour de France final time trial. The day was hot, and the team’s Felt time trial bikes do not have bottle mounts.
New for 2011, Camelbak now has a lifetime warranty on all of its products.
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