Go-bars from SIS have been around for years, and have a good reputation as a high-performing energy bar for cyclists. You'll see them plucked from jersey back pockets everywhere from major pro races to your local sportive - as well as in other sports. While popular, some riders found the original 65g Go-bar simply too big to carry, or to eat in one, er, go, so a range of smaller ('mini') 40g bars are now available.
The main ingredient of all Go-bars is fruit. I've been testing Blueberry flavour; others in the 40g range are Red Berry Chocolate Fudge and Banana Fudge - and they taste absolutely delicious. The main ingredient is grape juice, while also in the mix is maltodextrin (from maize), rice and soya derivatives, oats and dates. The texture is moist, but not too soft to fall apart in the packet.
The Blueberry flavour bar provides 137 kcal of energy, with 25g of carb, 4.6g of protein and 2g of fat (mostly unsaturated, so therefore good). I've tested these bars on a couple of long training rides and, as well as slipping down easily, they powered me along very nicely.
Most sports nutritionists agree that you need around 50g of carb per hour during an endurance event such as a sportive, so these mini Go-bars provide around half your requirements. The nutritionists also agree that a small amount of protein is desirable as it helps your body convert the carb to energy more readily. Depending on the studies you read, the suggested ratio ranges from 1:10 to 1:4 - so these Go-bars fall somewhere in the middle.
Rather than get too bogged down in the science, the best thing to do is experiment with a selection of energy products, and see which works best for you. I highly recommend trying mini Go-bars as part of your own research.
The mini Go-bars retail at £1 each. On the SIS website you can buy a box of 30 bars for, wait for it, £30. Other on-line stores seem to have a better grasp of the economies of scale and sell a box of 30 bars for around £27.
Great-tasting high-performing bite-sized energy bars from one of cycle-sport's leading brands.
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Make and model: SIS Mini Go Bar
Size tested: Blueberry
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?
The SIS website says Go-bars combine "...a scientific approach with natural ingredients to meet the nutritional challenges of athletes."
More specifically, the website goes on to say: "every Go Bar is packed with fruit - the equivalent of about two whole portions of fruit from your 5 a day - and each bar is made on our own dedicated production line, so we control everything that goes in. We combine real fruit and fruit juices ... with organic oats ... and soya (soya is a great source of protein, naturally high in glutamine which is particularly important for recovery and adaptation to exercise) ... to create a chewy textured bar."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The SIS website says: "In order to keep our bars vegan friendly we use calcium lactate derived from combining lactic acid with calcium carbonate (think White Cliffs of Dover)."
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
Age: 50 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,