Review: Clif Bar were kind enough to send me a large collection of their products to get me through the harsh coming winter. The products consisted of the original Clif Bar, Bloks, Gels and the Protein ‘Builders’ bar.
Usually the Clif Bar is my go to energy bar for the longer rides because they do a Peanut Butter flavoured bar and i have a Peanut Butter addiction you see. The bars taste great and are a great source of fuel to keep your energy levels high throughout the day. These are definitely better suited to the longer steadier rides than that of a training ride or even race as they are a little stocky – but considering i don’t race, these suit me down to the ground. I tend to stay away from gels as a whole, they do deliver the energy needed but i prefer to eat something because you get the sense of filling yourself up.
The bars are quite chewy which isn’t a bad thing and do contain a bit of protein which again helps for longer riding. These actually aren’t bad as a snack either as they contain a lot less calories to the likes of an ordinary chocolate bar.
Verdict: In a word – brilliant. They taste great and do the job required. Can’t really fault them.
Clif Shot Blocks.
To my knowledge Clif are the only company to do energy food of this kind and it was also my first experience with them…and what a treat these were!
As mentioned i’m not one for gels, they have there purpose and i use them on occasion but they’re not the first thing i’d pick up when filling my jersey pockets.
However, these Shot Blocks may well be. They are essentially just like mini cubes of jelly and each pack contains 6 blocks – 3 blocks are said to be as equal to a gel.
I was using the Tropical Punch flavour and it definitely scores high on the taste card. I really liked everything about these though. They go down well, easy to chew and they’re up to the task. My first use of these was on a wet, windy and cold day, the type of days were frankly, you just cannot be arsed so these came in handy. It was like a little treat for my efforts. They are sweet like a gel but i didn’t find them sickly, i’ll without a doubt continue to use these. They aren’t cheap though, you can pick them up for around £2, and you’ll probably use them in a ride with being in a single pack you can’t save them for later. These are suited for any type of riding really, they aren’t chunky like a bar so you won’t feel it in your stomach which is ideal for racing and you get the carbs needed for longer riding so you can simply enjoy these when ever.
Verdict: A good in between from a bar and a gel, delicious but not cheap.
Clif Shot Energy Gel
I find gels sickly and I quite simply don’t enjoy them to be honest, but that’s just me. Gels have their purpose but i prefer to eat something but i will carry a gel if i know its going to be a long ride and its there if i’m in trouble. More often than not i will a gel if it’s with me.
The Clif Gel i used was the Razz flavour, again it was nice but it was really thick, a bit like toothpaste. It wasn’t a gel you could squirt down and swallow it took a little bit of chewing and required a bit of effort to get down. Did it work? Yes. It gave me a little spring to my step and i can see these being useful for quick training rides and racing.
Verdict: Does the job but too chewy for a gel.
Clif Builders Protein Bar
The flavour i tried was the Chocolate Mint and it was really nice. I enjoyed it and it’s something to look forward to after a tough ride and its ready for you as soon as you get home or finish working out. I had mine during washing my bike down and taking my kit off so it can aid recovery from the minute you stop so this is desirable but like any protein bar, it’s very chewy.
I did find this to be rather sugary but it contains a large portion of protein, 20g, which i have heard is the most amount of protein your body can store in one serving and you get it in within the first 20 minutes after exercising, which is when it is meant to be most effective. That’s enough science for me.
After a 4 hour ride this was great. It’s filling, high in protein and the sugar helps re-store your energy levels so you’re not left feeling zombie like for the rest of the day which is a regular occurrence for me, best of all – it’s whole load of chocolatey goodness!
Verdict: Brilliant to take after a tough session and high in flavour.