Designed specifically for women, the GORE Power Lady Bibtights short + promise to offer middle distance comfort and quick stop pit-stops with it's twin zip drop tail system
With a heritage in cycle wear that dates back to 1985 and a reputation that make GORE the gold standard in fabric technology, GORE clearly know a thing or two when it comes to clothing manufacturing and has a well established range of cycle clothing.
There are three branches to the cycling clothing tree, Xenon, aimed at hardcore racers, Oxygen, aimed at long distance riders and Power aimed at the year round cyclist, which according to GORE, provides comfort and versatility for the medium distance rider – which is where the GORE Power Lady Bibtights Short + sit.
The Power bib short has been around several years now, so it’s interesting to see how the latest iteration compare to previous pairs.
This latest version of the GORE Power Lady Bibtights Short + use a new 80%polyamide/ 20% elastane fabric, which isn’t quite as dense as previous versions, but is known to be softer, stretchier, and stronger than a standard polyester.
This extra strength is no doubt required to support the signature twin zip system of the GORE Power Lady Bibtights Short +, included to prevent riders requiring a complete disrobing when needing the loo. Running across the top of pelvis, from the hip and stopping either side of the back-bone to prevent the zip from rubbing nobly vertebrae.
Designing bib shorts for women is always a dilemma for cycle clothing brands, with so many possible strap configuration options. GORE has stuck with the simple central hook and eye system, which in previous tests has worked well. GORE says this design ensures the 93% polyester/ 7% elastane mesh straps lay flat at the front. GORE also believe this option will allow the bibs to run over the breast bone without any friction, as well as allowing excellent heat exchange.
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The GORE Power Lady Bibtights Short + use the Power Woman foam chamios, designed specifically for middle distance riding, which GORE say’s offers great breathability, elasticity and moisture management, with padding designed to support the saddle to undercarriage contact after pelvic rotation of a road bike riding position.
GORE has also added an additional Windproof lamination panel to the front of the chamios area which it says is for even more comfort. It’s not an area we’ve thought required wind proofing, so it will be interesting to discover if this is something that we’ve been missing out on previously.
Measuring longer than average cycling shorts (with an inside seam length of 23cm), the multi-panel bib-shorts have also done away with the silicone leg grippers and have had a slight height increase at the front, which should now prevent the illusion of a pot belly that the previous incarnation gave.
As with all GORE products, the Power Lady Bibtights Short + are exceptionally well made. The choice of using the a more expensive polyamide, over polyester, short ensures zero stretch greying on the dense fabric, with even the white panel on our colour way test pair is all but opaque.
The chamois is a great balance of padding and flexibility, both in and out the saddle, although it’s important to remember that these are middle distance shorts – so don’t expect excessive amounts cushioning. In practice I have to confess not noticing the extra wind proofing protection, feel that it added more of an extra modesty barrier.
I was slightly aware of the bib central closure, with a slight compression noticeable. It wasn’t uncomfortable by any means, but if you’re as sensitive as I am about even wearing a heart rate monitor chest strap, it’s worth noting.
Compared to previous version’s of the shorts, I found the twin zip system on the Power Lady Bibtights Short + the most comfortable yet, and hardly noticed them, even with heavily loaded pockets. I did have a slight label/ skin interference, and required a long base layer to stop it rubbing, placing this an inch or so higher on the next iteration will almost certainly prevent this.
With GORE you’re always guaranteed great quality and the the Power Lady Bibtights Short + are no exception. It’s really pleasing to see GORE take on board our previous recommendations and evolve the shorts in to something getting close to perfect.
With these changes though, the price as increased over the years, but at still just sub £100 they offer good value for money and could very well become your go to pair of daily riding or racing shorts, if needing easy access for bio breaks is important to you.
This latest evolution of the GORE Power bib shorts keep it’s signature quick pit stop twin zip system, but have improved the cut and fit and fabric to see these as close to perfect as the classic shorts have been. Doing away with the silicone leg gripper will be good news for allergy sufferers, but did mean the short legs did ride up. A great pair of shorts, and the most comfortable version so far.