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The Future of Moto Hydration is Here


ThumperTalk

At their core, backpack-style hydration systems have remained relatively unchanged for some time. Fill the bladder, bite a valve and suck to drink. This design is simple, cost effective and functional, but is this as far as performance-oriented moto hydration systems can go? Is there still room for meaningful improvement? The folks at LiquidAider certainly thought so when they designed and perfected the world’s first push-button wireless hydration system.

How’s LiquidAider work? Who’s LiquidAider for? What are LiquidAider’s benefits? We caught up with Matt Steele, inventor & CEO of Arapaho Technologies to answer these questions and more.
 

TT: Matt, push-button hydration is self-explanatory. What is the rest of the story?

LiquidAider: The idea behind LiquidAider is that we do not see hydration bladders as a complete solution to hydration. Dangling suck tubes are no good when the going gets tough. And when you are simply exhausted, sucking water sucks! Drinking less at a time but constantly to match exertion is the concept here and by doing that, you will pee less, retain focus and maintain your hydration level.
 

TT: So what is LiquidAider?

LiquidAider: It’s simple: Push button. Drink water. 

We provide a small wireless button that mounts next to your grip and a small pump that plugs into any hydration pack’s quick connect port. There is a magnetic disconnect that connects the pump tube to the helmet tube. A small adjustable nozzle mounts inside the front of your helmet. As you ride, and I mean in any situation or terrain or speed, you can drink water by hitting the thumb button. No reaching for a tube, and no bite valve. And we add only 8 ounces to your pack, as much weight as a cup of water.


TT: That’s actually pretty significant. Look at the pictures of any group of trail riders or race photos and even the top pros have a dangling tube not being used. And nobody wants a lot of weight added to their already heavy packs.

LiquidAider: Exactly true. Staying hydrated is why we all wear hydration bladders. And no matter how good you are, there are times where you need to drink but cannot take your hands off the controls. The harder the exertion, the harder it is to hydrate with a suck tube. LiquidAider pairs with that partial solution and makes it a total solution. Even if you like a bite valve, you can power the bite valve with LiquidAider and not have to suck water.
 

TT: So is this only for pros?

LiquidAider: No, not at all. Our customer base spans all ages and the entire spectrum of casual trail riders, to adventure bikers, road racers, and all forms of 4-wheel off-roaders. I think trials and motocross are the only 2 market segments where LiquidAider is not present.
 

TT: What are some of the features?

LiquidAider: We engineered some very cool features into it. Burst Mode can be set as you ride and it changes the operation to a 2, 3, or 4 second burst of water with a single quick press of the button.

You can pair the button to any number of pumps so imagine a team race like the Baja 1000. One rider gets off and another gets on the bike. The second rider has his own LiquidAider pump and helmet nozzle and he can use the button to hydrate.

A magnet disconnect pulls apart to separates the backpack from the helmet. Take off your helmet and it disconnects. Then lay your pack on the ground and water will not run out your pack. With the disconnect separated, pushing the button will not pump water.

And we will replace any broken part for 50% of the online price. I recall we have had 2 cases where something broke, and it wasn’t the button or pump. In both cases I just sent the parts for free. I was impressed they managed to break something! I know one Canadian rider cartwheeled his bike down a 200 foot whoop section and even without using the supplied button guard, the button was intact and undamaged.
 

TT: Battery powered?

LiquidAider:  Yes. The LiquidAider button is about 10mm wide, and inside of it is a coin cell battery that you can replace. But even though the button never turns off, always is running, that the internal battery will last all riding season if not the year. The pump battery is rechargeable. It will pump somewhere up to 40 liters before needing a charge.

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LiquidAider can be used with virtually any hydration bladder, even children's.

 

TT: Care to drop some notable customer names?

LiquidAider:  (Laughing) Ha! Well, we have shipped LiquidAider all over the world. We have a lot of talent trusting our product to give them a major advantage over guys with suck tubes. 

Certainly not a complete list, but Jackson Davis (factory Sherco racer), Ron Ribolzi (7x ISDE), David Knight (5x FIM World Enduro Champ) all use it. Cody Webb has been extremely generous to us by using it and testing early versions, and we designed the button to fit his available bar space. 

At the Mint 400, Damon Bradshaw picked up a kit and then brought a friend over to buy one. Then Damon, as nice a guy as you’ll ever meet, stood at my vendor tent for about 45 minutes demonstrating LiquidAider to desert racers who probably didn’t know who he was!

Mason Klein who I met at the Parker 250 race this year is 18 years old and finished 3rd in all stages of the 2020 Sonoran Rally except the first one. This means he finished behind Ricky Brabec and Skyler Howes but ahead of a stellar cast of racers and he credits LiquidAider for contributing to his amazing performance. Mason gave us a video of his thoughts about LiquidAider and it’s on our website and YouTube channel.

We do not pay anyone to use LiquidAider, so if you look over and see our button on the handlebars next to you, it’s because they bought a key advantage to beating you and they know it! 

JacksonDavis.jpeg
Factory Sherco rider Jackson Davis hydrates in the heat of battle with LiquidAider.
 

TT:  Is it difficult to install?

LiquidAider: No, it’s actually easy when you realize all you are doing is installing a nozzle inside your helmet, plugging in our pump, and connecting the tubes with the magnetic disconnect. I highly recommend watching our YouTube videos because it makes everything really easy to understand. Our included written instructions are over the top in detail for anyone wanting that.


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Handlebar control switch  is easy to reach and takes up very little space.
 

TT: And what is the future for LiquidAider?

LiquidAider: We are aware of other applications including military, bicycles, etc. and we are pursuing them. Ricky Johnson helped another entity with a similar concept, probably focused on Trophy Truck racing, but I heard they had issues and are not to market. The technology involved for such a simple concept is very advanced and challenging to implement. We’d welcome conversations with anyone about partnerships or applications. As a side note, I gave Ricky a kit

when I met him at King of the Hammers in February and he seemed genuinely blown away at the product quality and packaging and I think it caught him by surprise that this existed in a final production form. I hope he uses it and gets back to us.
 

TT: Closing thoughts Matt?

LiquidAider:
Think about this. We have done everything to our bikes and spent a ton of money to upgrade and give us an advantage over the next guy or just be able to ride better. Suspension tunes, anti-vibration additions, pivot pegs, steering dampers, billet everything. Then a guy goes riding/racing and hopes his body can do what he asks and comes back to the pits with half a bladder of water and is wiped out for a day of recovery. The bike is perfect. The body is shouting “Hey! What about me?!”. LiquidAider is the one thing that you can do for your body, right now, and have an immediate advantage over anyone with a suck tube. All things being equal, the rider with LiquidAider will win every time. And it’s not expensive. Why would you not want that major advantage?
 

TT: Thanks for taking the time Matt!

LiquidAider is available at https://liquidaider.com. Use coupon code : TT20 for $20.00 off & free shipping (US orders).

You can follow LiquidAider on Instagram and like them on Facebook @LiquidAider.

YouTube videos make the installation and operation very simple to understand.

 

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Uh, so you have to disconnect the hose at that magnetic connector every time you take your helmet off, and then try to fumble with reconnecting the hose behind your neck when you put the helmet back on? Seems like that would be quite annoying on all-day rides - maybe meant more for racers.

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You saw the video? Did that look too hard? It's magnetic. It is designed to self connect if you get them even close to aligned. But no product is for everyone. If that is the hardest part of your day, then you had a great day.

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I’ve been using it for almost a year. I’ve raced enduro with it and used it on my Vstrom touring around. Hoping to be the fastest liquidaider ever by the end of the week. Mounting it on my Hayabusa. lol 

It’s a great product and worth every penny. I’ll never use a hydration pack without a Liquidaider again. 

Edited by Craig Costello
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2 hours ago, Zindar said:

You saw the video? Did that look too hard? It's magnetic. It is designed to self connect if you get them even close to aligned. But no product is for everyone. If that is the hardest part of your day, then you had a great day.

