For 2019, GORE revamped their C7 bib shorts using entirely-new chamois and construction techniques. I got my first glimpse of the shorts at Sea Otter Classic and have been able to get them out on some long rides to test their mettle.
GORE C7 Race Bib Shorts+ Features:
- Expert race chamois with GORE Windstopper cup
- 9″ inseam length
- Fabric maintains weight, even when wet
- Fabric provides muscle support
- Central torso construction keeps the chamois in place
- 3-point chamois anchor system
- 4-way stretch fabric is abrasion resistant, anti pilling and fast drying
- Flat bib straps
- Silicone leg grippers
- Reflective details
- Small radio pocket in rear (large enough for a phone, actually)
- Flatlock seams all around to create maximum comfort
- MSRP: $269.99
C7 Race: From Fabian to You
Last year, I had the opportunity to meet Fabian Cancellara with the introduction of the C7 Shakedry Stretch Jacket. As a GORE athlete, he provides significant input on new products, features fit and design. With that, GORE designers have re-vamped the C7’s entire bib architecture using a full-length insert with Windstopper cup in the front for added comfort.
While it’s not exactly what GORE had in mind, but to get the proper visual image of the architecture, picture a Borat sling swimsuit as the foundation with everything else added to it. What that full-length insert provides is a solid fit and feel as your body and the insert move as a single unit. In practice, it absolutely lives up to the hype with the chamois and core bib short staying put throughout even the longest of rides.
The best bib shorts feature wide, flat straps. GORE got these close, but they could use a little more width. As you’re putting the straps on, they tend to twist over themselves. The short length is nice and modern and the angled silicone grippers offer just the right amount of cling to stay in place without getting cumbersome.
The chamois is good, but I wished for something a little thicker on rides of 30 miles or longer. This was particularly noticeable with the Fizik Arione 00 saddle aboard the Factor O2 Disc. That said, the front Windstopper cup is absolutely awesome. It allows your man parts to sit inside without needing to choose left or right (similar to the Assos Equipe RS S9).
Some have mentioned that the cross-band across the top of the thigh is noticeable, but I didn’t feel it at all. I did feel like I could use a little more compression in the upper thigh though. The cut is low on the C7’s, allowing for easy nature breaks, but be sure your jersey is cut long enough for coverage while off the bike.
If you want something a little cushier for your backside, the Gore C7 Long Distance Bib Shorts+ might be the ticket.
- “Central Torso” construction keeps the insert in place
- Low-cut for easy nature breaks
- Windstopper front cup keeps your man parts happy
- Quality materials
- Flatlock seams offer added comfort
- Back pocket will hold a phone securely
- Could use a little cushier chamois
- A touch more compression in the upper-thigh would be great
The Bottom Line: Gore C7 Race Bib Shorts+
Race-cut and high-quality, the Gore C7 Race Bib Shorts+ are constructed with the “Central Torso” concept that keeps the full-length chamois in place. There is also a front Windstopper pocket for your sensitive bits so you don’t have to choose left or right side in the saddle.
Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com