OTE's Duo Bar is based on the rice cake energy bar concept that is popular with many of the professional race teams. OTE partnered with Team Belkin this year to help them develop and evaluate the bar in the hardest sporting environment.
The Duo Bar - available in chocolate and this newly launched vanilla flavour - contains crisp rice, whole fruit concentrates and whole milk powder. It's quite a different texture to other bars, less sticky for a start which has the added benefit of not leaving a residue on your fingers.
It's an easily digestible energy bar; almost too easily digestible as you can find yourself munching through it pretty quickly. It tastes more like actual real food than most energy bars, and this means it's really easy to munch through a pocket load of them during a ride. And that means you can still stomach them even towards the end of a six or eight-hour ride, which I did recently. We take this testing seriously y'know.
Of course taste is a subjective matter. A few people have tried them and found them a bit strange at first, while others have warmed to them instantly. I haven't tried the chocolate but I'm a big fan of the vanilla flavour. It works because it's very mild, almost plain in fact, so very inoffensive. The white chocolate chips on the top are a nice touch and don't melt even if a bar has been stored in a jersey pocket for several hours.
A novel feature, for an energy bar anyway (it's pretty popular in the confectionary market with chocolate bars) is that the bar is split into two. Quite simply, when you open the packet you can extract just half the bar and leave the rest wrapped up. Now I've never had a problem tearing off a chunk of a regular energy bar, but the OTE split bar approach does make it much easier to do this, especially when you're riding and not stopping to eat, and especially when you're riding hard.
The other benefit of the two halves is that one piece delivers 20g of carbohydrate, so you can easily manage your carb intake during a ride or race. OTE says the bar is high in carbohydrate and low in fat, with 40g of the former and 4g of the latter. OTE also says this is adequate for 40-60 minutes of cycling, though that of course does depend on how hard you're riding.
There's also 10g of protein in each bar so they're good for recovery too. Not only that, but they've packed a load of vitamins and minerals into each bar. The numbers compare favourably to the main competition in the energy bar market but let's be honest, most people are going to choose a bar based on taste and how palatable it is, assuming it of course delivers the necessary carb boost. The vanilla Duo Bar hits the spot in that department, it's really the best tasting energy bar I've yet tried, and I've tried them all.
They're priced at £1.79 each or you can bulk buy in packs of 24 (currently at £38.66).
An excellent energy bar, very tasty and easy to digest, and delivers a good dose of carbs for before, during or post-exercise
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: OTE Duo Bar
Size tested: Vanilla Crispy Rice White Choc Chip - 24 - (25% off)
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?
DUO Bar has been developed by professional sports nutritionists and is based on race food used by professional cycling teams (it's what the pro's eat). Each DUO Bar is pre-cut into two equal pieces with each piece delivering 20g of carbohydrate (one OTE serving). DUO Bar is ideal to use before, during or after exercise, or as an alternative healthy snack when you are on the go.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
2 x 20g pieces of carbohydrate per bar, enough for 45-60 minutes of energy depending on the intensity of exercise
Simple and complex carbohydrate
Low in Fat
10g of protein per bar to help recovery and adaptation if taken after exercise
Easy to digest
Easy to open wrapper
White chocolate chips means it is less likely to melt in your pocket
Developed by professional sports nutritionists
No energy bars are cheap (compared to a Snickers) but these are about the same as everything else. Always worth shopping around though as there are usually discounts to be had.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really works well whether you're doing a sportive or hard training rides, good to eat before and after a ride as a snack as well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tastes fantastic and is easy to digest.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The wrapper could be a bit easier to open maybe, but I'm splitting hairs here.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.