Gore Bike Wear offers a somewhat bewildering choice of jerseys and jackets, but if you're after a lightweight, slim fitting top that offers wind and rain protection with excellent breathability for three-season use, the Power Gore Windstopper Long Sleeve Jersey is a top pick.
Made from Gore's iconic Windstopper fabric, the Power jersey is ideal at dealing with the constantly changing weather conditions of spring, summer and autumn. Wear it over a lightweight baselayer and it can cope with a really wide band of temperatures, from nudging zero up to high teens. That versatility makes it easy to dress for virtually any ride, so you can spend less time making tricky clothing decision and more time pressing the pedals.
Windstopper probably needs no introduction. It's a softshell material that Gore developed years ago and it's windproof and water resistant. It gave us the iconic Castelli Gabba and a hundred clones. It's a fab material for a cycling top for British cyclists, and pretty much meets most of our needs to perfection.
It performs brilliantly in the wind and cold. That makes it hard to choose a conventional long-sleeve jersey with no wind protection over the Gore if you live somewhere where it's perennially windy. As well as being insulating when it's cold, it's breathable when it's warm – it's not a hot summer jersey, but I've been happy to wear it well into the high teens.
As for rain protection, it's just fine in light to medium showers, adequate enough that you don't need to pull on a waterproof jacket and can keep on pedalling. Prolonged heavy rain will eventually overwhelm it, but that's pushing it beyond its design remit, and that's really the time to consider popping a waterproof jacket on. There's ample space in the pockets to carry one.
Gore has opted for a slim fit and I found the small size a perfect shape: snug where it needs to be but not at all restrictive. It's quite a racy-feeling top. I like that.
The sleeves are the ideal length too – I often find sleeves too short on small size tops but Gore has got them just right. They taper to a narrowing cuff which wraps around the wrist to the right degree.
There's a tall collar for when you need to hunker down against the cold, and the front full-length zipper is slightly concealed to add further protection.
An indication of its bad weather suitability is the dropped tail, which is ideal when your rear wheel is kicking up spray or mud from the road. It wraps around your bum and offers good protection, a nice extra layer to have when it's mucky. The waistband is elasticated and sticky so it doesn't ride up, and even if you load up the three pockets there's no sagging. The reflective lining on both pockets and waistband, as well as the logos, is a useful touch.
The look is low-key and Gore offers a choice of colours. While the branding is understated, the large Windstopper logo on the back did attract a few negative comments. I can't say it bothered me that much, partly 'cos I couldn't see it when riding and partly because it's reflective, and more visibility in the dark is a good thing.
I've been putting this jersey through lots of use over the past few months, and it has become my go-to jersey when the weather forecast looks a bit iffy or it's not clear what the dark grey clouds are going to do. It makes it easy to dress for such rides as it provides protection from the cold, wind and light to medium showers, but is sufficiently breathable to cope with higher temperatures. The fit, comfort and attention to detail is great and marks out a quality product.
Brilliantly performing three-season jersey that gives very good protection against wind and rain
road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Power Windstopper long sleeve jersey
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Gore says: "This windproof and breathable jersey with GORE® WINDSTOPPER® material prevents overheating and protects ambitious cyclists from the weather. The soft and elastic ergonomic road bike design has a modified collar and a 3-part back pocket."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Gore lists these features:
versatile, all year GORE® WINDSTOPPER® Product: windproof, water repellent and highly breathable
Reflective logo on front
Large, reflective logo on back
Reflective tape at back pockets
Reflective tape at hem
Gripper elastic on bottom hem
Close fit collar
Reinforced hem for easier closure of the zipper
Minimized seams for less chafing
3-compartment back pocket, slightly tapered on side for easy access
Excellent three-season performance, keeps you protected from the wind and rain, insulates when it's cold, and breathes when it's warm.
I've hammered this jersey, logging hundreds of miles, and it was my choice for the Dirty Reiver 200km gravel race. Durability through it all has been perfect.
Slim fit as advertised but it's well shaped, the pockets are easy to access, and the arms are a good length.
The size small was just fine.
Wear it over a short sleeve baselayer and it's very comfortable for any sort of ride, from commuting to training and long sportives.
For a jersey that offers so much versatility and ideal suitability for UK conditions, the performance to pound ratio is very good.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy to care for.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Looks after you in any weather and is ideal for spring and autumn rides, cooler summer days and warmer winter rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It makes dressing for the UK's unpredictable weather a doddle.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I'd like a zipper pocket, and some people expressed concerns over the large Windstopper logo on the back panel.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Gore is a master at fabric development and the Windstopper is harnessed well in this great-fitting long-sleeve jersey. Pricey perhaps, but you'll get a heck of a lot of use out of it.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.