If you have read any of my previous MTB reviews, you know that I like to ride my “baggy”. When the weather gets colder, and my baggy shorts a bit too chilly, I usually wear a tight with fixed chamois under my shorts.
It feels completely fine, it’s the look the vain part of myself wants: a bit of a dress-up, but all fine. But there is an alternative: according to Gore, the Gore Bike Wear C5 Gore Windstopper Trail 2in1 pants combine a long tight with the loose baggy look.
I have ridden intensively on several trips with the 2-and-1 pants. Temperatures between 5 and 15 degrees, in dry but also extremely wet weather. Both on XC trails where you sit on your saddle for a long time, and routes where steeper, faster descents force you to get out of the saddle a lot (dropper post low) and back again.
A 2-in-1 pair of pants should relieve my problem of having to wear two pairs of pants over one another. However, there is no chamois in the pants, … so I have to wear two pants anyway. It is also not entirely accurate that it is a combination or hybrid if you want of a tight and baggy shorts. Rather Gore has kind of positioned the pants between tight and baggy.
As Gore puts it nicely: “[it provides] a sporting silhouette without being body-hugging.” The zipper pocket on your right thigh (for example for your phone) is also cut quite tightly.
Gore has used two different fabrics which you can see clearly. I have tested a black sample myself, but in the image above with the Cyan / Black version you can see the differences well. Everything black is made of the soft and stretchy Gore WindStopper material that is windproof, water-repellent and breathable. As far as I can see the material appears to have been applied in different thicknesses in different places.
Everything cyan-coloured is a separate shell layer of 94% Polyamide, stronger but slightly less stretchy than the Windstopper material. It is also a bit more water-resistant material. It is mainly used on your thighs where it extends over the knee and is sewn over the Windstopper material.
The Windstopper material is made of 92% polyester and 8% elastane and feels pleasant on your skin. Not too tight, but it does hug your legs comfortably. The pants are long enough at the bottom to also partially fall over your shoes. The seat area is made of extra reinforced fabric and the pants fit tightly in the crotch. This is important because when you get on and off your saddle you don’t want the pants to catch on the front of the saddle.
What does not work well in terms of fit is that you cannot adjust the waistband to size. There are no velcro straps, no loops for a belt, and no cord to put to tighten the elastic waistband. There is a rubber grippy insert in it, but it did not prevent the pants from slipping down on the trail. It is not a matter of having chosen the wrong size, because the length and the rest of the fit are fine for me. Maybe I’m slimmer than average, (who am I kidding 😜) but the pants can’t correct that. So that is really a disadvantage of these pants.
In addition to making an adjustable waistband, I would like to argue for a sewed in chamois in the pants. Then you really have 2-in-1 pants.
The pants perform really well as far as weather resistance is concerned. As promised it is windproof. At higher temperatures, you quickly notice that these pants are quite warm, very much fit for colder autumn and winter days. Having said that, I have never felt too warm in the pants, which proves that it breathes well.
The water resistance is also in order. Mild rain showers, splash of puddles on the trail, the pants will certainly protect you against that. So that is very good. On one ride during constant, quite heavy rain, the pants got completely wet after about half an hour. To be honest, it would be unfair to expect that, as it is not advertised as a waterproof product. For those kinds of circumstances you really need a fully waterproof product, such as the Gore-Tex Active Trail Pants that we will review later.
As an extension of the Gore-Tex brand, Gore Bike Wear has always been a functional-technical performance brand. Both have always developed and used, without compromise the best performing materials. When it comes to the use of sustainable materials, such as membranes and DWR-coatings that are free from harmful PFCs (Poly Fluor Carbonates), both brands, in my opinion, haven’t exactly been at the forefront. Perhaps that is because such a large part of these “ingredients” market has been in hands of Gore-Tex for quite a long time without the brand having had the external motivation to make changes. Having said that, just last week, Gore Fabrics recently announced that they want full PFC free by 2023. They are getting with the sustainability program, which is great news.
So what about these pants? I actually could not find any information about the sustainable use of materials in these pants, so I assume that it does not use truly sustainable materials.
The pants are strong, robust and well-manufactured. A long lifespan is also an element of sustainability for us. It is also sustainable in terms of versatility. You can also wear the pants for cross-country skiing, hiking or just walking the dog. It does not have an extreme bike look in that regard.
Do you want to know more about what Gore does in the field of sustainability check here.
I have mixed feelings about these pants. I think it looks cool, it feels nice to wear and performs well in terms of weather resistance. You really have the feeling that you are well protected against the elements on the trail. Only that non-adjustable waistband ruins the experience a bit. Only there the pants are really too baggy and you feel that constantly during your ride. So make sure you fit it well before buying these pants.
Koop de Gore Bike Wear C5 Gore Windstopper 2-in1 trailbroek – adviesprijs € 199,95