The Gore C5 Women All Mountain shorts steps away from the road and cross country bias of the brand and dishes out a quality pair of trail shorts that will look just at home at an enduro race as they will on your local bridleways.
Gore doesn’t skimp on quality and these shorts are no different, they feel like great quality from the off and they have withstood the test of time very well too. The fabric used in the construction is light and breathable with an outer coating causing water to bead in the first instance and allows some splash resistance.
Feature wise the Gore C5’s do up at the waist with a two popper fastening and zip fly. There are Velcro waist adjusters on each hip which are elasticated and lie flat when adjusted inwards, meaning they won’t catch on your jersey. The waist adjusters don’t spring back into their sleeve though when taking the shorts off, which is a little annoying, I had to feed them back into the rear of the shorts first. It appears the adjuster tab is a little too wide for the sleeve from which it exits.
There are two deep pockets on each hip and one zippered one on the right thigh. This pocket is constructed from a contrasting mesh material (black) which is super stretchy and reaches around from the back panel of the shorts to a lie across the thigh forming the pockets. This design works well as it elasticated, allowing the shorts to move with the rider whilst the mesh material maximises airflow. Personally, I think the black/pink contrast looks a little odd but pink isn’t my favourite colour so I’d be happier in the darker colour shorts where this contrast would be more discreet.
At the side of each leg are double ended zippers which can be opened to widen the leg or allow more breathability through the mesh backing. Also to note, on the inside of the lower leg hem is the inclusion of soft silk-like material to help the shorts slide up and over knee pads without friction.
I am a dress size 8-10 and wore the size small (EU36), the shorts fit well and I didn’t need to use the waist adjusters. Pleasingly the shorts were also plenty long enough to be worn with knee pads, with no dreaded ‘thigh gap’ in sight!
In this light colour, I did have to use some Vanish (other stain removers are available) pre-wash to ensure mud came out of the rear, but if that’s too much hassle Gore also do these in two darker colours, black and blue.
At £99.99 the C5 All Mountain shorts are pretty pricey, especially seeing as they don’t come with a liner. For comfort, fit and performance there are on par with my other favourite shorts the ION Scrub Amp Women’s Bikeshorts which come in at a similar £105. If Gore fixed the waist adjuster problem, these shorts would be near on perfect, I’d just buy them in black!
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