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One of the best (and least expensive) pieces of equipment you can buy as an enthusiast, amateur or pro is a good quality set of gloves. As it is unlikey you’d be reading this if you weren’t already sold on the idea of getting a decent set of gloves; we won’t linger on this point beyond highlighting how far they’ve come in style, comfort and protection.

A couple of points to note. For mountain biking, full-length gloves are definitely where you should be. Beyond the obvious point that having fingers is better than not, the higher quality gloves around these days are very well ventilated so there isn’t really any good reason to sacrifice the extra length.

Fox Ranger Mountain Bike Gloves

Best Summer Mountain Biking Glove

Fox Head Mens Ranger Bike Safety BMX MTB Gloves (Cardinal, Small)Fox Racing Ranger Bike Gloves Small Midnight

It seems almost second nature that you would automatically think of FOX when you think Mountain bike. They have been around for years and offer some of the best, highest quality and most affordable outdoor sports gear in the world.

The Fox Racing Ranger gloves are the perfect summer glove. They don’t offer padding but are quite a strong glove. Full fingered in length protects you from any stone chips or scratches. The fingers are touch screen sensitive you can use your apps on the go.

It becomes quite clear why this is touted as FOX’s best-selling glove.

It features;

  • Compression molded cuff
  • Conductive thread on the thumb and index finger for touch screen usability
  • 4-way stretch polyester construction
  • Absorbent micro-suede thumb
  • Silicone grip fingertip

What does this mean to you? Well if you’re looking for a comfortable summer glove, which will allow you to use your phone and riding apps, silicone tipped fingers so you won’t lose grip on your breaks with a light breathable construction, then this is the best summer mountain bike gloves 2019.

Cons;

Limited padding, these gloves aren’t really designed for free riding close contact forest trails or extremely bumpy rides.

No knuckle protection. Not suitable for winter riding.

Fox DirtPaw Glove

Best Entry level Mountain Bike Glove

Fox Racing 2019 Dirtpaw Gloves White LargeFox Racing 2019 Dirtpaw Gloves (LARGE) (NAVY/YELLOW)

Ok, it may seem like we’re nut hugging FOX a little much, but can you blame us? The FOX Racing Dirt paw gloves are similar to the Ranger gloves but with more padding. You will probably feel a little safer if you’re going to be doing more downhill or all mountain riding.

They offer protection around the knuckles, padded palm and flex points around the glove to make sure your hands aren’t restricted whilst riding.

It features;

  • Compression molded neoprene cuff for a secure fit
  • Padded, single layer Clarino palm
  • Stretch mesh finger gussets for mobility
  • Padded knuckles
  • Silicone print on finger tips for brake lever grip
  • Touch screen compatible
  • Hook and loop wrist closure

If you’re into a little more trailing or downhill Mountain biking this is probably a better choice for you. It offers greater protection around the palms and knuckles so longer or bumpier rides will not fatigue the hands as bad.

You will be protected from any scratches getting to close to mountain sides or through a forest and they are touch screen compatible. Using your apps or camera isn’t going to be an issue. These gloves cover what any entry-level ride would want or need.

Cons;

Not suitable for cold weather. May not stand up to the wear and tear of more experienced riders after a couple of months.

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Seibertron DirtPaw Gloves

Best Winter Mountain Biking Glove

Seibertron Dirtpaw Unisex BMX MX ATV MTB Racing Mountain Bike Bicycle Cycling Off-Road/Dirt Bike Gloves Road Racing Motorcycle Motocross Sports Gloves Touch Recognition Full Finger Glove Red XS

Seibertron isn’t exactly what we’d call a mainstream brand, but they are certainly making waves all across the USA.

They are designed for use with Mountain biking as well as MX and ATV riding. They seem to offer superior protection whilst being very comfortable and taking beatings on dirt trails just as well as much higher priced gloves.

They feature;

  • Direct rubber injected protection on the back of hands and knuckles
  • Lycra finger gussets for comfort
  • Lightly padded with silicone grippers on all fingers
  • Touch screen compatible
  • TPR hook & loop wrist closure
  • 30 Day full money refund and a one-year warranty for manufacturing defects

These gloves are great. They offer protection and durability at an extremely affordable price. They look great and suit a variety of motor sports. The Seibertron Dirt paw was designed with versatility in mind and protections.

