Sunday, 7 April 2013

Gore Bikewear (Gore AlpX 2.0, Gore Fusion jackets), Gore Helmet Cover Ligh

Gore's fabrics are like magic.  A couple hundred grams of armor that breath, yet stop wind and water.  Indispensable for Calgary's weather.

I had earlier this winter picked up the Alp X 2.0 jacket that comes with front pocket, hood, back pocket, and back "tail" that drops down to protect from more rear tire spray.  It's pictured below.  Only problem was I couldn't pull the tags off or wear it outside.  After a few tries around the house and in the garage on the bike, I just couldn't figure it out.  It's marketed as a "mountain biker" jacket, but the only bike position this thing is made to fit is riding a penny farthing.  It's perfect standing, but that's not the riding position.  It's still a nice jacket, but remember this is sold as "bike wear".  It's on its way back.

I actually considered keeping it as a ski/outdoor activity jacket, but I can pick up one with a few more pockets just as easily for that (especially this time of year).  The hood to me makes little sense in a bike application too, maybe if you get off and are fending for your warmth in the elements...

Instead, I opted to buy, and wear, a Gore Fusion 2.

You can tighten the hips and cuffs, elbows are pre-bent, and the jacket is less boxy.  I think only their Oxygen model fits more "cycling shape".  This has one chest pocket.  240g, fits in a jersey pocket (overflowing).  But that's half a pound that can make you windproof, waterproof and breathable.  That's worth it.

We rode pretty hard out of the wind at COP for a half hour.  I sweated, which I noticed when we hit the road crossing the TransCanada.  5 minutes later I felt fine.  It snowed and sleeted, and then proceeded to roll off me.  Amazing.  Quality product.  This is going to do lots of duty over the next few winters/springs.  You really can think a bit broader about comfort when wind, water, and steamrooming yourself into a frigid state are things you don't have to worry about.

Lastly, I tried out one of their Helmet Cover Light.  I'm a fan of showercaps for spring rides, races, etc. as their packed size is virtually nil, but they're for emergency not riding long distances, as they don't breathe.  This thing packs up decently small, say like having an extra phone or walled in a pocket, but that's probably 5x larger than a shower cap.  Having said that, it breathes, and does so well, as even when we were going hard today, there were only a few beads of perspiration on the plastic parts of my helmet, where when I've tried with a cheaper nylon helmet cover, the entire inside is condensed water.  I think this will add a lot of flexibility for comfortable warmth addition on winter/spring rides.

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