Gore Bike Wear ALP-X Pro 2-in-1 Shorts+ and ALP-X PRO WINDSTOPPER Soft Shell Zip-Off Jersey

Gore Bike Wear ALP-X Pro 2-in-1 Shorts+

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They Say - These innovative shorts with extremely light upper material combine the function of a race-oriented bib-shorts with the appearance of a MTB short. The slim, aerodynamic cut prevents from snagging the saddle. Splash guard for trails.

FEATURES

  • Side mesh pocket
  • Full mesh bib construction for optimum ventilation
  • ALP-X PRO MEN seat insert
  • Radio pocket at back
  • Shorts attached to bib-tights
  • Highly functional material mix
  • Mesh inserts in front and back for ventilation
  • Abrasion resistant material at inside leg and saddle area
  • Reflective logo on side
  • Reflective logo on back

MATERIALS

  • INNER PANTS: 79% POLYAMIDE, 21% ELASTANE,
  • OUTER PANTS: 86% POLYESTER, 14% ELASTANE

To discover more please visit http://www.goreapparel.co.uk/ALP-X-PRO-2in1-Shorts/TPALPS,default,pd.html?dwvar_TPALPS_color=3500&start=7&cgid=gbw-men-geartype-bibs&q=alp-X&navid=search#sthash.4AWJgo4R.dpuf

Gore Bike Wear ALP-X PRO WINDSTOPPER Soft Shell Zip-Off Jersey

ALP-X PRO WINDSTOPPER Soft Shell Zip-Off Jersey

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They Say - Jacket and shirt in one. This jersey is perfectly engineered for bike marathons and training. The stretchable WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell fabric and the removable sleeves provide comfort and versatility in a wide temperature range.

FEATURES

  • Napoleon pocket with zip
  • Reinforced hem for easier closure of the zipper
  • Off-centre zip
  • Friction-free ultrasonic seams at sleeves
  • Sleeves with broad cuff
  • Grippy insert at the back hem
  • Highly functional material mix
  • 2 side pockets on back
  • Reflective print on shoulders
  • Ergonomically shaped collar
  • Additional short sleeves
  • Detachable raglan sleeves
  • Back pocket with reflective zip

MATERIALS

  • SHELL OUTSIDE: 87% POLYESTER, 13% ELASTANE, WINDSTOPPER®MEMBRANE,
  • SHELL INSIDE: 100% POLYESTER, STRETCH FABRIC: 85% POLYAMIDE, 15% ELASTANE

To discover more please visit http://www.goreapparel.co.uk/ALP-X-PRO-WINDSTOPPER%C2%AE-Soft-Shell-Zip-Off-Jersey/SWPALP,default,pd.html#sthash.rccDlKjv.dpuf

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We Say – I’ve been using this Gore ALP-X PRO WINDSTOPPER kit for the last 3 months over a variety of activities including spin classes, mountain biking, road cycling and during cycle sportives.

Now I’ll admit I’m a runner at heart so in the past my cycle kit has consisted of running gear and I’ve only tended to venture out on my bike on days with favourable weather (fair-weather cyclist, I believe they call us?).

In 2015 though I’ve decided to enter a number of triathlons so it was time to step up to the mark with my cycling, but as I arrived for a first training session with my triathlon club ‘Havering Tri’ it was obvious my botched up outfit – consisting of running shorts over padded cycling shorts and a windproof running jacket over a cheap cycling jersey – wasn’t going to be up for the job; it was time to get some decent cycling gear…

With this in mind I decided to give Gore’s ALP-X Pro range a try.  Technically this kit is marketed as Mountain Bike gear, however as someone new to road cycling I still didn’t quite feel confident enough to venture out in head-to-toe Lycra so I felt that this range, and particularly the bib-shorts with built-in outer shorts, gave me a way of wearing race-specific kit without feeling every lump and bump of my body was on show to the world!

I was also interested to try out a pair of bib-shorts for the first time as I’d only ever worn standard padded cycling shorts in the past, but I’d heard how serious cyclists tended to opt for bib-shorts for a number of reasons (no waistband to cause friction… helps the chamois pad to stay in place… a more comfortable fit overall) so this would be an entirely new experience for me which would hopefully make my ride much more enjoyable!