A great fall / winter glove, all mountain or cross country these gloves will keep you covered for any slips, trips or falls. They are touch screen compatible so using your favorite cycling app will not be an issue.

Cons;

May get hot and sweaty in the summer time. Not suitable for – Temps in winter but are ok for cold days (not freezing)

ZOOKKI MTB Glove

Best Budget Mountain Biking Glove

ZOOKKI is another brand taking the internet world by storm. They are producing great mountain biking gloves at a really strong price point. They represent an example of a cheap chinese brand that has actually managed to produce a good quality, reliable product, with reasonable customer service too.

Although they don’t offer the greatest knuckle protection, the hand padding should be enough for most novice – intermediate XC and trail riders.

They feature;

  • 100% Cotton towel on the back of the thumb to wipe away sweat
  • Thick palm with silica gel to help absorb drops and shocks
  • Touch screen usability
  • Velcro wrist closure
  • Moisture-wicking and breathable

The ZOOKKI Mountain biking glove is a pretty strong contender when it comes to the best mountain biking gloves. It offers breathability, comfort and an intermediate level of protection. If you’re struggling with sweat, they have a cotton towel strip on the back of the thumb to wipe it away.

We were surprised to find using your phone with these gloves wasn’t an issue.

Cons;

Limited protection for knuckles. Not suitable for cold weather riding. Not suitable for higher risk trails.

FOX Bomber Gloves

Best Armoured Mountain Bike Glove

Fox Bomber Glove White/Black size XX-Large

The Fox Bomber gloves offer amazing protection, manoeuvrability (you can tie your shoe laces with these) and comfort to any trail blazing, high speed rider from all mountain to downhill and freeride.

Suitable for pro’s these are serious gloves for riding serious lines.

They feature;

  • Extended wrist guard
  • Molded plastic knuckle and finger
  • Double layer Clarino palm
  • Leather gusset on the pinky
  • Long neoprene cuff

Overall the FOX Bomber glove will allow you to attack any trail with the comfort of knowing you will be protected from a fall, and from any branches or over hanging rocks.

Cons;

Not touch screen compatible. Slightly heavier gloves.

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Mountain Bike Gloves – Buyers Guide

You have seen our contenders for the five best mountain biking gloves on the market right now. But not everyone agrees and sometimes you want to have a look for yourself. So, read through this guide to make sure you understand what makes a great mountain biking glove.

Time of year

Are you riding in summer or winter? If you ride through summer you will need a glove with good ventilation. Even better if it has sweat wicking material. Just because it is hot though doesn’t mean you should be tempted to skip protection (at least not in your hands).

Winter riders will need a thicker glove to offer more warmth. The issue is though sometimes thickness can reduce mobility. Try them on if you can. Working your gloves like a baseball mitt is one way to soften them up a little.

Environment

Are you riding downhill or cross country? Riding all mountain may mean you need something more durable with thicker palm padding. Hitting bumps and rocks all day long can put pressure on your palms and fatigue your hand muscles rather quickly.

Someone who rides freestyle may prefer something a little lighter as they don’t want to be constricted by movement when having to react fast to the environment.

Fitting

Your gloves should fit snug, not tight. Tight gloves may cause your hands to chafe, they reduce mobility and will cause blisters. Snug gloves should offer protection to your hands with little movement of the material over your skin. When your riding your hands shouldn’t be sliding around inside your gloves.

Protection

Knuckle protection and back of hand injection molded rubber or plastic is a must if you ride more aggressively or on any track which has protruding branches or rocks. They will keep the back of your hands from getting snagged and even pierced.

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Accessories

Best Gifts For A Mountain Biker

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What gifts to pick for mountain bikers?

As mountain bikers are notoriously difficult to buy gifts for, we thought we’d put together a helpful piece on what we’d suggest as mountain bikers would be the best and most failsafe options. From performance socks to action cameras, there’s bound to be something just right for a mountain biker you know.

Mountain Biking Gloves

Fox Racing Ranger Mountain Bike Gloves 

The Fox Racing Ranger Mountain Bike Gloves boast features perfect for mountain-biking:

  • A polyester, nylon construction for durability
  • Double layer Clarino palm and low profile wrist tab to boost flexibility and comfort

This simple yet effect gift is excellent for beginners and more experienced bikers.

