02.9.2006 | 4:56 pm

Back in November, I wrote a review of the energy gels I have tried. The short version of that story was: gels are a necessary evil. Except the necessary part, maybe.

Then, toward the bottom, I said:

There are a lot of brands out there I haven’t mentioned. Carb-Boom, for example. If they’d like to send me a batch, I’ll try it and even write about it.

To my surprise, I shortly afterward got an email from Mike of Carb-Boom, asking for my address. Turns out he took my offer at face value.


Big Box of Goodies

Mike didn’t just send me four packets of gel, either. He sent me several single-serving gel packets, two “Big Boom” bottles, some of their Pro-Boom recovery gel, and a few servings of their Hydro-Boom sports drink.

Here’s what I thought.

  • First and foremost, Carb-Boom energy gel absolutely rules. My main complaint about other energy gels was that they tasted so nasty that I looked for reasons to not use them. “Hey, it’s only been half an hour since I last sucked down a gel. I think I’m good for another ten minutes.” The Carb-Boom flavors, on the other hand, actually taste good. In particular, the Strawberry Kiwi, Banana Peach, and Apple Cinnamon flavors, instead of just being purely and overwhelmingly sweet, taste like actual fruit, and have an element of tartness to them. And they give you the same energy boost you expect from any other gel. Maybe it’s because they had the audacious notion of using real fruit for their flavoring, but Carb-Boom is has overcome the previously-insurmountable “tastes nasty” barrier.
  • Apple-Cinnamon Big-Boom Rules Even More. Big-Boom is a twelve-serving bottle of Carb-Boom, available in (caffeinated) orange-vanilla and apple-cinnamon. And while the orange-vanilla didn’t do much for me, here’s the thing about the apple-cinnamon flavor: it tastes exactly like a McDonald’s apple pie. Except the flaky crust, and it isn’t hotter than the sun. I’ve found my new endurance food, kids. Two of these bottles — which comes out to 2640 calories — and a couple cans of chicken soup should be all I need to get me across the Leadville 100 finish line in style.
  • Hydro-Boom: What? A Sports Drink that Isn’t Sickly Sweet? The first impression you get with Hydro-Boom is that it’s salty. Turns out that’s sea salt, which I have a vague impression is somehow better for you than regular salt, though I have no idea why. I do know that when I’m riding I get sick of the “sweet” taste of most drinks pretty fast and so have in general just switched to water, even on endurance rides. Would I be able to drink this all day? I don’t know, to be honest. I’d be willing to give it a shot.
  • Pro-Boom: The consistent theme with everything Mike from Carb-Boom sent me was that it tastes great. That was true of their recovery gel, Pro-Boom, too. The thing is, though, it’s hard to gauge whether a recovery gel has done its job. I’m pretty sure Pro-Boom would go great with nachos, though.

Banjo Brothers Bike Bag Giveaway Winner Announced

I couldn’t help it — I was swept up in Dope Control’s beautiful dream. Its wildness, weirdness, and completeness captivated me.

My island was constructed in the South Atlantic by the extra terrestrial race credited with the construction the pyramids of Giza and kick-starting such advanced ancient civilizations as the Incas and Mayans. For them, it served as a runway for their colossal spacecraft, but today it is visited only by a publicity-shy collective of super-intelligent highway surface engineers who use the island as a test bed to further their quest for the perfect road surface. They do this at night.

The island is 25 miles long and 30 yards wide.

At one end of the island lives a small community descended from two aliens that were left behind when their comrades departed Earth for the last time. Their staple diet is hot dogs – it is all that they can eat.

At the other end of the island is a hot dog factory. The aliens have recruited a legion of truck drivers to satisfy their huge appetite for the hot dog, who spend their days driving from one end of the island to the other at terrifying speed, though never once losing control of their vehicles or straying from a perfectly straight path.

My bike is not visible to the naked eye. It is a product of the world’s finest nano-technology lab, and though it boasts conventional frame geometries, its tubes have the tensile strength of spider’s silk the thickness of a waitress’s arm. When I ride it, the frontal area I present to the wind is smaller than the surface area of a bottle top.

On the island I hold time trials.

Email me with your address, Dope Control, and I’ll get that seat bag out to you.


PS: Today’s Weight is 169.8. I guess when I stick to my diet and exercise, I can lose weight. Amazing!


