Last cyclocross season, we reviewed some cold-weather clothing from Gore. The Infinium GoreTex Windstopper shorts were, and still are, some of our favorites, as is the Shakedry® jacket. Every season, Gore introduces some interesting and versatile pieces to make cycling more comfortable across all weather conditions. When reviewing new offerings for 2020, we found two interesting items.
While many of us may not have organized cyclocross racing, we’ll hopefully still be out on our bikes. Read on to see whether these two garments could enhance your ride.
Gore C7 Windstopper Pro Zip-Off Jersey
The Gore C7 Windstopper Pro Zip-Off jersey is versatile by the nature of zip-off sleeves. My first thought was why not wear a Windstopper jersey with Windstopper arm warmers (both items produced by Gore already)? The Zip-Off jersey is a bit different, meant to substitute for a jacket in the cool morning and convert to a jersey with a Windstopper front as the day warms.
I found on cold mornings, foggy in the low 50s, a medium base layer with regular arm warmers worked well with the C7 Pro Zip-Off jersey. As the day warmed, I removed the sleeves and eventually the arm warmers. I put my arm warmers back on as I re-entered the fog, but I was warm enough to not want to re-attach the sleeves. Sound like conditions you’re familiar with during cyclocross season? I agree.
The intention for this specific piece is morning rides or those days that start off cold but end up being slightly warmer, where there’s no need for re-attaching the arms.
However, reattaching the sleeves is not practical. You cannot do it yourself with the jersey on you. Either have a friend help you or remove the jersey to reattach, then re-don the jersey.
It’s pretty common for folks to start a ride wearing a baselayer + jersey + windproof vest + arm warmers, only to shed layers along the way. The zip-off concept was to cut down on the number of layers and items one has to wear to be comfortable.
To be clear, the jersey is no Castelli Irdo 2 or Showers Pass Syncline. While it does keep you warm in cool temperatures, it won’t completely shield you from the rain.
As for colors, the colorway sent for review is in line with current trends: dayglow with grey and teal accents. This attractively matches other clothing and accessories, and even some bikes. However, in the future, it may scream of a 2020 retrospective, so other more muted colors are available for those less in the moment of fashion.
As a short sleeve jersey, the C7 Windstopper Pro Zipoff is a perfect mild weather piece. The front panel is a Windstopper while the rest is breathable, keeping the piece from getting too warm while still offering some protection and warmth in the shade or on descents. I like the chest pocket, the deep rear pockets and extra zippered stash pocket. Overall, the C7 Windstopper Pro Zipoff jersey is one of my favorites thanks to its versatility.
Gore C7 Windstopper Pro Zip-Off Jersey Specs:
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Colors: Dynamic Cyan/Black, Black, Neon Blue/Citrus Green
More info: https://www.gorewear.com
Gore C7 Pro Gloves
The Gore C7 Pro gloves, on the other hand, are for completely different conditions than the Zip-Off jersey — these gloves are intended for warm days while the Zip-Off is primarily meant for slightly cooler environments.
If you like riding glove-free or with a thin, minimalist glove, the C7 Pro is nearly perfect. It’s thin, ventilated and fits like, well, a glove. Dexterity is remarkable and the fingertips are touch-screen compatible. The palm is seamless and comes with tough, grippy textile. Thanks to the woven construction of the palm, the ventilation is excellent.
When my ride heads off-pavement, I have come to prefer the grip and protection most full-fingered gloves have compared to fingerless gloves. Unlike the Giro Rivet II, The C7 Pro offers minimal protection from vibration, knuckle strikes, vine snags, or really bad crashes. Depending on the bar tape on the bike and the expected terrain, I may not always want padding either on the palms or knuckles. In warm weather, I like riding glove free but I also enjoy the sweat management that gloves provide for my fingertips. The Gore C7 Pro gloves are also easy to wash and dry quickly.
As summer warms up, the C7 Pro is a pair I’ll reach for more often for my mixed terrain rides, but I see these as perfect for the warm early season ‘cross races as well.
Gore C7 Pro Gloves Specs:
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL
Colors: Graphite Grey/White, Red/Black
More info: https://www.gorewear.com