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Skratch Labs Energy Bars (12x50g)

8
£29.95

VERDICT:

8
10
Super tasty bar delivering a useful amount of energy – just beware the melty choc chips in this flavour
Tasty
Easy on the stomach
Well packaged
Plenty of energy
Choc chips can melt in a warm pocket
Weight: 
725g

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Skratch Labs Energy Bars are made using natural ingredients that provide plenty of carbs while out riding. This choc chip and almond flavour (there are others) tastes amazing, and the bars are a great size to store in your jersey pockets, but the choc chips can melt if it's a warm day.

As well as being made with natural ingredients, using mainly whole foods, the bars are non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free and vegan. These natural ingredients allow for a more gut-friendly bar and (obviously) avoid the synthetic ingredients that are found in many other sports bars. I found that they sat nicely in the stomach even on some muggy rides where I would usually struggle to eat.

> Buy now: Skratch Labs Energy Bars for £25 from Tweeks Cycles

The bars come in five flavours including the Chocolate Chips + Almonds I received, and honestly they taste so good – a complete change to your standard sports bars with their sickly-sweet taste. The combination of chocolate and almonds provides you with a sweet and salty taste which, on the bike, is perfect, especially if you are using it in conjunction with energy drinks.

2023 Skratch Labs Energy Bars - boxed.jpg

My first time using the bars was on quite a cold day; I bit into the bar, and it was a bit like biting into a hard-boiled sweet. More a crunch than a chew to it. However, after getting a bit more sweaty, the bars started to soften up and gave a really nice mouth feel. The only trouble with these is, if you get too sweaty the chocolate chips will start to melt.

> How to eat right for sportives and long rides

I never thought the packaging of a bar could make me so happy, but the Skratch Labs wrappers are so easy to open – you can hit it against the handlebar to split the top of it open. It's hard to explain the method for this, but grab the bar relatively loosely then hit the base of the bar against the handlebar and it'll split the wrapper at the top. This results in a clean opening and no messy wrapper.

Each bar delivers 260 calories, which is quite high for a 50g bar, and is most likely down to the use of whole foods as the fats will carry more calories. Each bar has 33g of carbohydrates, which is a useful amount when combined with an energy drink, and there is also a small amount of protein (4g) and 125mg of sodium.

Value

For a pack of 12, at £2.49 a go, these aren't a cheap option, but they're not dissimilar to others on the market.

Veloforte bars, for example, cost £2.75 each, though they're slightly bigger at 62g and provide 50g of carbs. They also use natural ingredients and got a great review back in 2017 – Jim thought they were also super tasty.

Liam found the organic Torq Energy Bars tasty and easy on the stomach when he tried them back in 2020. They've gone up in price since then, to £32.25 for 15, so they work out slightly cheaper at £2.25 each, though that's for a 45g bar, delivering 154 kcals and 34g of carbs.

Conclusion

These are definitely super tasty bars that I could happily eat off the bike as a snack – and I can't say the same about many other energy bars! The wrapper is really easy to open on the bike without faffing about, and the shape means they're easy to store in rear pockets.

Verdict

Super tasty bar delivering a useful amount of energy – just beware the melty choc chips in this flavour

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Skratch Labs Energy Bars

Size tested: 12 Bars

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?

Skratch Labs Energy Bars are aimed at athletes looking to fuel with high carbohydrate content bars during training and racing. I used these during my training alongside other carbohydrate sources and found the bar a good alternative to your typical on-bike energy bar.

Skratch Labs says: "Skratch Labs Energy Bar Sport Fuel was designed as a fuel source for when you need it most. We kept the bar as simple as possible, using the fewest number of whole food ingredients without sacrificing taste. Made with half as much sugar as the leading energy bar*."

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

30g Carbohydrate per bar.

Ingredients: Nut and Seed Butter Blend (Cashew Butter [Cashews, Safflower or Sunflower Oil], Tahini), Oats, Tapioca Syrup Solids, Tapioca Syrup, Coconut Nectar, Semi Sweet Chocolate (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla), Almonds, Dried Cranberries (Cranberries, Sugar, Rice Flour, Sunflower Oil), Vegetable Glycerine, Quinoa Crisps, Brown Rice Crisps, Oat Flour, Sorghum Flakes, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt.

Contains: Tree nuts (Almonds, Cashews), Soy.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Nice sized bar with wrapper that's easy to open.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Good carbohydrate content, but chocolate chips can melt as things warm up.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Not cheap, but a lot of the brands using all natural ingredients are around this price.

