Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Throwdown: Bonk Breakers...Greatest thing since PB&J...I mean...wait...uh..

A while back my good friend and cycling industry secret agent (who's identity must be kept completely secret) brought some yet un-marketed product from the 2007 Interbike show. This product wasn't any sort of crazy spoked wheel or some over priced steel track bike with flat black paint. Nay, this product was the size of a flat computer mouse. As I would soon discover this seemingly old and standby-ish yet somehow bold and new-ish product was poised to take over the world of food, I mean, food that you eat, uh...when on long rides... on your bike, I mean, you know what I mean...

I first utilized Bonk Breakers (not to be confused with Bong Bakers, which is a different and completely unrelated food product) on the first highway 39 attempt of 2007. The ride was flat prone and cut short, yet long enough to consume one of these tasty pre-packaged morsels. Bonk Breakers come in two flavors, PB&J, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. Both are extremely tasty though my preference lies with PB&J for it's throwback appeal and lower character count. Prior to Bonk Breakers I'd utilized a few different flavors of Clif Bars and during some unfortunate rides Powerbars. The PB&J was appealing right from the start. First, My secret agent friend kind of knows what he's talking about most of the time, so when he told me they were good I sort of believed him a little bit. Then when he handed me one I SAW an immediate advantage. "These things are small!" I said. For someone who didn't join the saddle bag club until recently for fear of being ostricized by bicycling's Style Man size matters and the smaller the better. Not only were these packages about half the size of a Clif Bar Package, they weren't the same lumpy hard mass that is Clif Bar. No, this package was compact and squishy, like my first college girlfriend. I popped a couple in my jersey pocket and we hit the road. Then I got a flat. Then we hit the road again. After we got to what would be our turn around point on Highway 39 I opened one of these bad boys up. It had gotten softer and warmer from being in my jersey pocket in the middle of October. I opened it up, and it was like eating a fresh PB&J straight from mom's kitchen.

Since that was almost a year ago I bought a case to try again. I have fond memories of Bonk Breakers, but to keep things fair and honest I thought I better try them again before I write this thing so it doesn't come off like Grandpa's stories of the old Country. I couldn't find a case anywhere, so on a Thursday I called the company, which is located in Chatsworth, CA. I got Voicemail so I left a message. The OWNER of the company called me back, thanked me for my interest in the product and promised me that my order would get to me by tomorrow. Friday morning at 10:30 there was a knock on the door and there were my Bonk Breakers, complete with my invoice, signed by the OWNER with a thank you note. Now that's Customer Effin' Service.

The following Saturday was Ride Around the Bear (RAB), and I took 2 PB&J Bars, some Clif Blocks and some Hammer Gel with me. My intent was to use this high elevation ride to test the effects of the three different foods. I would ride until my legs began to throb a bit, eat, continue riding, clock when my legs stopped throbbing, then clock when they started to throb again. That was my test. Scientific? Not really. Accurate? not so much.

What I realized is that Gels get in the fastest, but last the shortest. In their defense, Hammer Gels are only 90 Calories. Hammer gels alleviated throbbing in about 1-2 minutes but typically only lasted about 30 minutes. The Clif Blocks took longer on the uptake, about 10-15 minutes, but kept the pain away for about 45 minutes per bag. One bag of Margarita flavored blocks is 180 calories I ate both Bonk Breaker bars, one during the first big climb at about mile 27 and the other as I approached Onyx Summit. Both had an uptake that was shorter than the Blocks, which was surprising. I noticed that leg pain stopped about 5-7 minutes after consumption with water, with a total lasting effect of about an hour. One PB&J Bar is 250 calories. None of this really matters though, as the Bonk Breakers were the tastiest of the three. And I eat what I like the taste of. I don't care if it is the greatest sports product ever, if it tastes like flat,watered down key lime soda I won't drink or eat it. Everyone who rides with me knows if I could take a bucket of fried chicken and a 2 liter of Fanta with me on a ride I would because I love fried chicken and strawberry Fanta more than anything.

What I'm trying to say is this: Bonk Breakers rule, all other solid energy foods kind of suck. I hate to say it because I love what Clif does with the 98% vegan stuff, but really, the PB&J is like a little bit of heaven in a weird feeling plastic wrapper. Oh, and they are wheat and dairy free! Check them out at


Xster said...

I agree, Bonk Breakers bars are the best. Where can I get one of those Share the Road jerserys?

Anonymous said...

Stumbled across this page. Gotta try some of those bonk breakers. You describe HEED perfectly.

Anonymous said...

'flat, watered down key lime soda'.
I just sprayed my computer screen with Grolsch Blond because I was laughing so hard.

p.s. I want Bonk Breakers now.

over40racer said...

Bonk Breakers RULE! I got my first one on a whim and called the company straight away to get more. I buy lots at a time so I can share the great taste with other riders. My wife and kids even like them!

RoadKing said...

I know the kid who developed BB personnaly and he's done a phenomenal job of getting the bar into production, while maintaining the highest quality ingredients as well. Great taste - just the best bar around!!