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Gore's C7 Windstopper Jersey is made for riding hard in cool conditions. The Windstopper material does a lot to keep you warm but it also breathes really well. The fit is good too, with stretch just where you need it, though I could have done with a slightly more tapered waist. The price is very high compared with similar designs.
Gore's technical fabrics are brilliant and this jersey is another example of how well they can work for cyclists. This jersey uses Gore's Windstopper fabric, a totally windproof, extremely breathable and water-repellent material that we've seen on countless other jerseys and jackets.
But having a brilliant fabric doesn't automatically make a great jersey. Fit plays a massive part and I think that Gore has nearly nailed it. It's aimed this jersey at fast riding and racing in cool conditions and it works really well for this thanks to the high levels of breathability and the close fit.
The cut is high at the front, which prevents material bunching too much when you're on the bike. At the rear, the tail is dropped slightly, giving good coverage of the lower back and easy access to the three large pockets (plus one zipped).
Gore has included stretch panels in the arms that extend down under the pits. This allows the stretch needed as the Windstopper material has very little give. Gore has extended this down the side panels a little to allow more flex around the chest.
This all results in a close fit that feels very comfortable on the bike. It isn't a skintight fit on the arms but it is close enough on my skinny biceps to cause no flapping. At the waist, though, it's just a bit on the loose side. I have a very slim waist and I could have benefited from the jersey tapering more. The rear hem gripper is wide, but it couldn't grip to my shorts and the jersey could ride up over the layer underneath – especially if I was wearing it over another jersey with stuff in that jersey's pockets. I will stress, though, I have a very slender waist.
Out on the road, I found the jersey perfect in the late spring and also the recent cooler weather. It also does well as an extra layer, over another jersey and arm warmers on cool days or just for the start of a chilly ride. Once it's warmed up you can then roll up the jersey and store in a pocket if needed. Below about 17°C and the jersey won't cause you to overheat.
The material is also slightly water resistant. It fends off a bit of rain but anything heavy will quickly soak through. The thin material doesn't hold much water, though, and the jersey will dry quickly.
There is an argument that the long-sleeve jersey might be a better option, but I'd pick this one and pair it with some arm warmers. That way, you get a wider temperature range to use the jersey and an easier job of getting it in a jersey pocket.
Value is where this jersey loses points. This type of jersey was kicked off by Castelli with the Gabba. Castelli now has the Perfetto Light (£135) which uses Gore Windstopper fabric and is a great jersey, and there's the Endura Pro SL Classics (£149.99), currently available for £96, with arm warmers included. The breathability might not be quite as good, but the jersey performs much the same job and has a very good fit.
Pricing is an area that does confuse me. There might be more to it, but as Gore is using its own fabric, I would have assumed that would make its product cheaper than Castelli's Perfetto, which requires Castelli to buy-in Gore's fabric... Whatever the case, it's a great jersey but there are cheaper alternatives that work just as well.
Brilliant performance in a wide range of temperatures, though the price is very high and the fit not perfect if you're slim-waisted
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore C7 Windstopper Jersey
Size tested: S
Tell us what the product is for
From Gore: "For serious cyclists, a GORE® WINDSTOPPER® jersey is an essential addition to your cycling kit bag. The slim, competition-worthy fit is low in bulk thanks to the careful placement of mesh panelling under the arms and on the sides of the jersey."
You'd have to be very seriously into cycling to drop this money on a jersey, although it's a great piece to have. The fit is slim, but I'd have preferred it tighter at the arms and waist for racing.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
MAIN FABRIC: 87% POLYESTER
SHELL INSIDE: 100% POLYESTER
MESH: 90% POLYAMIDE
The stitching is really well done, so there are no issues here. The stretch panels are also well integrated.
Go out for a hard ride in cool conditions and you'll stay comfortable. The breathability and warmth from the Windstopper material is really brilliant.
White isn't a colour that I'd recommend for a jersey that gets used in adverse weather. It washes well, but it only takes one muddy road to ruin things. (It comes in red and black as well.)
The fit is close but not restrictive. I would like more tapering in at the waist to create a tighter hem.
You'd be very safe with your usual jersey size.
At 168g, it's right on the money for this type of jersey. It is lighter than the Perfetto Light 2 (251g) that Mat tested earlier this year, though this one is a small and Mat's was a large.
The breathability means you don't feel clammy when riding hard. It's a great jersey to be wearing on a tough ride.
It's much more expensive than very good options that use the same fabric.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Wash at 40°C and then hang dry. Nice and easy, no shrinkage.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It stops the wind well. Taking this out on a cool day with no rain forecast will mean that you're comfortable all day.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The performance is really very good. You can ride hard while remaining at a comfortable temperature.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price. It doesn't make sense for a company that is using its own product to be significantly beaten on price by a company buying in the same fabric, does it?
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Much higher. The Castelli Perfetto Light 2 and Endura Pro SL Classics II jerseys are both better value.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes. It works very well.
Would you consider buying the product? No. Too expensive.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No, I'd suggest the Perfetto or Pro Classics jersey.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Brilliant performance with perfect windstopping and high levels of breathability. This is a jersey that you can use for a good portion of the year. It works well by itself and also as a layering piece. But I do think there are some improvements to be made to the fit at the waist. That and the very high price mean the C7 drops points.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!