Gore Bike Wear
may be best known for its waterproof jackets, but the company has expanded its range of products over the years, so you can now dress head to toe in Gore clothing. Innovation is at the heart of what the company does, and last year it introduced the Alp-X Pro 2in1 Shorts+, which set the comments alight with their integration of a padded bib short into a pair of baggies. While the idea wasn’t without merit, trail riders who prefer good length and bagginess thought the execution was lacking. Power Trail 2in1 Shorts+
On the Trail
Gore Bike Wear followed up with the new Power Trail 2in1 Shorts+ that follow the same principle, and in addressing those previous issues, made a compelling product for trail riders. Gore began with its Power Trail Men padded bib insert, then attached it to a baggy short made of a light and durable material, with two snap buttons, a front zipper, and an elastic waistband. The bibs have a mesh construction to keep you cool and wide flat bib straps for comfort over the shoulders. There’s a smattering of reflective piping, a large zipped pocket on the front left leg, and a small zipped pocket at the back that is just big enough for car keys. If orange is too bold for your tastes, a more subtle black is available.
• Back pocket, side zip pocket
• Power Trail seat insert
• Waistband with two snap buttons and front zip
• Full mesh bib construction for optimum ventilation
• Frictionless tape inside front hem
• Shorts attached to bib-tights
• Reflective piping and reflective logo on back
• Abrasion resistant material at inside leg and saddle areas
• Colors/sizes: Orange, Black - Small through XX-large
• MSRP: £169.99, $189.99
• Contact: Gore Apparel
Slip the 2in1 Shorts+ on and it’s immediately apparent this is a very comfortable bit of clothing. Joined only at the waistband, the outer short is free to move independently of the liner, so there's no restriction when pedaling and throwing the bike through the turns. There's also none of the annoying tugging at the waist that can happen with regular baggies when worn over a separate bib short, and there's no excess pressure from the waistband.
Comfort really is the big trump card here. I like to wear padded bib shorts under baggies for longer rides in the hills because it's the most comfortable option. The one problem with baggies over bibs is that the baggy shorts can slip against the smooth Lycra material - and sewing them together completely solves that problem. They're far superior to any separate bib short and baggy short combination I’ve ever tried.
One of the key issues with the original shorts was their length, which wasn't long enough for pads. The length is now much more akin to popular baggy shorts, sitting just below the kneecap, and the openings are generous enough to sit over the top of pads without snagging or riding up. Gore has nailed it this time. The sizing is spot on as well - and it needs to be, because there isn’t anything in the way of adjustment. Fortunately, they fit me perfectly.
The fabric of the baggy shorts is light and soft next to the skin and it doesn’t make much noise when it flaps about. A stripe of low-friction material has been added inside the openings of the legs, which does seem to help the shorts slide more freely over your knees or knee pads. The main fabric is not waterproof, like most of Gore’s products, but it does cope well with puddle splashes and light rain. Abrasion resistant material on the saddle area improves durability, especially when grinding over muddy trails. The padded insert is the important bit, of course, and it’s exceptionally comfortable, with a low-profile design that minimizes the bulky layer feeling that you get with some bib shorts. The bib straps are comfortable over the shoulder, with enough stretch to prevent them digging into your shoulders and the material is breathable to keep you cool.
I've tested these shorts all summer and they've seen use in a wide range of conditions, from scorching heat to cold and muddy, with regular action on my local trails and enduro racing in the French Alps. Through it all, they've been supremely comfortable and the durability has been impressive. They've even survived several crashes unscathed.Pinkbike's Take:
| It's great to see Gore Bike Wear pushing the concept of a baggy short integrated with padded bibs. Gore's Power Trail 2in1 Shorts+ addressed my main gripes with the originals that I tested last year, and have become a supremely comfortable short that fits well and provides seated comfort for miles and miles. These shorts are a good pick, even if they are a bit on the expensive side. - David Arthur|