Gore Bike Wear have recently introduced a new range of base layers for 2011, they’re available in both windstopper and non wind stopper varieties as well as a being available in t-shirt or vest/singlet styles with a choice of black or white colours. We tested the standard base layer in the t-shirt style cut.
The first thing you notice putting the base layer on is how lightweight the fabric is, the garment weighs in at under 75 grams and once it’s on you hardly notice you’re wearing it. The stretchy nature of the fabric and the well designed cut of the garment means it fits extremely well and Gore’s description of fitting like a second skin is a pretty accurate claim.
In terms of sizing I find Gore clothing can be a bit variable, I can take anything from a small in some of their tights to a large in some of their road cut jackets. However, the base layer sizing is pretty much as you’d expect, they’re designed to be tight fitting and whilst I tested a size large I’d probably go for my usual medium jersey size.
The fabric is almost mesh like and predominantly polypropylene (88% polypropylene, 8% elastane, 4% polyamide) which is commonly used by a wide range of manufacturers in technical base layers. Gore claim “the fabric’s special properties make it valuable: it is the lightest fiber in the world, it feels comfortable on the skin and its antibacterial properties reduce the formation of body odour” and after using it for several long rides I wouldn’t disagree.
The cut is slightly longer at the back and all the seams are flat stitched with the only annoyance being the large care instructions label. This is easily fixed with a pair of scissors and the label even has “cut here” markings so I assume that was always the intention.
The lightweight nature of the fabric means the base layer doesn’t really add much in terms of warmth but that’s not really what it’s been designed to do, it’s ideal for being worn on warmer days where it helps to wick away sweat and keep you feeling dry. It’s moisture wicking properties should also mean it works great with other gore tex products, for example when worn underneath of windstopper shell or waterproof jacket. If you’re looking for something for colder conditions there’s a windstopper version of the base layer that would be worth a look and which we’ll hopefully get to test shortly.
As a final note, it’s worth mentioning the packaging. The base layers come in a plastic tube which is the same size as a water bottle and will, therefore, fit in a water bottle cage. I guess it’s great if you nip to the bike shop to buy one and need an easy way to carry it home but the real idea is you can re-use the container as a way to carry tubes, spares, etc on the bike. It’s a nice thought, but it’s just a shame there’s a massive hook on the top of the lid which kind of spoils it and the shape doesn’t really fit that securely is all bottle cage types.
The recommended retail price is £34.99, although they can be found for closer to the £30 mark on line, which makes them reasonable value for money too compared to similar offerings from other manufacturers.
A good base layer is one of those items that you put on and forget you’re wearing and that’s exactly what happened with the Gore Base Layer. The fit is good, the fabric does an excellent job of wicking away sweat and at £34.99 rrp they seem to be reasonably priced too. If you’re looking for a lightweight base layer to wear during warmer rides then you shouldn’t be disappointed with this one.
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The Gore Bike Wear Base Layer we tested is currently available from Wiggle for £31.49 (rrp £34.99) with free delivery
Rutland Cycling are currently offering the Gore Bike Wear Base Layer we tested for £30.99 (rrp £34.99) with free delivery.