 

Contributor: Ollie Smith from ExpertSure

Mountain Biking Distress Beacons

Silent Beacon

As we bike our way into spring, we can enjoy more peace of mind with Silent Beacon. 

This panic button is lightweight, water-resistant and wireless. It seamlessly connects to smartphones or any other bluetooth-compatible device.

Here are some stand-out features:

  • The Beacon can place a call to first responders and anyone else in an emergency 
  • Includes GPS tracking for emergency services — all with one button push.
  • Two-way communication device thoughtfully designed for easy activation and avoidance of false alerts
  • Multiple customized direct contact options (911/EMS)
  • Customizable contact list

No other wearable safety device does so much for so little — and so simply.

Silent Beacon offers features not available on other wearable devices, at a  very fair price. Thankfully there aren’t monthly payments or hidden fees. 

Contributor: Kenny Kelley from Silent Beacon

Run Angel

Run angel is an alternative innovative safety wrist wearable that emits a very loud siren from its patent pending acoustic chamber design to attract attention in an emergency such as an injury or attack.

It connects to smartphone devices to send emergency alerts to loved ones by SMS & email, showing the date, time and location of the wearer.

Contributor: David Caren from Run Angel

Extra Strength CBD Muscle Salve 

It’s no secret that enjoying the outdoors can take its toll on your body, but there’s no reason to let pain and discomfort win. The Glacier Wellness Muscle Salve offers the following:

  •  Tremendous, effective relief where you need it most
  • Won’t leave you oily or smelling like an old-age home! 

In addition to its truly remarkable and effective pain relief, the CBD body butter is great for calming the stress of everyday life thanks to its mix of essential oils and soothing scents.

As an added bonus, our salve is made from the finest American grown hemp. This product is also ethical, GMO-, and paraben-free.

Contributor: Samantha Morrison from Glacier Wellness 

No amazon link, product page is: https://glacierwellness.co/products/extra-strength-hemp-muscle-salve

Horizon 1 Sunglasses

Everyone loves sunglasses that make them look cool, and all three versions of Horizon 1 sport sunglasses (Slope, Wave, and Mesa) are styled with an edge. They’re a perfect gift for anyone that enjoys the great outdoors, or just wants to look good. 

Each pair includes:

  • 3 pairs of interchangeable lenses (grey, rose, and clear) for varying weather conditions (instructions included
  • A carrying case with belt loops and clip
  • A warranty

A polarized version of their grey tint lenses is also available. Other attractive frame colors that will be available soon are: white, purple, and tortoise shell.

Contributor: Andrew Cochran from Next Horizon Eyewear LLC

Original Worm

The Original Worm-Combines Massage Balls & Foam Roller for Neck, feet, Back, Shins, Calves, Hips, Glutes. Portable. Great Travel Roller for Plane and car. Easy to use.

The Original Worm is the portable, full body massage roller that combines the benefits of therapy balls with a foam roller. 

The Worm’s specially designed, neoprene encased, solid rubber massage balls target 4 times the body’s surface area. 

These massage roller balls will provide trigger point release to combat stiffness, pain and stress in muscles and joints. It can be something you realise you need once it’s too late. 

Contributor’s site: http://www.theoriginalworm.com

The Cleat WedgeR 

Developed by Paul Swift, 8-time US National cycling champion who competed with the US National Cycling Team from 1983 to 1997, the Cleat WedgeR is designed to provide a solution to a problem most all cyclists face.

Studies have shown that 96% of all cyclists (mountain, road, gym) deal with one of two foot issues. Their feet either tilt in or out when coming into contact with the pedals. This creates a lack of alignment with the knee which can lead to pain and injury while also reducing efficiency and power.

The very affordable Cleat Wedge (MSRP: $25) solves this by creating an even pressure point across the foot to align the point of contact. The result is a vertical path between the knee and pedal which increases efficiency and power while also eliminating knee and foot pain.

The Cleat Wedge is available in two, three and four hole designs.

Contributor: Paul Swift from BikeFit

The Seventy2 Hour Survival Kit

The Seventy2 Hour Survival Kit is a perfect gift for the avid Mountain Biker because it is a backpack comprised of supplies and tools that will help you be prepared for any type of situation that a mountain biker may face when ripping down a trail.

