Friday, November 26, 2010

Gore Bike Wear

If anyone spends as much time as I do outdoors (year round) you can appreciate the value of good bike wear clothing.  Often times when I last weekend..I start off my rides cold then end up sweating my a$$ off when I'm doing intervals or climbing hills.  Even when you wear good base layers that are moisture-wicking (like I do) you still end up cold when you slow down or stop.  When I ride, I ride with multiple layers.  I also ride with shirts/jerseys that have zip-up collars.  The zip-up collars help (because they allow you to zip up on descents and zip down on ascents to let your body heat escape) but a lot of times it's more appropriate to shed layers.  Unfortunately, you just can't leave your layers on the side of the trail or road.  Well, at least I can't leave them for fear they won't be there when I return.  I can't afford to lose good/expensive stuff.  Additionally, I don't let rain ruin my ride so it's imperative that I have a waterproof layer.  When I say waterproof, I mean waterproof NOT water resistant.  Water resistant clothing is just repels water but is NOT water proof.  Most water resistant clothing does NOT have waterproof seams and that's where they leak- through the seams.  Been there done that.  Oh, one more thing, if you do get wet on your ride whether it's from sweat or rain get out of your clothes immediately after your ride- especially in the Winter. If you don't you'll end up getting sick like I did last week...and you'll be forced to take a break from your training.  Remember, when you ride're lowering your body's immune system and you're open/prone to every freakin' germ that's spread at home and in the office.  Being chilled after a ride only helps accelerate the process.

I've done a lot of research lately and came across the Gore Bike Wear line of clothing for cyclists.  There clothing is engineered for cyclists.  I won't go into detail re: the engineering I'll let you read for yourself:  (Ladies, they make Gore Bike Wear for you too) If you want user reviews, do a Google search and you'll find outlets online like that have them.  After all they are from cyclists that have actually worn the product.  What caught my eye from Gore Bike Wear is the 2011 Fusion Jacket.  I have to admit what caught my eye was the MSRP price: $399- gulp!  Four hundred bucks for a stinking jacket was my first thought- wow!  But then I started to read about the engineering that went into the jacket I was quite impressed.  I was also impressed with the rave reviews.  You'd expect that from a $400 jacket.  This jacket has it all, ventilation, comfort, waterproof, pockets, velcro closures, etc.  Most important it's a year-round jacket.  It's warm in the Winter and lightweight for the summer..if that makes sense.  The jacket has so many ventilation options that instead of shedding layers all you have to do is regulate your core temp with the ventilation zippers.  If you need some pants that you can ride in, they also have a matching Fusion pant.  They are $200 MSRP- not cheap by any means...but probably the only pair of pants you'll need for the rain, cold, sleet, snow, etc.- year round.  Both are also very durable..after all, the last thing you want is this stuff falling apart after a season of riding.  If anyone knows of anything negative about this product..please post in the comment section of this blog because I'd really like to hear from you. Or if you know something that is AS good for less $$- please share.

If this stuff is as good as advertised..I'm going to try to find the best place to order online.  I doubt very much if any of our LBSs carry this kind of stuff because it's good stuff that I'm sure the masses are really not interested in.  But, if you're like me and you spend 50% of your time outdoors- I think it's worth it.  Although advertised for cyclists, I'm sure it would work well for running, kayaking, fishing, x-country skiing, etc...everything but hunting where you're hiking through heavy woods and prone to having a branch pierce the fabric. It's durable but it's not bulletproof.  If you want heavy bullet-proof stuff I recommend Goretex rainwear from Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops- which is actually a lot cheaper.  That is if you call $400 cheap for top and bottom.  But, beware, the bullet-proof stuff is heavy and will have you sweating in the Summer and really not built for mobile outdoor activities like cycling or running.  I know, I have stuff from BPS that I use for fishing.

Also, not all Gore bike wear has Goretex membrane in it.  If it doesn't it means it's NOT waterproof.  It's only water resistant with Windstopper fabric.  That's the difference between the $200 jackets and the $400 jackets.  The only negative thing I can think of with the Fusion Bike Wear from Gore is that it's probably not good for Mtn. Biking where falls are likely.  Well, at least for me falls are likely when I Mtn. bike..ha.  I'm sure if you fall on rocks or asphalt the material will get ripped and there goes your waterproofing no matter how good a patchup job you do.

So, check em out online at  If you see any sales out there on the 2011 Fusion models..let me know because I think I'm going to pull the trigger and talk Santa into dropping a suit off at my house for Christmas. 
Power ON! Coach Rob

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