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  • Andrea Forcella

    Thank you for not including the usual obnoxious Assos jacket. It’s Gore Bike Wear all the way for me. Replaced mine last year after 5 years of abuse with a Bontrager jacket that doesn’t even come close.

    • Winky

      What’s obnoxious about Assos jackets?

      • Spider

        other than the name!

      • Andrea Forcella

        Price/quality ratio ? I own a winter Jhabu jacket from them and last month I’ve treated myself to one of their ultra fancy fondello shorts to see what the fuss was all about. I’m telling you,it’s the worst fondello I’ve had to date. My 5 years old Specialized fondello still rocks. The jacket is good stuff no question about it but was it worth the money when you look at a 100 Euro cheaper Gore Bike Wear one ? I don’t tink so. Ok style,they never go our of style. Had it for 5 years and Assos still sell the same model.

        • Dave

          My Assos Cento shorts are terrific. Clothing is a personal thing, everyone is different.

        • Winky

          What’s a “fondello”?

        • Winky

          I have two pairs of Assos bib shorts that have lasted over 12 years, worn and machine-washed regularly. Only now is the fabric getting a bit thin and losing some stretch. They are easily the best, most comfortable most durable bib-shorts I’ve ever owned. Also easily the best value-for-money cycle-clothing I’ve ever owned (alongside some Rapha jerseys that have lasted just as long). In contrast, the chamois on the top-end Gore bib-shorts split down the middle after a year and I threw them out.

          Hey we’re all different.

  • Winky

    Fortunately, my skin is waterproof, thus eliminating any need I might have for such jackets.

    • Pete

      You… cycle naked?

      • Winky

        Oh man, I wish! Tried it once…..was arrested.

        But seriously, I find nothing really keeps you dry, so I dress purely for warmth. Typical winter riding outfit here in rainy Vancouver is a long bib-shorts, thermal base-layer top, regular SS jersey, gilet. Shoe covers, (insulated if really cold), gloves-to-suit and a head-band or thin skull-cap under the helmet if really cold.

        Yeah, I get wet but, water, it washes right off. On my commute, I have a shower and change facilities at work, so arriving drenched is no biggie. I really don’t mind my clothing being wet. It beats the hell out of hot, flappy, sweaty jackets and shells. I’m an outlier.

        • krashdavage

          You may also be the target market! Sounds like this new material addresses all the reasons you have with shells. Plus you live in Van. ;-)

  • Andy B

    man these are pricey

  • Simon Gamble

    Um hello…Search And State S1-J is the best jacket bar none

    • aranwatson

      I’d say depends. I have the Gore, my buddy the SnS. We swap a lot. The SnS is cut great, and nice material. But huge heavy zipper that is bulky and flaps hard when unzipped, plus the Gore is absolutely no doubt 100% waterproof while still breathable. I mean 4 hour drenching downpours without a drop of water inside waterproof. SnS wets out sooooooo much quicker. So depends on your needs. The gore is smaller, lighter and more waterproof. The SnS probably feels better (it did to me), but not as functional for what I needed racing. To each their own!

  • Bakers Dozen

    Black. Nope.

  • Sunny Ape

    Everything I’ve owned with Goretex in it didn’t stay waterproof for very long.

    • Michal Toman

      It’s not supposed to really. Most of the Goretex jackets (like Gabbas) are not meant to be fully water-proof, but rather a light wind-stopper that can handle a bit of water. This is more than enough for most countries where it doesn’t rain every other day. The main advantage is that it breathes nicely.

      • James Huang

        Castelli Gabba (and other similarly coated garments) are only treated to be water-shedding, usually with some sort of surface treatment that will eventually wash off over time.

        Gore-Tex makes a huge assortment of fabrics, and they’re not all waterproof (Windstopper being one of them). But the ones using a true membrane are genuinely waterproof by design. Those garments are usually given a DWR coating, too, but if that wears off, the outer layer can become saturated and you’ll eventually get wet from the inside-out. Alternatively, the membrane itself can wear, and eventually start letting water in.

        The reason ShakeDry is different is that there is no coating; the material is inherently water-shedding.

        • BenW

          And the (lack of) weight for the Shakedry has to be felt to be believed. Super-lightweight, I’ve had heavier-gauge sandwich bags. Not that I own one, yet; I had a fondle in the LBS. I’ve got one of the Active Shells and on my linebacker shoulders it felt a bit tight off the bike across the tops of my arms, but on the bike it sits perfectly.