No I wouldn’t imagine it’s particularly “hard”, but by that logic I don’t consider grabbing a hose hard either. Doing it behind your back in a dirty environment repeatedly over the span of a 10hr ride seems like it could get annoying tho - I know if I get any dirt in my regular hydration pack hose connector it becomes much harder to connect/disconnect, so I could see that potentially making it more difficult. Something else that’s not hard but is annoying is maintaining the batteries. Another instance of not hard but annoying - when you stop to eat lunch do you have to put your helmet on to take a sip of water? Idk, the impression I get is that this would only really be worthwhile for someone who races. Kind of like running race gas - yeah it improves performance, but for me it’s not worth the hassle / expense. But hey that’s just one guy’s opinion. 

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I just received mine as a Father’s Day gift on Friday and I love it! The magnetic disconnect is very very simple to use, and takes almost no effort at all to get snapped together. The system is easy to set up, and you can follow their step by step instructions on YouTube. 
The wireless button also comes with a guard to protect it from heavy impacts and is always water resistant. 
I did also use it while riding in heavy river beds and didn’t spill a drop. 
Liquid Aider is 100% worth every penny, for casual riders all the way to hardcore racers. 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽

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I’ve had my unit for about 6months now and I love it. The install isn’t too hard just follow the directions and watch the you tube video. Now I wonder why we haven’t all been using something like this for years?!?! I am ready to put on on my Mtn bike as well! 
It’s a no brainer, try it you will love it.

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I suspect that it's one of those things that you can live w/o until you try it. I know that I don't drink as often as I should on the trails. I rode last weekend and man, it was hot and humid. I'm sure that I'd have less fatigue using something like this. Drinking smaller amounts more frequently is better than larger quantities less frequently. @Coach Robb is that right?

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I'm curious as to how much space the pump and battery take up inside the pack. between tools and spare parts and snacks, I had to switch from a 3 liter bladder to a 2L just to make room.

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5 minutes ago, randysoo said:

I'm curious as to how much space the pump and battery take up inside the pack. between tools and spare parts and snacks, I had to switch from a 3 liter bladder to a 2L just to make room.

It's in the picture above:

fullsizeoutput_1808_720x.thumb.jpg.b51c9

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The pump is 2.5" tall, 1.5" wide and 1" thick. The battery is just about 2" x 1.5" x 7/8" and is encased in a shielded waterproof soft rubber enclosure with a hanging loop. 

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Sounds amazing - price point, not so much.  Perhaps after I get over the sting of all the related expenses I have picked up with the new bike : )

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I don't get the 'WHY'.  We already have lots of options for helmet mounted bite valves - no removing a hand from the bars to get it to your mouth, it's there already.  We already have high flow bite valves, as much water as you can drink.  Adding this means you have to remove your thumb from the bar any time you want a drink and it adds weight?  Seems like a detriment to me, but maybe I just don't get it.  

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About 1 ounce to your bike and a cup of water of weight to the pack so for almost anyone weight is a non-issue in this. The why for us and many other racers is that we do not like bite valves. We don't like having to grab them, plus they get dirty, and they hang useless for most of the ride. We do not like bite valves at our lips when we ride and many have expressed that to us including Cody Webb. In the interview, it is mentioned how many top level riders have that dangling suck tube. Obviously they choose to avoid in helmet bite valves too. 

As with any product, nothing is for everyone and we all have our reasons for using what we like. The WHY is that it is easier and safer and you'll drink a lot more than even with an in helmet kit. The WHY also includes 4-wheel classes who have their own set of hydration problems and we solve those for them too.

