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Motor Tabs Starter Kit



Good ride fuel best with bottled water

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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Motor tabs score over traditional supplements by coupling carbohydrates with the time honoured electrolyte replenishment to give welcome fuel on longer rides. The starter kit consists of four Motor Tab tablets and a 500ml bottle. Sold separately Motor Tabs are £1.15 each or £24.99 for a pack of 24.

Each tablet consists of 16g carbohydrate (dextrose, sucrose and maltodextrin), 250mg sodium, 75g potassium and is sufficient for larger 750ml trade bottles but you’ll need three for a typical hydration bladder. Pop a tablet into plain water and leave fizzing for a minute or two with the cap open. Once calm, close the cap, stir with a spoon until completely dissolved.

Our test samples were fairly faithful to the advertised flavours but despite thorough mixing, retained the slightly chalky taste I’ve come to associate with energy sachets, although this could have more in keeping with tap water in my region. Dissolved into boiling tap water and leaving overnight in the fridge improved absorption and went a long way to address the sullied taste.

This aside, they’re a great safeguard against bonking and could make all the difference on longer TTs and training runs. Even with sensible food levels, by fifty miles of sustained effort, I’m flagging but the motor tabs sustained my blood sugar, cadence and crucially mood in a social context. Sold singularly or in packs of twenty-four, Upgrade advise me they are deemed safe for Diabetic use in the States but there’s been no UK approval so those affected by the condition should seek further advice beforehand.

Summing up, there’s no doubting their effectiveness and they’re a vast improvement on brands I’ve used in the past but variations in regional water quality mean they taste best in bottled or tap water that has been boiled first.


Good, reasonably tasting ride fuel best with bottled water.

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Make and model: Motor Tabs Starter Kit

Size tested: n/a

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?

Aimed at racing cyclists/endurance atheletes looking to avoid dips in performance caused by mineral loss. Works very effectively-especially on longer distances so long as you rember the time honoured rule of drinking little and often.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

65 calories per seving, each sachet contains sodium, potassium, sucrose, dextrose, maltodextrin, citric acid, sodium benzoate. Carbohyradte is designed to provide ride fuel while the others replenish essential minerals.


Rate the product for performance:


Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Quite easily absorbed on the fly.

Rate the product for value:

A definite plus on long rides and relatively inexpensive given the cost of some energy drinks.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Works very effectively, the carbohydrate giving welcome energy boost while retaining mood on moderately paced rides exceeding 35 miles.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Prevents bonking or lulls in perforamance when used properly.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Could taste chalky in tap water.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,


Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

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ruggtomcat | 13 years ago

how do you stir it with a spoon after putting the cap on?

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