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Tested: Detour Energy Bars

detour bars

There’s no shortage of energy bars these days, but with the way some of them taste, I always welcome new varieties. So I was happy to give a warm welcome to the big sample pack of Detour energy bars I got a couple weeks ago. (Because 1, they were free, and 2, they are supposed to taste like candy bars.)

That’s the pile of them on the left, and there are two of each flavor, consisting of chocolate peanut butter, chocolate chip cookie, lemon yogurt, dark chocolate raspberry, and more!

But it doesn’t stop there. Along with the flavors, you get to choose from Biker, Runner, and Core Strength formulations. The bars are similar but each has a few special ingredients based on your chosen activity.

Let’s take a look at the individual bars…

detour runner bar

Detour Runner Bar

The Biker and Runner bars are quite similar in taste and ingredients, but the Runner bar contains MicroLactin, which has been found to improve joint health and function. Any runner knows about sore joints from constant pounding, so I think the MicroLactin is a great idea.

Ingredients vary by flavor, but the main ingredients are whey protein crisps (whey protein concentrate and rice flour.) Then you might find fructose, corn syrup solids, corn syrup, and/or sugar for the sweetener. Then you hit the other stuff, like palm kernel oil, partially defatted peanut flour, inulin, and other stuff.

I can’t give you a detailed examination of those ingredients, but I will say that Detour went out of their way to find odd ingredients!

That will all add up to about 200 calories, 25g of carbs, and 12g of protein per bar.

detour biker bar

Detour Biker Bar

The Biker Bar is very similar to the Runner Bar in taste and ingredients, but instead of MicroLactin, the Biker Bar is made with Rhodiola to help improve muscle stamina and recovery. It is also claimed to help speed cardiovascular and muscle recovery-time after you ride. I thought that was pretty cool, too, because I’ve written about Rhodiola Rosea before.

And with the main ingredient still being whey protein crisps, you’re getting about 200 calories, 25-30g carbohydrates, and 12g protein in each bar.

detour core strength bar

Detour Core Strength Bar

Here’s where things change… the Detour Core Strength bar. The taste and consistency is quite a bit different from the Biker and Runner bars. It’s made with a greater variety of protein for a total of 15g protein in each bar, and it contains ribose for the maintenance of ATP. (Anyone who remembers high school chemistry class should know that ribose is a big part of our DNA and RNA, and that ATP is a primary energy source for your body.)

Unfortunately, you pay a price for all these muscle-building and recovery benefits, and that’s in the taste. The Core Strength bars have kind of the ‘standard protein bar’ taste. They’re not bad, they just aren’t good.

Now let’s do a taste test…

detour chocolate peanut butter

The Taste Test

The first one I tried was a chocolate peanut butter flavor and it was awesome and amazing! It was just like eating a Butterfinger candy bar!

Next up was a caramel peanut Core Strength bar, but it was a little bland though. It was also kind of chewy and reminded me of a Tiger’s Milk energy bar with a little less flavor. Edible, but not great.

So I went back to the Biker bars and tried raspberry dark chocolate – the texture was consistent with the looks, which is like a chewy granola bar full of rice crisps. It was a good texture, but the taste was better – just like I opened up a box of chocolates with raspberry filling. Seriously! (Since I got these around Christmas, I was able to do the exact comparison!)

Chocolate chip cookie. This has the oats/granola/rice crisps taste and texture, with chocolate chips, giving it the essence of a chocolate chip cookie. It’s certainly not the same as eating a fresh chocolate chip cookie, but the taste is still pretty good. (Definitely better than most other bars that have a chocolate chip cookie flavor.)

detour lemon yogurt

Toffee almond – As expected, this bar tasted quite a bit like a Heath candy bar (the English toffee one.) The consistency was like a granola bar, but it had that great flavor. It’s some good stuff, especially with the almonds in there.

Chocolate caramel – This is another Core Strength bar. This one looks like a 3 Musketeers bar on the inside… however, it still has that bland taste, and it’s kind of hard to bite into. But at least this time it has some of that fluffy chocolate flavor like a 3 Musketeers would.

Last but not least – lemon yogurt. This has a nice lemon taste and reminds me of a Powerbar Pria bar, based on the texture and yogurt coating. It’s great if you aren’t a fan of chocolate.

My final verdict is…

The “Biker” and “Runner” bars taste great in most every flavor. I guess I’d compare them to Clif bars, although they are more like a chewy granola bar with the taste of a candy bar.

I plan to keep eating these, possibly replacing Clif bars with them (at least to get more variety). However, I’ll stick with Powerbars for on-bike use. Why? These Detour bars have a chocolate coating on at least one side, and that will melt in your jersey pocket, and then you’re peeling back a wrapper with melted chocolate all over the place. It gets on your gloves, handlebar tape, etc, and it’s not pretty.

But as far as taste goes, this is one of the best bars you can buy!

I’m certainly not a fan of the “core strength” bars though. While they don’t taste terrible, they’re not very good, and I’ve had some good protein bars.

Company website: www.DetourBar.com

Where to buy: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Detour
Product: Detour Energy Bars
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.8 out of 5
Date last updated: 2008-01-03
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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1 Comment
  1. If they taste like candy bars, that’s all that matters to me!

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coach levi
Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

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Coach Levi is my favorite child and favorite cycling coach. I'd choose him over Christoper McCarmikael even. Did I mention that Levi can coach you to a healthier lifestyle where you look and feel your best?
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