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

Good taste without being too sweet. Shame the chocolate chips melt in your back pocket when you start to warm up.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Very nice taste, and the wrapper was easy to open.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Chocolate chips melting.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

At around £2.50 a bar they're similar in price to other brands using all natural ingredients, such as Veloforte and Torq.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if I could afford them.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

I enjoyed using these bars. The flavour isn't overly sweet and sickly and makes a nice contrast to sweet energy drinks. Possibly because of the natural products, the bars didn't feel heavy on the gut but also provided me with a sense of fullness after eating. The wrapper is easy to open on the bike, too. They are at the expensive end of the market, though, and in this particular flavour the chocolate chips can melt on warm days.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 22  Height: 185cm  Weight: 69kg

I usually ride: Dolan Rebus  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Semi pro

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, Always love some off-road with some mates.

Add new comment

7 comments

Avatar
jaymack | 6 months ago
1 like

Make and eat real food. If you need energy bars make them, this recipe is quick and easy - https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/cinnamon-berry-granola-bars. With the money saved you could buy a copy Christie Aschwanden's excellent book debunking much of the sports nutrition/recovery industry - https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/christie-aschwanden/good-to-go/9781.... If you really don't want to splash out on the book there's a BBC podcast in which she features that'll only cost you 50 minutes of your time - https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07fcfds

Avatar
Cugel replied to jaymack | 6 months ago
2 likes

Good advice from Jaymack.

Make your own so you know exactly what you're eating and can also avoid the large quantities of plastic litter included with products such as that of this review. You're paying for that litter, by the way, in various ways. And so are the rest of us, not so much in cash as in a polluted and slowly dying biosphere.

I once lived next to a rural canal and walked up and down it for thousands of miles, over the decades*. I picked up one shopping bag full of litter on every walk, including a significant amount of cast-aside junk-sports-fud wrappers. Mind they were hugely outnumbered by plastic junk-drank bottles, plastic sandwich wrappers and similar, not to mention all the beer and sodypop cans ....... .

Now and then I'd find a bike tyre! But also a lot more canal boat detritus - rotted, thrown overboard and left. We humans are careless & dirty little beasts, eh?

Oooh - I just had a rant + virtue-signal!  That's better.   1

* 5 - 6 miles each morning with the dogs, every day without fail, if you're wondering how.

Avatar
PoorInRichfield replied to Cugel | 6 months ago
0 likes

Plastic?  The box is a paper product and the bars are wrapped in foil.

I agree that making your own bars is best, but not necessarily feasible for everyone.

Avatar
Sriracha replied to PoorInRichfield | 6 months ago
2 likes

Hmm, never seen heat sealed foil. Looks like metallised plastic film, much like crisp packets. No eco-recyclable credentials are claimed on the packaging.

Avatar
Drinfinity replied to Sriracha | 6 months ago
1 like

Yes, definitely a laminate- no easy recycling for these materials.

The taste might be fine, but the rest is 20g of marketing blx per bar. For example:

"Each bar delivers 260 calories, which is quite high for a 50g bar, and is most likely down to the use of whole foods as the fats will carry more calories."

You could make the bar with extra virgin hand squeezed coconut oil from Madagascar, or Stork Hydrogenated Vegetable Fat. Same calories/gram, and the recipe can have as much or as little fat as you like.

Avatar
Drinfinity replied to PoorInRichfield | 6 months ago
0 likes
PoorInRichfield wrote:

I agree that making your own bars is best, but not necessarily feasible for everyone.

What circumstances does someone have access to cycling for sport, the disposable income to buy a box of £2.50 biscuits, but not the facilities to make a flapjack? CBA maybe, but of course it's feasible.

Avatar
Cugel replied to Drinfinity | 6 months ago
0 likes
Drinfinity wrote:
PoorInRichfield wrote:

I agree that making your own bars is best, but not necessarily feasible for everyone.

What circumstances does someone have access to cycling for sport, the disposable income to buy a box of £2.50 biscuits, but not the facilities to make a flapjack? CBA maybe, but of course it's feasible.

"Not feasible" may be a euphemism for, "Can't be bovvered"; or, "It would be inconvenient"; or, "I don't do cookin'"; or .....

Understandable .... but: costly; unknown ingredient quality makes the habitual eater a hostage to fortune (of their health); creates polluting litter; keeps them ignorant of basic skills (making proper grub yourself).

Commercial food products are all like this, though. Marketing has persuaded many to choose "convenience" despite the greatly increased cost of their food bill, the mystery of what they eat, the huge damage of the packaging and the creation of a population lacking the ability to cook for themselves.

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