The fitness consumables and tech we've using this November, from SiS, Chamois Butt’r, Myoovi and more

‘Soft bakes’ as an alternative to energy bars, and some bear-shaped chewy gummies - ones which pack vitamins rather than sugar…

A collage of the fitness consumables and tech we've been testing in November
(Image credit: Future)

From energy drinks, gels and supplements to training equipment, recovery aids and kit - there are a great many fitness products being marketed to cyclists. But are they any good?

We’re always up for trying something new and seeing whether it works for our training or not. In October we tried Torq Performance’s flavourless Energy Gel (called  ‘Naked’), Lift Activ’s Energy Boost Chews, Carmex’s Moisturising Lip Balm, and more

So here are the fitness products we’ve been testing as part of our riding this last month and our first thoughts on what we liked about them - or didn’t. 

Meet the testers

Anne-Marije Rook
Anne-Marije Rook

Rook is Cycling Weekly’s North American Editor. Her cycling life began in the Netherlands where the bike was her main form of transportation from the age of 6 onward. She found bike racing in her early twenties and spent nearly a decade taking bikes seriously. These days, she’s more about ‘playing bikes,’ epic challenges and two-wheeled adventures — preferably off-road.  

Image is of Anna Marie Abram
Anna Marie Abram

Anna is Cycling Weekly’s Fitness Features Editor for the web. Her cycling life began at the racing circuit of Hillingdon, but has since expanded to include bikepacking, gravel riding and urban utility cycling. Alongside this, she also tends to her similar wide variety of cross-training interests, from yoga and trail running to bouldering.

SiS Go Energy Bakes

SiS Go Energy Bakes

(Image credit: Future)

Tested by: Anna Marie Abram

Recently I’ve been mixing up my nutrition on endurance rides quite a bit. There was a phase in my life where I became obsessed with fuelling on fig rolls and Soreen malt loaf only - but now I can’t stomach even the thought of either. My new approach is to keep varying my cycling nutrition and trying new things so that I don’t get sick of one flavor or format. 

An energy bar is certainly a handy option for a mid-ride snack or carb top-up to stay fuelled and avoid the dreaded bonk. But some options can be overly chewy!

What I really like about SiS’s Go Energy Bakes is the texture - the soft filled bake is very easy to chew and digest while riding. It’s quite a compact option, so it’s easy to fit a couple into a jersey pocket. 

Each Energy Bakes contains 30 grams of carbohydrate, and the fruit center provides 10g of fructose.

There's a range of 4 flavors, including Lemon, Orange, Strawberry and Tiramisu, making for plenty of variety. The Lemon has proved my firm favorite, though! I would say that the whole bar is on the sweeter end of the spectrum, and so for all-day epics I would advise balancing these with some more savory snacks as well.

Chamois Butt’r Coconut

Chamois Butt’r Coconut

(Image credit: Future)

Tested by: Anna Marie Abram

The best chamois creams help to avoid saddle sores by forming a barrier between your skin and the chamois of your bib shorts - as well as acting as an anti-chafing agent where there’s any friction against your skin. Often these creams have antibacterial and moisturizing properties, too.

This formula from Chamois Butt’r uses Certified Organic Coconut Oil and Shea Butter, which is said to “deeply moisturize to reduce friction while restorative ingredients contain natural antiseptic properties to soothe already chafed skin”.

I found that the consistency to be a good balance - viscous enough that it’s easy to spread evenly, but not too runny that it just drips off your finger before you’ve applied it! And, most importantly, it provides effective protection. I’ve been happy after back-to-back rides, which is what matters most. 

I also prefer using tubes like this 8 oz. one than tubs - I find it’s more of a mess-free solution, so would recommend it. 

Myoovi Period Pain Relief Device

Myoovi Period Pain Relief Device

(Image credit: Future)

Tested by: Anna Marie Abram

Each and every month, I suffer from severe period cramps, and so I was intrigued by Myoovi’s drug-free solution for pain relief. 

Myoovi’s device consists of small butterfly shaped gel pad which you apply to your lower abdomen. It provides ‘transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation’ (TENS) to transmit small electrical pulses across the abdomen or back to interrupt the ‘pain signals’ on their way to your brain. British doctor Adam Hamdi developed the wireless, wearable pad, having come up with the idea while he was working in the NHS.

It is portable and very discreet, and so it looked like something I could also wear while cycling to reduce my pain and actually get out for a bike ride instead of curling up in a ball. 

Before it was that time of the month again, I wore the device while on a bike ride to see how comfortable I felt wearing it out in public, and I was pleasantly surprised - I didn’t feel self conscious at all.

First test, passed. Now it was time to put the device to the test when I started bleeding. I’ve not used TENS tech before, and when I first turned it on I really didn’t like the pulsations - it felt more like mini spasms that I couldn’t control and that made me feel anxious when wearing the relief device. 

