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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-25-07, 01:14 PM   #1
Goriot
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Anyone use GU?

I used GU energy gel for the first time last weekend. I didn't stick to the instructions of using it every 45 minutes etc..

Anyways, it tasted terrible and I didn't feel any effect. I was riding for approximately 3 hours at avg of 20mph with many up/down hills. I was told people swear by this stuff but I didn't feel any benefit. Anyone think different?

Personally, I just stick to water and a granola bar every now and then. gatorade if I'm lucky
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Old 06-25-07, 01:19 PM   #2
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I believe they work. However, all gels have the consistency of snot and most taste horrible.
I do like cliff shots apple pie flavor and a few others.
All in all I prefer real food like figs but I do keep a gel stashed with each bike in either the saddle bag or rack trunk just in case I have energy issues. They keep better than most food.
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Old 06-25-07, 01:20 PM   #3
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It's doing the same thing as your granola bar but with greater convenience and less weight. They were developed for racing....quick absorbsion, etc. A whole generation of racers/triathletes probably aren't wrong in swearing by the stuff. How was your subsequent ride? Sometimes the benefits aren't felt until the day after i.e. less fatigue, etc.

For real recovery, try something with a 4/1 carb to protein ratio (Accelerade, Endurox, etc.).
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Old 06-25-07, 01:28 PM   #4
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I've used them in mt.bike races and have definitely felt the effects. I follow the directions of 1 packet 15 minutes pre- and at 45 minute interavals. I get the Espresso flavor. They aren't great but it's a whole 10 seconds of flaovr that is wahed down by water. It's the best way to get quick energy, IMO. It's a nice boost when you start feeling your energy level wane. Whatever works for you, though.
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Old 06-25-07, 01:44 PM   #5
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I Heart Gu

I actually like GU..particularly the Strawberry-Bananna...tastes like a milkshake. I've tried a few gel type things and out of all of them, GU tastes best.

The ONLY thing I disklike about GU is the packaging. I dislike the fact that I'm producing all these little packets of waste when they could very easily make bulk bottle like Hammergel and Carboob. The site says they'll take back the packages to recycle, but cmon, who the hell is going to do that? Better to prevent making the waste in the first place. I've emailed them asking them if I could buy a gallon container but alas, no response.

So what do I use now? Hammergel. All the flavors taste like something mixed with wax, but atleast I'm not tossing little packets into the landfill conveyance device (trashcan). Yeck. It hurts so good.
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Old 06-25-07, 01:55 PM   #6
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I must have weird tastes, but i like 'em all. Except Clif Shots... *shudder* That brown rice syrup taste isn't really all that bad but it's just so dang hard to cover up and taste good. Clif Shot Bloks are awesome though.

My favorites are anything by Carb-Boom, Honey Stinger, and most Gu flavors (haven't tried the espresso or plain, don't plan to either). Hammer Gel is good too but i never see it at REI so i don't use it nearly as often.
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Old 06-25-07, 02:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by xcapekey
The site says they'll take back the packages to recycle, but cmon, who the hell is going to do that?
I have heard that they give you one free Gu for each returned packet. I've not done it yet but I always keep the packets. I also use the Gu bottle. It store 5 Gu packs. Saves time, too (no ripping open the packs).
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Old 06-25-07, 02:07 PM   #8
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Some are better than others. Almost universally I like the vanilla, espresso, and apple-cinnamon flavors from various manufacturers. It's personal, so figure out what floats your boat.
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Old 06-25-07, 02:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pieholden
I have heard that they give you one free Gu for each returned packet. I've not done it yet but I always keep the packets. I also use the Gu bottle. It store 5 Gu packs. Saves time, too (no ripping open the packs).
Gu Stash your trash program. 50 empties=5 new.
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Old 06-25-07, 03:55 PM   #10
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I haven't tried GU, but I did have some Clif Shots (mango-narsty flavour) on an organized ride about a month ago.
The texture was horrible, and the flavour was pretty gnarly. I think I described it to one of my teammates as "This is what you get when a mango blows its nose." But barring the horrid texture and taste, it really was a great boost of energy for the long climb about 2 miles down the road.
Maybe other flavours taste better. If they're freebie handouts at another ride, I'd be willing to try them.
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Old 06-25-07, 04:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psydotek

My favorites are anything by Carb-Boom, Honey Stinger, and most Gu flavors (haven't tried the espresso or plain, don't plan to either). Hammer Gel is good too but i never see it at REI so i don't use it nearly as often.

The espresso love is the only one I really like and buy. It tastes ok and has less fat than the regular chocolate one.

