Cycling Food Questionnaire - Help me out if you can!

Sep 12, 2004
So i have to do a project about food for my industrial design course. i choose cycling food as my topic so im just trying to get input from any rider who eats on their bike (road, xc, cyclecross....antyhing) and use cycling food products (ie - powergels, clif bars...etc.)

please please help me out by answering the questions in a post - you dont have to answer all of them if you dont want.

thanks in advance for all your help!!!

Type of Riding –

Any Racing –

Avg Mileage/Week –

1. What types of cycling foods do you bring with you on rides?

Gel packs – think gu or powergel

Water w/ energy mix

Solid bars – think powerbar

Or something like clif bar, or something like clif shot blocks)?

2. Which style/type of cycling food (from list above) do you most prefer and why?

3. Do you determine how much cycling food to take based on the mileage or length of time of the ride?

4. Where do you keep your cycling food? (jersey pocket, under shorts, taped to TT…)

5. Have you ever used anything similar to the GU reusable flask gel system (http://www.performancebike.com/product_images/500/00-7458-CLR-FRONT.jpg If so, what did you like or dislike about it?

6. Do you prefer cycling foods that are single serves (like a gel pack) or something you can control the portions and eat continuously over the duration of the ride (like a clif bar)?

7. What difficulties have you experienced with cycling food and eating it while on your ride? (is it messy, hard to open, hard to eat, hard to dispose of when done…etc?)

8. Have you ever had a hard time trying to open/eat a gel pack of any type? If so why.

9. Would you be interested in a reusable gel system if it was small, not messy, and would fit comfortably in your jersey? If so, should the size of the pack be that of a single gel pack or larger?

10. In terms of single use gel packs, do you think the amount of gel in each pack is a good quantity or would you prefer it if each gel pack hard more?

11. Overall, do you think there is room for improvement in cycling food delivery methods? Meaning, how gel packs are designed with the current tear off systems, how items like powerbars and clif bars are wrapped…etc.

12. If you race road, xc, or cyclocross, are there specific problems that arise with eating and racing?


Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
Type of Riding – Road, Cross, XC, DH

Any Racing – All mentioned above

Avg Mileage/Week – I dunno, I'm running about 14hrs a week on the bike

1. Gatorade, power bars and cliff bars. I eat one bar per hour of riding
2. Cliff bars, they taste the best
3. Length of time, one bar per hour
4. Jersey Pocket
5. No
6. Single serve
7. Hard to open, and eating while climbing sucks
8. Vanilla Powerbars, the damn packaging sticks to the bar
9. Yes, larger so you only have to carry one
10. I wish more, around 250 cals (I think most are 100 something)
11. Probably, most products could be improved upon. Do I know how? No
12. Cross is impossible to eat during, but road and XC both provide ample opprotunity to eat and drink.


Der hund ist laut und braun
Aug 22, 2001
Bend, Oregon
Type of Riding – mtb, road, cyclocross, touring, Super D

Any Racing –mostly mtb, road and Super D

Avg Mileage/Week – during riding season around 150

1. Hammer Gel, Water, Mojo Bars, Luna Bars, Cliff Bars, or Lara Bars

2. Hammer Gel and Mojo Bars because they taste the best to me and don't upset my stomach.

3. Yes, absolutely - the longer the ride the more I carry.

4. Camelbak unless I'm not carrying one and then I shove it in a jersey pocket.

5. Yes, I've used the Hammergel flasks since back in the day and I love it. I like them because you don't have to throw anything away, and they hold more than a little packet.

6. I like to eat continuosly.

7. Bar wrappers can be hard to open when you are fatigued and snot is dripping everywhere.

8. No because I use the handy flasks.

9. Larger

10. Single use are the proper size probably.

11. I guess if the wrappers were easier to open that would be cool.

12. Yes, it's always hard to fumble with food while racing but I don't give it much thought.


the teste
Nov 22, 2002
XC and road
MTB racing
50-150 at peak season
1:Bananas, Oatmeal cookies, hammergel, PB&j sandwiches
2: Bananas and Sandwiches, Cheap and real food
4:Jersey and CamelBack
5:I use Hamergel Flasks. Some times the tops leak and make a horrible mess.
6:I don't like single servings, I don't want to deal with opening multiple things or dealing with the garbage.
7:I just lose my appetite on long rides.
9:Yes, something that would hold 1000 calories.
10:Individual servings are too small.
11:I do not like disposable non reusable packaging.
12:My stomach locks up on me during hard efforts. Dry food becomes impossible to swallow. Foods with high moisture work well and I have found sour foods make me salivate which in turns make eating easier. Anything meant to be eaten on the bike can only require one hand to use.


i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
I don't feel like answering all the questions but I like Clifshot Bloks above all other cycling energy snacks - 2 serving in a bag and you can open the top/corner and leave in your pocket for a quick bite at any moment vs. gels where you have to eat them all at once or deal with flasks which are a PITA when you are filling them with thick sticky gels.