Now because of my ‘fair-weather cyclist’ hang-ups I’d chosen to avoid cycling while it was still freezing outside, so my first chance to test the bib-shorts came during spin training sessions with my tri club. For anyone who hasn’t heard of spin the premise is simple – you jump on a specially modified exercise bike which features a huge heavy wheel on the front along with a nasty little dial which adds more resistance to the wheel as you turn it up. You then pedal as fast as you can for 45 minutes while someone at the front of the room yells at you ‘FASTER!  MORE RESISTANCE!  FASTER!  TURN IT UP!!!’  These types of session promise ‘super-strong legs and increased cycling stamina’ but in the past they’d also left me with an incredibly sore backside due to the shape of the saddle, so I was really pleased to find the different style of padding used on these bib-shorts resulted in hardly any saddle soreness and as I’d hoped, the bib-short shoulder-straps meant that despite constant shouts of ‘UP OUT OF YOUR SADDLE!’ and ‘LEAN FORWARDS FOR A SPRINT!’, my kit had stayed in place throughout the entire session resulting in a comfortable ride.  Full marks so far!

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My first real use of the Gore ALP-X PRO Windstopper jacket came during a 45 mile cycle through the Essex country lanes.  Although we were cycling in March and I was finally venturing outside, the sun hadn’t quite arrived yet and the temperate was a brisk 9 degrees.  I’d decided to layer up for this ride so as well as the jacket I was wearing a compression base layer and cycle jersey, and I have to say that not once did I feel a chill and I even found myself feeling very warm at one point and wondering if I should attempt to remove the jacket sleeves!

As for the wind-stopping abilities, there was a bit of a breeze kicking up during a few of the lanes but this didn’t seem to affect me although that may have been because the jacket was a very close fit on me – I’d definitely chosen well with the sizing, it was perfect.

The chest pocket also worked well to hold my energy chews giving me easy access when we stopped for a break and saving me the grief of digging around under the back of the jacket to retrieve supplies from the back pockets of my jersey!  It’s also worth mentioning that the slightly longer back held tight to my cycling jersey and felt comfortable throughout the entire ride with none of the flapping you might expect from a cheaper jacket.

I made use of the kit again during a number of training sessions over the following few weeks, but the first intensive kit test came during Human Race’s London Cycle Sportive.  I‘d chosen the mid-distance of 104km for this event and the weather report promised clear skies and highs of 17 degrees Celsius, but as I arrived at Dulwich Park where the event was due to start it was bloody freezing, so I was glad I’d chosen to bring the jacket along with me!

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As the ride started and we left Dulwich Park the air was freezing (cold air + wind-chill factor = a definite requirement for a decent cycling jacket!) but thank-fully the jacket’s Windstopper features meant that whilst my face was feeling as cold as ice, my body still felt toasty warm.

As the miles flew by and we passed through the beautiful country lanes of Surrey, the morning gradually grew warmer and before long I found I didn’t need to wear the jacket anymore.  Now one of the great features about this jacket is the fact you can un-zip the sleeves and place them in your back pocket so you’re effectively wearing a body-warmer, however I felt I’d still be too warm if I did this so instead I chose to tie the jacket around my waist.

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This way I could still easily access my gels and snacks in the jacket’s rear pockets if needed, or I could quickly put the jacket back on if I started feeling the cold again.  Unfortunately this meant the back of the jacket picked up quite a bit of dirt from my rear wheel, but thankfully this washed out without any issues on a standard wash.

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So overall would I recommend this kit? Yes, absolutely. Admittedly it isn’t the cheapest cycling gear you can buy (at the time of this review the jackets and bib-shorts are priced at £169.99 each on the Gore website) but speaking as someone who used to wear cheap cycle clothing the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ really is true when it comes to quality cycling gear. The level of comfort you can expect with these items of clothing, not to mention the fact that I’ve now used the kit for three months and both items still look as good as new (whereas I’m pretty sure the miles covered would’ve destroyed cheaper options by now) means this kit really does blow the budget alternatives out of the water making it a sound investment which is worth every penny!

London Cycle Sportive start area

To discover more, please visit http://www.goreapparel.co.uk/ALP-X-PRO-2in1-Shorts/TPALPS,default,pd.html?dwvar_TPALPS_color=3500&start=7&cgid=gbw-men-geartype-bibs&q=alp-X&navid=search#sthash.4AWJgo4R.dpuf

and http://www.goreapparel.co.uk/ALP-X-PRO-WINDSTOPPER%C2%AE-Soft-Shell-Zip-Off-Jersey/SWPALP,default,pd.html#sthash.rccDlKjv.dpuf

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