Working on the Ride It events team does have it’s occasional perks and earlier this month myself and Keith found ourselves leaving a snowy England behind to jet off to southern Spain and practice our best cycling poses for the Evans catalogue photo shoot.
The proper photo’s are being kept under wraps until the spring catalogue comes out but the other advantage of being out in Spain is Jon from GORE BIKE WEAR® lent us some of the latest kit from their new spring/summer collection and the warm weather over there gave us a chance to try it out.
Now the thaw has started I’ve also had a chance to get some more miles in with the kit whilst back in the UK including the new short sleeved XENON GORE-TEX® AS Jacket that was just a bit to warm to wear out in Spain.
Some of the kit should make its way into the Ride It Demo Clothing stock over the next few months which means riders at our events can all get a chance to try it so with that in mind here’s a peak at the latest range.
Most of my time was spent riding in the XENON range which is their high end road range, the idea being that it’s a range of products all with similar styling that can be mixed and matched together depending on your preference and the weather conditions.
The clothing system starts with Gore’s baselayers that were first introduced last year, a favourite of mine is the GORE WINDSTOPPER® Base Layer that adds a surprising amount of warmth to a regular jersey on cooler days but there are also thermo and non windstopper versions available depending on the weather conditions.
The XENON 2.0 Short Sleeve Jersey has a close fitting cut with plenty of strategically placed mesh panels to help keep you cool but to be honest even out in Spain it wasn’t hot enough to really need them although I can see it will make a great hot weather jersey. GORE BIKE WEAR® have also introduced a new coldblack finish to products in the XENON range that apparently helps black fabrics reflect sunlight and keep you cooler. Again there’s not really been a chance to see how well this works but Gore generally know their stuff when it comes to fabric innovations and have built their business based on their expertise in researching and sourcing the best fabrics so I’ll take their word on it.
The shorts have a decent high quality pad that uses a special vibration absorbing foam designed to offer comfort over long rides and in use it seems to be the right thickness to give you sufficient padding without feeling like you’re sitting on a nappy. There’s also some nice additional detailing on the shorts with the meshed braces, compression fit fabric and abrasion resistant material on the seat area. Being Gore’s top of the range short they’re not cheap but money spent on a decent pair of shorts is usually a good investment if you’re going to be spending a long time in the saddle.
The most intriguing item in the new range is the XENON GORE_TEX AS Jacket which is essentially a short sleeved waterproof jacket. Made from Active Shell (their lightest weight and most breathable GORE-TEX® fabric) it’s fully waterproof and has been designed to offer wet weather protection without the overheating that can sometimes be a problem with a full waterproof jacket.
I’ve worn it on a couple of training rides so far paired with some arm warmers but could really do with some warm and wet weather to test it out fully. The arms come down to the elbow so there is a fair amount of rain protection and even on longer climbs when you’re working hard it doesn’t seem to cause you to overheat or get clammy like a full shell jacket sometimes can.
The other advantage of not having full sleeves is that it packs up relatively small and will fit into your jersey pocket when you’re not wearing it.
If you’re the kind of person who always finds a full waterproof is too hot then it’s one that would be worth considering.
Hopefully some of the new Spring/Summer range will makes it’s way into the Ride It Demo Range over the coming months and should also be available to purchase shortly.