Gore Bike Wear is one of the leading performance brands available to both Cyclists and Runners. I don’t profess to have been using this brand for years, in fact, I’ve only used their products since switching from a mountain bike to road cycling, which is around nine months ago.
However, a few weeks ago, I realised that the vast majority of my new road cycling clothing wardrobe consisted of Gore Bike Wear. Why? Why had I chosen Gore over any of the many other options? Upon reflection, it’s simply because I found these products to be the best.
best quality, best performance and the most comfortable to wear
I’m not saying that they are the best, that would be unrealistic as I haven’t tried every product of every brand. But I have worn those listed here many times and can wholeheartedly recommend them. After having experienced a couple of products from this brand, it became easy to choose Gore Bike Wear for my next jersey, jacket, pair of gloves etc. So much so that I don’t readily seeing myself chose another brand anytime soon.
Gore Bike Wear Brand
I’m not going to provide too much of a background to the brand, other than to say that the Gore Bike Wear website has plenty of info and details on their latest products, of which there are currently 460 items for cyclists alone.
Gore Bike Wear, and Running Wear for that matter, are known for two core fabric technologies; Gore-Tex® and Windstopper®.
Gore-Tex is a patented membrane that, when laminated to high performance fabrics, helps to keep you warm and dry, even in pretty awful conditions. The Gore-Tex membrane has 9 billion pores per square inch, with each pore 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet. Whilst these pores are too small for water droplets to get into the fabric, they are large enough to allow moisture vapour to pass through, and as such, allow perspiration to escape.
Windstopper is another smart technology, this time focusing on protecting you from the wind. It does this by adding an ultra-light and ultra-thin membrane to high performance fabrics. This smart tech delivers total windproof clothing, which is also breathable, to ensure you stay warm, comfortable and out riding for longer.
Whilst these sound pretty impressive, the cynics will say this is marketing spiel and unlikely to translate into firm guarantees but in my experience, these claims are true and this is why I’ve ended up with so many Gore Bike Wear products.
Gore Bike Wear Product Review
The following products are all owned by me and have been worn for between 3 to 9 months. Each item was purchased independently of Gore Bike Wear or any other Company, in other words, they weren’t given or loaned to me for the purpose of this review. As such, the following comments are my own personal experiences with these items and this review is a true account of my findings.
- Gore Bike Wear Element Gloves
- Gore Bike Wear Xenon 2.0 Windstopper Soft Shell Gloves
- Gore Bike Wear Power 3.0 Tights
- Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Bibtights Short+
- Gore Bike Wear Power 2.0 Short Sleeve Jersey
- Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Windstopper Softshell Short Sleeve Jersey
- Gore Bike Wear Xenon 2.0 Windstopper Softshell Jacket
- Gore Bike Wear Element Gore-Tex Active Cycling Jacket
Gore Bike Wear Element Gloves
These Gloves were the first Gore products I purchased and probably the ones I’ve worn most. They are lightweight fingerless gloves that feel effortless to wear, which might seem strange to say but if you’ve worn gloves of a bulkier design, you’ll understand what I mean.
The palm of the gloves has foam padding for comfort and silicone-coated strips for better grip. There is also additional strengthening between the thumb and index figure, which offers extra grip. There are small ventilation holes on the palm to help keep the palms cool in warmer weather or to help with perspiration.
effortless and comfortable to wear
The rear of the gloves have a large area of absorbent material which I use to wipe-away sweat and have found this to be very handy at times. Just above this area is a reflective Gore Bike Wear logo, whilst not essential, every little helps. This is a continual theme with Gore products and when combined, makes quite a significant contribution to road visibility.
The gloves have an adjustable velcro fastening and loops for easier removal, which is probably my favourite part of the gloves (I’m clearly easily pleased!).
I’ve worn these gloves on short, medium and long rides. I have found them to be effortless to wear and comfortable, regardless of the length of ride.
Gore Bike Wear Xenon 2.0 Windstopper Soft Shell Gloves
I bought these gloves for the autumn and winter months for some additional protection to the ends of my fingers. They are made from Windstopper technology and are outstanding.
The inner forehand has a strengthening patch and some light padding. The heel of the hand has gel padding to provide more comfort and support. The upper part of the palm (opposite side to the knuckles) has a protective strip to complete the palm protection. In addition, there is additional protection from silicone coated fingers
The rear of the gloves is reflection city, with no less than four elements of reflection; the Gore Bike Wear logo on the cuff, the same logo in the midst of some reflective strips, the tips of three of the fingers and the Windstopper logo on the index finger.
The rear of the gloves also sees the most important element of these gloves, the Windstopper protection, which truly is an essential part of my wardrobe now.
Like the Element Gloves, there is additional strengthening between the thumb and forefinger, which provides better grip. The wrist is pulled in by an elasticated grip and is complimented by an extended cuff, which allows you to tuck the gloves under a jacket for extra protection from wind and rain. It might seem a small point but this really does help to keep you warm when it’s wet, cold or windy.
