GORE Summer Wear For Gravel: Quick Review

GORE Summer Wear For Gravel: Quick Review- by Grannygear

We had highlighted some GORE Wear summer clothing here (see link) and I have been in them for enough rides now to report back on the winners and, well, not losers, but shall we say, ‘less-winners’. I don’t have many images as it seems like I was always by myself when wearing these items. Sorry. Please imagine how sexy I looked in them as I was crushing STRAVA runs.

Let’s go in order.

Winners:

Grannygear lounging in the GORE Explore baggie shorts.
Grannygear lounging in the GORE Explore baggy shorts

Explore Shirt for men.

This wool blend riding shirt is really a nice piece of gear. Even directly against the skin it feels ‘transparent’, like it just sits there and never makes you notice it. It dries fast, breathes well, and is not hot like you might think it would be. Beauty. 

The GORE Explore shirt as modeled by Grannygear
The Explore shirt was one of Grannygear’s favorites.

Drawbacks? Well, the washing and drying takes some care over a pure synthetic piece of gear. Then there was this one ride where I was riding a gravel bike that had no storage bags on it, so I would need to put the back pockets to use. I grabbed the GORE Explore shirt only to realize it had no back pockets, at least none to put food and extra stuff in like a ride wallet. 

Oh…and a brighter color would be nice for road riding although I cannot imagine this being rendered in bright green. Still, there were times I did not wear it just because it is ‘disappear dark grey’ color.

And that is all the bad I can say about it. I like it very much.

Explore Baggy Shorts.

Again, these are so nice..in fact, I was wearing them as I was typing this story. I wore them all day to doctors appointments and errands. I took them on a two week vacation where I rode in them and wore them all over the place.

They fit pretty snug and if you have big legs, you might size up. When pedaling they – at least on me – tend to stay fixed on the leg almost like a Lycra short does. It sounds awkward but it never is. I wore short liners under them for riding and they never offended.

There is one back pocket for a wallet and one zipped phone pocket on the leg and two ‘normal’ front pockets. Just right.

Love these. Keepers for sure.

The Less Than Winners:

The Passion Shorts.

Grannygear demonstrating the waist closure/adjuster on the GORE Passion baggies.
The Passion baggies seem best suited to MTB riding.

Now I got these pegged the first time I wore them…these are casual MTB shorts and while that is not a total bummer for gravel use, I did find them a bit ‘much’ for mixed surface rides. I noticed the wide band at the lumbar area in a negative way when on drop bars and…I don’t know? Fish out of water, perhaps? 

So I wore them on a real MTB ride and then it was like, “Hey, these are OK!” So I would only run these on a gravel bike for heavier off road days like adventure riding or maybe bikepacking, but that would be about it. Your mileage may vary.

That said, they are light weight and easy to ride in and would make a very practical all-rounder gravel and MTB short if you are looking to have one short to rule them all.

C3 Zip Jersey.

This one was almost a loser, but in the end it was just ‘meh!’. The fabric seemed very coarse to me and grated on the skin if I wore it with no base. Paired with the Passion Shorts it made sense and worked, but it was just OK. Not a keeper for me.

C5 Trail Gloves.

Grannygear modeling the GORE C3 Trail Gloves
The C3 Trail Gloves were not quite what Grannygear thinks of for gravel riding.

Now these are just OK. What I seemed to find was that they are MTB focused gloves and because of that, the padding in the glove seems to work better with a flat bar grip and not drops. I also have a fondness for gloves with no padding so I am a bit biased here.

If that is not the intent of the glove, then they are off the mark. But if it is true, then that explains why I liked them better on the MTB rides along with the Passion Shorts.

And then that is that.

It also points to a bit of a reason for being for “gravel specific” bike clothing. That zone in-between road and MTB makes good sense for gravel stuff if it is done well and the Explore line seems to be on target. 

Now I often ride pure roadie wear on my gravel rides if they are long and fast over mixed surfaces…a typical gravel experience for around here. But for less of a ‘pace’ or for stuff like light bikepacking, I would grab the Explore stuff every time.

Explore these items and more at GORE’s website here; https://www.gorewear.com/us/en-us

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.

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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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