Money-saving training hacks?

What are some of yours? I have three to get the conversation started:

  1. Heat acclimation - During my taper, I like to do some heat exposure, and while I don’t have access to a sauna, but I do have a hot car in the summertime. A few minutes in there in the afternoon with the windows up can get pretty toasty, especially post-workout. Definitely need a towel or two to protect the seat.

  2. Caffeine / fuel A handful of chocolate covered espresso is much cheaper than a caffeinated gel for early-morning interval workouts.

  3. Recovery drink Unsweetened almond milk with chocolate syrup (mostly cane sugar) and a little hemp protein can get the 3:1 carb:protein ratio pretty close.

Finding as much gear on eBay as possible goes without saying…

Love to hear from other penny pinchers.


Don’t read any cycling publications. This helps cure newbikeitis, the most expensive part of cycling. Is that fancy new Red AXS equipped aero super bike going to make you faster, yup because your wallet is gonna be a whole lot lighter!


I drink beet root powder in this bulk package I bought with no bells and whistles. Tastes like straight dirt. Makes me drink faster.

Post workout is a chocolate milk with a 3:1 ratio.

I use a+d ointment for cream for chamois padding for training. Big days or rides I’ll use buttr.

Oh and eBay/Craigslist etc.

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I’m reading this to try and get the benefits of altitude training while living at sea level:

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My biggest training hacks are as follows:

  1. Haribo instead of gels for training rides. 50g of Haribo is equivalent to one Pro4mance gel and costs a fraction of the price. $2 AUD for an entire packet of Haribo rather than $16-$24 for a pack of 16 gels. This means I can snack on the Haribo throughout the ride rather than having to take it all in one go.
  2. A variety of supermarket muesli / oat bars / fruit cake instead of Clif Bars for training. Less caloric but far cheaper and enables me to eat more regularly on the bike. The bars I buy are approximately 25 - 50c per bar as opposed to $2.50ish for Clif Bars.

It might be stupid but I think I was borderline under-fuelling on the bike previously because who wants to open that extra $2.50 Clif Bar when you’re toward the end of a ride?! I’m also able to mix the flavours and textures a lot more as well.

I’ve still kept the gels and Clif Bars for race nutrition, however, will never go back to these for training food!


Not sure if this is to your taste but for fueling longer trainer rides I’m a big fan of LCM’s Kaleidos. Very small, about 200 calories a pop, quick to eat, cheap as and pretty tasty!

2nd the post about eating jelly babies and other sweets instead of gels. Much cheaper to get similar quantity of sugar. I do that even in races, easier to grab a few jelly babies from back pocket and stuff in pie hole than open a gel.


Making your own on-bike nutrition is not only tasty but also cheap. Like oat-choc balls, date-lemon-cashew balls, …

there are great ideas in the book Velo Chef.


I stuck with gels only because I am unlikely to have a green on the couch at night than I am a few jelly babies


I like to use dates as substitute nutrition for gels/chews. Calorie dense and they have more nutrition than candy. Probably cost somewhere in between gummy bears/candy and gels/chews.

However, they get a little weird in the jersey pocket during outdoor rides. They work best for me next to the trainer bike.


For outdoor rides I get the dates stoned, in those blocks and roll em into a tube and cover them with tinfoil. You just unwrap a bit of foil and bite off a bit. Also Smoked almonds… for when you get sick of all that sweet stuff.

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Quit cycling! There is nothing cheap about this sport.


Any info on the Beet powder? Brand or link. I’m always looking for the cheapest way to get my beets. Marc’s was selling large bottles of beet juice for $5. It was by far the best deal I have come across but they never restock the stuff.

Funny i thought i was the only nut who drove with the windows up after the car sits in the sun all day. I try to go as long as I can “safely”. I don’t want to pass out

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I have been using this beet root powder

SFL Beetroot powder - $38 for 5 pounds… caution - really does taste like straight dirt. Like straight up, I think I fell in the yard face first, dirt.

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100% maple syrup instead of gels
homemade rice cakes instead of energy bars

Sport nutrition is SO expensive. If you are riding a lot you can easily go through $50-100/wk in gels/bars/drink mix.


Stop eating to save money while dieting. Eat beans on tortillas pre-ride.


I can’t seem to find copies of this book. Is there a new version, etc of this that may be more available?

(likely missed because it is one word ‘Velochef’, not two words as listed in the prior comment)

I added this to our book thread too.