Veloforte bars are an all-natural sports nutrition product, based on an Italian recipe that extends back to the ages of the Roman legions. They offer something really different to what's currently on the market, and I'm certainly a convert.
The bars come in three flavours, the Classico, reviewed here, the fruity Di Bosco, and the chocolatey Ciocco. All three are based around the simple trinity of nuts, fruits and natural sugars, with the Classico being made up of predominantly almonds and citrus peel.
The Classico is a refreshing change from the majority of energy bars, in that the flavour is really fresh and vibrant. The citrus makes it a light and zesty affair; the acidic and synthetic tang that can underlie some fruity bars is absent, and it feels like the bar has just come out of your kitchen rather than having been made a month or two prior.
You can taste the nuts in the mix, but they're not overly powerful, adding just the right element of savoury to prevent the bar being overly sweet. I personally think they taste amazing. They're so different from the other stuff out there that the flavour just doesn't get boring.
Texture-wise, the bar is a nice combination of smooth moistness and satisfying crunch. The honeys and fruits make the bar almost juicy in the mouth, while chunks of nut give an element of bite to give your teeth something to work on. Aside from the obvious benefit of the moistness making the bars easy in the mouth, it means that a half-eaten bar stays together in the pocket if you're a nibble-and-stash kind of rider.
The bars are hand-wrapped in foil that can be unwrapped as one piece, should you desire to munch the lot in one go. I'm one for attacking a bar in several goes, in which case the foil can easily be torn to give you access to one end while leaving the other end wrapped.
Nutritionally, the bars pack a real hefty punch. A Classico bar contains a whopping 50g carbohydrate, 9g fat, and 4g each of fibre and protein. The fats are from nuts as opposed to any weird trans fats that you find in processed foods, and which you want to steer clear of. The carb content is the stat that stands out most to me – most sports bars contain around 30-40g of this energy-giving good stuff, so a Veloforte bar far exceeds this. Admittedly, a lot of this (42g) is sugars, but there's some consolation in that this is from fruits and honeys.
The high sugar and carb content packs a SERIOUS punch. On first trying a bar, eating half of it left me with a serious rush of energy, akin to that of a gel but somehow more powerful, with the sugar buzzing around my muscles and seemingly my mind too. However, the beauty of these bars lies in the way in which the energy release is so instantaneous but also quite slow. Come again? Well, despite that initial buzz of energy, a bar seems to act like 'proper' food in your stomach, offering a nice solid lump of food for your digestive system to work away on for hours to come, in the way that your café stop bacon sarnie does. This 'all-day fuelling' is a product of the fats and proteins in the bar, which release energy in a slow and steady way, preventing spikes of energy. So you really are getting the best of both worlds here.
With a pack of three bars costing £6.99, that makes each bar £2.33. If bought in larger boxes the price per bar comes down, with 24 working out at just over £2 per bar. This is still towards the top end of the price spectrum for energy foods, with similar 'natural' bars such as the Lucho Dillitos costing around £1.40 a piece, Clif bars coming in at around £1.65 each, and Torq bars around £1.50.
Although you are paying around 50p more per bar, it's worth considering that a Veloforte bar gives you around 20-25% more energy per piece, meaning it all works out pretty equally. Personally, having experienced how well the bars work, and how good they taste, I'd pay the extra without a second thought.
Veloforte promises a '#realfoodrevolution' on its twitter feed. I'm in. Viva la revolution!
Veloforte bars are nearly faultless: tasty, natural and providing both fast and slow release energy – awesome stuff
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Veloforte Classico, pack of three
Size tested: 70g
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Veloforte is handcrafted performance nutrition.
Veloforte says: "The Classico keeps you going all-day.
"Based on an ancient recipe it's an exceptional balance of fruits, nuts & spices, offering sustained performance.
"Citrus, almonds, honey & spices make The Classico a customer favourite.
"It's stuffed full of 100% natural ingredients, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free & GM-Free... making it easily and naturally digestible, free from any nasties."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Classico bar provides an optimised balance of fruits, nuts & spices, offering sustained performance. The bar offers a hefty 50g of carbohydrate, as well as 4g protein, 4g fibre, and 9g of natural fat.
The bars perform exceptionally. They offer a fast release of energy via a high natural sugar content, yet provide you the slow release to keep you going all day thanks to the proteins and fats. On my test rides fuelled exclusively with Veloforte bars, I felt strong and energised throughout, with no highs or lows of energy.
Initially, the price of £2.33 per bar (when buying a pack of three) seems pricey. However, if you work it down to cost per carb, the bars are comparable to the competition; while the bars are 20% more expensive than similar 'natural' bars such as Luchos Dillitos or Clif bars, they also pack at least 20% more energy-giving goodness per item.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The bars were fantastic. They fuelled me well and tasted great – these will definitely become my 'go-to'.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The taste is bright and fresh, and offers a real point of difference to those on the market. The texture in the mouth is a great balance of chew and crunch, and there's no crumbling if you nibble on a bar rather than having the whole thing in one. And they pack a massive energy punch!
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely
Use this box to explain your score
These bars have more or less changed my expectations of sports nutrition. They're tasty, natural, and packed full of energy, none of which comes from strange chemicals. I can't see myself going back to 'standard' nutrition.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR / Cannondale Supersix My best bike is: Giant TCR
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding