The Gore Explore shorts are tough, perfect for multi-day riding bikepacking or relaxed gravel days exploring. It’s also suitable for more trail or cross country riding for mountain bikes; they have a good fit, plenty of useful storage and a good, well-wearing fabric - they are at the very upper end of their price point but are just about worthy of that cost.
- The best gravel and adventure bikes you can buy for under £2,000
- Five Ten Bike TrailX T-Shirt jersey review
- The widest gravel bike handlebars you can buy: broad bars for bikepackers
Gore Explore Shorts - Technical details
Made from a PFC-free, DWR treated fabric, with a water-resistant back panel, the Gore Explore are a pretty tough pair of shorts, with a more fitted shape to them - with a definite mountain bike baggy influence with a close shaped fit.
The 4-way stretch in the fabric helps provide ease of movement, and an adjustable waistband with a silicone gripper pattern helps keep things sat in place; they have two front pockets, which are decently spacious.
An additional thigh pocket with a zipper is a good size for gels or softer items. There is also a smaller zip pocket on the right side front pocket good for coins or keys. A small rear pocket with reflective details on the rear - this would have been great if a little deeper. There are extra Gore logos that are reflective on the back and leg.
The shorts close with a good zipper and one popper that was robust and has remained so. There are no belt loops. There is a mid seam, but not thick enough to notice when riding, and the shorts work fine with bibs or padded undershorts. They don’t have any poppers to secure inner shorts.
Gore Explore Shorts - Out riding
I like the fit and feel of the Gore Explore shorts for gravel and more cross country type riding. Basically, when you are pedalling for more prolonged periods in the saddle. They lack the length and additional weight in the fabric for harder Enduro riding when a few scuffs and knocks would wear them pretty quick. That said, for their weight and feel, they have been robust.
They are well-made and have a goldilocks amount of stretch in the fabric. They remained water-resistant in gentler weather but weren’t waterproof. The rear panel is more water-resistant, which is great for trails, roads or tracks with puddles or very wet after a shower.
I liked the number of storage options with the pockets - zippered and open, enough to stash a phone or a tool safely, without too much movement when riding. The pockets are deep enough to have gloves in safely, and the shorts look good off the bike, making them versatile for multi-day trips or when you don’t want to feel full cyclist at the lunch stop.
Riding rougher tracks and trails, the shorts felt comfortable, moved well, and the stretch and fit kept them feeling good all the time. The only slight issue was when wearing some packs with the hip cinchers made of plastic rubbing a little - as they are more gravel focussed, I feel a pack is likely to be less of an issue, as you may carry most stuff on the bike.
Gore Explore Shorts - summing up
The Gore Explore shorts are a nice pair of casual style riding shorts. They have all the essentials, no-fuss features, are tough, cut well, and the extra detail of the water-resistant back wheel panel is a nice touch - they feel like a pair of shorts made by riders who know what is needed.
Whilst £120 is a pretty steep price tag, the shorts are worth the higher end price tag - but I feel they are a little overpriced. When you can get 7Mesh Farside shorts at £20 less. The Explores, although great, only offer the extra panel on the rear as an additional detail. I don’t really think it’s worth that extra £20.
You may also like: