So a couple of day ago I was washing my hydration distribution containers ( water bottles), and I noticed some black mold around the valves on a few of them. The worst was the Camelbak Podium Big Chill bottles. I tried using a toothpick and paper towel to get inside the mouth piece and clean it out. That's when I noticed even more mold under the valve.
The only way to get inside was to cut off the inside lip of the valve from the bottom side of the cap. Once I had this lip cut off, I could pull the valve al the way out. For some reason Camelbak doesn't want you doing this. Once I removed it, I noticed there was a rubber o-ring inside, which also had m old on it. I still needed to use a toothpick and paper towels to reach the inside of the plastic part of the valve to clean it.
Maybe I don't always wash them right after my rides, maybe I don't let them fully dry before putting them back in the cabinet, but one thing is for sure, a water bottle shouldn't be designed this way. There's way too many parts here that are not removable without some modifications. I you use these bottles, I recommend thoroughly inspecting them before your next ride.
My Purist water bottles also had a bit of mold on the inside of the rubber mouth piece and the plastic part that holds it onto the cap. I forgot to take pictures of this. It is however, easy to fully remove by pulling on it with a little force. These bottles are what I have the most of and will contine to use. I will be making sure to remove the mouthpiece from now on though to let it fully dry.
The one set of bottles that didn't have any mold at all were my Skratch Labs bottles. I did a little research to see who made them, and found out that they are made by Tacx. The are called Tacx Shiva bottles and are the ones most widely used by the pro peloton. I also tried to find them online to buy a couple extras. Not so easy! Tacx is from the Netherlands, and was purchased by Garmin last year. Trying to find a US company that sells these bottles is almost impossible, and even if you can find them in stock from Wiggle or Chain reaction, the international shipping is outrageously expensive.
I will continue my search for 750ml Tacx bottles, but in the meantime, I'll be sure to take the mouthpieces off my Purist bottles and let them air dry for a couple days, lest I die from the black mold!
See the pics below for how to remove the plastic lock valve, and don't cut your fingers!