When it comes to cycling apparel, GORE® WEAR is undisputedly one of the leading manufacturers across all performance levels. Formerly known as GORE® Bike Wear, the company is now in its second season since the name change, which brings with it a change in its entire collection, as well. A new classification has resulted in individual lines for cycling, running and fast hiking.
In the case of cycling gear, this applies as follows: there‘s the entry-level of C3, the ambitious C5 series and the top line of C7. Every single piece of C7 clothing has only one purpose: to be fast and functional at the same time. However, the high-tech textiles of the C7 line are not exactly cheap. A jersey with an RRP of 179.95 € and shorts with one of 249.95 € are both clearly situated in the upper price segment. Within the C7 line, GORE® Wear offers both mountain bike and road bike gear. Our colleague Sebastian wanted to find out wether the top products of the road bike line are worth purchasing.
C7 on your skin
„I must admit: As I opened the GORE Wear package, I was awestruck. Until then, I hadn’t ridden with any cycling gear in that price region. My expectations were correspondingly high: this outfit had to be of high quality at all levels. I was curious to see whether it was.
The jerseys sleeves are cut pretty long so that they fit aerodynamically in the road bike sitting position. This trend has been seen more and more in recent years and GORE® Wear is following suit. This offers a good, tight fit. The back is longer, too, as befits a proper cycling jersey. The elastic waistband with internal silicone surfaces prevents slipping, even in a very bent riding position close to the handlebar.
The fabric is held together by flat seams and feels like a second skin. A continuous zipper runs smoothly and ends inconspicuously with a garage at the neck. The three-part back pocket is easily accessible and equipped with an additional zip pocket for valuables. The material works very well even under extreme conditions: moisture is wicked away and your body stays well ventilated without running the risk of overcooling when riding downhill. The jersey features reflective details all around, so that even in the dark you remain clearly visible despite the black camouflage optics. This makes it a discreet jersey which nevertheless offers security.
Let’s talk about the C7 Race bib shorts next. Their construction is rather unusual, as they look different than regular bib shorts. When you hold them in your hand, you can feel that they’re made of high-quality material. It is extremely light and stores virtually no moisture, so it always remains unchanged in weight, and is very hard-wearing. There are virtually no seams noticeable on the entire shorts, as flatlock seams are used all around, allowing free movement. The shorts feel very comfortably on the skin, regardless of the very tight-fitting cut that tends towards compression.
The bibs are very wide and flat, which makes them very comfortable and ensures a good fit. They’re held together at the back by mesh fabric. Both the bibs and the mesh fabric are very breathable. Just like the jersey, the shorts fit very well, except for a minimal deviation at the thigh, which is probably due more to my rather narrow thighs. The waistband of the C7 Race shorts is equipped with silicone surfaces, which makes them slipping virtually impossible.
The seat pad is only sewn at three points and can therefore adapt perfectly to the various sitting positions during riding. It’s padding is somewhat thinner, but offers the perfect balance of thickness and comfort in my opinion. The high-quality foam and the structure of the pad provide pleasant seat comfort, which you can clearly feel. At the front, the upholstery ends with a pre-formed Windstopper Cup. Here, the fabric is provided with the proven Windstopper material, which prevents undercooling of this sensitive area even on fast descents. This works well.
Especially important for the amateur rider is the radio pocket on the back of the shorts ;)! If the trip takes longer than expected, you can tell your escort wagon to let everyone at home know that it will take a little longer for you to join dinner …
Does this outfit have what it takes? My C7 conclusion
These are clearly shorts and a jersey that are unlike any other in terms of material and fit! The jersey shines with its modern aerodynamic cut and fits like a second skin. It’s extremely light and optimally wicks away sweat. It’s high-quality can really be felt when wearing. The same applies to the C7 shorts. They simply fit really well. Cut, fit and padding are ideal for long and hard days in the saddle. This is cycling clothing of the finest quality. However, a purchase only makes sense when you regularly often ride your bike. For everyone else, the same rule applies as does to carbon bikes: you don’t need a high-tech road bike for the occasional lap.“