      • Terrence Martineau

        Gabbas not meat to be or claim to be waterproof… use a different philosophy altogether… i.e. wet, but warm.. like underwater or thermal swimming grear… they just provide some wind proofing and thermal layer… keeping dry is not actually necessary for being comfortable and warm in the rain…

    • aranwatson

      Yes, but this is a whole new technology. It is seriously waterproof, not ‘waterproof’. I share that with lots of experience these past two winters. It’s actually amazing.

  • Damien Cook

    Only in black..forget it! Can only be made in black? BS, get on to it and make it usable in the real world.

    • TypeVertigo

      That was my reservation too. Well, that AND the price.
      Road.cc does report that Gore has recently been able to make the same material in a limited but more useful array of colors.

      • James Huang

        The material itself is still only made in the same color. The difference is that Gore is starting to substitute ShakeDry for brighter (but less breathable/waterproof) materials in areas where it isn’t as critical (such as the ends of the arms).

  • George Darroch

    Nice photo! You’ve really taken the request for pictures of cycling gear being worn to heart.

  • aranwatson

    Thanks James for your usual high quality write ups! I have the original Gore, the cut is a bit funky but man this material is out of this world useful. The shell has become my all in all windbreaker/ rain jacket, amazing in wet races here in the Spring, take it off for the last 3k of effort, so small to pack up when not in use. I’m really looking forward to more offerings from other companies with this material, game change in my humble opinion. Cheers!

  • Ben

    My GoreTex Shakedry jacket saved me on a torrential and very very wet stage 1 on Haute Route Dolomites this year – very light and packs down to virtually nothing which means you can carry it all day, versatile and no need for both a Gillet and Jacket just in case. Had “waterproof” jackets from them all over the years – Assos, Castelli and Rapha – all bulky and eventually let in water – definitely not cheap but if you want the best….just don’t rub against a brick wall or snag it in a tree, prone to tear….

    • James Huang

      It seems to me that the only people who are still skeptical about the effectiveness of this material are the people who haven’t yet used it. In fairness, it’s definitely hard to believe it’s as good as it’s made out to be on paper, especially given the cost. But holy crap, is it good stuff!

      • Hey James, do you have the figures for vapor transport capacity for Shakedry vs. standard Gore-Tex membranes, or other brands? I am curious, as I hear great things about this stuff, but haven’t seen the data, and there are a lot of waterproof/breathable products out that that aren’t really all that breathable when you look at their moisture transport capacity vs. typical sweat rate. If I recall correctly, eVent was claiming far higher figures for their stuff than other membranes out there, but I wasn’t sure how much was hype and how much was fact.

        • James Huang

          I don’t, but I’m sure I could get them with a little digging.

          Even so, though, I think it’d be important to distinguish between the vapor transfer rates for the bare membranes vs. how quickly vapor moves through when all the additional layers and coatings are applied. I suspect those numbers would be quite different.

  • An impressive set of guns on display here, Mr Huang.

    • James Huang

      All show, no go.

      • Ashok Captain

        : D!

    • cthenn

      I was gonna say something similar…James’ nickname could be Quadzilla!

  • Phil Allan

    Timely article. I’ve just bought the 7 Mesh, after first having bought (and returned) the Gore jacket back in April. I thought the Gore was roomy/baggy and would flap in the wind. The Mesh is much more snug (their sizing chart is accurate and I went for the small). I agree that is extremely snug. You need to be close to racing weight for it not to feel restrictive.
    Once in riding position it’s a fantastically well thought out jacket – although sleeves are super slim and will struggle to accommodate winter gloves. It’s very breathable and windproof – keeping the chill out. Waterproofing seems very good, although I did have wet arms in a recent downpour where the Mesh laid flat against my baselayer (didn’t need a jersey underneath), but not sure if this was down to perspiration or precipitation.
    Haven’t noticed any issue with the collar (I’ll wear a neck thingy when it gets cold here in Scotland) or the pocket slits – they’re working for me. All in all, I love this jacket, so much so I wear it nearly all the time (getting my money’s worth). It could do with a bit more reflectivity, but decent lights etc keep me confident on the commute.
    Good review and nice to compare very similar jackets head to head.

  • Janusz Gajos

    Stolen Goat Orkaan (made by Bioracer) is the only piece of kit I’ve ever enjoyed riding in the rain.
    It works in a similar way to Gabba but the fabric is much cosier, doesn’t ever rquire reproofing and unlike most of rain kit it’s actually breathable. In fact breathability is almost as good as that of a regular jersey.
    As for Goretex… it may be a good material for an urban jacket, but not for any serious activities.

  • oonnoo

    What’s the green bike in the photos?

    • James Huang

      It’s an Allied Cycle Works Alfa All Road. Stay tuned for a full review soon.

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