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Best Mountain Biking Flat Pedals | Tested and Reviewed

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Best mountain biking pedals

The Best Mountain Biking Flat Pedals | Tested and Reviewed

Pedals are the primary point of contact between the rider and the bike and one of the most key parts for retaining confidence both in the air and over gnarly sections. Different bikes have varying pedals for different uses, here we’ll focus on the pedals most suited to hard trail, downhill and enduro.

There are generally two different types of pedals: flats and cleats/clip ins.

The primary advantage of cleats is you can power the bike on the upwards movement of the leg as well as the downwards movement, allowing your legs to go for longer without tiring (due to more muscles being used) and giving faster acceleration as a result. They also offer more firm control of the bike due to more even application of power (no bouncing).

The primary advantage of flats is that they allow you to put a foot down if things get sketchy and give confidence as you can remove your feet in the event of a crash. This means that the confidence inspiring flats are often better for the novice rider as well as the more gravity focussed and give more scope for tricks. From the perspective of a notice they also will force a better riding technique – whereas clips give more of a potential to build up bad habits.

Mountain Biking Flat Pedals

Mountain Biking Flat Pedals

There are a number of considerations you need to make when buying pedals, we’ve summarized the ones we took into account here:

Weight – For the racers or more cross country orientated riders.

Durability – Key on the trail and is the main advantage of metal pedals over super light plastic compounds.

Maintenance – How much you need to do to prevent them from falling apart.

Platform Size – Will should match your shoe size for an optimal fit and so reduce the chance that they will strike the ground during a turn, larger platforms are not necessarily grippier – this is more down to the pins.

Pins – The main factor determining the grip of the pedals – also the most likely pieces to be lost as a result of being smashed out.

If you are looking to buy a new set of flat pedals here are our top picks.

#1 Chromag Scarab Platform Pedal

Image result for Chromag Scarab Platform Pedal

Grip – The pins of these pedals can be altered in height, allowing for a fully personalized setup, as the choice pedals of Brandon Semenuk it’s safe to assume the chromag scarabs will deliver all the grip and support you could want. The pins have also been designed with undercuts to give better grip than their counterparts.

Weight – 430 grams per pair.

Durability – These pedals are known for being able to withstand serious abuse and are shipped with 12 additional pins both for customization and replacement should any be lost. The frame has a slim design bearing in mind the large platform size which definitely makes it a better choice for people with larger feet.

Read more reviews, or buy this mountain biking flat pedal here:

#2 RaceFace Atlas MTB Bike Pedal

Image result for race face atlas pedals

Grip – the pins are shorter than those on some of the other pedals on this list, however this is compensated for with the superb and widely appreciated design of the concave platform, which also seems to clear of mud miraculously quickly. The pins are screwed in from the underside and are easy to add and remove as needed, with the only point of care being sourcing the exact pins themselves (these cannot be replaced with regular machine screws). Overall though the pins are a positive point for these pedals as if they are damaged you won’t need new pedals and new pins are cheaply available.

Weight – 365g

Durability – Some people seem to complain about the sealed bearings wearing quite fast, meaning lateral play in the pedals could develop sooner than you might expect – which would result in a less controlled, less stiff and ultimately less efficient ride.

This is not a huge issue as 1) the play that develops should not be noticeable and 2) RaceFace offer a great warranty system so spares or replacements will always be at your fingertips. Be sure to keep the bearings topped up with grease if you want to try and avoid this.

Read more reviews, or buy this mountain biking flat pedal here:

Discount code: Spend and Save on Autumn Essentials (Parts, Accessories & Clothing excluding Bikes, Garmin, GPS and Cameras) – Coupon: SAVE30 (enter at checkout)

#3 Swank Spoon [Enduro/DH/Slopestyle] Pedal

Image result for spank spoon pedals

Grip – The slim, concave body of the swank spoon has 10 replaceable pins on each side. Longer 14mm pins at the front and back of the pedal with the four 12mm ones in the middle.

