The Xenon Thermo Jersey isn’t the most hi-tech article in the Gore lineup but it’s a sound everyday jersey that you can wear as either a mid-layer or an outer layer, depending on conditions.
The Xenon is made of two different types of fabric. The white panels are brush-backed polyester while the red material, which is used for the most exposed areas, is a little denser to keep more cold air out. It’s in no way windproof, but it does give you a bit of extra warmth. Both fabrics are highly breathable and you can open the front zip, which goes down to navel level, if you want to increase ventilation.
The cut is slim so there’s no fluttering about even when you crank the speed right up, and the fabrics are hugely stretchy so you get unrestricted movement. The arms are long enough to keep your wrists well covered and the collar is high, especially right at the front, so you won’t get any draughts down your neck either.
As usual with Gore, everything is neatly designed. The fact that the zip is only three-quarter length, for example, means you don’t get that rolling wave effect when you lean forward to the bars. It’s slightly less bulky than normal. You also get a flap behind the zip to stop the wind whistling through, the puller locks in place and doesn’t rattle, and a chinguard up top prevents scratching – little features that all add to the overall quality.
There are three pockets in the lower back, the tops of the side ones slightly angled for easier access, and an elasticated hem takes up any slack around the bottom. There’s a generous helping of reflectives too, making you noticeable in headlights at night.
Worn on top of base layer, the Xenon provides enough insulation for most autumn and spring temperatures and it doesn’t get easily soaked with sweat when you turn up the intensity. Quite the opposite, it shifts moisture well and dries super-fast.
It’s just as useful in the winter, when the lack of bulk makes this an effective mid-layer worn underneath a windproof. We’ve been using it alongside Gore’s own Oxygen softshell jacket for sub-zero rides and stayed warm and comfortable.
Weaknesses? We’re doubting the wisdom of white panels down the centre of the back – just where your rear wheel sprays all the gunk from the road if you don’t use mudguards. Fine if you live in Spain or Italy or somewhere else dry, not so good for typical UK conditions. As well as orange/white and black/white options, Gore do this jersey in all black too, which might make more sense.
Other than that, we’d have to say that the price is a little expensive, even though you’ll get plenty of use out of this jersey across three seasons.
High-quality, breathable jersey for use from autumn right through to the end of spring
road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Bike Wear Xenon Thermo Jersey
Size tested: Large, medium
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 Bike Wear say, "Roll on winter: with this warm cycling jersey, ambitious professionals and frequent cyclists are perfectly kitted out for the winter."
It depends on the individual, of course, as well as the temperature, but we'd say this is autumn/spring weight, and useful for winter when worn underneath some sort of windproof.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.