It makes a big difference to me. I carry 3 packets in my backpack and will down one if I'm feeling sluggish. Within minutes I seem to perk up and get a nice boost of energy that lasts about an hour.
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Old 06-25-07, 04:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcapekey
The ONLY thing I disklike about GU is the packaging. I dislike the fact that I'm producing all these little packets of waste when they could very easily make bulk bottle like Hammergel and Carboob. The site says they'll take back the packages to recycle, but cmon, who the hell is going to do that? Better to prevent making the waste in the first place. I've emailed them asking them if I could buy a gallon container but alas, no response.
Even more fun is stopping at a water stop on the local MUP and finding 10 used GU packets laying on the ground. I don't get it - if they pack it in, and they're actually *lighter* after using them, why can't people shove the empties back where they came from?
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Old 06-25-07, 04:11 PM   #13
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I won't run a race longer than 5 miles without gels of some type. I like the Espresso GU's myself. I usually 'feel' the effects about a mile or two after I consume one. Is it the placebo effect? Maybe, but I don't think so. I eat two during a half marathon, one at 5 miles and one at 8. This is in addition to Gatorade and water.
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Old 06-25-07, 05:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
The texture was horrible, and the flavour was pretty gnarly. I think I described it to one of my teammates as "This is what you get when a mango blows its nose."
My girlfriend doesn't mind Gu gels but she has a much much nastier way to describe it... she says it's like taking a load... And honestly, when you think about the weird flavor and the color and tex... I'll just shut up now.
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Old 06-25-07, 05:31 PM   #15
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I'm gellin'...



I like the energy gels a lot; I find their taste a lot more palatable than some heavy, oily bar. Did an 85-mile ride with substantial climbing last weekend and ate a lot of gels... I had more pep at the end than my riding mates who stuck to more traditional foods.

For commuting or just general riding around, I don't bother.
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Old 06-25-07, 06:12 PM   #16
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Incidentally, during an organized century I had a couple gels. Gave one to my ride partner and after the last aid station took one for myself. The last 10 miles of the century were my fastest partially due to the gel.
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Old 06-25-07, 06:28 PM   #17
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I guess I'm not pushing myself enough to actually feel any benefit.
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Old 06-25-07, 06:31 PM   #18
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I use GU vanilla and Hammer Banana gel. I don't mind the taste of others, and have tried several, but prefer vanilla or banana over the rest.

They definately work for me. I follow the directions, and can feel a difference within a couple of minutes after I eat one ... I add Hammer HEED to one of my bottles for longer rides. Gatorade sucks. And I eat real food (bagels, newtons) on my longest rides.
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Old 06-25-07, 06:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
My girlfriend doesn't mind Gu gels but she has a much much nastier way to describe it... she says it's like taking a load... And honestly, when you think about the weird flavor and the color and tex... I'll just shut up now.
Criminy Syl! What are YOU packin'?

I really didn't need that thought burned into my skull. Perhaps I'll avoid 'plain' and 'vanilla' for a while.
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Old 06-25-07, 06:45 PM   #20
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oh god....

I think it is time to try cliff blocks.
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Old 06-25-07, 09:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goriot
I used GU energy gel for the first time last weekend. I didn't stick to the instructions of using it every 45 minutes etc..

Anyways, it tasted terrible and I didn't feel any effect. I was riding for approximately 3 hours at avg of 20mph with many up/down hills. I was told people swear by this stuff but I didn't feel any benefit. Anyone think different?

Personally, I just stick to water and a granola bar every now and then. gatorade if I'm lucky

3 hours? damn thats one heck of a commute dude.

Gu and other gells wont give you any performance boost, i dont know what you were expecting to get from it. They do nothing but add back some calories and electrolytes in a convenient, portable package. Not taking in calories will eventually make you bonk, taking in calories will prolong the time till bonk.
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Old 06-26-07, 06:20 AM   #22
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I carry Gu in a lot of situations -- riding, but also skiing and whitewater kayaking. It's bonk prevention, not a snack or a substitute for nutrition. I've needed it for other people more often than for myself, but each time it's been in a situation where I've needed it (as in, "Dude, pick it up, we've got three more rapids to go." "Uh no I'm too tired...you go on without me..." "...dude. We can't just leave you in the middle of the woods.").
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Old 06-26-07, 06:56 AM   #23
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Quote:
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3 hours? damn thats one heck of a commute dude.

Gu and other gells wont give you any performance boost, i dont know what you were expecting to get from it. They do nothing but add back some calories and electrolytes in a convenient, portable package. Not taking in calories will eventually make you bonk, taking in calories will prolong the time till bonk.
It wasn't a commute! it was a fitness ride.

And what you said is very true. I was expecting to feel kinda reved up after taking it, but realize it just prolongs your endurance. I was a little put off that it has caffeine in it as I don't drink coffee and take an attempt to avoid caffeine.
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Old 06-26-07, 06:58 AM   #24
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double post
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Old 06-26-07, 10:11 AM   #25
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I like the Clif Shots personally. I really don't find much use for them during my commutes though. I just have 1 bottle with water or cytomax. I stick a banana and a couple granola bars in my bag for snacking on at work but that's it.

I can't do gatorade. That stuff upsets my stomach when I'm on the bike.
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