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Gore Wear C3 Bib Shorts+



Well made bibshorts with a classic look, but the basic pad is disappointing given the price
Classic look
Unobtrusive pad
Thin pad
Uncompetitive price

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Gore Wear C3 Bib Shorts+ are straightforward, no-nonsense and just fundamentally do the job – at least for short or casual rides. You might want thicker and more sophisticated padding if longer rides are in the offing.

At first glance these are reassuringly unremarkable: plain in colour, mesh around the upper body, with a minimalistic pad and gripper elastic at the legs.

> Buy now: Gore Wear C3 Bib Shorts+ from Sigma Sports for £40

The look in particular will be very appealing to some. Where many shorts are coloured or accented in such a way that they only ever look right when worn with a matching jersey from the same brand, the C3s are the same colour all over: you can go for black or 'orbit blue' if you're feeling particularly ostentatious.

We've previously reviewed Gore's Torrent and Ardent bib shorts and the key differences with the C3 Bib Shorts+ are the pad and the price. Whereas those feature Gore's middle-of-the-range 'Advanced' and top-of-the-line 'Expert' pad respectively, the C3s use the 'Active' level.

2022 Gore Wear C3 Bib Shorts - chamois.jpg

Pads tend to be foamy at the cheaper end and thicker and more rubbery as you progress up the range. This one is definitely on the foamy side. Different pads suit different people, but the Active is disappointingly thin and basic for £80.

2022 Gore Wear C3 Bib Shorts - back detail.jpg

That said, I can't especially fault it for performance. These are billed as being 'essential padded bib shorts for commutes and fun rides alike' which doesn't suggest they're intended for long days in the saddle. Nevertheless, I wore them for a few hours a time and they served me reasonably well.

2022 Gore Wear C3 Bib Shorts - cuff.jpg

The foaminess does have its limitations where there's prolonged pressure, but I certainly had no rubbing or bunching. The stitching is neat and low profile too.

> 38 of the best cycling bib shorts – get comfy on longer rides

The bib part is entirely mesh, with a light construction up the back and a slightly thicker, stretchy material for the straps. It's all nice and airy and the straps offer good give to accommodate different heights of torso. There are no hems either so they aren't going to dig in.

2022 Gore Wear C3 Bib Shorts - straps back.jpg

Sizing seems pretty much bang on to Gore's size guide, and against other shorts I've owned.


As mentioned above, this doesn't feel like a lot of pad for your money, even if's fine for their intended use. The Pearl Izumi Escape Quest Bib Shorts serve a similar purpose with what sounds like a similar sort of pad, only with a price tag of £49.99.

The same goes for the £50 Sundried Drop Men's Training Bib Shorts, albeit with a snazzier look.

At £80 these are up against various options promising greater comfort, such as the Orro Pyro Line Bibshorts (£69.99) and the Polaris Latitude Bib Shorts (£79.99). The latter are primarily aimed at long-distance road riders.


For their intended commuting and short to mid-length leisure ride duties, the C3s are a safe bet. However, it's not hard to find shorts with similar capabilities for less money, or with better performance for the same money.


Well made bibshorts with a classic look, but the basic pad is disappointing given the price test report

Make and model: Gore Wear C3 Bib Shorts+

Size tested: Large

Tell us what the product is for

Gore says: "The essential padded bib shorts for commutes and fun rides alike.

"Whether you commute to work or signed up for your first fondo, everyone needs a comfortable and reliable short. Benefitting from years of trickle-down GORE technology, this versatile padded short keeps you comfortable mile after mile."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Gore lists:

ACTIVE seat insert

Full mesh bib construction for optimum ventilation

Inseam length 25 cm / 10 inch

Optimized seam placement for comfort

Reflective logo

80% Polyamide

20% Elastane

MESH 87% Polyamide

13% Elastane

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Nicely put together.

Rate the product for performance:

The pad is disappointingly basic and not supportive enough on long rides.

Rate the product for durability:

They're still in their first year, but there are no signs of wear.

Rate the product for fit:
Rate the product for sizing:

Pretty close to my own expectations and the size guide.

Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:

The longer you ride, the lower that score drops...

Rate the product for value:

You can get much better pads at this price.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Threw them in with the rest of the laundry with no ill effects.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Hold their own for commuter riding and shorter leisure/sport rides.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The plain black look.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I'd like a thicker pad for the money.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

Not especially well. You can find similar shorts for less, and more sophisticated ones for the same price.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Maybe at a discount

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not strongly

Use this box to explain your overall score

They're well made and look good, but the pad is disappointingly basic for the price.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 185  Weight: 77

I usually ride: Giant Defy Advanced Pro 3  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding,

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago

Pricey considering there's a huge range of top quality shorts in and around this price point from the likes of Stolen Goat and Rapha and others. 

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