Always a bit of a challenge, dressing for mountain biking usually means dressing for different weather especially if altitude is involved. Gore Bike Wear designed their new Alp-X Pro line around the needs of mountain bike stage racers though the philosophy carries over into daily riding – offering the most versatility out of the fewest pieces of clothing. To that end Gore has created a line of clothing that when combined with Gore accessories like gloves and base layers, provides the necessary protection from the elements in just four pieces.
Even though the Alp-X Pro line is designed as a system, we’re pretty sure that many of the pieces will be a hit on their own and will integrate nicely into your current clothing arsenal.
Starting at the top of the new-for-Spring-2015 range, the Gore Alp-X Pro WS SO Zip Off Jersey marks the first defense against cold and the elements for your upper body with a Windstopper jacket that transitions into a jersey. Each sleeve zips off at the shoulder which exposes a short sleeve Windstopper jersey underneath. Fitted with a zippered Napoleon pocket on the front and a zippered rear pocket centered on the rear, the jacket also offers two water bottle sized pockets on either side which look like they may be spaced widely enough to not interfere with certain hydration packs. The rear center pocket is designed with stowing the removed long sleeves in mind.
Underneath Gore envisions a rider using the Alp-X Pro Jersey which is made with a mix of Gore fabrics highlighted by the color differences. Like the Oxygen SO jersey the company introduced last year, the Alp-X pro jersey uses specific fabric to support the rear pockets of the jersey highlighted in yellow on the back. The jersey includes a number of pockets including two side mesh, and 3 in the rear with an additional zippered pocket. Finally, to ensure the jersey is comfortable under hydration packs the seams are ultrasonically welded.
If there was a single piece of the collection we were most excited about, it would have to be the new Alp-X Pro 2-in-1 shorts. Are they bibs? Are they baggies? Yes to both. Instead of many of the other bib/baggie combos on the market which are two pieces, the Alp-X shorts are one piece which makes them extremely light weight like a set of bibs, but with the look and crash protection (not tearing) of a set of light weight baggies. The outer shorts offer two large mesh vents for breathability which will funnel air to the all mesh inner bib.
The bib includes a new chamois specifically designed for mountain biking with higher density inserts, moisture wicking, and breathability. Other details include stash pockets on the leg of the inner bib, and a radio pocket at the rear. Expect to pay around $220 for the 2-in-1 shorts.
Building on that versatility of the line, when the temperature drops Gore doesn’t expect you to change out of your 2-in-1s, instead just throw on the Windstopper Soft Shell over shorts. Designed to be a stash-able inclement weather piece, the over shorts offer protection from the cold, wind, and spray from your tires while still fitting inside a rear jersey pocket when not in use. The shorts use an elastic draw string waist and grippy waist band to stay in place and include a zippered rear pocket.
Elsewhere in the Gore Bike Wear catalog you’ll find additional colors, improved fabrics, and more relaxed fits in the Element line which is designed as a technical apparel line, but with a more recreational focus. Seeing as how winter is on its way, the road side will see new options like thermal bib Knickers in the Oxygen line and new accessories like a Gore-Tex cycling cap which should be perfect for keeping out the rain.