The Seventy2 is ideal because it is all encompassed in one lightweight, mobile backpack that will not negatively impact performance, but rather it will allow you to be confident in your biking because if anything may happen you will be prepared.

Contributor: Christian Schauf from Uncharted Supply Co

Performance Socks and Tailwind Nutrition

 

Feetures socks are great for cycling, and are one of those small details that can transform your riding experience.

These are the picks of the range:

1) Feetures’ new Merino 10 is blended with a luxurious combination of TENCEL and Merino wool for all-weather performance in any season. Designed with patented Sock Lock technology, the Merino 10 line provides targeted compression in the arch to provide all-day support and eliminate blisters.

2) Constructed with moisture-wicking fibers to keep feet dry, Feetures’ Elite line is designed with the same Sock Lock technology like the Merino 10 line in order to provide an anatomical fit for targeted compression in the arch which provides all-day support and eliminates blisters.

Contributor’s site:  feetures

Tailwind Nutrition Drinks

Tailwind Nutrition’s Rebuild is the first recovery drink based on a patent-pending complete protein – a groundbreaking organic rice and coconut milk-based formula, specially designed to restore your energy and recover your muscles after exercise.

It combines:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Electrolytes
  • Amino acids

So it’s formulated with essential building blocks your body needs to replace depleted glycogen stores, balance metabolism, and rebuild broken-down muscle fibers.

Other excellent features include:

– All-Natural Ingredients: non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free. 

– 100% Complete Protein. Rebuild contains twice the amount of complete protein found in chocolate milk, and nearly three times as much complete protein as in competing products, without additives or excess proteins that put undue strain on the liver.

All in all, rebuild easily mixes with water for a smooth, delicious drink – without the whey, dairy, or excess protein waste common in many alternatives.

Contributor: Dan Arnett from Darby communications 

Mobile Warming Heated Apparel

Mobile Warming Heated Apparel clothing is a great gift for mountain bikers. This Bluetooth heated clothing makes mountain biking accessible during any season.

The clothing can be heated through a specialized app and the Bluetooth capability of your smartphone. Turn it up when you get cold, turn it down when it gets warmer. Simple!

For mountain bikers, the base layers are terrific, especially when they are biking in colder locations or even in early morning when it’s a bit colder. They can start with the base layer on high, then turn it down as the sun comes up and they get warmer.

Art Sesnovich from Bulldog communications

Vena 6Netic Smartphone Mount

Vena’s 6Netic Magnetic Bike smartphone mount is perfect for cyclists who want to stay connected for:

  • Hands-free phone calls
  • Music playback
  • Navigation

It is one of the first magnetic mounts in the market to offer the option to mount an action camera or a compatible light. The Vena mount is lightweight yet sturdy in design to ensure security for devices while bicycling on rough terrain.

Excellent aspects of the mount include:

  • Powerful N45 magnets to safely and securely mount oyur smartphone to the bike.
  • GoPro compatible. It is almost universal.
  • Simple installation thanks to the magnets.
  • Nylon impregnated plastic for durability
  • 2 straps provide increased security
  • A mount arm allows space for cable management and easy installation of your accessories.
  • 360-degree rotatable mount for perfect device viewing

Contributor’s site: Venaproducts

Edge 520 GPS

This GPS is the best of the best. Its features speak for themselves:

  • Includes Strava Summit and Garmin Connect integration.
  • Approx. 15 hours of battery life – plenty for the trails!
  • More signal options available off the beaten path. 

Contributor: Haley Kieser from VOORMI

Lumina Micro 750 Light

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71Y3z9kVH3L._SX679_.jpg

This light is a bit of a beast.

  • Super bright
  • Light-weight – only weighs 130g with the mount. 

A helmet mount is available separately, but it’s perfect for mounting onto handle-bars as well. A must for those peaceful night-time rides!

Contributor: Haley Kieser from VOORMI

Website: https://www.niterider.com/product/lumina-micro-750/

VOORMI River Shirt

While not a gadget, the technology within this long sleeve should be considered one.

It works wonders in the summer time by keeping me cool through a long ride in the desert and also protected from the sun. 

  • Made with precision blended wool,
  • Looks brand new even after my hydration pack has done its fair share of wearing.

Contributor: Haley Kieser from VOORMI

Akaso EK7000 4K WIFI Sports Action Camera

This is the more affordable version of a GoPro that’s waterproof and remote

control operated.

