As their name suggests, Rawvelo Organic Energy Bars are made with organic ingredients and are preservative and colouring-free. They also come in quite tasty flavours. They're among the best cycling energy bars you can pack into your top tube pack if you're looking for slow-release energy on long rides.
Rawvelo is a cycling nutrition brand focused on creating a range that's good for the rider and the planet, and its energy bars are an example of this with 100 per cent plant-based, organic and natural ingredients.
The wrappers and packaging are recyclable – the cardboard box at home, and the polypropylene wrapper at most supermarkets that collect 'soft plastics'. I think this is a great step for the company to invest in materials that are recyclable – some might argue that biodegradable materials could be better, but that's not always the case, and they don't bode well for storing in sweaty back pockets.
In short, I like the packaging of these bars.
Each bar has the nutrition macros and ingredients on the back, so tracking what you eat is easy. The wrapper is easy to tear open with your teeth or hands, and sturdy enough to store a half-eaten bar for later.
The only negative I would say is the similar design for the different flavours; the colours are very alike, so I needed to check the flavour text each time when I packed more than one with me.
Nutrition-wise, these bars are aimed at those long, chill rides not racing. Made from all pesticide-free and wholefood ingredients, the main component in all of the flavours is Deglet Noor dates. All the ingredients in the bars are cold pressed together, forming a soft but non-crumbling texture – with a slight oiliness on the top.
Each bar offers between 180-200kcal, with the majority of the energy coming from carbohydrates (around 20g), followed by fats (7-8g) and a bit of protein (3g). Each bar also has a pinch of salt to help with hydration.
With slow-releasing carbs and a decent amount of fats, plus the little added protein, they are very well suited for bikepacking excursions. I find that this kind of product is easier to digest than gels and sweets (in large quantities) on long, multi-day rides, as they have a 'real food' feel to them. You still need carbs to give that kick when you're nearly bonking, fats to keep you satisfied for a little longer, and protein to help with recovery – and these bars do that.
> Fuelling for epic rides — how to get the right food to keep your energy levels up and avoid the dreaded bonk
They're not the best at giving you a quick hit of nutrition in the same way as a gel would – the fat also slows down digestion a bit, and protein isn't really needed while you're cycling – but for long, steady rides these are very balanced bars nutrition-wise.
There are five flavours available: chocolate orange, peanut butter jelly, peanut butter, chocolate raspberry, and chocolate walnut brownie. The sweet date flavour is dominant in each of these – you can tell it's the main ingredient – and there's no huge flavour difference between them, which I find is the case for many raw energy bars.
For example, in the peanut butter and jelly flavour, I could taste the peanut but the jelly was just another added sweet tang to the mix. Still, I liked the natural flavours, and although I am a huge peanut butter fan, the chocolate walnut brownie was my absolute favourite – it was like having a brownie but a little healthier.
The texture of the bars is pleasant, too: they're easy to chew and swallow, don't stick to your teeth and the bar itself isn't sticky so you don't end up with tacky hands and bar tape.
The bars are available in boxes of 20, 10 or 5, and the cost ranges from £1.91 to £2.14 a pop, which puts them on a par with others.
For example, Outdoor Provision's similar (but oatier) bar costs a very similar £1.90 if you buy a box of 16, and Tribe's Triple Decker Bars, as tested by Leon last year, cost £24 for a box of 12 (£2 a bar), while Veloforte's vegan bars are £2.08 per bar (£49.99 for a box of 24).
So while the Rawvelo energy bars aren't the cheapest, they're by no means the most expensive either, and they do have the added benefit of fully organic and raw ingredients, adding to their value.
Overall, these bars are a great option if you like consuming whole foods on your ride and prefer them to be organic. For me, it's always a positive to support a brand that gives back (Rawvelo is a registered member of 1% For The Planet) and thinks about sustainability in its packaging.
Good, clean energy bar option for steady, low-intensity or multi-day rides
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Make and model: Rawvelo Organic Energy Bar 20 x 45g
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?
Rawvelo says: "Our organic and vegan-friendly bars are low on the glycemic index. That means they provide sustained energy release during exercise – instead of the dreaded spike and crash."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rawvelo says: "Each of our wholefood ingredients is selected for its nutritional profile and blended to support bioavailability of key vitamins and minerals. There's a little protein in there too, helping to prevent muscle damage and promote recovery. Plus, all our bars are cold pressed and never baked to ensure that we conserve all the nutritional benefits of the raw ingredients within. No refined sugars, no preservatives, no artificial additives. Just natural, energy-rich goodness."
Rate the product for quality of construction:
The packaging is recyclable. Branding is quite similar between flavours which can be confusing
Rate the product for performance:
Great for long-distance rides. Good texture.
Rate the product for value:
These bars are available in boxes of 5, 10 or 20 and the cost ranges from £1.91 to £2.14 a pop. That's very similar to others out there from the likes of Outdoor Provision, Tribe and Veloforte. The Rawvelo energy bars do have the added benefit of fully organic and raw ingredients, though, adding to their value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These bars provided an easy-to-consume, tasty option for multi-day rides and long distances. The flavours are pleasant, although blended slightly together, and the texture of the bar is good.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Natural, organic ingredients, the brand's commitment to sustainability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not really a dislike, but I would prefer to have fewer fats and even more carbs in the bar.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Outdoor Provision's similar (but oatier) bar costs a very similar £1.90 if you buy a box of 16.
Tribe's Triple Decker Bar is a similar, natural ingredient, vegan energy bar, but compared to Rawvelo very low in carbs (8.7g per bar). They're more expensive, too, costing £24 for a box of 12 (£2 a bar).
Veloforte's vegan bars are pricier at £2.08 per bar, but a worthy competitor in terms of flavour offerings, and they win in packing in a lot more carbs than many other natural energy bars (37-45.8g per bar).
Slightly larger (68g) steady-ride-friendly Clif Bars cost £1.89 a bar in a box of 12 – so again, very similar price.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, for longer bikepacking style rides.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Great, natural and easy-to-consume cycling nutrition bars from a brand committed to sustainability.
Age: 30 Height: 164cm Weight: 52kg
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
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