  1. Comment by Unknown | 02.9.2006 | 5:09 pm

    from wikipedia:


    A person paid to endorse a product favourably, but giving the impression that they are impartial.
    A person making a fake bid at auction, arranged by the seller in order to increase the price obtained.
    An accomplice of a gambling game who acts as an ethusiastic participant to entice others to enter the game

  2. Comment by Tyler | 02.9.2006 | 5:16 pm

    The question is, if Assos decided to ship him some free shorts, how favorably would fatty review them?
    So, if it sounds good to be true, it probably is, with regard to the "sponsored links" thing, eh?  Waitasec — so, you only get HALF of the money they spit out, do they double it just because it looks cool that way?
    We’ll have to see if anyone keeps clicking on ‘em now that they don’t think it’ll earn THEM money…
    This coming Saturday the 11th, and next Saturday the 18th, I’m going to be riding in the p-sound area; the 25th and whatever day in march that I’m too lately to calculate I’m not in town. 

  3. Comment by craig | 02.9.2006 | 5:34 pm

    I amaze myself also some times. 
    When I eat like a normal human being and exercise, I lose weight like an Ethiopian with dysentery.  In fact, I lose weight so easily that having a few cookies won’t affect my weightloss.   Even a ’sleeve’ for that matter, since I am the weight loss king.  you know what goes great with cookies?  Brownies and Ice Cream………..

  4. Comment by Jeff | 02.9.2006 | 5:36 pm

    dug, that’s a valid point. But imnsho, carb-boom and hammer gel are the best. but, what do I know. I don’t have magical fairylands of singletrack appearing in my backyard, either.

  5. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 02.9.2006 | 6:31 pm

    dug – the "shill" thing would make more sense if the "paid" part had any basis in reality. they sent me stuff. i tried it. i liked it. i said so in my blog. churl.
    argentius – i bet if assos sent me some free shorts, i would in fact review them favorably. it’s their ads i have a problem with; i understand their actual product is pretty good (as it should be, considering it’s triple the price of comparable products).
    craig – and chocolate syrup. especially chocolate syrup.
    jeff – don’t tell dug he has valid points except when he has valid points. or even when he does have valid points, for that matter.

  6. Comment by Unknown | 02.9.2006 | 6:38 pm

    Mmmmm… Shill.  It’s 50% sweeter than Cliff, Gu and Cytomax, with none of those little pieces of objectivity to get stuck in your throat…
    Just kidding.  If you say it’s tasty, Fatty, I believe you.  You have not steered me wrong, ever.  Then again, with my girth, few people this side of The Rock can steer me at all, but that’s another story.  Other than your vomiting up the Hammer Heed, I think you have an indelible… inedible… um, y’know, good palate.  Hammer stuff isn’t tasty, it’s "palatable" and the vomiting thing totally escapes me, because the worse the physical distress I find myself in, the better Hammer seems to taste & feel.  So maybe your problem was that Leadville or whatever wasn’t kicking your a$$ bad enough for the Hammer stuff to work.  And hey, as long as I’m shilling here – Clif Shot Blocks… they’re just the thing to eat if your name is Rocky and you’re trying to lose weight.  Don’t buy just one, buy the whole box, Rocky.  Get the strawberry flavor.  I assure you, it will help you lose weight and kick my butt in the B-5 Challenge.  I double dog dare you to buy some of the stuff.  Bwaaa haaa haaa. 
    BTW, Fatty, 2450 calories?  Y’know with my girth & pace, I burn that in two hours of endurance paced riding, according to my Hr monitor?  I’m going to need a couple sets of Banjo Bros panniers to carry all the Carb-Boom I’ll need.
    It sounds to me like this stuff is basically

  7. Comment by Juliet | 02.9.2006 | 6:44 pm

    Lucky you craig,
    when I eat like a "normal" human I gain 20 lbs – If I excercise I’ll only gain 5lbs.

