There's a huge amount of choice when it comes to shopping for nutrition products for your next cycling adventure, and one of the latest is Torq's Chew energy bar. They're a healthy alternative to supermarket bought chewy bars, with a great taste and enough carbs to keep you fuelled for longer rides.
The Torq Chew bars are different from the company's regular energy bars in that they have a sticky and chewy consistency, instead of being soft and moist like its normal bars. They do take some getting used to – there isn't much I can compare them to – they're closer to a sweet bar than any cycling-specific energy product I've ever tried.
I found them easy on the taste buds and the stomach, and easy to digest even towards the end of a long and tiring ride. They're a good alternative to regular energy bars, which can be dry and stodgy, and gels, which are sticky and messy. They're also good for that mid-afternoon snack as well. I'm eating one at my desk as I type this review...
Made by cold-pressing just four Soil Association certified organic ingredients, including dried fruit and agave syrup, with a 2:1 ratio of maltodextrin to fructose, each 39g bar provides 30g of carbs. That's the same amount of carbohydrate as Torq's regular energy bar, so they can be used alongside those (fitting easily into Torq's 'Fuelling System') or on their own – it's really just another choice for getting your energy requirements during a ride.
One thing I particularly like about the Torq Chew bar, especially for longer rides, is the smaller size, which means they take up less space in your jersey pocket (and you're less likely to end up with half-eaten bars). Some are smaller than others too – they're marketed as 39g, but weighing a few on my scales, they ranged from 24 to 34g… The packaging is mostly pretty easy to open on the move, but could be improved.
The Torq Chew bars are a nice alternative to other energy bars and the chewy consistency really grew on me. They are affected by temperature to a small degree, firming up in the cold and softening in the warmth, but they're quick to get down and easily digested, sitting well on the stomach.
Both flavour options, mango or pineapple, are pleasant and subtle enough to not offend the taste buds, and I didn't tire of eating multiple bars on longer rides. As a bonus, there are no added colours, flavours, preservatives or artificial sweeteners, and they are gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians.
Torq Chew bars are sold in boxes of 15 and cost £27.70, or £1.85 per bar. Torq does offer a second box discount on its online shop that brings the price per bar down to £1.48. That's still on the pricey side, and it's certainly possible to buy cheaper energy bars, but they are tasty and worth a try.
A tasty, chewy energy bar but it's not cheap
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Torq Chew
Size tested: 39g
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?
Torq says: "Cold-pressed from just 4 organic ingredients, our Organic Mango Soil Association certified energy chew utilises multiple-transportable carbohydrates for rapid carbohydrate delivery.
"Each TORQ chew contains 30 grams of carbohydrate and represents 1 TORQ Unit, which provides you with the same carbohydrate dose as a TORQ gel, TORQ bar or 500ml of TORQ energy drink. This concept has enabled us to launch the new TORQ Fuelling System, which makes fuelling for endurance sport extremely easy to understand."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
2:1 Glucose:Fructose derivatives
Soil Association certified Organic
Very low in fat
Suitable for Vegans
No gluten containing ingredients used
No colours, sweeteners or preservatives
Well they're expensive, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're bad value for money. It's certainly possible to buy cheaper energy bars, so you don't have to resort to a Snickers or Mars Bar...
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Delivers a good dose of carbs in a tasty and easily digestible form.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Compact form and tasty for longer rides.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The chewy texture takes some getting used to.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your score
I'm giving them a 7 for 'good'. They seem to do their job, and they're a nice alternative to Torq's regular energy bars, tasting more like a regular sweet bar than an energy product.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.