Winter is coming. (That’s enough Game of Thrones references - Ed). Clothing maker Gore Bike Wear has announced two new or revamped ranges of bike-specific clothing for the imminent cold and wet weather, Alp-X and Countdown.
For seriously bad weather, Gore has tweaked the Alp-X range with new materials such as Gore-Tex Active shell in waterproof jackets and new pieces like the Alp-X 2.0 SO Zip-Off Jacket which converts quickly from a soft-shell jacket to a gilet.
Where the Alp-X range is intended as fairly close-fitting, high performance gear, the Countdown range is freeride-inspired and intended to be functional off the bike and on.
The popular Alp-X jacket gets upgraded to Gore-Tex Active, a two-layer fabric that’s lighter and softer-handling that the old Paclite material. Most of the other details are unchanged - there’s still plenty of reflective bits, a long tail and stretch panels in strategic places. The Alp-X 2.0 has a zip-off hood, so you can leave it at home if you never use it, and an under-zip flap replaces the flap over the zip. The Alp-X 2.0 Gore-Tex Active Jacket, to give it its full name, costs £219.99.
If you’re determined to keep riding right through the winter, then waterproof leg coverings are a must. The Alp-X 2.0 Gore-Tex® Active three-quarter length pants are also made from Gore-Tex Active with a reinforced seat so that they’ll take extended saddle time. At 149.99 you wouldn’t call them cheap, but what price fanaticism?
The Alp-X Windstopper Insulated Shell Vest is completely new for this winter. It’s a Windstopper gilet, as the name suggests, insulated with Primaloft, an ultra-light synthetic that’s designed to mimic the feel and insulation of goose down. Intended to be packable, this is something you could stuff into your backpack to keep you warm when you stop.
As well as these outer shell items, the new Alp-X range includes Windstopper tights and pants, fleecy jerseys and tights for a toasty mid-layer and lots more.
The Countdown range is slightly less close-fitted than the Alp-X, a bit less fanatically detailed, and therefore a bit cheaper. The flagship Countdown Gore-Tex jacket, for example, is £189.99. It’s made from regular Gore-Tex fabric rather than the newer Gore-Tex Active and it lacks a few details, like the zip-off hood, that likely increase the cost of the Alp-X equivalent.
New items in the Countdown range include the Windstopper 2 in 1 jacket, Windstopper hoodie and Windstopper soft shell jacket. Clearly someone’s been busy in the Windstopper fabric store. The 2 in 1 combines a Windstopper outer jacket with a stretchy inner layer so you can wear either or both depending on the conditions. The outer shell has Velcro cuffs to seal out the cold, handwarmer pockets for standing around and a rear pocket for carrying stuff. RRP is £199.99.
The alarmingly YELLOW jacket here is the new £129.99 Windstopper Soft Shell, which also comes in red and blue. Anything that colour is going to help you be seen, whether it’s by drivers or Mountain Rescue, and there are reflective details to help that along. One interesting feature is a pair of side-opening pockets on the back, which look like they’ll work with a backpack.
The £139.99 Windstopper Soft Shell hoodie is a bit more casual, and intended to be used on and off the bike. Nevertheless, it has lots of keep-you-warm features like a zip underflap, snug hood and a pair of front pockets to tuck your hands into.
The Countdown range also includes new thermal bib tights, thermal jerseys and Windstopper pants.
There are women's versions of most of these garments, including the Countdown Soft Shell hoodie, and 2 in 1 jacket and the Alp-X jacket.
More information: Gore Bike Wear