VelEau - FAQ

VelEau on Road Bike


Q. Vel-WHAT?!

A: VelEau — pronounced vĕl•ō, is a pun in French. 

velo = bicycle

eau = water

VelEau = Bike Water. A mingling of words to represent an elegant integration of hydration on the bicycle.

Q. Will it be a complex procedure to fit it to my bike? 

A: Not at all. All you need is 10 minutes and a pair of scissors. Check out this video for an installation demo. 

Q. How do you fill it? Do you have to take it off the bike to fill?

A: It’s best to fill a VelEau system while it’s installed on the bike. This is easily done with the use of a second bottle. We make a good one. One can also fill the bottle at a sink, cooler, spigot, etc. but it is usually more time consuming and less convenient than using a fill bottle.

Q. Does the bottle contain BPA (Biphenol A)?

A: No. VelEau bottles are made of fully recyclable, food-grade HDPE. The tubes are medical-grade, 90A durometer polyurethane. They are compliant under FDA title 21CFR 177.1680 and 177.2600 and also meet NSF under Standard 61. This material has been tested and meets the requirements of USP Class VI. Additionally, this material is DEHP free and RoHS compliant.

Q. Is the bottle dishwasher safe?

A: Yes, the bottle assembly is dishwasher safe on the top rack…after removing the pack, seatpost pad, and strap. The pack can be cleaned by hand and air dried. We do NOT recommend putting the pack into washing machine or dryer.

Q. Does having the weight of the system mounted under the saddle affect the way the bike handles or feels?

A: Yes, it does. It’s the kind of thing that a rider gets accustomed to quickly though. Just like riding different styles of bikes feels different.

Q. While standing over my bike it’s difficult to drink. . . what’s up with that?

A: When stopped, keep a cheek or two planted on your seat and put just one foot down to balance on, now the tube is free and clear to extend up as when riding. Or, get off your bike and use it as a prop to do some much needed stretching, while you’re swigging away on your VelEau.

Q. Won’t the fill cap get all mucked up with my winter UK riding conditions?

A: Yes, just like the rest of your bike, and you. This is what the garden hose was invented for.

Q. What’s wrong with a Water Bottle?

A: We love water bottles, they are perfect for refilling a VelEau system when out on extended rides and at aid stations. Try to use one while hammering in pack, or descending a trail, or riding in traffic…but be careful. A research study in Human Factors Engineering has concluded that VelEau is easier, faster, and safer to use than a conventional water bottle (or hydration pack for that matter).

Q. What’s wrong with a Hydration Pack?

A: Hydration packs are great. We love their capacity, both for hydration and extra stuff that they afford. They can also serve as armor during hard wipe-outs. They tend to be hot, though, and slosh around on your back as you pedal. Not to mention the chafing straps, especially on women. And if you do want to wear a backpack, think how much more you can fit in it if your bike is carrying the water.

Q. Does the bottle get in the way on steep descents, when you need to get back off the saddle?

A: The bottle is a new addition to this part of the bike, and like most new things on bicycles it takes a short time to become accustomed to it being there. As it turns out, an aggressive “back-off-the-saddle” posture puts the family jewels well aft of the bottle. For lesser pitches the bottle can serve as a “back seat”, allowing the rider to drive more weight into the rear wheel, which improves traction and the extra connection w/ the bicycle (beyond two hands and two feet) makes for a more commanding feel of control. Can you get jacked by the bottle? Yes, if one is in the wrong position at the wrong time, it is possible (as w/ the seat itself, and other parts of the bike when things don’t go according to plan).

Q. Doesn’t the water in the tube get warm on hot summer days?

A: Yes, but only if you let it. A good hydration regimen in hot conditions is to be sipping often, which clears the slowly warming shot of fluid before it becomes tepid. The tube holds ~2 oz. Also, a rider can apply a brief “blow-back” into the bite valve after a drink to force the fluid in the tube back into the bottle, where it is insulated by the bag. It’s always a good idea to drain and rinse your system after use.

Q. Does VelEau work in freezing Winter conditions?

A: While the pack is insulated, we don’t recommend relying on a VelEau system for your hydration needs in extreme cold conditions; as the fluid in the tube and bite valve can freeze solid. At temps just below freezing you can prevent your VelEau from freezing up by applying a brief “blow-back” into the bite valve to force the fluid in the tube back into the bottle, where it is insulated by the bag. Taking regular small drinks is the best way to keep fluid flowing and staying well hydrated.

Q.The cord on the reels looks wimpy. Is it really going to hold up to the rigors of cycling?

A: The cord on the reels is a Military Spec 3-strand Nylon parachute thread. It’s been tested to over 180,000 cycles in the lab without failure, and units have been in use on avid Road and MTB beta tester bikes for over a year without issue. That said, we recommend inspecting the cord regularly for signs of extreme wear or damage.

Q. The magnets on my reels or Gravity Kit have a bunch of crud sticking to them, and it’s hard to get it off because the magnets hold onto it.

A: Use a piece of tape to stick to the crud, which should stay on the tape when removed from the magnet.

Q: What does it look like in action?

A: Here is a video!

Q: Is the VelEau compatible with adjustable length seat posts?

A: Yes, the VelEau is compatible w/ many adjustable length posts, but not all, and only so long as you maintain proper clearance between the Bottle and Rear wheel, when bottoming the suspension.  The Tube stays put on the bike just fine as long as the drop is kept to <3".  Dropping the seat beyond that range can cause the Tube to go wonky where it sweeps forward at the bottom of the seat tube.  Longer travel, and smaller sized bikes w/ less seat post lengths can have rear wheel clearance issues, and are a no go.  We've had good results w/ RockShox/Sram Reverb, Specialized Command, the Crank Brothers Joplin posts, Fox D.O.S.S. and  Kind Shock Lev posts.  The Gravity Dropper doesn't work so well because of how the cable comes out the front of the seat tube, right where the rear reel and tube want to be on a VelEau.

Q: I used to carry my pump in a hydration pack, now that I have a VelEau and don't want to use a pack anymore, what should I do? 

A: There are several options, depending on your circumstances. Most MTB pumps come with a bracket that attaches at a bottle cage mount, and these work great.  Another way to go is with a "frame pump" which fits nicely inside the triangle on traditional bicycle frames.  There are a number of "miniature" pumps, that can be easily strapped to other areas of the bicycle frame.  Also, there is the CO2 option.

Q: There's not enough room in the VelEau pocket for my [jacket, tool, CO2, pump, spare tube, lunch, etc]. Can't you make it bigger?
We could make it bigger, but with increased size comes the additional bulk and weight of what fills the volume.  One can usually fit a spare tube, tire irons, a decent multi-tool, a spare derailleur hanger, a small first aid kit, a quick-link, and a couple tie wraps in the pocket.  It's best to have the pocket full, which keeps things from bouncing around too much in there over the bumps.  We promise to work on a bigger pocket model.