Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: BikeFreak on January 20, 2012, 06:41:23 pm

 
Title: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
Post by: BikeFreak on January 20, 2012, 06:41:23 pm
Hi,

On my next long distance tour I strongly consider using a hydration/drinking system like the Camelback system. I have read that bacteria quickly grow in the tube with the result of a bad taste. Especially if it is hot outside - naturally.

How can I keep the bacteria away without carrying all sorts of substances like bleach, baking soda etc? I would also like to avoid to carry the tube specific brush which can be bought as an accessory. Is there smart and easy trick to keep the tube clean.

To those of you using such a hydration system: What are you doing?

Lucas
Title: Re: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
Post by: ezdoesit on January 20, 2012, 07:59:23 pm
Buy a box of denture tabs they kill bacteria very well very cheap and weights next to nothing.
Just drop a tab in hot water and let it sit for 30 minutes then run it through the drinking tube flush then rinse and your good to go.
Title: Re: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
Post by: Joe B on January 20, 2012, 09:13:58 pm
ezdoesit's method gets my vote as well. Walmart Brand "Equate" 90 or 96  tabs I think was $2.47, For water bottles I use a 1/2 tab.
Title: Re: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
Post by: Pat Lamb on January 20, 2012, 09:34:16 pm
If you're just putting water in the system, just rinse it after every use and let it dry overnight.

Maybe the denture cleanser works, but adding sugar is just asking for a bacteria culture.
Title: Re: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
Post by: waynemyer on January 21, 2012, 01:43:49 am
Hydrogen peroxide. It is very reactive, cheap, readily available, and decays quickly. I have used H2O2 to flush my CamelBak and Platypus on both brevets and tours. I'm pretty sensitive to taste of my water, to the point where I would rather carry a smaller stainless bottle and refill more often, rather than suffer through the taste of polymer water vessels.
Title: Re: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
Post by: staehpj1 on January 21, 2012, 01:16:46 pm
If you're just putting water in the system, just rinse it after every use and let it dry overnight.
+1
I don't use a Camelback on tour, but for hiking that is what I do, if I am even that careful.
Title: Re: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
Post by: bogiesan on January 22, 2012, 10:23:38 am
This is rather like saying you want to use inner tubes but you'd rather not be bothered with a pump. Leave the hydration system behind, then. Use a couple of conventional bottles. Easier to clean and to keep clean and they're not on your back.
Tablets and drops of a poisonous liquid will help disinfect the system but you will need the brush to actually clean the tube of debris and residual grunge.
Title: Re: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
Post by: johnsondasw on January 22, 2012, 03:12:33 pm
I've used these systems, and frankly prefer the stainless water bottles.  I'm not a fan of the taste of plastic and wonder about the long term health effects of "plasticized" water.  Also, the less plastic in my life in general, the better.  Of course, in modern life it's impossible to avoid, bue we do what we can....
Title: Re: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
Post by: whittierider on January 22, 2012, 08:23:36 pm
The big health problem with drinking water (or foods) and plastic is BPA, which, fortunately, is not used in most cycling water bottles.

Some people like the hydration packs because they have difficulty reaching for a water bottle and controlling the bike while drinking.  Probably a greater reason however is that they're looking to carry more water, and make the mistake of thinking that the hydration pack carries more.  I like to promote the 33-ounce Zefal Magnum water bottle.  I and my family put two on the frame as usual, giving 66 ounces, and two more in the holder behind the seat total 132 ounces, which is more than a gallon altogether.  This comes to a lot more water than even the very biggest hydration packs, without having to have any weight on your back.  If you put another bottle cage under the down tube, you'll have over five quarts--165 ounces.  Cleaning is extra easy with the wide-mouth top which is plenty big to put big ice cubes in if you care about that stuff.  (Myself, I don't like my drinking water cold.)  These have no BPA in them.  If you want to supplement these by adding a hydration pack like to go long distances in hot mountains or desert where you won't have a chance to refill for a long time, go for it; but I'd say start with the bottles.

The Zefal Magnum bottle was unavailable for awhile, but is back now.  We've bought 15-20 of them and never had any problems with them, but apparently a few people did have leakage problems, so Zefal apparently redesigned it and re-introduced it.
(http://www.zefal.com/68-266-large/magnum.jpg)
Title: Re: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
Post by: paddleboy17 on January 30, 2012, 01:24:10 pm
If you're just putting water in the system, just rinse it after every use and let it dry overnight.

Maybe the denture cleanser works, but adding sugar is just asking for a bacteria culture.

I thought denture cleanser were mostly hydrogen peroxide.  Why would they have sugar in them?  Sugar seems to defeat any attemps to sanitize them.
Title: Re: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
Post by: bktourer1 on February 03, 2012, 07:58:11 am
Camelback does have a long wire with brush on the end.  It would fit easily in your pannier and you could clean the hose all the time.  You could also add  the thermal cover / director to keep the hose from geetting too warm.
Title: Re: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
Post by: brad on February 04, 2012, 01:10:09 am
As an ultra-marathon runner I use a bladder system for all my long runs and when backpacking,bike touring. Even with using sweetened drinks like Gatorade, etc as long as you rinse and dry the tube you will not have any issues with mold or bad taste. I suggest on your rest days rinsing it with water and allowing it to air dry completely. You should be fine doing this...