  8. Comment by Unknown | 02.9.2006 | 6:54 pm

    yeah, you make it sound so simple, so reasonable. "they sent me stuff, i tried it, i liked it."
    let me quote what you said: "absolutely rules!" and "rules even more!" and to top it off with the ultimate compliment, "would go great with nachos!"
    yeah, you’re no shill. and the flo is what? you said "the dahon flo i’ve been riding was a dream this whole ride. i don’t think i’ve ever felt so confident on a bike. it’s one of the best mountain bikes i’ve ever ridden."
    this from a guy who has owned an ibis mojo, an ibis bow tie, a gary fisher paragon, and a gary fisher sugar (just to name a few), none of which, i think, cost less than $2,000, and the most expensive of which cost about $3500. but this traveling flo ho, well, it’s the best. THE BEST Jerry!

  9. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 02.9.2006 | 7:11 pm

    basically what, al? don’t leave us hanging like this.
    jm – perhaps the solution is surgery.
    dug – so if i understand you correctly, you think i’m a shill because i used hyperbole in my reviews. well, in that case, i capitulate, because i never use hyperbole otherwise in this blog, do i?

  10. Comment by Unknown | 02.9.2006 | 7:20 pm

    yes, and yes.
    and, you’re mom uses hyperbole.

  11. Comment by Unknown | 02.9.2006 | 8:16 pm

    Dug, I humbly submit the problem with Fatty isn’t that he’s a shill.  It’s that, like most of us, he’s a Bicycling Whore.  If it’s good gear, tasty grub, cool clothes, or a good ride, he basically rolls over, kicks his legs in the air and acts like he’s a golden retriever that just got a pound of maple cured bacon for dinner.  Ever read any of the mainstream bicycling magazines’ reviews of new stuff?  Glowing reports, mainly because most new bike products are pretty good (they should be, with the price of them) but also because if you work at a bike magazine, by definition, you are a Bike Whore.  Even the hardcore snotty roadracing product testers, the biggest divas this side of the Met, are basically bike whores.  Sure, they try to stitch together critical comments, but all they can really manage is "Oh, we haaaated it that this new Campagnolo PastaFazool gruppo shifts with a quiet ’snick snick,’ completely unlike the old Campagnolo LinguineAlfredo gruppo that we loved so much, which made the much superior ’snuck snuck’ sound that inspired confidence even in total Phreds."  Yeah, they’re Golden Retrievers alright, the only difference is they’re holding out for the thick cut bacon.  Same old dogs though.  The only negative review of a new bike product I’ve ever read by a professional in the field was famed Coach Ed Pavelka’s (RoadBikeRider – I think it was Pavelka’s review) discussion of the noseless "ergo" seat, and I think the only reason he disliked it is because he kept falling off it and crashing in traffic, and even then the review was pretty mild.  A non-Bike Whore would have tied that seat to a brick, doused it in dog doo and lighter fluid, set it aflame, and thrown in through Ergo SeatCo’s front window. 
    And so what if Fatty’s really easy around bike gear.  I’m a Bike Whore too.  It’s what I do.  Spend two minutes with me, and I’ll tell you my new Crapcycle Bumride 5000 is the Bestest Best Bike Ever… at least until I get the Turdwheels LanternRuje, which is my new Bestest Bestest Best Bike ever, and so on.  And let me show you my new water bottle, which has holes on the bottom and the top… the constant flow of water keeps my toes cool on short, warm rides…
    To be scrupulously, bike-reviewer-caliber fair, Fatty did give a kinda/sorta negative review of a product once, which is more than I can say for the guys at Bicycling.  He said he didn’t like Hammer drinks, because the one time he tried them, he barfed.  So I have this vision of Fatty trying out the stuff all in golden retriever mode, until he realizes, much to his dismay, "This Hammer stuff isn’t thick cut maple syrup and pepper-cured bacon… why, it’s Purina Dog Chow!  D@88 you, Hammer Products!  D@88 you!"  Well, actually, he said something like, "yeah, a lot of people like it, but it made me barf, so I’m not going to recommend it… but I won’t pass judgment either." 

  12. Comment by Unknown | 02.9.2006 | 8:51 pm

    The world must be coming to an end — dug used capital letters!?
    Maybe it wasn’t really dug?

  13. Comment by rich | 02.9.2006 | 9:08 pm

    So a water bottle full of goo is "all you need to get across the Leadville finish line in style" – does in style mean jerking like a monkey that peed on an electric fence to get the last half of the goo out? It seems that the last of the goo would be fighting to stay in the bottle, especially if its a bit nippy.

  14. Comment by Zed | 02.9.2006 | 9:20 pm

    Congrats on the weight loss.

