Gore has been further developing the design of its ShakeDry jacket, and last weekend I got the chance to head over to Surrey to try it out while riding the Wiggle Ups & Downs Sportive with Fabian Cancellara. How could I say no?
The designers have been listening to the (very few) criticisms of the existing jacket and this is what they've come up with.
The new jacket includes more stretchable Gore-Tex panels to keep the fit close while allowing the rider freedom of movement.
The stretchable fabric is heavier and less breathable than the Gore-Tex Shakedry fabric. It's still not a heavy jacket, though, at only 160g. It doesn't roll up quite as small as the existing jacket but it'll still fit in a jersey pocket when not in use.
Out on the road, the conditions we encountered were ideal for testing the jacket. By that I mean the weather was foul. It was 8°C, damp, windy and the rain and road spray mix quickly covered the jacket.
To be honest, I quite like this kind of weather, apart from the cold hands part, and chances are that if you ride in the UK you'll need to at least tolerate these conditions too. A good rain jacket is pretty much essential.
Before we rolled out, I was given a jacket in size medium. I'd usually take a small for my climber build, but the cut is close, meaning that this medium wasn't too flappy at all.
As racing is the only time I care about getting aero, I'd opt for the slightly larger size so that I could layer a cosy winter jacket underneath if necessary. If you're using this for racing then just go for the smaller size.
Gone are the elasticated cuffs and hem of the old jacket. That's been replaced by the stretchy fabric in selected places.
The cuffs are perfectly long and fit nicely with the winter gloves I started out wearing and the stretch material here is useful for getting the jacket on and off.
The biggest feature of this jacket is the breathability. On this fast ride, I didn't get that boil in the bag feel, even with a winter base layer, jersey and thermal jersey underneath. I'll be looking to take this on some hillier rides to really test that breathability.
Talking to the guys from Gore, it's clear that they're keen to stress how much fabric development was done with the military. Luckily, we cyclists don't need to wear a bulletproof vest, so less of the stretchy material has been used.
The designers have also taken feedback from the likes of Fabian Cancellara, as racing in the rain is where good breathability is really difficult to achieve.
Washing this jacket is easy enough. Machine washing at 40°C is recommended and tumble drying on low is fine too. I used this the day after the Wiggle Ups & Downs Sportive for a four-hour ride and it just needed a quick rinse.
The C7 costs £279.99 and is available from Wiggle in sizes S-XXL.
Fabian Cancellara rode the Up and Down Wiggle Sportive to promote the new Gore C7 ShakeDry stretch jacket - get there now at wiggle.co.uk
Look out for the full review soon!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.