Gorewear invited a select group of media outlets and publications to meet in San Diego, CA, earlier this spring for a first look at their latest kit: the new Gorewear Distance Kit, made for long days in the road or gravel saddle.
The Gorewear team kicked things off in a beautiful sunlit conference room with a view to the yacht basin. As everyone gathered and indulged in breakfast, Amy Evans, associate from the Gorewear global team, gave us all the details of the just-released Gorewear Distance Kit. After learning all about the new kit, we were each given our own to test out for ourselves during a group ride around beautiful San Diego.
Introducing: the Gorewear Distance Kit
Lightweight, breathable with complete freedom of movement, Gorewear’s Distance collection is designed for endurance rides, fast, long, short, group rides or anything in between. Key pieces of this collection are the Distance Bib Shorts+ 2.0 and the Distance Jersey.
Distance Bib Shorts + 2.0
DISTANCE BIB SHORTS+ 2.0
Price: $200 USD
Size offerings: XXS/00, XS/-02, S/4-6, M/8-10, L/12-14 (Women) and XS, S, M, L, XL (Men)
Color offerings: Utility Green, Orbit Blue (Men Only), Black
An update from its well-liked original model, the Distance Bib Shorts+ 2.0 are designed for “endurance cyclists looking for an update of Gorewear superb bib shorts for long distance rides”. Upgrades from its previous model include improvements in the straps, chamois, seams and grippers.
Starting with the straps, these have been upgraded to a one piece seamless wide mesh material. The new design allows for maximum breathability for straps that will stay in place and will not roll on itself during your ride.
The chamois has a new design for more comfort on longer days in the saddle with its proprietary Expert Distance 2.0 Seat Pad with GORE® WINDSTOPPER® Cup. This chamois features has an anatomical design that allows for the pad to stay in place to prevent chafing, and also adds protection from chilly winds while simultaneously allowing for breathability. The pad’s dual-density foam was updated by increasing the density on the side where the sit bones are, providing more cushion and support without the loft. The cover on the top is textured allowing for more efficient moisture management, and the perforated bottom allows for extra breathability as you sweat.
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The edges of the shorts have a raw cut edge, accompanied by an internal minimalistic silicone gripper that helps the shorts to stay put on your thighs.
The bib shorts are meant to last longer thanks to a reduction in the number of seams. This 2.0 version has half the number of seams than its predecessor, which is meant to provide less chafing and fewer breakage points.
The Distance Kit is made for hot weather riding with quick-dry properties aimed at keeping you dry and comfortable on long rides.
Distance Jersey 2.0
The Distance Jersey 2.0 sees improvements in its fit and finishing.
The neckline collar was carefully redesigned in an ergonomic manner for both the front and the back of the jersey. In the front, the opening helps to lessen the amount of tension around the throat, in case you’re carrying anything weighty in your back pockets that may pull the jersey down. In the rear, the collar helps to protect your neck from the sun.
As with the shorts, the jersey has raw cut sleeves. This hem is meant to give the arms a comfortable, restriction-free range of motion without the dreaded ‘sausage’ effect.
The Distance Jersey also comes with the standard back three-pockets plus a small zippered pocket as well as reflective logos.
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The Gorewear Distance Kit: First Ride Review
The Distance Kit is made for endurance, performance longevity, and for those who want to look and feel fast.
I took the Distance Kit for its first test on a road ride, where I spent a little over 3 hours in the saddle, tackling some 30 miles with 1,500ft of elevation. I also got a chance to wear the kit on shorter, local gravel rides. During my first test ride with the kit in San Diego, the weather was in the mid-60s, overcast with gusty winds. My other rides in the San Francisco Bay Area were in similar conditions. I found the kit to be quite comfortable and it kept me in a goldilocks “not too hot and not too cold” range.
Described as “moisture wicking, fast drying and high stretch fabric offers optimal comfort”, the bib shorts are designed with hot summer temperatures in mind. Constructed with 70% Polyamide and 30% Elastane fabric, the bib shorts feel super soft and smooth to the touch, with a lightweight barely-there feeling when worn. While the weather was mild, not quite summer temperatures yet, I was pleased that the bib shorts wicked sweat fairly quickly even on steady steep climbs that would usually have me drenched in sweat. After the longer ride, taking off the kit was a breeze since the bib was nice and dry thanks to the sweat wicking materials.
The shoulder straps are wide and very breathable. While they are not super stretchy, as a bra-wearer I found that the straps material allowed them to contour well over my sports bra straps and throughout the rides, the straps stayed in place and did not roll or slide around. I was very pleased that the straps did not dig in or irritate my shoulders. I liked that the straps were supportive and kept my shorts in place without pulling up on the waist area.
One of the upgrades from the previous kit are the silicone grippers around the inner hem of the bib shorts. In the new iteration, the silicone grippers are minimalistic X’s that get the job done to keep the shorts in place truly like a second skin. During my rides, the grippers stayed in place and I found that they helped not tug or pull at skin or leg hair.
In future iterations of the bib shorts, it would be great if they added a stow away thigh pocket.
The Distance Jersey was designed to pair with the Distance bib shorts and it matches the comfort and performance. During my longer, 30-mile ride, the jersey truly felt like a second skin and like the bib shorts. The way the fabric conforms to the body helped with keeping my range of movement unrestricted, and the fabric kept me nice and dry. I found that the back pockets are roomy and did not sag with one water bottle and a snack. The redesigned collar also did its job and even with the weight in the back pockets, the collar and zipper were not constricting at my neck during my ride.
The Distance Kit sits at a comparable price value as some of its competitors such as Rapha, Velocio, Pearl Izumi, to name a few. If you’re an avid cyclist or even a racer, this kit may be very well worth the investment for its performance and high quality materials. If you’re a weekend-warrior rider like myself, the price can be a bit steep at $200 for the bib shorts and $150 for a jersey. However, at the end of the day, whoever buys this kit is definitely getting their money’s worth as the performance and comfort of these bibs are outstanding.