Gore Bike Wear Vista WS Tights and Xenon AS Jacket Review
We review the Vista WS tights and Xenon AS jacket from Gore Bike Wear.
The chill is in the air but Gore Bike Wear keeps me riding. My test of the Vista WS (wind stopper) tights and Xenon AS jacket made me feel warm all over.
My first observation was the composition of the panels which comprised the tight. They are soft to the touch, form fitting, yet not restrictive. They fit true to my size. The elastic waistband incorporates the full circumference of the waist. The cut is higher in the back and I had no need to utilize the drawstring. They don’t slide down over your cycling shorts. The center rear pocket is small but handy. It easily holds keys, money, gel packets, tire tools but is too small for an energy bar.
The legs grippers are elastic with three rows of rubberized grip dots. They fulfilled their intended function. They stayed in place and I forgot all about it. There is a band of reflectorized piping on either side of the zipper with additional reflectorized wording above the knee.
I wore these over my shorts at nearly 70 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as zero with the wind blowing. At these extremes, the tights were not appropriate for long durations. I was very impressed how warm they kept me while riding at nearly zero degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour.
The majority of my use was in the 40 degree Fahrenheit temperature range. Covering your knees to prevent tendinitis is an important aspect of cool weather clothing. The windstopper panels covered my knees and they didn’t get cold. I rode several times over five hours without getting chilled.
After weeks of use I experienced a malfunction. I unzipped the legs as usual and slid them on over my feet. I noticed the slider had come off the top of the chain. There is stitching across the top but it wasn’t enough to keep the slider from coming off. I was able to feed the slider back on. I stitched across the top to prevent this from occurring again. Be careful when unzipping. Don’t take it all the way to the top! Even with the legs unzipped, I learned not to put these on over your shoes.
The Gore Bike Wear Xenon AS jacket was so light I didn’t think it could be useful for cold weather riding. Since it came with a wind chill calculator I decided to give it a try. As with the tights, this jacket was worn from 70 degrees to zero degrees Fahrenheit. Layering was needed at the lower extreme. I wore a long sleeve T-shirt, long sleeve jersey, light fleece jacket and the Xenon AS jacket. The wind blocking capabilities of this jacket are excellent. Again, it’s not for long durations at the extremes but very functional in the 40 degree range.
The thoughtful features of this jacket include the collar being lower at the back of the neck and being able to zip the front to the top of the collar. The cuffs are half elastic and half Velcro closure. I found this to be tight but flexible and able to adapt to various layers. The tuxedo style tail is the longest I've ever seen yet the cut in the front is at the waistline. The elastic on the sides keeps it snug to the body and functions perfectly while in the drops. The jacket doesn’t flap around in the wind. It is an aerodynamic based fit. The tapered reflectorized blocks are sporty looking. After your ride, you can place the jacket in the enclosed compact ventilated stuff sack.
I was most impressed with the performance oriented cut of Gore Bike Wear. The pocketless jacket is probably an indication of this. Details such as the form fitting cut in the elbows and the composition of the panels in the tights make me appreciate the design. I was also impressed that the lightweight clothing was able to block the wind and keep me warm in cold, wet, windy, rainy, and snowing weather conditions. I’ve been wearing the tights daily in place of my knickers. Gore Bike Wear states the weather is not your enemy but your challenge. If your riding is weather challenged, I have found Gore Bike Wear to be a worthy product.
Visit Gore Bike Wear online at www.gorebikewear.com.