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On The Pedals

The Daily Grind

Over The Bars

Gear Review: Gore Bike Wear
By MBT Staff

Clothing

Ladies rejoice: these shorts will kindle your cycling Passion.

GORE BIKE WEAR™ is one of the lesser known companies in the cycling clothing market, but they are well known in outdoor enthusiast circles for their Gore-Tex® equipment. While not too well known in the US, Europe has been reaping the benefits of GORE BIKE WEAR's awesome equipment for many years now. We are lucky enough to be able to run a number of GORE BIKE WEAR's cycling offerings through our proverbial grinder, and we've got a bucket full of results out of it.

Passion Baggy Shorts
There really is no better word than "passion" to describe GORE BIKE WEAR's Passion Women's Shorts. "Head over heels" was probably too long to print on the tag, but that aptly describes our feelings. I'm normally not one to brag about my bottoms, but GORE BIKE WEAR's combination of a soft yet firm chamois and light, durable Coolpower fabric short, make for hours of comfort in the saddle. As a woman with athletic legs, I was thrilled to finally find a pair of shorts that fit and flattered my figure. Most are either baggy enough to be mistaken for a skateboarder or so tight that breathing while pedaling seems impossible. Kudos have to be paid to GORE BIKE WEAR for listening to women and designing a pair of shorts that fit athletic women.

The other standout feature is the removable ergonomic "seat liner" or chamois. After countless washings, it has remained firm and supportive and the liner has a light, almost silk feel. Two zipped pockets are perfect for stashing keys and two Velcro pockets provide additional space (though I would prefer for these to zip as well for added security of its contents on the trail). Between their simple design and meticulous attention to comfort and function, GORE BIKE WEAR’s Passion Shorts are the perfect all-around woman’s baggy. MSRP $99.99 -ET

Lycras are still the comfiest shorts out there.

Contest Lycra Shorts
Lycra isn't as common out on the trail as it used to be, but it certainly is the king of comfort. The Contest is one of the best lycras that I've seen in a long time. Some lycra shorts are notorious for having huge bulky chamois pads, but the Contest is so well designed and so comfortable, it puts most other shorts to shame. The 8 panel cyclist-anatomical cut (basically the short is designed to fit well with the body of a cyclist on the bike) was almost invisible, it was that comfortable. Flat embedded non-rubbing seams kept nasty chafing at bay during long days in the saddle and the shorts as a whole moved very well when maneuvering on the bike. With help from the gripper elastic on the hems, the shorts (and chamois) stayed right in place throughout the ride, which is a welcome change from many baggy shorts.

Now on to the chamois. I've found the Holy Grail for comfort. Really. It's that good. Contrasted to some of the baggys and other lycras I've worn, the GORE BIKE WEAR chamois is wonderfully supportive without being huge and bulky. It didn't chafe in any nasty spots or create any hot spots anywhere either. The padding has remained nice and pliable throughout countless washings and still has that nice smooth feel to it. It's rare to find such a gem in a sea of substandard fits, but GORE BIKE WEAR really hit the nail on the head with this one. Two thumbs up for the design and execution of the Contest lycras. MSRP $69.99 -RM

They may not help your Balance, but they will keep you comfy.

Balance Baggy Shorts
Baggy shorts are something of an enigma in the cycling world: they're not as comfortable as lycras and they don't breathe as well, but for some reason they are the mainstay of mountain bike wear. GORE BIKE WEAR's Balance shorts are a generously cut offering for men out there who are looking for a high quality shorts loaded with comfort and features. The outer shell features a comfort cut design that is unrestrictive and generously ventilated. Two side pockets and a zipped pocket on the back give plenty of room to store keys and energy gels, while the elastic waistband and adjustable cord keeps the outer shell secure.

The inner liner features a nicely padded but not bulky chamois. This chamois really makes the shorts wear so nicely. The liner is nicely constructed with embedded seams that don't chafe or rub anywhere. The chamois is excellent: very supportive without feeling like a diaper, and it has survived many washings without any ill effect to the fabric. Another thing that really makes these shorts, at least in my mind, is the ability to detach the liner from the outer shell. Usually this is something reserved for very pricey shorts (or shorts with really crappy liners) but this is an excellent feature that allows for easy washing and allows the liner to be worn under any other pair of shorts if the rider desires. Overall, I'm very impressed by a pair of shorts from a company I had not even heard of up until this point. If I had any advice for those looking for a solid pair of baggies, it would be to check out GORE BIKE WEAR's offerings. MSRP $69.99 - JG

Further info on all these shorts as well as dealer locations can be found at www.gorebikewear.com.

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