I tried turning on the device a few more times but, although I got used to the feeling a little more, I still didn’t like it. I did find that I was slightly distracted from the pain - it certainly knocked the edge off. But the device didn’t completely eliminate it, and I felt uncomfortable in other ways from the pulsations whilst it was on.

That’s just me, though, and if you’re familiar with TENS tech and happy using it, then this is a discrete option that did somewhat reduce period-related pain in my experience. You’ll also be pleased to hear that Myoovi has a 60 Day Risk-Free Trial.

Bert - The Other Shoe

BERT - The Other Shoe

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

Tested by: Anne-Marije Rook 

I discovered these so-called “active slippers” on a recent trip to Colombia and immediately bought a second pair for my partner to enjoy as well. While these slip-ons are currently used for walking around the house or walking our dog, I think they will be great for bikepacking once the season returns. 

Marketed as “The Other Shoe” that comes on after you slip out of your cycling shoes, Bert shoes are lightweight and flexible yet offer a lot more stability and comfort than the slides or flip-flops I usually bring with me for post-ride wear. For bikepacking this stability and full-foot coverage is important when traipsing around unpredictable or slippery surfaces looking for firewood or setting up camp. 

The main material used in these shoes is neoprene, which is water-resistant, flexible, breathable and insulating. The shoes’ support comes from the slip-resistant recycled rubber soles and the EVA removable soles, which are meant to absorb impact and distribute pressure evenly across the foot. The shoes’s colorful uppers are made of nylon mesh for air circulation. The complete package is an insulating and somewhat weather-resistant slipper you’d be happy to slip into after a long day in the saddle. With the insoles removed, Bert shoes are even machine-washable. 

Bert shoes are sold direct-to-consumer as well as through a handful of shops in Colombia and the United States. At $79.99, the price is a bit steep but they appear to be quite versatile and durable. More daily driver than an occasional camping shoe, I’ve been getting quite a bit of mileage out of them already. 

Novomins Joint Gummies

Novomins Joint Gummies

(Image credit: Future)

Tested by: Anna Marie Abram

Designed to support your joint health and safeguard your mobility whilst you’re on-the-go, the Gummies contain Glucosamine Sulphate, Chondroitin, Manganese, and Vitamins C, E, D, along with Turmeric extract, to strengthen and support cartilage and joint tissue.

In its range, Novomins also has Calcium & Vitamin D Gummies for bones and teeth health and Magnesium Gummies for the nervous system. 

If you don’t like swallowing pills - or if you have something of a sweet tooth and might otherwise be munching Haribo - then these gummies are a good option for getting a boost of trace minerals, elements and vitamins. 

Particularly important as we move deeper into winter in the Northern Hemisphere and vitamin D is harder to come by naturally. That said, not being such a fan of chewy gummies in general (I don’t even really like Haribo!), I do prefer dissolvable tablets to these. But again, that’s just me.

Knog Bandicoot Run 250 Headlamp

Knog Bandicoot 250 Run Headlamp

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

Tested by: Anne-Marije Rook

A headlamp, or torch, is one of those items that all outdoor enthusiasts should have in their gear bag and that I, as a cyclist, am using more and more. Whether on bikepacking trips or ultra-endurance events, I bring a headlamp in addition to my bike lights as either a backup or to light my way off the bike to, say, fill up water or fix a flat. At Unbound XL, many riders were using regular headlamps rather than helmet lights since what we needed to see wasn’t the open road far ahead but our mud-clogged drivetrains. In these instances, you don’t need a heavy, 900-lumens head unit; you just need a lightweight headlamp with a long and reliable battery.  

The Knog Bandicoot Run 250 is exactly that. A self-contained package that weighs just 56 grams and has a battery life of up to 28 hours on high and 105 hours in read mode. Its design is incredibly sleek and narrow with a flat top, so you can wear it underneath a hat or helmet. 

The headlamp comprises a one-piece USB-rechargeable battery and LEDs unit that slides into a translucent silicone strap. The adjustable strap is translucent so that when the LEDs turn on, the light creates a kind of halo that can be seen from various angles.

The lamp has five modes ranging from a 250-lumen beam with a reach of 130ft (nearly 40 meters) to a 200-lumen spot, a broad ambient light, a red light and a reading light. The unit also features a lockout mode to prevent your light from accidentally turning on and draining the battery inside your bag. Like so many of Knog’s lights, this unit can be charged straight into a USB port – no additional charging cables needed. 

Whilst yet to be taken on any real adventure, the Knog impresses with its under-brim design, easy to clean silicone band and lightweight package. On its initial outings, I found the headlamp pretty comfortable to wear, though it does leave a bit of a forehead mark post-wear. At $50, the Knog Bandicoot Run 250 is just as bright yet lighter and more compact than many of its competitors in this price class. 

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