There is an absorbent strip of material on the thumb for wiping away perspiration, which is useful. The Xenon gloves don’t have loops for easy removal, like the Element gloves, but I suspect this is due to them being longer. It would have been useful to have this feature after a cold ride but it’s not the most important part of these gloves.
The gloves are very comfortable to wear and are lightweight, meaning they don’t get in the way when braking or changing gears, like some bulkier winter gloves. They are definitely windproof and offer a high degree of resistance to water. I have worn these gloves in minus 2 degrees, in the rain and in winds of upto 40 mph, and did not feel cold at any point. Like I said at the beginning, these are outstanding gloves.
Gore Bike Wear Power 3.0 Tights
These Gore Bike Wear Power 3.0 Tights are classic road cycling shorts, or tights if you prefer.
They are comfortable, easy to wear and an essential piece of kit. Unlike Bibtights, they can exposure your lower back to drafts in poorer weather conditions and as such, they are perhaps more suited to milder weather conditions, if you are a sensitive little bunny. Chances are, if it’s cold, you’ll be wearing a jacket or soft shell so there’s no real reason to restrict wearing these to the summer.
I tend to wear these shorts for shorter rides of 2-3 hours, not because they can’t cope with longer but simply because I have other shorts for the longer rides (see below). These Power 3.0 Tights have the standard Gore Bike Wear reflective elements, courtesy of the Gore logos on the sides and rear.
The bottom of the hem sees the addition of gripper elastic, which helps to secure the shorts to the thigh and prevents ride-up. The tights also have shifted seams to help reduce chafing, not that I have any experience of this with these shorts.
Once again, these Gore Bike Wear tights are excellent and well-worth having in your top drawer.
Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Bibtights Short+
I have two pair of these bibtights, the second pair bought around six months after the first. When I bought my first pair, I thought they were expensive at around £140 but I have found them to be superb and excellent value when all things are taken into consideration.
Coming from a MTB background, I did find lycra a bit weird at first but then I simply got used to it. Same thing when I first tried bibshorts, weird initially but easy to wear thereafter. They offer a small degree of comfort to the lower back, especially when there’s draft.
These Oxygen Bibshorts have almost unnoticeable straps (bibs), in part due to the fabric and in part helped by the lightweight vented aspect of the bib. The inner seat protection, coupled with the protective hem and lightweight fabric, result in these shorts easily being a 4+ hour option and my goto shorts for long distance rides. I find they provide great comfort in the saddle and like all Gore products, help me to focus on the ride, rather than the journey getting there.
The trick with longer rides is to let the seat padding breathe by cycling out of the saddle for short periods on a regular basis. By default, this means you’re not sat down, which clearly compresses the cushioning and thus, being out of the saddle allows the seat support to return to it’s original state.
Gore Bike Wear Power 2.0 Short Sleeve Jersey
The Power 2.0 Short Sleeve Jersey is very much a summer top. There is no Gore-Tex or Windstopper technology in the jersey and whilst this means it isn’t a technical top, it is still a great lightweight jersey.
This top is designed to be lightweight and comfortable, which it does with ease. The full-length zip allows for full-length ventilation, should the need arise. But Gents, this isn’t usually a good look for us so be careful, please.
The Power 2.0 Jersey is predominantly made from Polyamide but is combined with Elastane (Spandex) to produce a lightweight stretchy material that beautifully wraps around my love-handles! The rear hem has a rubber edge to help prevent ride-up and also helps to keep the top in place, snug against the rear department, if you know what I mean.
There are three standard pockets at the back, along with a fourth zipped pocket for those valuable items. The jersey sees the usual Gore Bike Wear reflective elements for added visibility and comes in several attractive colours.
Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Windstopper Softshell Short Sleeve Jersey
I wear this Oxygen Windstopper softshell jersey when it’s too warm for a jacket but not quite warm enough for any of my basic tops. The key here is the Windstopper fabric which protects my body from both the wind and rain. It does a really good job of both and ensures I don’t feel the effects of the cold, allowing me to keep going for longer (assuming the legs are in agreement!).
The beauty of Gore’s Windstopper fabric is not only does is protect from the wind and rain, but it’s also breathable, ensuring I don’t overheat. Additionally, the panels under the arms are vented, along with small darts into the rear panel, which allow for some air movement. Officially, the Oxygen Windstopper Softshell Jersey is windproof, water resistant (not waterproof) and breathable but it does a good job keeping the rain away from my core.
Gore Bike Wear suggest combining the jersey with arm-warmers and/or a base layer to turn this top into a 3-season option. I’m not one for arm-warmers but I can see the point, especially when you find yourself out on a longer ride when the weather turns colder.
you can feel both the quality and performance of this jersey
As soon as you touch the Windstopper Softshell, you can feel both the quality and performance. It might seem strange to say that you can feel the performance but touch any Windstopper top and you’ll know what I mean. Don’t just take my word for it, this jersey won the international iF Product Design award (whatever that is).
