Hydration is a key aspect for me when it comes to Gravity Enduro Racing, due to the amount of time spent in the saddle throughout the day combined with the physical output performed during the race stages. In recent years, the courses for the National Gravity Enduro Series here in Australia have become far more strenuous, with the race stages becoming longer with each round and the total race length growing in size. Because of this, I recently invested in a CamelBak Chase Bike Vest to provide me with the hydration and nutrition to keep me on top of my game.
Now backpacks aren’t for everyone, and in recent times most professional Enduro races and riders have turned to fancy bib nicks and different ‘stash’ systems, but the cost of these far exceed that of a simple backpack that can easily hold all your needed tools, tube, CO2, gels and energy bars.
The new CamelBak Chase Bike Vest was inspired by the sport of running. This was due to the shared similarities of running and riding, with the constant bumping around and the motion of the body while riding down aggressive descents.
The purpose behind the development of the Chase Bike Vest was to avoid a common problem from some hydration packs that hold the majority of the weight down near the hips, where the backpack flops around and occasionally hits you in the back of the head. The CamelBak Chase Bike Vest features an ergonomic design in which the weight is spread around the chest and upper back, keeping the weight or mass of the vest closer to your body, minimising movement whilst riding.
The key features that I found great about the design of the CamelBak Chase Vest was the two storage pockets located at the front of your chest where two clips hold it on firmly to your body. I used these two pockets for the storage of my multi-tool and CO2 head, my Dyna-Plug on the left side, and my phone and microfibre cloth (for cleaning glasses and goggles) on the right. This is a fantastic feature, as rather than getting a mate to godigging through my backpack for something, or having to remove the backpack completely, I can simply get it for myself when it’s so conveniently located in one of the two front pockets.
On the topic of hydration, the Chase Vest holds a generous 1.5 litres in its bladder, which was enough water for me for two to three hours. The mouthpiece also features a new head that provides 20% more water per sip and is easier to operate with gloves (one of the finer aspects I particularly appreciate).
Final thoughts? The CamelBak Chase Bike Vest is a WINNER! It is more than capable when it comes to rough, technical, and gnarly riding and it definitely ticks absolutely all the boxes for me. And if it’s good enough for professional EWS racers like Mitch Ropelato and Isabeau Coudurier, it is good enough for me.
By Toby Greenwood – Pushys Sponsored Athlete
Categories: Product Review