  • Records 30 frames per second and takes 12MP photos to give you professional quality footage every time.
  • Battery life should last 90 minutes and it even has a 170-degree wide angle.
  • Share your footage in minutes thanks to built-in WiFi and HDMI.

Contributor Sam Maizlech from glacier wellness

Helmet Hack for Preventing Distractions While Riding

No Sweat helmet liners 

NoSweat’s thin, disposable liners stick to the inside of helmets to

  • Instantly wick away sweat 
  • Prevent stains, odors, acne
  • End stopping to wipe your face.

Depending on the person and the activities being performed, each liner can last up to two weeks.

Contributor: NoSweat from NoSweat

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Best Beers for Mountain Biking

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RadNut

Off the back of a somewhat amusing trend of bike and beer content appearing (and a completely unscientific survey of the reddit /r/MTB community) we decided to put together a curated list of beers summarising the outcome.

If you want a beer to be included then post on the thread and we’ll get to it shortly, in addition, if the beer here isn’t poorly rated enough – you could always try and brew your own.

The list will be updated periodically.

Mountain Biking Beers | The List

Roughly in order from most popular to least popular:

Dales Pale Ale

Dales Pale Ale - 12 x 355ml Cans - Oskar Blues Brewery

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Ride or Die Beer and Bottle Opener

Bentspoke Crankshaft IPA

Hamms Pale Lager

Hamms

Fat Tyre Beer

Image result for Fat Tyre Beer

Downhill Double IPA

Hanging Hills Metacomet IPA

Image result for Hanging Hills Metacomet IPA

Woods Session IPA

Root Beer

Thomas Kemper Root Beer

John Smiths Extra Smooth (UK)

Bikes and Beer Videos | Reddit Collection –

This will also be maintained.

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Best Energy gels for Mountain Biking

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Mountain Biking Nutrition

In our experience, as a community mountain bikers don’t tend to get along so well with energy gels on the whole, preferring bars and energy drinks as a rule. This might be to distance ourselves from road cyclists somewhat or may be for other reasons – such as their notoriously bad taste. In this article we attempt to give a concise but informative guide to gels, from a more relaxed MTB-orientated perspective. We will begin by comparing them to the more frequently consumed energy drinks and snack bars.

Energy Gels vs Energy Drinks vs Energy Bars

People often conflate energy drinks with energy gels, this is not the case. Gels often don’t contain caffeine at all (with the exception of a few brands) and provide you with ions and carbohydrates instead of sugary water. Gels tend to be far more performance orientated, whereas energy drinks focus on giving you a short lived, reasonably tasty kick (hence the addition of carbon dioxide and other chemicals that would have an adverse effect on performance).

Image result for energy bar

Energy bars are the more solid version of energy gels and a much more popular choice on the trails, the only general differences between them and their gel equivalent seems to be that they give more longer chain carbs (slower release energy), take longer to be digested and focus much less on ions. Before going any further we’d like to assert that having tried a good number of both energy gels and energy bars – it isn’t completely clear cut which is more disgusting, we certainly prefer a few of the energy gels below to the energy bars we’ve tried.

Another side point to note – energy bars can be a pretty sketchy choice if you have allergies, especially to nuts.

Gee Atherton on Mountain Biking Nutrition

Image by Moonhead Media

Do you have a specific nutrition plan in preparing for a race?

Yeah definitely the body needs the right fuel, but it’s no good just eating well on race day a healthy varied diet needs to be an integral part of your lifestyle – I always try to ensure that there is protein in every meal, that the food on my plate is as colourful as possible so it’ll be nutrient dense and that I’m eating fresh food, organic where possible.

Mountain bikers tend to take a pretty relaxed approach to nutrition on the whole, is this something you would change?

I don’t really get involved in what other people are putting into their bodies, I just know what works for me  – when you train this hard you need to replace a lot of burnt calories. I do give myself a break from time to time – a bar of chocolate might not be brilliant for the body but it can be good for the soul!

How do you use Red Bull as a pre-race drink?

 Before every race I’ll smash a Red Bull on the gondola on the way up for my run, it’s a vital part of all our race routines, without it I feel like Id be missing that “edge” In fact 40 minutes before any big work out I’ll do the same

Does your training and nutrition remain constant all year round?