The jersey is a snug fit but then that’s what you want from this type of top. I’m a 40″ chest and initially bought the Large but had to change this for a XL. To be fair to Gore, they do recommend XL for chest sizes 40″ to 41½” so I suppose the point here is, buy the recommended size rather than the size you think you are.
There are six pockets, including a small zipped one on the back. I’m not used to having pockets on the front and so I don’t use them, I’m not sure what they’re meant to be used for and when leant over the handlebars, I think it’d annoy me but I’m sure they’re useful for those of you that want more storage space in a jersey. Gore suggest that the pockets on the Oxygen jersey are engineered to securely hold all the equipment needed for a 4 hour ride. The backpack-inspired strapes on the rear, help to stabilise the pockets, in order to reduce bouncing or swinging. They do this by distributing the weight of the contents and follow the rider’s movements, even when fully loaded. I don’t overload the pockets so I can’t support this claim but I can confirm that this is true for normal loads.
There are several reflective elements on this jersey for when the light dims; the Gore Bike Wear logo on the front, the Windstopper logo on the top of each arm and the back, two small darts on the rear panel and the cover over the zipped pocket.
Gore Bike Wear Xenon 2.0 Windstopper Softshell Jacket
This Xenon 2.0 Windstopper softshell jacket is a crossover product between a jacket and a jersey. Initially, I found it difficult to know when to wear it as it easily covers both purposes. A pessimist may say it’s neither a jacket or a jersey but an optimist would say you get two products in one. And a Northerner like me would say, bargain!
Whatever, your take on this, it’s an excellent jacket and probably my favourite Gore Bike Wear item. The Xenon 2.0 Jacket is made from Windstopper® technology which means it stops the wind whilst allowing your body to breathe naturally. This means that you stay warm against the wind and warm against yourself, as you naturally perspire when riding. Like all Windstopper products, the Xenon 2.0 is water resistance, meaning that you are dry as well as warm.
jacket or jersey, the best of both!
The fit of this jacket is close, Gore Bike Wear describe it as race fit and perfect for rapid road rides in the crisp winter air. I’ve ridden this at less than rapid speeds and never in race conditions and have found it to work just as well.
Like most jackets, wearing it with a base layer allows you to drop down the temperature levels quite far, minus 2 degrees is my lowest so far and it worked a treat. I haven’t gone too far up the temperature gauge with it yet but I suspect you could get to May or early summer and still find yourself wearing it. If it gets a tad warm, you can unzip the vents on the sides and the sleeves to circulate some cooler air.
In addition to the vents, the sleeves are pre-shaped at the elbows and of good sleeve length to ensure they don’t ride up when you are stretched forward on the drops or in race position.
The rear of the Xenon 2.0 sees three standard cycling pockets and a fourth zipped pocket. The rear panel has extra length and gripper elastic to ensure the jacket stays in position, regardless of your ride position. This means that your lower back stays covered, and thus warm, even when it’s blowing a gail.
As with all Gore Bike Wear products, there are plenty of discreet reflective panels for added security in low light.
The collar is one of the elements of this jacket that is perhaps underrated. The design of the rear collar is done so that it perfectly contours the nape of the neck. The front of the collar zips up high and thus the combination of front and rear, ensures the wind rushes past, rather than down the inside of the jacket. There is a small leather patch at the top of the zip, which I suspect is meant to be grasped between the teeth when fastening the zip to the very top whilst wearing gloves.
At £190 this is a significant purchase and like so many things, is perhaps only worth it if you are a frequent cyclist. However, if you can justify it from a frequency perspective, you will not regret it as this is a superb jacket and one that I expect will last for a very long time.
Gore Bike Wear Element Gore-Tex Active Cycling Jacket
I’ve seen this jacket described as a lightweight jacket for the “recreational cyclist”. Oh my Lord, it is so so much more than that. For a start, it is made with Gore-Tex® technology, not something a recreational cyclist would readily choose in a jacket.
This is my goto jacket when the temperature isn’t cold and there is rain in the air. Let’s be clear. This jacket isn’t windproof or water resistant, but nor do Gore Bike Wear present it in that way. However, it is so much more than it is advertised. This jacket offers excellent protection against both the wind and rain thanks to it’s Gore-Tex membrane.
the gore-tex membrane provides excellent protection against wind and rain
The front of the Element Jacket has a Napoleon pocket with zip and an over-layed front zip that provides an excellent level of weather protection.
As is standard with other Gore Bike Wear products, reflective elements are subtle yet effective. Practical elements like adjustable hem width and adjustable cuffs add to the everyday use of this jacket.
This really is one of those products that you don’t know you are wearing, which to me means that it’s doing its job effectively. This lightweight jacket can be folded into quite a small size and carried in a jersey pocket for those days that may or may not rain, which makes it an essential item for any serious cyclist.
Gore Bike Wear Review
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