Durability – No complaints here from us or anyone else it seems, these pedals are reliable enough to withstand a full season of aggressive riding with no maintenance whatsoever.

Weight – 420 grams

Even at the highest level you can expect pedals to come in one shoe size, which, if you are lucky will broadly match your shoe. Spank have created the Spoon in three sizes to eliminate the luck involved and allow you to get a pedal better suited to you.

At an intermediate weight of 420 grams and a very reasonable price, the Spoons are one of the cheaper metal frame flat pedals available, which was quite surprising considering the overall quality. We would suggest the Swank Spoon’s are the best flat MTB pedal you can get for under $100 and an excellent choice for someone getting into the sport – the price making the customization with the size even more surprising.

Read more reviews, or buy this mountain biking flat pedal here:

#4 DMR Vault Platform Pedals

Image result for dmr vault pedals

DMR have been making pedals since 1999, and their experience in the industry is clearly shown in the pedals they are producing to this day. Reliable, top end performance machines that have never been critically flawed (or indeed flawed to much of an extent at all) and would have made this list had it been written one, three or four years ago.

Durability – Their latest DMR Vault has made the rear of the platform slightly narrower than the front. The chamfered ends deflect impacts and allow the pedal to more easily slide between narrow gaps. As with the other entries on this list – you can expect these pedals not to attract or retain mud. There have been some complaints about the durability in terms of the anodizing on the pins and a couple of more serious localized issues (we’re taking about 1/100 at most) – however this is all covered by warranty so there is nothing to worry about there. In terms of the pins that is really not an issue to us (unless you really do care about blue pins) as this wear was always going to happen and is only noticeable due to the color.

Grip – The combination of a broad platform with concentrated pins means the pedal will grip your foot well even if you don’t get it perfectly on first time. The body is concave in shape, (in a similar way to the spank spoon) so you’ll have maximum grip and contact with your shoe. The Vault uses 11 pins, 7 of which are reversible, with one end a few millimeters longer than the other. The idea here being that you adjust the aggression of the grip in accordance with your shoes. This does seem to have contributed to one of the flaws of this pedal – being that the addition of this means that pins are more likely to become loose and be lost.

Weight – 420g (less with the titanium axels and magnesium body)

Read more reviews, or buy this mountain biking flat pedal here:

Discount code: Spend and Save on Autumn Essentials (Parts, Accessories & Clothing excluding Bikes, Garmin, GPS and Cameras) – Coupon: SAVE30 (enter at checkout)

#5 Hope F20 Platform Pedal

Image result for hope f20 pedals

Hope design, test and build their pedals in the wild, wet and muddy north of England, which creates an almost unique set of worst case conditions for parts like the pedals – which need to be as reliable and resistant to the weather as possible. Through this Hope have created some of the most reliable parts in the industry that for many users will never be tested to their real limits of durability.

Grip – This has been the biggest gripe most people seem to have with these pedals, the question you may find yourself asking would be whether the strongest, best looking grips are worth this shortfall. It can be increased by using the central pins at the expense of a less concave platform.

Durability – The grim northern conditions are counteracted by sealed cartridge bearings that should keep spinning smoothly for many years. The body is beautifully designed and has the slightly concave shape that you can expect from a top end pedal in this day and age. The F20s are certainly a great looking pair of pedals that seem to go especially well with bikes that have more ‘matt’ frames.

Weight – 416g

If you want to enjoy reliable class leading grip and performance for tame to aggressive trail riding at a fair price then these pedals are the place to go – as one of their class leaders that not only excel at their function but look good while doing it.

Read more reviews, or buy this mountain biking flat pedal here:

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Accessories

Best Mountain Bike Gloves | Buyer’s Guide

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C:\Users\Zack3\Downloads\courtney-kenady-1208376-unsplash.jpg

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 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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Accessories

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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