As someone who works in a bike shop and rides a bike whenever I can, anything bike-related that passes in front of my eyes immediately catches my attention. A social media post about road bikes? I click. A road bike event nearby? I have to check it out. A group of riders riding down the street? I turn my head and check out their gear. What are they riding? What are they wearing? I can’t help it. I see hundreds of these products at work every day, so seeing them on the street feels just right.
When it comes to cycling clothing, the one brand that really piqued my curiosity last year was GOREWEAR. Despite all the advertising that other brands have thrown at me online, on the streets GOREWEAR seems to be everywhere. After hearing so much positive feedback about the brand, I knew it was time to give it a try. So I contacted the product manager and put my name down for the test.
I have spent the last few weeks cycling almost exclusively with the Distance kit and, between my rides, cycled more than 300km in one day during a “road bikepacking” from Bonn to northern Belgium. In this post I’ll share my total satisfaction about my first cycling experience with a GOREWEAR road kit and explain why I think the Distance is arguably the best value for money kit this season.
Rounding out the review is our newest team member Malin. She tested the Distance 2.0 Womens Kit and gives us her impressions.
Distance Bibshorts+ 2.0 – Support in all the right places
When I read the words “with Gore Windstopper Cup” it was clear they were serious about the long distance to the last detail. The extra insert is a real premium feature and offers lasting protection from cool wind in particularly sensitive areas. The shorts are very well constructed. The high quality material is placed in a reduced number of panels to allow free movement. The fabric feels very smooth, even after you start to sweat, and because it is very light and breathable, it doesn’t retain moisture. The bibshorts are very light and feel very soft on the hands. The few seams are not noticeable and the large panels “disappear” during the ride. After seeing the raw cut on the leg in the pictures, I was curious to see if GOREWEAR would come out with a silicone-free leg end, but was positively surprised to find that they have found a creative and well thought out solution to allow the freedom of silicone-free leg end without the inconvenience of possible slipping.
On the inside of the leg endings, 16 small and individual silicone tags hold the bibs in place with millimetre precision, without any pinching or squeezing. The fact that GOREWEAR has designed the tags as their target icon shows how much care and attention to detail has gone into these shorts. The mesh bibs are also very breathable and also feature the GOREWEAR target icon.
Expert Distance 2.0 Sitzpolster – made for the long game
We’re used to sore muscles, shaking legs and dry lips. We know what’s going to happen on our “tough” rides. But when you spend a whole day on your bike, the rest of your body joins in the complaining. And the parts in contact with the saddle are the ones most likely to make you stop a long ride and take the train home, no matter how strong your legs feel that day.
With this in mind, GOREWEAR has made a very solid pad. Very firm where it needs to be, giving a very firm contact with the saddle (as can be seen in the pictures). I have pads where the middle part is made of a different and softer material, but GOREWEAR decided to go one step further and cut what they call a “central channel” from the back to the front of the pad on the upper layer and made the middle layer shorter to ease the contact on the soft tissues.
This means less pressure on sensitive areas. You feel the contact with the saddle in the right place. Shorts and pad, the Gorewar Distance 2.0 bibs are of a much higher quality than I expected and are hanging in first place in my wardrobe as my first pick for rides of any distance. I can’t wait to see how they’ll perform when is really hot out there.
Distance Bibshorts+ 2.0 Damen– Malin’s Experience
The Distance Bibshorts+ 2.0 won’t let you down. The knit construction is designed to feel great on your skin and the mesh panel construction provides good ventilation. But it is the Expert Distance 2.0 chamois that delivers the best performance. Fewer seams and improved silicone inserts ensure a great fit and better thigh support. I haven’t been this comfy on a road bike in a long time. Comfort is further enhanced by the three-point fit and soft waistband.
The Women Base Layer Sleeveless Shirt is a perfect match for the jersey and shorts, with a similarly good fit and finish. The Essential Socks complete the look. In the summer, on a similarly long tour, I can imagine wearing either the jersey or the shirt, depending on the temperature. Both fit perfectly
Distance Trikot – only the best features
I love extended sleeves on a jersey and the raw cut completes the modern design used on many top quality jerseys, including many made for pro teams. They simply feel much better than regular sleeves and, with the softness and flexibility of the jersey’s fabric, allow for an unrestricted full range of motion. The jersey feels light to use. I felt no restriction of movement even though I got a size “S”, being 1.80m.
The fabric moves with the body and feels very smooth against the skin. With this jersey, GOREWEAR has taken all the new trends and high quality aspects into account, combining a racing and fast design with the raw cut sleeves, low collar and dropped tail, with a selection of Tour specific elements such as the additional zip pocket on the back and the reflective details.
At the front, the zip is covered with enough fabric to prevent any contact with the skin. The jersey is very breathable and does not retain sweat, so no wet back on long climbs. Because of the weather, I often used the jersey inside a good quality wind jacket and the combination worked perfectly. No sweat was trapped inside.
As can be seen on the pictures, the jersey is very fitted and slim. If you are unsure of your size, a quick look at the manufacturer’s chart will give you the correct recommendation for your body type.
Distance 2.0 Jersey Women – a comfortable road cycling jersey with all the performance features
The Distance Jersey Women is a classic, comfortable road cycling jersey with all the performance features you need for long distance cycling. For my test, I cycled from Bonn to the Nürburgring, with a few sweaty climbs along the way. The combination of the Distance jersey and the matching Distance shorts quickly won me over with the comfortable fit and extreme flexibility. The shorts are also surprisingly light at 160g, yet durable. The quick-drying fabric means you won’t be drenched in sweat on the descent from the summit. The seamless finish means less slipping and a constantly perfect fit.
The small V-neck adds comfort, while the longer sleeves and back create a modern road cut that looks good on the bike as well as off. The raw-cut sleeves and partially bonded hem give the jersey a premium look. Despite the delicate appearance, the jersey will keep you warm in the wind. I was also able to store all the essentials I needed on the tour in the triple back pocket. My boyfriend had to make do with a non-streamlined belly pocket. I was particularly impressed with the secure zip pocket.
Usually when we test a product we know pretty much what we’re going to get. When I received the GOREWEAR Distance Kit I looked at the price and did not know if it was justified. After testing, I have to say that the kit performs at the same level or better than kits from brands that charge a higher price. The kit is really good. I don’t know how GOREWEAR’s R&D department works, but I imagine they sat down and took all their favourite features from the top road kits and added a few niche features for long distance cycling. The kit doesn’t miss a thing. Not wanting to leave the review without a criticism, I’ll say that the zipped pocket could have been waterproof.
Even in the last rays of sunshine at the end of our bike tour, the combination of Distance 2.0 jersey and shorts felt so good that I wouldn’t have minded just riding on.
I highly recommend the GOREWEAR products and am already planning to wear them on my next tour!