We always take a month off training in November – I’ll try and get to some sun but I’ll still ride my bike with friends and nutrition will pretty much stay the same – it’s a way of life.

Energy Gels in Mountain Biking

How do Energy Gels help?

There’s been a lot of research done in this area. To understand this research and whether or not you should start using energy/carbohydrate gels, you should understand what they are made for. They are designed to be an efficient way to consume rapidly-absorbed carbohydrates and ions. These are needed as a result of the rapid loss of these essential carbohydrates and ions that occurs during exercise. In short the further from the optimal level of ions and carbohydrates you go, the harder it will become to perform at your maximum capacity.

Not many people realise, but the way in which you consume sugars and carbohydrates can have a significant effect. If you, as an elite athlete operating at peak performance, consume a standard energy drink, you’re likely to quickly get stomach cramps and pains. This is because your body has a tonne of excess liquid, minerals and chemicals to get rid of such as taurine, vitamin B2 etc…

We tested the most popular gels on the internet and documented our preferred gels and why, the results of which along with our expert survey can be seen below.

Summary Table

Gel / Gel Pack Caffeine Volume Per Gel Taste
Stealth Advanced Isotonic Gel No 60ml 7/10
NamedSport 4 Fuel Combination Yes 20-50ml 8/10
GU Energy Original Yes 32ml 9/10
Torq Gel No 45ml 7/10
Sis Go Isotonic Energy No 22ml 7/10
High 5 IsoGel Plus Caffeine Yes 60ml 7/10
OTE Isotonic Gel No 56ml 9/10

Considerations when buying Energy Gels for Cycling

  • Not all flavours give the same amount of nutrition.
  • Different stages of and different types of exercise will be best supported by different nutrients (different gels).
  • All gels should help somewhat.
  • Caffeine usage is good, caffeine reliance is bad.

Nutritional Information

Here are some of the terms you are likely to see written on energy gels and what they mean.

Potassium – Supports proper muscle function, works against cramps.

Magnesium – Fights fatigue and tiredness.

Creatine – During high-intensity exercise, stored creatine allows your muscles to produce more energy. 

D-Ribose – A sugar-like molecule that your body uses to make ATP. ATP is the body’s most basic form of energy and the fuel burned by the cells in all active organs, most notably including the heart.

Fructose – Quick release energy in the same form you get it from sugar.

Maltodextrin – Additive used to improve texture and flavour.

B-Alanine – Helps to reduce the acidity in your muscles during high-intensity exercise.

Palatinose – A compound synthesized from glucose and fructose – like sugar, but slower release.

Taurine – An amino acid that is the second most prominent in muscle tissue.

There are more, but since we’re keeping this concise we’ve kept it to the ones most commonly seen.

Recommendation for cyclists (mountain bikers and road) –

Of those that we tested, the NamedSport 4 Fuel combo pack was by far the best – the idea of having gels for before, during and after exercise works really well and has been executed perfectly. These gels should allow you to train harder with the additional bonus of a lessened impact on your day post – training.

The pack breaks down into 7 gels, each with a different set of nutrients for each stage in the workout. The gels in the pack include: Amino Gel, Strong Gel, 3x Sport Gel, Total Energy Carbo Gel and Total Energy Hydra Gel.

In terms of flavours, the gels use quite a wide range, including – lemon, cola-lime, argrumix, lemon and peach, lemon ice tea, and orange. Our favourites from which were lemon, orange and cola-lime.

Another point we’d like to raise would be the addition of a small straw to the top of some of the gels, this makes them not only much easier to consume, but allows them to remain much more self contained (so they don’t get stickyness everywhere) after consumption. It also makes it feel more like sipping a flavoured drink (the texture is very light and watery), as opposed to forcing some sticky chemical rice down your throat in yoghurt form.

On top of our own testing, we also performed a survey of experts and other cyclists (both road and MTB) documenting their responses below.

