I buy Clif Shot Bloks by the box from Western Bikeworks, always choosing the Black Cherry flavor due to its caffeine content. A single block from a sleeve goes a long way toward delivering energy to my legs quickly. I've found Shot Bloks are the answer for rides with hill climbs like the Courage Classic I just completed in Colorado that features a day with an 80-mile route with five mountain passes, including the Vail Pass. After fussing with energizer liquids in hard-to-open packages, I'm sold on the Shot Bloks and how easy they are to carry and consume while riding.
This is tailored for a semi quick chew. Yes you do have to chew each block thoroughly but in the name of not getting sticky gu all over the place, this serves the ticket nicely.
If you are a 'Foodie', Clif might not be the right brand for you (they are used to carrying a limited palette). I have noticed that I'm not getting tired of this particular product. Very quickly Clif Bars would carry the same taste (despite the various flavour options). Clif Bloks are not quite the same.
CAUTION to the winds, when they say a flavour contains caffeine, they mean it! Maybe if you live on that particular drug, it will not bother you.
BOTTOM LINE a great way to consume 100 to 200 simple kcals without adding salt (a half or full pack). They should be consumed with water (chew, chew and chew some more Then have some water see directions). REI and other vendors sells them individually so please dont feel the need to buy 18 at once.
These energy gels taste great and do a good job on long rides. I like the boost from the caffeine...especially on windy rides when I need more energy. Before my ride I open the sleeve and tuck in my jersey pocket for easy access. Overall I am pleased with this product...for both taste and performance.
No melted chocolate. No messy Gel. No hard package to open. Pop them easily wo having to eat the entire package. Don't need much liquid to chew.
AND BY THE WAY... they are tremendous for energy and resisting cramps. A near KOM after 70 miles in 101 heat. Now all I need is a decent drink mix.
These are the perfect way to a get a nice kick to your system but without the mess of Gu / Gel products.
Warning to the wise! These are basically pure sugar and although it feels great to get the rush, if you are not consuming fats or protein, it is quite possible to crash hard from the sugar high. I will mix and match (some nuts, energy bar) while doping on the sugar.
User friendly tip! Open the bag from the bottom end (if you tear off the corner, you will have a small hole to pop out a block, Ignore the direction arrow to 'open here'). I figure 4 blocks (4/6 of a pack) will last me for 2 hrs so I put aside the 2 blocks (2/6 of a pack) for another ride. If I really need 6/6 of a pack then I expect to consume other non sugar forms of energy or the ride is super short.
I first started eating shot bloks on the bike many years ago when someone threw me a pack of them on a long hot group ride. Since then, I've been ordering them by the case!
Excellent tasty treat to munch on for much needed calories. Very easy on the stomach!
Cran Raz is amazing!
I knew about and have used Cliff bars with great results for years, so when I saw the Shot Blocks it was a no brainer, I bought a bunch, regular, caffeine and sodium.
I always ride with at least two packs which I pre-open by cutting off one end, this way I can reach back, grab the package, find the open end a squeeze two into my mouth about every half hour. I try and time it so I eat them about ten to fifteen minutes before a climb and they work great. In the summer I keep them refrigerated for a little extra treat and I rotate between normal or caffeinated and sodium to keep from getting bonked during long rides on hot days.
The Clif Shot Bloks Energy Chews are a staple energy source for all of my exercise regimes! Whether its Ice Hockey, Mountain Biking, Road Cycling, or Swimming I have realized some very positive results when using the Shot Bloks prior to and during my exercise! And always remember to hydrate when consuming The Bloks! Well done Clif!
I noticed at the end of a long ride (50 hilly miles or more) is where the blocks pay off for me. They provide me a lift to finish strong. I also use them for long drives, they keep me from getting sleepy behind the wheel. And, they taste good to boot, and are not messy like the gels. I highly recommend them.
Miles into a long ride, pop two or three shot bloks about ten to fifteen minutes before a serious climb. Hydrate after taking and just before the climb. Red Bull may give you wings, Shot Bloks gives you legs! You'll pull a higher gear longer and crest the climb stronger.
It would be nice if the packages opened easier, I preopen my Shot Bloks and Cliff Bars prior to the ride, so I don't have to fight the packaging while riding.
Gels are good to get me through any ride over 20 miles these days. The liquid ones in the hard to open packets are messy and wasteful when I try to use them. I cut these packages in half, put them in my jersey pocket and take one half every hour. No fuss, no mess, no waste. Whether its real or psychological, I don't know, but the sugar and caffeine boost works almost every time.
One pack of 6 blocks provides 100 mg of caffeine, which helps give you some energy finishing a long ride. The blocks are easy to eat and less messy than the GU packets which can stain your jersey pockets when you put the empties back in there. Like the taste of the black cherry, but a triple crown CA (three 200 mile rides in a year) friend swears the cran-raz berry is the best. The only negative is that the blocks will stick to your teeth and need some dedicated tongue action to work them off.