If I have to use gel I like Carboom followed by Hammergel and GU. Most energy bars do not agree with my stomach during biking.


Chocolate Milk Doug
May 15, 2002
Shut up and Ride
Type of Riding – XC, XC endurance, road, DH
Any Racing – yes
Avg Mileage/Week – 8 to 16 hours or 40 to 200 miles

1. some combo of: Hammer Heed or Perpetium, Various brand gels, Clif bar, PowerBar, Shot blocks, trail mix.
2. I like all of them
3. time
4. jersey pocket, rare occasion camelback
5. I normally use a flask, it's a travel size shampo bottle
6. something I can control
7. makig sure I dont litter
8. not really
9. I already use one, and its much bigger then single serving
10. its a good quanitity
11. yes
12. depends on the course - sometimes a more technical xc course has no easy spots to ride & eat at the same time
12a. also avoiding littering


Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
^^ Douglas brings up a good point about littering....I always try to stick my garbage back in my jersey pocket, but sometimes the wrapper falls apart and I lose some pieces on the trail. If it's not a race I always stop and pick it up, but during races you can't.


Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
NORCAL is the hizzle
Type of Riding – Road, fixie, mtb trails, DH, big mountain freeride (or whatever you call it), jumping

Any Racing – The occasional super D or 24 hour event

Avg Mileage/Week – Varies

1. On short rides I'll pack a couple of Gu's or a bag of powershots, on longer rides I include a clif bar, luna bar, mojo bar, or almond butter and banana. I prefer diluted sports drink for most rides (about 1/2 strength) but am not picky about the brand.

2. On shorter, more intense rides I prefer gu/powershot because they are easily digested and give a quick burst. On longer rides I simply need more calories and will eat a 1/2 bar at a time.

3. Both or neither, depending on the ride. A lot of my longer rides are off-road and the mileage is less important than elevation, level of difficulty, etc., all of which add to the length of the ride.

4. Jersey pocket or camelback.

5. Yes, I like that it includes more than one serving and results in less garbage. Disliked the mess, limited availability of refills, and the fact that the last serving was difficult to get out.

6. Not a strong preference, I use both for different reasons. Sometime a single gu is all I need to bring, so carrying more (weight or bulk of an empty container) is not desired.

7. I find that almost all energy bars are too dense and are hard to chew (especially when breathing hard) and to digest during exercise. Luna bars are an exception. On the drink side, I hate moldy camelbaks but have not found a good solution to using drink mix and a camelbak.

8. No, other than the difficulty of not littering after I rip off the top.

9. Yes, definitely. I would like both single-size and larger reusables. Sometimes one is all I need, other times I want more.

10. The current sizes seem about right for me, no complaints.

11. Status quo is ok for me, but there is always room for innovation. Edible wrappers would nice.

12. N/A for me.


makes avatars better
Dec 25, 2003
Six Shooter Junction
Type of Riding – Mountain and road

Any Racing – no

Avg Mileage/Week – 6 - 10 hrs/wk

1. fruit snacks, granola bars, peanuts, peanut butter sandwichs

2. regular food

3. yes

4. jersey(road,mtn), camelbak(mtn)

5. No

6. I rarely use cycling specific stuff, but the single serve gels are too much(sweet?) for me.

7. Too sweet, gross texture

8. No

9. Don't use gel

10. Too much for me.

11. Yes

12. Don't race
Sep 12, 2004
awsome guys thanks for all your help!!

now all i gotta do is sit here in lab for the next 8 hrs and bang out some presentation boards...


Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
awsome guys thanks for all your help!!

now all i gotta do is sit here in lab for the next 8 hrs and bang out some presentation boards...
You need to find a pic of a guy puking after working out too hard, and show that. :p