The Best Biking and Mountain Biking Energy Gels – Expert Survey

Fitness Expert Justin Jefferson (www.jayfitlife.com)

When it comes to an endurance sport like cycling (or mountain biking), the ability to quickly replenish energy is vital. As the body utilizes fuel, it pulls from two primary sources. Glycogen (Stored Carbohydrates) and stored Fat. While fat is typically available for the body to use at a given moment, it can take a bit longer to be converted into usable energy as opposed to glucose (carbohydrates in usable form) which are readily available to be used. Consuming a quick shot of a carbohydrate supplement during a race/ride can be very beneficial to a cyclist

Due to the non-stop, demanding nature of cycling, I would highly recommend keeping energy gel tabs in reach during the ride. As the long ride begins to take its toll and you feel you’re energy is depleting, replenishing your glucose levels is vital. Having Gel Tabs handy makes it quick and easy way to get a boost of energy without completely disrupting your stride. 

It’s is important to keep in mind that not all Energy Gel tabs are created equally. They can vary from calorie count, sodium levels and taste. The calorie count is important because it directly affects how long the energy shot can last. A tab with at least 20g of carbs should provide a noticeable boost.

The electrolyte, Sodium gets depleted through sweat during a long bout of physical activity. Consuming gel tabs with at least 100mg of sodium can be very beneficial to replenishment.

For an activity like cycling, a personal favourite of mine is the SIS (science in sport) Go Energy + Electrolyte Gel.

It packs a good dose of carbs and sodium along with be available in multiple flavours. Flavour matters because, let’s be honest who wants to consume something that doesn’t taste pleasant. 

Dr. Rob Bell – Mental Toughness Coach (drrobbell.com)

My gut could never hack typical energy gels. Way too much sugar for long rides and simply not healthy. So, I was on a quest to find the best.  My favorite is 33shake chia energy gels. It has long-lasting energy and it’s easy to consume and digest. You use your own liquid as well to make it, so
flavour can change if needed. Best ever!

Rob Jackson – Ironman UK and 2 x L’Etape Du Tour finisher (www.minimalfit.co.uk)

Having spent a lot of time riding my road bike for 6+ hours at a time, I have used many different types of gels. My personal preference would be the Zipvit ZV7 gel. Why?

  • It is very tasty and comes in a range of flavours from kiwi to blackcurrant so you don’t get bored.
  • It’s larger than other gels due to it having more water so it’s not so sticky in the mouth and does not require water to wash it down. There’s nothing worse than a heavy, sticky gel when your mouth is already dry when pushing hard.
  • It contains 51g of carbs per gel which is almost enough for 1 hour of riding (I need around 60g per hour).
  • It contains some electrolytes which helps if you sweat out a lot of salt. I have more electrolytes, just in tablet form.

As far as energy gels go this has some of the cleanest ingredients that you can find without going for real food which is inconvenient and requires a lot of preparation.

Bethany Rutledge – Owner of Energy Lab and Author of Courage to TrI Website (http://bethanyrutledge.com)

As a triathlon coach and many-time IRONMAN finisher, my favorite gel-type produce is vanilla EFS liquishot. It comes in a handy 400 cal flask and has everything you need to go long except for water. During an IRONMAN, I typically carry a single water bottle for nutrition filled with EFS sufficient to fuel a 112 mile bike ride.

Health Expert Nick Pace (www.nooksnkindles.com)

Cycle energy gels are generally a gel or liquid-like formula that is easy to store (i.e. you are cycling and have very little storage on your cycle or attire), easy to consume while riding, and provide quick energy that is easily and efficiently absorbed into your body.  Some even have the aid of caffeine which can act as a mild stimulant, and help promote energy uptake, nutrient absorption, increase alertness, combat fatigue, and give the cyclist an overall boost.  Gels marketed as “Cycle Gels” of course are made for cyclists but any sport where an athlete would want fast burning carbohydrates and energy can benefit from these gels!  In the past when I did Crossfit competitions, I would like to “carb up” before an event and these gels would have been a great choice! 

When it comes to any product I prefer organic or at the very least, natural.  Anything with artificial colouring or sweeteners I try to avoid.  In my opinion, if you are going to take the healthy step to partake in athletic endeavour, shouldn’t you pick the best quality fuel?  Besides from having “clean ingredients” Organic companies often have such a positive, “do the right thing” corporate culture.  It’s not all about profit and greed, but oftentimes about the best quality, customer experience, lessening a carbon footprint, preserving the ecosystem, etc. One “cycle gel” that captures my attention is the Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gel, they come in 6 flavors and the athlete even has a choice of buying a variety pack to try them all.  Some also contain a small dose of caffeine for that overall boost I was mentioning earlier!

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