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GORE Bike Wear’s apparel lineup has excellent attention to details, innovative designs and features, and they use high-technology fabrics, including Gore-Tex and Windstopper. Over the last couple of years GORE Bike Wear has implemented an outfit system strategy for their road and mountain performance apparel. Within each type of line (road vs. mtn), they’ve segmented the system by a specific family, which is categorized by the type of riding and motivation level of the individual, and it ranges from the high end performance rider to the weekend warrior. They’ve designed collections around each of those rider groups, and for mountain biking, it includes the Alp-X, Fusion, Countdown and Path.
Their Alp-X is their high-end performance tier, with the best technologies and specific functions. The Alp-X 2.0 GT AS jacket, uses Gore-Tex Active, which is their newest technology, and it’s lightweight and very breathable. They focused on the breathability aspect, as it’s meant for a rider that is exerting a high output of energy, which means greater levels of perspiration and heat. They use a different membrane laminate that is half the size of the typical three layer system, which is usually comprised of a liner, membrane and face fabric. In this technology, the lining and Gore-Tex membrane is integrated or bonded together. It features a zip-off hood, and is more robust in the high wear zones, such as the hydration pack interface area of the shoulders. The jacket retails for $279.
The Alp-X AS Light jacket is an interesting beast, and it’s really a high tech wind breaker. It uses the Windstopper Active shell, which is a two-layer product, and is comprised of Polyamide with a Windstopper membrane. It is very lightweight, coming in at 110 grams, and is extremely breathable and highly water resistant. When it’s packed up it’s the size of a sandwich, and it so light and small that you can easily toss it in your pack or the pocket of your jersey. It sounds like the perfect jacket for those cooler late afternoons and early evening rides where you just need to take the bite out of the air, and it has you protected if you get caught out in a rainstorm. I am looking forward to trying one of these jackets out, since it fits in with my late day riding habits. This is a new product, and will be available in the Spring and Summer of 2013 for $170.
The Alp-X Pro shorts are highly functional, and have an interesting hybrid system in which the liner is directly attached to the shorts, instead of the typical hanging design. This design should prevent the droopy drawer’s syndrome, and keep the fabric from catching on the saddle when maneuvering around on the bike. The shorts have stretch inserts, a water-resistant fabric swath on the back, multiple pockets and a Velcro adjustable waist. The shorts were my favorite of the collection, and I am looking forward to seeing how the hybrid system works in the real world.
They also have the Alp-X 3.0 jersey to go along with the shorts. The jersey uses a robust fabric with good abrasion resistance, and it has mesh panels in the back and pits for ventilation, breathability and wicking purposes. The rear pockets are reinforced, so they can be loaded with gear, without the jersey sagging or the materiel tearing.
For the Winter 2012 line, they have the Alp-X AS Insulated Vest, which uses the Windstopper Active Shell, and is also insulated with Primaloft for additional warmth on those crisp days. The vest is windproof, water-resistant, and a highly breathable piece of apparel.
The Fusion is their All Mountain and Freeride tier, with wilder colors, baggier and looser cuts, and a more robust focus. The new Fusion 2.0 and Fusion Long jerseys have bright and wild color schemes, while the Fusion SE Long and Fusion SE jerseys are more subdued.
The Fusion 2.0 shorts, have a nice baggy cut and a long 14-inch inseam, and can be used with or without a chamois pad. The Front is cut longer than the back to help prevent catching, and it has large zippered vents for excellent venting. It is made with robust materials, especially inside the leg and the saddle area.
The Fusion AS Cross jacket is one wild puppy, and they focused on features and robustness. It has lots of details, is decently light, and has Kevlar reinforced sleeves and shoulders, for maximum protection and abrasion resistance in high wear and impact areas.
It uses the Windstopper Active Shell, and is fully featured, with pit zips, beefed upped zippers, and comes in bold colors (obviously), and retails for $230.
The Countdown is the weekend warrior tier, and includes products that fit that lifestyle and usage level. Some new pieces for the coming year include the $170 Countdown SO Light jacket, which uses the Windstopper Soft Shell, and has great ventilation, and reflective piping. They also have the Countdown 2.0 AS pants, which use Windstopper Active, and the bright-colored Countdown 2.0 jersey.
For more information: www.goreapparel.com