  15. Comment by Jodi | 02.9.2006 | 9:39 pm

    Dumb-dumb dug with his smartee pants wikipedia.  You know…if you look up hyperbole in the wikipedia (I’m not saying I had to or anything…I mean, I totally know what hyperbole is as my mother uses it), it refers you to also see (or see also):
    See also

    Quote whore
    Technology hype
    Media hype
    As for me, I want to see what a Quote Whore is.  The name is just compelling.  Here’s what you get (stay with me kids….this is going somewhere!!)
    "Quote whore" or "blurb whore" is a clearly pejorative term used by some movie reviewers (for example, Roger Ebert) to describe other critics who provide reviews well in advance of a movie’s release and whose reviews are uniformly positive. Such reviews feature stock phrases (such as "spectacular," "edge-of-the-seat," "thrilling," "riveting," "joy ride," "triumph," "tour de force," etc.), which are almost always followed by one or more exclamation points. Movie studios can then use those quotes in their advertising.
    Many "quote whores" are perceived as sharing positive, quotable reviews in exchange for free junkets, food, movie-related trinkets and other items of value—or, indeed, free advertising for their own publication.
    Reviewers using the phrase wish to voice their opinion that the other reviewers demean the profession by in effect selling positive reviews for movies that do not deserve them.
    One reviewer who was widely labeled a quote whore was David Manning, whose quotations often appeared on promotional posters for Columbia Pictures. In early June 2001, the company admitted that Manning was an entirely fictional creation of their marketing department.
    Ok…the bolding of the last paragraph is mine.  I submit that there is no such thing as a fat cyclist, and that he was made up by the company Carb-Boom! for the sole reason of having today’s entry come to life.
    Also, I’m a little bored at work.
    Love always,

  16. Comment by Unknown | 02.9.2006 | 10:28 pm

    Man, I don’t even know what a hyperbole is.
    But, this post was GREAT!!!

  17. Comment by Fat Cyclist | 02.9.2006 | 11:06 pm

    errorista – so if there’s no such thing as me, is there such a thing as my sister?
    caloi – congrats on never needing to lose weight.
    rich – yes, that’s exactly what "in style" means. or it may be possible to dilute with 30% water and avoid the problem. don’t mess with me, man.
    DaMasta – it’s a rare day when i’m spoiling for a comment brawl, but here i am.
    jake – you’re presuming there ever was a dug, and that he isn’t some straw man i invented in order to have entertaining arguments with myself on my blog.
    al – here’s the thing: this really is the best gel i’ve ever tried. it’s that good. if i didn’t like it, i’d probably have just given it a paragraph in another blog entry, rather than a whole entry of its own.

  18. Comment by Unknown | 02.9.2006 | 11:13 pm

    Once I tested and reviewed a product for a company that makes research tools for molecular biologists.  I worked for three days coming up with the perfect endorsment of their product.  In short, I worked very hard as a quote whore, in hopes of, well, getting quoted.
    My endorsment was poignant, appropriate, short, and positive.  But not too obviously whorish.  Anyway they didn’t go with my quote and the one they went with was basically "THEY’RE GRRRRREAT!".
    P.S.  I think spitting in a cup and exercising in a bit sweatsuit with a towel over your head should be against the rules for making weight!  You must be getting awfully thirsty.

  19. Comment by Yokota Fritz | 02.9.2006 | 11:27 pm

    dug and Al are just jealous that they’re not bike whores. Ignore them and bask in your bike-whoredom.

  20. Comment by Unknown | 02.9.2006 | 11:39 pm

    If dug is just a figment of Fat Cyclist’s imagination, and Fat Cyclist is just a figment of Carb-Boom!’s imagination, then I submit that Carb-Boom! is just "an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato".
    Now there’s an appetizing thought.

  21. Comment by Kelly | 02.10.2006 | 2:08 am

    Hey! I’m digging your committment to the goal. Great job. I’m still rooting for ya.

  22. Comment by Kelly | 02.10.2006 | 2:10 am

    Hey! I’m digging your committment to the goal. Great job. I’m still rooting for ya.

  23. Comment by EricGu | 02.10.2006 | 4:06 am

    Yes, Apple Cinnamon is great.
    I wonder who told you that?
    Oh, that’s right, it was *me*.

