A good deal if you grab some hammer gel flasks, and can handle refilling your own flasks. There are rumors that if you are on the trails in forest park, you might see a wild eyed man with very short hair downing a whole bottle of the espresso flavor.
Use on most rides 3-4hrs or longer, up to 600km brevets. Also on short & fast group training rides. easy to get down with out the mess of several empty, sticky single use packages getting all over my jersey pockets.
cons, hmmm, need more flavors?!!!
I had been using single servivg gels but for riding in the winter it was a real pain to try and pull one out of my jacket with winter gloves on. It's a lot easier to grab a flask without issue. Added bonus is that it does not create any litter. The product itself is palatable and agrees with my stomach. I actually like the taste - Espresso - and the caffene helps to keep me sharp. I mix in a bit of water to thin it out a little so it dosen't get to thick in the cold.
I find it easy to digest and provides lots of good energy. A few slurps of the gel prior to a long climb makes such a difference. Because it's complex carbs, there are no energy spikes. Really important for those long, full day rides, I don't get burned out on the flavor. It's not super sweet which gets old after a while.
Also, it's really easy to pour from the jug into smaller containers that fit in the jersey pocket.
All positive, really like the Hammer gel.
I ride with the wild eyed man with the expresso bottle,
Power on the peddles with the help of hammer gel,
sometimes wired up after the ride and banging on walls
He wakes me up in the middle of the night to drive home from double centuries
Hammer gel has real flavors. It gives me steady energy rather than the sugar spike followed by a crash that I get from some gels. My favorite is raspberry - real fruit and not too sweet. If you want caffeine, the espresso flavor has a lot, along with serious coffee flavor.
A few months ago, Hammer thinned out their gels, making them easier to use. They increased the size of the bottles to keep the same weight of the contents. Since Hammer changed the consistency, the gels flow much better from the little bottles-even in the cold. I really enjoy using the Hammer gel bottles now. Less waste and lower cost than individual gels. Also, I find the gel bottle easier to use than single gel packs- and I don't get the gel all over my fingers.