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The Gore Race Jersey is a top that offers quality fabric and construction and a great fit, and it's easy to like when you're wearing it. Probably much more so than when you're putting your hand in your pocket to buy it.
As you'd expect, and, indeed, demand, from a £180 jersey, the Gore Race is very nicely put together. The main fabric is a polyamide and elastane mix which manages to be stretchy enough to be a close fit but also holds its shape well, so loading up the pockets doesn't make the jersey sag.
There are two weights of fabric used; both are very lightweight but the armpit and side panels use a more open weave for better ventilation.
The sleeves are cut long, and there's quite a lot of length in the body too. I'm 91kg and 189cm and the large size was a snug fit on me – exactly what you want for a jersey designed to go fast in.
The wide elastic gripper at the bottom stops the jersey riding up, and the collar is nicely shaped to sit flush with your skin and not gape.
In use, the Race jersey is everything you'd want, really. It's got a real second-skin feel to it, and even when you're going full gas there's very little loose fabric to flap about. Sometimes there's a bit of noise from the back of the jersey between the shoulder blades, but that's about it.
It's easy to live with too: the three pockets at the back are easy to access and can swallow plenty of stuff, and there's a zipped extra pocket for your keys or valuables too.
The full length zipper at the front means you can adjust your ventilation easily on the climbs, and there's a generous baffle behind the zip which makes the jersey more comfortable without a baselayer, which was how I found it worked best.
All of the seams are over-engineered, and repeated washing at 30°C has brought the jersey up like new: it's keeping its shape well.
It's well served with subtle reflective details on all sides, which are a useful addition; none of them have started to degrade or delaminate during testing, which can sometimes be an issue.
Given that the Gore Race jersey is thin, and Gore doesn't claim it's windproof, it's actually not bad in that regard. The fabric has a close weave that does offer a bit of wind protection, and although it's certainly a summer jersey, it's better than I imagined it would be on those days where you're expecting hot weather but it's still a bit cool in the morning when you set off.
At £179 this is, by anyone's yardstick, an expensive jersey. A trawl through the road.cc review archive reveals that you can spend more, but there aren't that many jerseys out there at this kind of price. You can certainly feel the quality, and there's a lot to like about the Race jersey, but on a pure bangs-per-buck basis it's hard to justify forking out nearly 200 quid for it.
I've been impressed in the past by dhb's Aeron Lab Raceline jersey, and Castelli's Aero Race jersey, now in its sixth iteration, is also well regarded round these parts. Both of those are £120 at full RRP.
The Gore Race jersey has a more premium feel in terms of its fabric and build quality than either of those options, but you are going to have to embrace those diminishing returns.
Very nice premium jersey with quality fabrics and a good fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Race Jersey Men's
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Gore says, 'A modern cut cycling jersey that can be worn for racing, high intensity training, or the biggest ride of your summer. Carefully thought out technical details will ensure you're free to perform your best all season long.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Gore lists these product details:
Highly technical fabric mix creates a lightweight but snug fitting jersey
Developed with Fabian Cancellara
Modern, aero road cycling fit: lengthened sleeves and dropped tail
Shaped collar at back of neck
Grip elastic at waist hem for snug fit
Flat seam sleeves
3D rear pocket construction gives more storage space
Secure zip pocket on rear for keys or valuables
Full length zip with zipper garage
Stealth black look
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Wash at 30°, comes up like new.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, a really good premium jersey.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fabric choice, fit, practicality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's very expensive.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
This is at the top end of what you can pay for a jersey. Even premium jerseys from most brands are £50 or more below this.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not at full RRP.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? My better-heeled friends, yes.
Use this box to explain your overall score
The performance is excellent, but you're well into the realms of diminishing returns here. Overall, it's still a good buy if you can afford it.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura, Dward Design fixed
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.