GORE Spring Wear For Gravel: Getting Rolling

GORE Spring Wear For Gravel: Getting Rolling – by Grannygear

GORE has been winning with me of late with clothing that really has been working well. This, after some other items that were real misses, has been a great surprise and has filled out my go-to list of staple clothing quite nicely. (Note: See Grannygear’s last review with GORE Winter gear here) This spring we have several items to try out: Two pairs of shorts, two jerseys, a pair of long finger gloves, and a pair of socks, cuz we always need socks. First off is a set of shorts and jersey from the Explore line.

The GORE Explore shirt for men as modeled by Grannygear
The GORE Explore shirt for men as modeled by Grannygear.

Explore Shirt for men: Partially made from sheep fur….hair…fuzz. From the GORE website. https://www.gorewear.com/us/en-us/explore-shirt-mens-100782.html?dwvar_100782_color=AP00&cgid=

Grannygear models the GORE Explore shirt for men as seen from the back

Experience the best properties of polyester and merino wool, blended together in this versatile, fast-drying jersey. Designed for gravel riding and multi-day tours, to keep you feeling fresh even on long days in the saddle. This is part of our capsule collection for bike-packing and gravel riding, when layered with our Allroad shorts it creates a complete outfit that is both incredibly light and highly packable, ready for your next adventure. Using a merino wool with polyester blend allows us to bring the best of both worlds together; it wicks sweat, stays smelling fresh for longer and has a versatile contemporary look for off-the bike use.

First Impressions: This is a very simple garment. It has the tiniest hip pocket and a few snaps at the collar and that is pretty much it. But one wearing of this and I was very impressed with how light feeling and breathable it was. The cut was semi snug in the LG and the sleeves were nice and long. It wore like ethereal cloth.

I did not know it was a wool blend when I grabbed it for a ride, but that explains a lot. You can hold this up to the light and almost see right through it. Even in a black color, this would be a summer shirt. The website says “47% merino wool; mulesing-free.”  I have never heard a mule sing but I have heard them bray and it was unpleasant. So I am pleased that no mules will sing when I wear this. All this peace and quiet for $90.00

The GORE Explore shorts have nice, large storage pockets
The GORE Explore shorts have nice, large storage pockets

Explore Shorts: The GORE Explore shorts are cut in what I would call a ‘go to town’ fit. They look like close fitting, casual, baggy short. From the GORE website: https://www.gorewear.com/us/en-us/explore-shorts-mens-100704.html?dwvar_100704_color=9900&cgid=

The ideal combination of protection, style and versatility for gravel riding, adventure and bike packing. Wear alone or over padded inner shorts.When you venture away from the pure Tarmac your kit and clothing demands change. These shorts use a stretch woven fabric, completely new to Gore Wear, that has allowed us to create a functional all day riding short, with a stream-lined silhouette. Thanks to its stretch we can use a closely tailored fit whilst maintaining complete freedom for your pedaling movement. A rear panel provides water resistant protection from wheel spray, helping to keep your shorts dry and grit free.

First Impressions: Waist adjustment, multiple pockets, a down-town look…. The basic touring short lives. And so far they have been quite good with only a little bit of fabric pull against the quads when pedaling, Something that most close fitting baggy shorts have.  More on these as the miles pile up and the coffee shop runs happen. $130.00 gets you from the bike to the office in style.

The GORE Passion shorts as modeled by Grannygear

Passion Shorts: The other set of shorts and jersey fall more into a traditional light trail MTB short and jersey. With a fuller and longer cut than the Explore shorts, the GORE Passion Shorts are something I would call a core warm weather MTB trail short. I have a similar set of shorts from Specialized that are so well loved that the Velcro closure is about worn out. But they are light and breathable and the weigh hardly anything. Core, I tell ya’. But like those old favs, the Passion short is not a heavy enduro/pad set deal. Not that you can’t, of course, but they are not rugged in that way.

First Impressions; The wide back section at the waist (with adjustability for size) and the overall fabric and cut call out ‘super useful’. We shall see if I can finally replace my old faded shorts with these. $70.00 gets you some passion.  https://www.gorewear.com/us/en-us/passion-shorts-mens-100722.html?dwvar_100722_color=AZ00&cgid=gw_sport_cycling_shorts

Grannygear models the C3 Zip jersey, Passion shorts, and the C5 Trail Gloves
Grannygear shows off the C3 Zip Jersey, Passion Shorts, and C5 Trail Gloves here.

C3 Zip Jersey: The C3 Zip jersey gets very little love on the GORE website and seems to be on sale, so maybe this was a toss into the SWAG bag to go along with the new Passion shorts, and if so, it’s a good fit as it is very light fabric and is your basic, trail use MTB jersey. No frills, just meshy and airy, even in dead-in-the-desert black. I will take grey-ish color over black MTB every time, especially in a summer garment, but it is what it is. https://www.gorewear.com/us/en-us/c3-zip-jersey-100583.html?dwvar_100583_color=AZAU&cgid=gw_men_tops_jerseys-shirts

C5 Trail Gloves: Lastly we have a set of gloves in the C5 trail gloves. I have actually been using these a lot and I am just so-so about them. Honestly, don’t feel bad GORE. I do feel that a glove is one of the hardest things to do well and over the years I can only think of a couple pairs that were stellar. $50.00  https://www.gorewear.com/us/en-us/c5-trail-gloves-100498.html?dwvar_100498_color=9900&cgid=gw_men_accessories_gloves

First Impressions: I typically prefer a glove with zero padding in it because padding almost always gets in the way and makes the glove feel odd. The same is true here, although it’s a very small pad and so gives me a very small annoyance. I do wonder if that is because these were most likely designed for a flat bar bike and I am using them on drop bars, so there is that. The padding is simply not where it could have been?

Also…. I have some GORE C3 Mid Socks which, if they are like the Cancellara ones I tried last time, will be excellent. We shall see…..

Note: Riding Gravel was sent this suite of GORE Spring cycling wear for test and review at no charge. We are not being paid, nor bribed for this review, and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and views 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 RidingGravel.com in his spare time.

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