Bontrager Adventure Series Clothing – GR2 Shoes: Getting Rolling

Bontrager Adventure Series Clothing – GR2 Shoes: Getting Rolling – by Grannygear

One of the nice things about this burgeoning gravel trend is the clothing that has come along to accompany it.  MTB clothing has taken a bit of an aggressive turn, what with room for pads and materials that are on the heavy side.  MTB jerseys typically have no pockets.  That is what hydration packs are for.

Image courtesy of Bontrager

If you are not a big fan of Lycra or you tend toward more casual options, then technical clothing like this Adventure line from Bontrager falls into the gap between hucking and crits.  This approach of a snug fitting short, not loose like a full baggie, and good looking enough to wear around town, when combined with casual looking jerseys or shirts in high tech fabrics…well it reminds me a lot of what was called ‘Touring Clothing’ in days gone by.  It’s a nice look for when the DK 200 is not on the docket, but an after work ride into the hills or a week of bikepacking is.

The weather is still pretty cool and wet here, so it might be another week or so before I can wear them, but let’s take a look at what we have.

The Bontrager GR2 Gravel shoe. Images courtesy of Bontrager

Bontrager GR2 Gravel Bike Shoe:

From the website:The Bontrager GR2 Gravel Shoe is perfect for a long adventure, endurance race, or even cyclocross race with a more contemporary look accustomed to the modern-day gravel rider. It features the infinite adjustability of laces and includes a useful lace catcher to clean up clutter. The GR2 can also easily scramble through rough terrain thanks to the outsole’s unmatched grip and traction allowing you to stay stable on a variety of surfaces.”

Product details

  • inForm Race last offers a slightly roomier, high-performance fit
  • Nylon composite Bronze Series sole provides stiff yet walkable performance
  • Classic laces closure system with convenient elastic lace keeper
  • Tachyon rubber outsole allows great grip in all terrains
  • Stiffness index 6 of 14
  • Durable, GnarGuard rubberized coating protects against abrasions and fights debris
  • Compatible with 2-bolt SPD-style cleats

Available in two color schemes, basic black and what they are calling Old School Gold, I have a pair of the Gold ones and I am glad as I find the color appealing. The first thing that caught my eye was the laces closure.  I know that has caught on lately but it’s a first for me.  This used to be what lesser cost shoes used, but these are $139.99, not high end, but at a price range that gets you into a nice shoe, or it should.  Now if you have ever used a budget shoe that had velcro and not something better like a fine-tooth ratchet or a Boa dial, then you know how difficult it is to get the fit ‘just so’ with a couple of Velcro straps.  And they wear out, those Velcro deals.  And I have broken both ratchet straps and Boa dials on rides.  Laces are simple, effective, and easy to replace, even when you are in lower Patagonia.

Now then, lets look at the rest.  It’s well ventilated and rubber baby bumper protected on the toe cap and heel.  The sole is lugged like an MTB shoe not made for racing, but it does have toe spike capability.  The insole feels like it has some give to it which is about right for off the bike use if the trail gets ugly.

I will be in these over the spring into summer, so stand by.

Adventure Wool Blend Jersey and Cycling Shorts 

Image courtesy of Bontrager

I love wool blends in a jersey that is made for use over long days that might even turn into multiple days.  A material like this is such a nice thing to live with.  A Merino blend is soft to the touch, long lasting, works over wide temperatures, and is less stinky when washing days are far and few between.

From the website: “The Adventure Wool Cycling Jersey is the perfect piece to reach for when you’re getting lost out on your bike. The soft and lightweight Merino wool blend provides excellent moisture wicking properties while 37.5 Active Particle Technology helps regulate your body temperature. This timeless and sophisticated jersey is sure to be a compliment to any adventurer’s wardrobe.”

Product details

  • Soft, lightweight Merino wool blend naturally wicks moisture to keep you comfortable
  • Rear silicone print on waist hem offers a stay-put fit
  • Drop-tail design prevents overexposure when in the cycling position
  • Full-length YKK zipper provides ventilation on long climbs and warm days
  • Three open-back pockets plus a zippered security pocket offer ample storage
  • Decorative reflective piping on jersey pockets
  • Locker loop on collar makes for quicker drying after rides
  • Fitted cut provides streamlined body fit for enhanced performance

I have one of each color and in both LG and XL, so I can see how the fit is.  Some folks like a looser cut in this type of clothing.  At $119.95, it’s not badly priced and I am looking forward to getting into these.

The shorts are nice and casual with little tipping off anyone that they are for cycling.  With 5 pockets and a hidden reflective cuff on the traffic side (at least in the US of A), you could wear this into town for tacos or coffee or whatever, bike or not.

Product details

  • Woven material with two-way stretch offers ultimate comfort and movement
  • Schoeller ecorepel® technology ensures your shorts stay dry and clean
  • Knit gussets at leg openings provide additional stretch for easier movement on and off bike
  • Two front, two open back, and one side security pocket offer ample storage
  • Additional zippered right back pocket offers secure storage
  • Rollable leg band reveals decorative reflective elements
  • Waist loops let you add a belt to adjust shorts for your best fit
  • Semi-fitted cut follows the curves of your body with room for movement. MSRP $99.99

The weather has to be rain free soon here, and it’s So Cal, so that means a quick warm-up heading toward summer.  We will be back soon with our findings.

Note: Riding Gravel was sent the various apparel pieces by Bontrager at no charge for test and review. we were not paid,nor bribed for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.


Author: Grannygear

Grannygear hails from SoCal and spent most of his cycling days as a mountain biker from the formative years of mountain biking all the way up to the present day. His day job is in the tech sector, but he has spent time writing about off road 4X4’s, 29″ mountain bikes, and cycling in general. Grannygear and Guitar Ted have worked off and on together since 2009 after a chance meeting at Interbike. With gravel cycling on the rise, Grannygear has been exploring how this genre’ works in SoCal and now does guest pieces for in his spare time.

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