Veloforte Endurance Nutrition Bars
Range of 3 Flavours
£6.99 for Pack of 3
Sticky gels, squeezy pouches, packs of Haribo. How much care has gone into making them? Probably not much. Gels can be argued they're rolled off a factory line because they are sold in hundreds if not thousands each week. We have tried a few brands in our time and without bad mouthing them, there are some in particular we avoid all together. One brand made a mojito gel, tasted like a roast dinner topped with mint sauce, not what I wanted to taste on my first crack at a 100 miler. So when we were approached by Veloforte with their homemade feel bars and their Italian feel, it was time to see if gels have had their day and if there was room for a new kid on the block?
Wrapped up in their lovely foil parcels, I was secretly excited to test out these little gems. The bars are small enough to fit in your jersey pockets with ease. The bars are claimed to aid the longer rides due to their natural ingredients, we all know carbs take longer to break down which means they are a slow form of energy releasing.
Test ride number 1 though was on a very hot day so only a spin to Windsor was planned but didn't want to hang around so was planning to crack open the bar at the castle. Even on a breezy day, we was averaging a good pace at 20mph so upon reaching one of the iconic landmarks in this area of the world, stomach was starting to run on empty. Now a gel would give us a burst for 15mins or so on most rides but knowing we've still got an hour or so back, we needed something which would fuel us to the end.
Slight problem though which we managed to get around in test 2 but we made a big mess trying to get the bar open. It does have a little indicator where to tear open but it ended up being a bit of a Crystal Maze challenge.
Who doesn't love a bit of cocoa? The Ciocco is packed with almonds and dates but the cocoa is the winner here. More of a cake feel thanks to the Panforte baking approach. We didn't know what this either and we do like a bit of baking from time to time. For those who want to be in the know, its a Siena speciality by ancient spice sellers who would blend spices and fruit together for the purpose of restoring health and vitality. So in a way, we were consuming a 13th Century recipe, we doubt Mars Bars were a delicacy in ancient Egypt so 'brownie' point for Veloforte (excuse the pun by the way!).
Back to the ride, we had a tailwind behind us but we were keeping pace with our target. Legs continued to power through the pedals with no side effects to report, we usually get a sugar comedown with gels and caffeine and the legs go a bit shaky. The natural sugars and fibres definitely were a help in maintaining performance.
Test number 2 took in a longer ride, a 50 mile loop to Frimley and back was planned which including a couple of small climbs. Weather is still warm so when choosing nutrition, its important to have something on you which is consumable in terms of not being sickly warm when you need it. That's where the foil packaging does a good job, preventing moisture building up inside the bar or letting sweat trickle in.
The Classico is a citrus based bar with an emphasis on more honey and spices. All the bars are egg, soy, GM, dairy and preservative free so if you suffer from allergies, these could be the bars for you. Again, halfway point at Frimley was identified as our feed stop (did fancy a cuppa at Toms but he wasn't in, we should rind next time!). Going from cocoa to citrus is like going from a burger to a tuna salad, completely different tastes. The wife loves cinnamon, we can take it or leave it and reminds us a lot of Christmas and this is what we were tasting a lot of. Almonds were chunky in both bars and if we had to blind taste, apple would of been the fruit we could taste on our pallet.
After half a bar (just in case we needed to refuel again), popped back on the bike and up a small climb in the MOD grounds and headed back towards home. Our average speed was fluctuating in the 18mph area which is decent for us at this distance. Obviously we wanted more so focused on keeping the speed over 20mph where we could. Again, legs didn't perform the jelly baby wobble as the natural sugars were a blessing on the digestive system. Legs did start to feel a tad heavy but could of been fatigue or the heat. It's hard to pinpoint a reason with 100% certainty, all our bodies are different and it's about listening to it to discover what works and what doesn't so performance and recovery is optimised.
It was like having a little bakery in your back pocket. Sounds simple but being wrapped in foil gives the bars a fresh feel. The Ciocco we loved, throw chocolate at us and we will snatch it off ya! The Classico is for the people who really do like their cake. The spices are more dominant but the 'brownie' texture is the same. They do make a forest fruits bar called The Di Bosco (what a name for a bar!). Only thing we would recommend is maybe an easy tear addition on the bar so we can eat this on the go. We are not good at fiddling about with things whilst on the move which was why we had designated feed stops on our test rides. But if you like your cake type bars and want to avoid added sugars and preservatives, these bars would make a good addition to your nutrition cupboard.