Gore Bike Wear's Ozon WS jersey looks on paper to be a real winner, a Windstopper (that's what the WS stands for) front to halt the seemingly permanent chilly British breeze, a stylish look with a nice non-racey casual cut. Taking it off the paper and putting it onto a body reveals a fatal flaw however.
The cut of the Ozon jersey is somewhere between race tight and mountainbiker baggy, great if you're not out for outright speed, don't want to look too much like A Cyclist and more like A Normal Person when you're off the bike and in the tea-shop or just don't want to look like a rolling laminate-flooring advert. The front (apart from the very bottom section across the belly), shoulder and kidney areas of the jersey are protected by Windstopper material while the back is a more standard jersey fabric for comfort and breathability. It only took turning the corner at the bottom of the road and into the nippy Easterly to notice that the Windstopper front really really works, you can actually feel the wind not getting to you which is impressive, and any air that tries to force it's frigid way through the teeth of the full-length zip will be halted by an underflap to further keep wind-chill at bay.
On those frequent British days where any warmth is cancelled out by a chilly breeze the Ozone jersey negates the need to pack or wear something windproof on the front, such as a gillet, and in the unlikely event of things heating up there's a full-length zip up front for ventilation. However because of the looser cut of the jersey any effectiveness of the Windstopper material on the arms can be somewhat lessened by the wind whistling up the gap between sleeve and skinny arm.
The Ozone is cut for cycling with a shorter front and longer back, we'd say it's too long out back. It's okay if you ride without anything in the pockets but if they're loaded with the usual bric-a-brac that comes along for the ride the contents end up dangling about somewhere near the bum rather than the back, a lot lower and considerably less snug than a standard road jersey, it feels a bit like that old damp wool jersey that's stretched too much. It's a shame as the cavernous two main pockets bracketed by a heavy mesh pocket either side encourage wholesale packing, the main pockets will easily swallow a rolled-up rain-jacket and are usefully stretchy whereas the side mesh pockets are perfect for energy bars and the mobile communication devices that people have to carry around everywhere now. The right-hand mesh pocket has a secret extra pocket hidden inside for house-keys safekeeping or some listening gizmo with a wire as there's a small hole in the back of the pocket that corresponds to a miniscule cable-loop at the neck.
Unfortunately with the pockets enthusiastically filled up the rear of the jersey gets annoyingly baggy and sways about like your auntie after two glasses of Baileys at Christmas, after a while this gets annoying. Really annoying. Because of this loose-cut movement, not helped by the lack of a full elastic gripper, the pockets feel like they have no structure and pocketed stuff doesn't feel well stowed or secure and I found myself constantly checking my cargo, although I actually lost nothing.
To help with safety there are reflective logos on the chest and arms with four lengths of reflective piping running up the rear pocket seams.
I really really wanted to like this jersey, it looked like it could be the perfect top for the intermediate weather that comprises most of the British year, or early and late rides, the Windstopper works, it's a good looking top, not too 'bike' so we wouldn't look stupid in the pub/down the shops but, and it's a fat wobble-arsed but, those pockets really really really got on my nerves. A disappointing let-down. However for anyone that doesn't cram their pockets with all their worldly possessions, that would be the vast peloton of courier-bag/rucksack/saddle-bag/pannier using cyclists then, this could be a great jersey. In fact the casual and understated styling of the Ozon might suggest that this is exactly the type of rider the jersey is aimed at, so better that it had no pockets at all and was re-branded as a casual yet technical riding shirt. Then I wouldn't be tempted to load the pockets and it would be perfect.
Also in black/red, black/white & black/yellow
A good looking loose cut jersey with an incredible useful and effective Windstopper front let down by an overly long rear with disappointing issues with the pockets.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Bike Wear Ozon WS Jersey
Size tested: M
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 say the windproof front, kidney and shoulder area of this jersey is combined with a comfortable jersey fabric. The perfect choice for cool and dry weather conditions. And they're right, but they neglect to mention the storage issue.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
A Windstopper front with a standard jersey fabric rear keep the wind off the rider whilst allowing the back to breathe. All seams are flat-locked, the hem is partially elasticated and there are reflective logos on the chest and arms and piping on the rear.
Although the jersey is well made the construction of the pockets needs work.
The Windstopper bit worked perfectly, the pocket bit didn't so we have to mark it down.
It's wearing okay so far and Gore stuff usually lasts pretty well.
The Windstopper fabric makes it not a lightweight jersey, but then it's not meant to be.
As a loose cut jersey it's incredibly comfortable, but with the pockets full it's annoying and tedious.
That's a lot of money for a jersey, even if it does have a technical front.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Windstopper bit performed perfectly, as did the more breathable fabric on the rear, the pockets just weren't designed very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The Windstopper front and casual cut.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The long back and those pockets, those damn pockets.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, if we didn't put things in the pockets, otherwise we spent a lot of time tutting.
Would you consider buying the product? Not really.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? A friend that doesn't fill his pockets with riding baggage, yes.
About the tester
Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.