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Zipvit ZV7 energy gel



Tasty gel supplying a large amount of energy - although it might be too much in one go for some riders

At 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.

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The first thing that strikes you about Zipvit's ZV7 is its size. At 60g, it's a big thick sausage of a gel - almost double the size of some other gels available.

But we all know size isn't everything, so what's this gel got inside? Within the 60g, carb makes up 51g, providing 200kcal of energy. The source of the carb is maltodextrin, presumably maize derived (as the gel is gluten free). Other key ingredients include sucrose and glucose syrup. Also in the mix is potassium and sodium to replace electrolytes lost in sweat.

The texture of the gel is on the 'thick' side compared to competitor products. This means there's no danger of liquid spilling when you bite off the top of the sachet on the move, but it does take a few seconds longer to swallow.

I'm testing banana flavour, which tastes fine (though not like real bananas; it's more like, well, banana favouring). Other options are blackcurrant and orange. The flavouring is natural, rather than artificial. Zipvit says this reduces the bloating and other stomach discomfort that some riders get from eating gels.

Having used these gel (along with bars and energy drink) on some long sportives and 100-mile training trips and can confirm there's no belly ache. More important, they've powered me along very nicely.

The only possible issue is the aforementioned size. For some riders, 60g of fairly thick gel is simply too much to take in one go. Other riders will love getting an hour's worth of carb in one hit. This is a matter of personal choice.

As well as finding the ZV7s work for me, I've also given a few to a friend who's recently taken up cycling. With a couple of these gels she did the longest ride of her life so far - 80 miles - in the same time it usually takes to do about 60.

Of course, it's not ZV7s alone that work these miracles (any energy food helps when all you've had before is sarnies and chocolate bars, and there's the small matter of rapidly increasing fitness when you start from a low base) but whatever level of cycling you're at, there's no doubt that gels make riding your bike easier and more enjoyable, and the ZV7s are well worth a try.

A single 60g ZV7 retails for about £1.50 - and you can get boxes of 24 for around £30 to £35 from the on-line stores.


Tasty gel supplying a large amount of energy - although it might be too much in one go for some riders. test report

Make and model: Zipvit ZV7 energy gel

Size tested: Banana

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?

The Zipvit UK website says the ZV7 is 'a great tasting advanced energy gel that is rapidly becoming the athlete's choice for road racing, time trials, mountain biking, triathlon and running... scientifically formulated for rapid energy delivery ... increases power and endurance, helps maintain hydration'.

I'd agree with the claims on taste and increased power/endurance. But I'm not so sure if these gels help maintain hydration. For that, you need an isotonic product, or - er - a drink.

Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for value:

Did you enjoy using the product? yes

Would you consider buying the product? yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 50  Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm  Weight: 11 stone / 70kg

I usually ride: an old Marin Alp   My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,

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