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1 hour ago, SkipperSauce said:

I don't get the 'WHY'.  We already have lots of options for helmet mounted bite valves - no removing a hand from the bars to get it to your mouth, it's there already.  We already have high flow bite valves, as much water as you can drink.  Adding this means you have to remove your thumb from the bar any time you want a drink and it adds weight?  Seems like a detriment to me, but maybe I just don't get it.  

maybe I'm just weak jawed. but I would get jaw cramps from the bite valve on long dualsport rides. I'm currently using a geigerig setup that uses an air bladder system that you pump up with an air bulb to pressurize the the bladder. but this kind of inflates the whole pack on your back. I don't really care about the helmet mount. I don't mind the tube flapping around. I just want a pressurized system that I don't have bite and suck. On really hot days it's nice to be able to spray your face and head with water

Edited by randysoo
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On ‎6‎/‎24‎/‎2020 at 12:21 PM, SkipperSauce said:

I don't get the 'WHY'.  We already have lots of options for helmet mounted bite valves - no removing a hand from the bars to get it to your mouth, it's there already.  We already have high flow bite valves, as much water as you can drink.  Adding this means you have to remove your thumb from the bar any time you want a drink and it adds weight?  Seems like a detriment to me, but maybe I just don't get it.  

8 oz of extra weight is negligible IMO.  I'm sure at some point even in gnarly stuff you can find the 1-2 seconds required to push a button. 

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1 hour ago, mxer95 said:

8 oz of extra weight is negligible IMO. 

First thing most riders do is bolt stuff to their bike anyway. Even with a lighter exhaust, most bikes gain weight from the factory. 8oz for just about all riders is undetectable. But, drinking more consistently throughout a ride depending upon the person can be quite noticeable.

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On 6/24/2020 at 10:48 AM, Zindar said:

About 1 ounce to your bike and a cup of water of weight to the pack so for almost anyone weight is a non-issue in this. The why for us and many other racers is that we do not like bite valves. We don't like having to grab them, plus they get dirty, and they hang useless for most of the ride. We do not like bite valves at our lips when we ride and many have expressed that to us including Cody Webb. In the interview, it is mentioned how many top level riders have that dangling suck tube. Obviously they choose to avoid in helmet bite valves too. 

As with any product, nothing is for everyone and we all have our reasons for using what we like. The WHY is that it is easier and safer and you'll drink a lot more than even with an in helmet kit. The WHY also includes 4-wheel classes who have their own set of hydration problems and we solve those for them too.

Mine just dangles in the breeze and somehow smacks every bit of poison oak sticking out on the trail. Then I can’t drink from it.

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Glad to see you got the nozzle thing sorted out nice.  That was my biggest complaint with the early prototype I tested.

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4 hours ago, RawbW said:

Mine just dangles in the breeze and somehow smacks every bit of poison oak sticking out on the trail. Then I can’t drink from it.

I've had poison ivy and poison sumac. It's no joke! Nasty stuff! I had an allergic reaction that required steroids to get it to calm. Can't imagine getting it on my lips or inside my mouth!

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3 hours ago, B Squared said:

I've had poison ivy and poison sumac. It's no joke! Nasty stuff! I had an allergic reaction that required steroids to get it to calm. Can't imagine getting it on my lips or inside my mouth!

I had it take over a whole arm and leg, had to be put on steroids. The doctors said finally, you got to stay away from poison oak for years, or else these steroids may not help you much. It’s a plant that really needs to be wiped off the planet.

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I just installed one yesterday in time for a 90 min hare scramble this morning.  I am impressed! Nice packaging, clear installation instructions, and from start to finish took 35 min to install and pair up the handlebar button with the pump. I hooked up the battery to the included charger and it was fully charged in less than an hour. The button takes up about 3/8” of handlebar width, so I mounted it on the left side, between the grip and kill switch. You can set it to squirt liquid in 1, 2 or 3 second bursts or continuously when button is pressed. There is a little bit of delay from button press to squirt, but I got used to it very quickly.

I’m very pleased with the convenience and not having to locate the old bite valve to take a drink.  BTW, the quick connect joining the helmet tube to the hydration pack tube is magnetic! Super easy to disconnect and reconnect.  Much easier than my previous push button valve.

looking forward to riding the national forest trails and having easy access to on-demand fluids.

Jeff G

masterspokesman.com

@liquidator

 

 

 

Edited by Grinstead_77G
Added Instagram link for vendor

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