Without the right gear, it can be difficult to get the motivation to even leave your house for a ride. That’s where GORE’s C5 winter essential cycling gear comes into play as they offer a unique combination of warmth and breathability to keep you riding as temperature drops. We’ll be looking at two specific items in this review: the C5 Thermo Jersey and the C5 Thermal Bib Tights+. The C5 Thermo Jersey retails for $130 and is offered in a variety of colors from fluorescent green to darker black and blue schemes. Designed using GORE Selected Fabrics, the jersey has an aero road fit with windproof front zipper and lined collars for warmth. The jersey pairs well with the $170 Thermo Bib Tights+ with it’s matching accent colors and Thermo-stretch Functional Fabric. The bib tights are DWR treated and use WINDSTOPPER material to help maintain core temperature.
The GORE C5 Thermo Jersey and C5 Thermo Bib Tights+ offer impressive warmth and lightweight construction for winter cycling
For those less familiar with GORE, the brand has a three-tier product level with C7 / C5 and C3 cycling and the equivalent RX running gear. C7 is the top-level and is designed for extreme conditions and performance. C5 offers a balance between value and performance while C3 is the most affordable option developed for recreational riders and runners. Although this review focuses on the C5 Thermo Jersey and the C5 Thermo Bib Tights+, GORE does offer full accessories and additional items such as jackets that can be mixed-matched together for a full winter kit.
|C5 Thermo Jersey||C5 Thermo Bib Tights+|
|Likes||+ Premium solid color scheme and minimal branding|
+ Reflective detailing keeps you safe at night
+ Thermal lining adds warmth and comfort
|+ Comfortable yet warm even in cold wind chill|
+ Seamless bib straps are wide and easy to put on
+ Bright accents match well with jersey
|Dislikes||– Sizing runs larger than size guide suggests|
|Where to Buy (US)||GORE||GORE|
Both C5 items come folded neatly in plastic bags with minimal tags on them. Although we would have preferred recyclable paper bags, the minimal packaging is nice to see.
C5 THERMO JERSEY
Visually the Thermo Jersey has a sleek appearance with its funnel collar construction. Instead of an exposed seam around the collar, the Thermo Jersey has a one piece design that extends upward. Inside the collar and cuffs is thermal fabric for extra warmth and comfort. The jersey is available in multiple solid colors from darker blue, black to the reflective fluorescent here and orange colors. Even though fluorescent is generally associated with recreational riders, the Thermo Jersey makes it look premium with geometric patterns along the inner sleeves and reflective details. We’re also impressed with the minimal branding with GORE actually printed onto the front zipper. It’s a unique design that we haven’t seen in other jerseys and allows the jersey to maintain it’s solid color scheme.
GORE describes the fabric as their premium “Selected Fabric” and even though it’s mostly a polyester blend it feels soft and surprisingly warm despite the lightweight. Even though it’s designed to work with baselayers, the jersey has a modern aero fit with long sleeves and a drop tail that doesn’t bunch up when riding the drops. The medium sized jersey we tested fit similarly to the Ale and Velocio jerseys we’ve previously worn with a slim yet comfortable fit. Being part of the C5 collection it isn’t as aggressive as race-cut jerseys but has a tailored fit that allows space for thick base layers. We found the jersey worked well to maintain core temperature and block out cold wind chill. The three pockets in the back also work well even when filled with heavier items while the zippered pocket is ideal for valuables.
THERMO BIB TIGHTS+
GORE offers the Bib Tights+ in two color variations, the fluorescent green we have in this review as well as an all black variation. The fluorescent green is limited to accents on the ankles and the left bib strap for a subtle look. Otherwise the bib tights have a multi-panel construction with strategically placed WINDSTOPPER and inside lining to keep out cold weather. The bib tights feature GORE’s ADVANCED chamois which is designed for short or long rides. It uses a medium density foam and has sharp corners. We found it comfortable even after multi-hour rides and didn’t experience any pressure points. It’s similar to the Velocio or Ale bib shorts we’ve worn and although it’s not as thin as summer apparel it is surprisingly lightweight and offers full range of motion.
In terms of sizing, we found the Bib Tights+ to be a bit larger than we expected. At 6’ 1” with a 33.5” inseam we’re used to ordering large sized bib shorts and bib tights. GORE’s sizing chart also puts us in the large size, so we’d recommend using caution when purchasing and perhaps sizing down for a tighter fit. With the larger size the bib straps don’t have as much tension on them causing the bib tights to sag when walking. That said, the larger size didn’t affect the fit when riding and was comfortable on the saddle.
Overall we found the GORE C5 Thermo Jersey and Bib Tights+ offer excellent warmth and comfort on the bike. Even though they are designed for winter or colder weather, both items are relatively lightweight so they don’t weigh you down on climbs. Combined with a warm baselayer and wool socks, we found the jersey and bib tights were comfortable even in the lower 40s and cold wind chills. You’ll leave the house a bit cold but as you get the blood flowing the kit helps warm up your core and remain breathable as the temperature rises. Even though both items are part of the mid-level C5 collection they offer tailored fits and premium materials. The C5 Thermo Jersey in particular has a sleek design with a seamless collar and vertical GORE logo on the zipper. The main issue we found was that the C5 Thermo Bib Tights+ runs larger than the sizing guide so we’d recommend sizing down or trying them out in person. Otherwise, both C5 Thermo pieces offer excellent performance at attractive price points.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by GORE. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.