High quality, great fitting shorts for year-round use
Jan 14 2019
Shorts and 3/4s
Windstopper bum keeps off the worse of water
Well thought out ventilation
Excellent cut and fit
On the expensive side
You want a premium set of shorts that can cope with a wide variety of conditions
Gore's C5 All Mountain shorts are hardwearing, versatile and comfortable for everything from trail riding to enduro racing with quality features, fabric and a great cut. The Windstopper thigh and bum panels keep you dry and there's plenty of ventilation for warmer days too. The only downside is the premium price.
Gore is generally best known for highly technical and functional kit rather than trail/all-mountain outerwear, but they've been making big strides in producing kit with a more casual look for mountain biking, as these shorts show.
Cut-wise, they're baggy enough to offer decent movement on the legs without being all flappy around the crotch, while the legs are long enough to cover knees and kneepads. The sides have a twin zip affair that allows you to open up the top of the leg to serve as a vent or the bottom to better accommodate pads. Zipped pockets on each thigh give a useful amount of storage too.
There's a stretch back panel plus two velcro tabs to adjust the waist plus silicone grippers a zip and double popper setup to keep them in place very effectively. The bum and inner thigh of the shorts uses Gore's Windstopper material to provide high water resistance without the crinkly bulk and warmth of a fully waterproof panel. The shorts come sizes from Small to XXL and orange, blue, green and dark grey colours, all without a liner.
I've become a big fan of the cut and fit, as it's plenty comfortable without being restrictive or catching on the saddle. They work well with pads or alone and the fact that they've got a pretty much waterproof bum along with decent ventilation means they're useable pretty much year round which, along with the quality of materials, goes quite a long way to justify the cost. In fairness, even that compares well with other high-end brands such as Troy Lee Designs when you take into account the technical fabrics used.
Jon was previously the editor here at off.road.cc. Whether it's big days out on the gravel bike or hurtling down technical singletracks, if it's got two wheels and can be ridden on dirt, then he's into it. He's previously been technical editor at BikeRadar.com, editor at What Mountain Bike Magazine and also web editor at Singletrackworld.co.uk. Yes, he's been around the houses.