Since its debut several years ago, Gore-Tex’s Shakedry has set the benchmark when it comes to waterproof cycling jackets, the culmination of 30 years of research and development to produce the best performing waterproof fabrics. But the dark grey colour, a by-product of the manufacturing process, has been the main objection from many potential customers.
That could be set to change soon. Recently Gore Wear partnered with hip London cycle clothing brand Romance to launch the first Shakedry jacket that isn’t grey. With a unique blue and white design that “is an ode to the sky and its clouds” the company demonstrated, at last, the ability to produce Shakedry with colour.
Shakedry is game-changing because it puts the waterproof membrane on the external face of the fabric, doing without the usual three layers and DWR coating which we all know deteriorates with use and washes. The external membrane is called a Permanent Beading Surface because water does just that, permanently beads off the surface. And it keeps on doing this; even my three-year-old original jacket is still as waterproof now as when it was new.
Reducing the layers in the construction from the usual three to just two also brings other big benefits that address the typical flaws with a rain jacket. It’s incredibly breathable, so good that you can keep wearing it when it’s not raining. I use mine as a wind-shell, it’s that breathable. It’s also extremely packable, easily rolling up into a jersey pocket alongside a pump or other bits and bobs, so you have no excuse to not take it with you on a ride.
The result of this manufacturing process is the limitation on the colour. The grey colour is the natural colour of the membrane. Gore has since being adding coloured panels of its previous waterproof fabric, Active, to jackets to create bright offerings. But the demand has clearly been there for Shakedry in colours. Red, blue, yellow, the typical colours of cycling jackets.
With the recent Romance jacket collaboration, it’s safe to assume that Gore has finally cracked the problem and found a way to manufacture Shakedry with colours. According to Gore this involves a “modified membrane and new printing technologies” and it looks forward “to the possibilities this opens up for the future.” Reading between the lines, it’s clear we’ll soon be looking at a range of coloured Shakedry jackets.
We asked Gore about this but it said there’s nothing confirmed so we’ll just have to wait and see. It’s safe to assume it’s definitely going to happen, it likely won’t be this winter but we’d hope to see something for winter 2020/21 so that would mean an announcement in the summer.
So who’s been putting off buying Shakedry because of the colour?
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.