Feature Request - Minutes per Gel

So I’ve been riding more often in the mode where I’m looking at the metrics rather than the graph. Its interesting looking at the kCal counter incrementing as you ride and seeing how the pace of the number change goes up and down as the intensity of the intervals change.

On the podcast they have been talking a lot about how often racing boils down to an eating competition. So…

I think TR could help make riders faster if that number kCal was rendered into rate of calorie burn (kCal per min), and then that burn rate provided on the screen as a minutes per foodstuff. As riders are training at different paces they would then be able to develop an feel for how much then need to eat to maintain at a given pace. The most obvious food choice would be the 100cal gel. and Since its a 100cal it would be easy to scale for other food stuffs.

So basically what you’d end up with is a number on the screen that would tell you how minutes it takes to burn a gel at whatever pace you’re currently riding. I think that kind of training would help riders be more methodical in their fueling.

I know the burn rate can actually exceed the rate at which you can digest the gels, so maybe it would make sense to have the number flat line at that point. Or maybe you just let it run and riders would have to know that at some point they’re drawing from stores that cannot be replaced in real time. Good info too.

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The burn rate will always exceed how much you’re eating. Your goal in fueling isn’t to replace every calorie you burn… not even close. Even Nate doesn’t do that!


During a workout swipe the bottom portion of the screen left and look at your Total kJ. That basically (closely enough) equates to calories. You’d know about how much calories you’re burning. That being said, your body can only handle/process so much per hour, thus it becomes an eating contest (individual dependent, but 250-300 is a fair starting point to experiment with). So, you will always be working with an every increasing deficit as the hours continue. So, eat as much as your body can handle (gut distress) and experiment doing so at different intensities.


Also, since 2/3rds or your energy expenditure is cooling, I wonder how translatable to the outside any minutes/per gel number would actually be.

This is why for long rides, it’s important to have a well developed fat metabolism, as glycogen is in finite supply (maybe 2000 kCal stored in liver/muscles, and the 250/300 kCal per hr you reference above).

If training skews towards higher intensities and is fueled by gels and energy drinks, you can become overly carb reliant. That’s fine for shorter several hour races, but not so good for Leadville or Ironman distances. Unless you have an iron gut like Nate :grin:

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7 gels for Lamarck. Yummy. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

General rule of thumb for races is to try and eat back half of what you burn. So if you wanted to practice your race day nutrition, for every ~200kj you’d take a gel.

At very high intensities this becomes impossible. Imaging a 350w rider trying to eat gels during a 40km TT, they’d need to eat close to 6 gels. At that effort level even a single gel is difficult.

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Even that seems way too high to me assuming you’re coming in properly fueled. I can’t imagine taking in 600 calories in an hour riding at any intensity (245W FTP/70kg). Then again, I usually have to run off the bike so there’s no way I’d be able to handle that.

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I don’t remember what episode, but there was a podcast about on bike nutrition. I think for a lot of people the takeaway was “eat as much as you can digest”. Seems crazy to me. For crits 90min and under I’ll just put some Gatorade in a bottle and call it a day.

Context matters. That is totally unnecessary for a 30-50 minute crit if that is your only race. The issue becomes how long and how hard you plan to ride past a 30-60 minute window.

  • Something like a longer road race, gravel race or marathon MTB race will require consistent fueling as you roll into hours.
  • Or if you are doing multiple races of shorter distances in the same day, you need to be fueling for the later events while in or shortly after the earlier ones.

Keep a broader look at your needs before, during and after to know what the best strategy is. There is no “one stop solution” other than do what you need to do (and that will vary with each person and event).

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Right, it takes some serious experimentation. I know underfueling is usually far more of an issue for people than overfueling when it comes to running. I’ve had to play around with it to see what I can tolerate while running and I’m sure I can do more while cycling since the GI tract isn’t getting all jumbled. I can handle about 300/hr during runs/triathlons.

Maybe I’ll mess around with more on the bike and see. I seem to be able to get through most sweet spot rides with about 150/hr, harder stuff I bump up to at least 200/hr. This is all coming in adequately fueled and with a recovery drink after for any hard/long stuff.

For anything (race or training) 60 min or less, I just take water during.


Agreed 600cal/hr would be crazy even without being in full blown 40k TT mode. I have a fairly iron stomach but the most I can get down is a bit over about 400cal/hr. If you look at the calories burned for most races which are over 2hrs you’ll find that eating half of what you burn is probably doable for the non-professionals among us.

I’ll caveat that by saying this specifically applies to road cycling events. Eating that much during a triathlon or mtb event where you don’t get much draft benefit and have to do long steady state effort might hit a burn rate where you can’t eat 1/2 back.