Since launching their pioneering "GIRO" Jacket in 1985, Gore Bike Wear has grown into an innovative manufacturer of cycling apparel.
The GIRO cycling jacket was the first of its kind to offer waterproof and windproof GORE-TEX features, whilst offering the rider functional breathability. The lengthened back was a new feature at the time, one which has since become an industry standard.
Having a wealth of experience in both the running and cycling fields, Gore apparel has been somewhat quiet on the women's mountain bike front, having predominantly stuck with Lycra based fabrics, and skin tight fits.
However, we're beginning to see a change with Gore's new trail wear for women, so we decided to take it out for a ride.
Power Trail Lady Jersey
The colour-ways from Gore this season are bold and simple with hot pinks and charcoal blacks. Although less eye-catching that the usual garish designs us mountain bikers are used to, I quite like the simplicity in that plain bold designs are perfect for mix 'n'matching.
The Power Trail Lady jersey is a hot pink and ideal for those hot days. The fabric is thin and very soft to the touch, that only real purpose of the long sleeves is provide additional protection from the sun.
Having love the colour and the super soft fabric, I found the cut was letting the jersey down. The sleeve length was spot on for me, but the body length didn't provide enough coverage when I needed to throw myself behind the back wheel. Although the cut resembles a feminine shape, I still found the jersey a little too "boxy" for me where it just hung on my body, rather than fitted it.
Key features of the jersey include a zipped stash pocket in the rear - great for sweets - and a reflective logo on the back to provide additional visibility in low-light conditions.
Colours: Pink or Black
Sizes: X.Small - XX.Large
Power Trail Lady Shorts
Accompanying the Power Trail jersey, are the Power Trail shorts which are also available in two bold colour options: pink and charcoal black.
Being a colour coordinating rider that I am, decided to go full pink Power Ranger. Afterall, better to stay seen and safe on the trails, right?
These trail shorts are like no other I've ridden in before, and this is largely owing to the waist fastening mechanism. Replacing the common popper button and zip combo, these shorts have two Velcro tabs on either side with stretchy material to enable you to pull, tighten and fasten in place.
Concealed within one of the fasteners is a zipped stash pocket, which are a great way to keep it discrete, but I found the pocket a little impractical when out on the ride. Having to undo your shorts, fiddle with the tiny zip in gloves was a little too much faff for my liking.
The super soft material is a real comfort on the legs. No rubbing, harsh seams and so much air flow kept me cool and comfortable after hours of cycling.
These shorts are ideal for summer, and great for trial and XC riding, but not ideal for heavy duty downhill and fast riding styles. The lightweight material won't add much protection against abrasion, branches and rogue debris.
Colours: Pink or Black
Sizes: X.Small - XX.Large
Power Trail Lady WINDSTOPPER Hoody
I have indeed saved the best for last with this amazing full-length zipped Power Trail hoody.
Boasting their WINDSTOPPER technology, Gore have produced a high quality and super stylish product for cyclists to help regulate body temperature. Protecting your core from the cold elements, the innovative construction allows for great breathability.
In the hand, the hoody is quite soft, not too thick and even the feel oozes quality. I particularly love the dynamic camouflage print which Gore has chosen, a little out of the box for them, but definitely a good move. Even the pink lining, tassels and stitching is spot on for showcasing their attention to detail.
The fit is exactly right as well. The hoody contours the body while allowing a versatile range of movement for riding in. The cuffs are strong on the sleeves, so if you hike them up your forearm, they won't go anywhere.
My favourite features of this garment are: The small magnet in the back which keeps your hood in place when you're not using it, and the two spacious zipped pockets on the front, along with a secret stash one the left forearm.
This hoody is great for riding, and if anything, Gore's done such a fab job that I've found myself wearing this off the bike too.
Sizes: X. Small - XX. Large
There's a non-hood option which is available in either pink or charcoal black too. Equally as awesome!
Gore have made some significant steps in the right direction for women's MTB wear. The materials are light, soft, comfortable and they are ideal for trail and even casual riding.
Along with some cut issues and functional faff with the shorts, Gore clothing is definitely in the upper range of pricing. Whilst £90 for a jersey, or a pair of shorts is enough to burst the bank, the WINDSTOPPER hoody is reasonably priced at £170.
With their experience and resources, it's great to see more variety and bold kit pieces from Gore. I only hope that this is just the beginning for Gore, with more exciting women's trail wear on the horizon.
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