  24. Comment by Jan | 02.10.2006 | 4:16 am

    I did a race one year in the bitter cold and rain, relying only on carb-booms to get me through. I sucked back 6 of them, and managed to make it out on a breakaway for 5 or 10km. They’re easily the best energy gel I’ve ever had, but my bike store doesn’t carry them anymore. :(

    I use Enervit gels and cheer packs now. The cola gels are reasonably tasty, but something in them makes me cough if I don’t IMMEDIATELY have a drink of water. The cheer packs are great, since they go directly in my water bottle. A cheer pack + gatorade + cherry coke is rocket fuel, and is great in the last 30km of a road race.

  25. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 02.10.2006 | 6:44 am

    dug, dug, is that you dug?  Why do you look like a sock puppet and sound like someone trying to talk without moving their lips?

  26. Comment by Unknown | 02.10.2006 | 2:34 pm

    Nothing like a good bloggin bru-haha.Had to happen sooner or later.Too many egos, too little space.

  27. Comment by Loes | 02.10.2006 | 3:02 pm

    Hydro-Boom? Salt? A salt containing drink doesn’t quench your thirst, you should only drink it when you’ve sweat a lot, but you shouldn’t drink it all day. You’ll end up more thirsty than you were before you drank it.

  28. Comment by Sue | 02.10.2006 | 3:53 pm

    Boz–I don’t think so.  I think Fatty and dug are the type of friendsd that say horrible things to each other.
    Plus, I think they’re just trying to beef up the script for the "Life of Fatty" movie.  You know the plot; two old friends, one goes on to fame while the other is still stuck in Provo, Utah.  The famous friend gets caught up in wealth and toys, while the friend gets caught up in bitter jealousy.  Then they have a big blowout knock-down-drag-out fight (a real donnybrook involving tire levers and Stan’s no-flat).  Then after a cooling off period, they both come to their senses and share a big NEKKID man hug in a hotel room in Moab.

  29. Comment by Unknown | 02.10.2006 | 5:25 pm

    Botched -
    Just coming off the flu and now you put that picture in my head. Guess lunch is out of the question. No "Bikeback Mountain" for me.

  30. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 02.10.2006 | 5:50 pm

    Botched/Boz – I didn’t see Bikeback Mountain in that.  I saw Envy.  With Jack Black and Ben Stiller.  Let’s go out and accidentally kill a horse.

  31. Comment by Unknown | 02.10.2006 | 7:54 pm

    Shill, quote whore, bike whore, product manufacturer rump kisser.  Wow. And to think I have been missing all of this.  The rage, the fury, the cat-fight like tendencies.  Work gets in the way at the most inopportune times.  This is the best stuff.  Ever. Fatty finally wrote something that dug considers worthy of his considered attention. 
    Can you preserve the rage until you all get together?   This is a fight I would love to see. 

  32. Comment by Unknown | 02.10.2006 | 10:48 pm

    Here’s a few excuses for when you miss your weight today.
    I burn more calories dragging the extra weight up hill. Its a good thing.
    10,000 calorie testing day for Carb-Boom
    Beer, nacho’s, and hot wings on Superbowl Sunday

  33. Comment by Unknown | 02.11.2006 | 7:21 am

    Only drink it when you sweat a lot, Loes? Like, when you’re suffering on the anaerobic threshold for hours in the summer heat? I can’t imagine sweating while cycling!

    Anyway, salty enough to be palatable is probably not that salty. I doubt any one is advocating old-fashioned salt tablets here.

    FC, congrats on selling lots of Carboom. (Oops, that’s what we want to apply to those damned Hummers!) Though as a home-brewer, I’m tempted to try reverse-engineering sports gels with a base of malt extract syrup. A little sea salt, a little vanilla, a little lemon juice…

  34. Comment by Sue | 02.11.2006 | 4:31 pm

    Kayaker–Yep, home beer brewing ingredients are the base for sports gels.  You can use brown rice syrup solids, or maltodextrin (or a mixture of both) as the primary carbon source.  Add a little sucrose and unsweetened kool-aid for taste.  Morten’s lite salt for sodium and potassium, and finish it off with some whey protein for faster absorption, and you have a sports gel that is no more nasty than all the others on the market.

  35. Comment by Juliet | 02.12.2006 | 2:57 am

    You are probably right fatty
    but my pain threshold is far lower than my vanity.


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