At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.What the road.cc scores mean
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The Clif Bar Mini is not a new addition to Clif's popular and well-established nutrition range when it comes to flavours, but the smaller 28g size is still a welcome addition to the Clif family. Clif's bars have long been an energy staple for cyclists and for very good reasons too – you can buy them at most cycling and outdoor stores and they come in numerous flavours.
Clif Bars are made with a host of ingredients, including rolled oats, fruits and nuts, and each of these mini bars offers between 108-111kCal, 4g of protein and around 16g of carbs per serving.
The ingredients are: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Rolled Oats, Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Roasted Soybeans, Rice Flour, Cane Sugar, Unsweetened Chocolate', Organic Soy Flour, Organic Oat Fiber, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Cocoa Butter', Barley Malt Extract, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Soy Lecithin and Organic Cinnamon.
Yes, that's one hefty list of ingredients for such a small bar. Clif says that 70% of the ingredients are organic and the bars are fully plant-based, including vitamins B6 and B12, which vegans often lack in their diet.
The 28g Mini size is about half that of a traditional Clif Bar, and after testing, I'm convinced I prefer the smaller size – but that still doesn't bring these any closer to being my favourite cycling energy bars.
This is because in addition to their long list of ingredients, regular Clif Bars offer about 266kcal per serving, and although the 37g carb content is great, the full-size bars also come with a hefty dose of protein and fats, which gives them a slower-release action than some of the more carb-heavy energy bars.
Nutrition is a very personal thing and your needs also depend on what type of riding you're doing. Personally I prefer to eat a lot of carbs during my rides, and preferably have the protein and fats after the ride – or well before – unless I'm bikepacking. The Clif Mini bar solves this, as I was able to get a good dose of protein, carbs and fats, and then complement the bars on rides with something more carb-heavy, such as energy gels or different bars.
And although I like the Clif Bar flavours – the Minis are available in chocolate chip, peanut butter crunch and white chocolate macadamia – their hearty consistency and the strong taste of some kind of sweetener (or perhaps one of the many syrups) mean I don't want to eat too many of them.
I've never really had the urge to consume a full-size Clif Bar at once, which meant most of the time I left half of the bar for later. The Clif Mini bars solve the issue I had – that of the full-size bars left open in my pocket or bag crumbling away before I got to finish it.
Granted, having multiple small bars results in more empty wrappers, and Clif Bar's aren't recyclable... but unfortunately this is the case with most cycling energy bars.
Then we have the price. These bars cost £1.19 a pop, though a box of 10 is widely available for less than a tenner. For reference, regular-size Clif Bars cost about £1.90 each, but they are double the size, which means double the calories and so on.
The Rawvelo bar I reviewed recently also costs £1.90 each as does the Torq Bar that Liam tested, so the Clif Minis are pretty much on point with their pricing when you take their size in to count – though the Rawvelo bar comes in a recyclable wrapper, which I personally think is a huge bonus.
Overall, I think Clif Bars, whether mini or not, serve a purpose on long, steady rides where fast-release carbs are not as important. They are not the most 'clean' ingredient energy bar, and the wrappers are not recyclable, but if you like the flavours, I think the Clif Bar Minis are a much more digestible size than the full-size one.
Mini-sized version of the classic, steady-ride vegan energy bar that you either hate or love
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: Clif Bar Mini
Size tested: 280g
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?
"It's everything you love about CLIF BAR®, now in snack size!
Made with wholesome, nutritious plant-based ingredients, 108-111 calories, and 4g plant-based protein, each great-tasting CLIF BAR®
Mini is portioned to deliver a delicious snack-time pick-me-up."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Available in three flavours with varying ingredients, each bar weighs 28g.
Clif says: "CLIF BAR® is the original energy bar made with wholesome ingredients that deliver energy. CLIF BARs have whole ingredients you can see and taste, such as rolled oats, fruits and nuts. Each bar contains B6 and B12 which contribute to the normal release of energy for use in the body. The bars are also a source of protein and fibre."
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The smaller size.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The more of these you eat, the more empty wrappers... and the wrappers are not recyclable.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Compared with the Rawvelo and Torq bars, which are both £1.90 each, the Clif Mini bars are similarly priced but they do have a longer ingredients list than, for example, the Rawvelo bar, and the flavours are very divisive – you either like them or not.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes – for long, low-intensity rides or bikepacking
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Tarmac Sl6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb, Ultra-distances
Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.