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The Gore Torrent Bib Shorts+ feature a Windstopper front panel to protect your private parts on cool days and chilly descents. Overall they're excellent with a very comfortable pad, a great fit and a subtly stylish look, though they're arguably a bit niche – I found them useful in a pretty narrow temperature range between 12-17 degrees.
Earlier this year we tested the Gore Ardent Bib Shorts+, and at a glance they're virtually identical to these. Both feature a Gore Windstopper Cup for groin protection, both are designed to be breathable in warmer weather, and both have a close fit for enhanced comfort and aerodynamics. This Torrent version is £50 cheaper, too, so what gives?
There are several key differences that aren't immediately obvious, and the Torrents have longer legs and flat hems rather than raw cut. Most crucially though, the pad is different. These use Gore's Advanced chamois, which is slightly thinner than the Expert in the more expensive Ardents, and in theory lighter and more breathable.
Although Gore says this is a medium density pad, it seems pretty thick and comfortable to me. For what it's worth, it's made by Elastic Interface – I'm not sure why Gore doesn't shout about this as Elastic Interface pads always seem highly rated.
This one feels virtually identical to the long-distance Elastic Interface pad in my Albion ABR1 bib shorts, which are similarly excellent for comfort – easily up to 100 miles. It doesn't interfere and in fact, you don't really notice it, unlike some chunkier designs.
According to Gore, the Torrent bibs weigh in at just 120g versus 198g for the Ardents, but on the road.cc scales of truth this pair of Torrents read 185g. Meanwhile the Ardents we tested were 215g, also in a size Large. That's only a 30g difference – a lot less than the 78g Gore claims.
I like the longer legs of the Torrent shorts, and the flat hems work just fine with no chafing. That goes for the rest of the bib shorts too.
They're cut close, probably veering more towards race fit than sporty, and there's a very generous silicone gripper on the inside of the leg which prevents the hems riding up.
There's a small reflective Gore logo on the back, and a single stripe around each leg. You can choose from either black and white or blue and white.
The bib section is entirely made of mesh, so there's plenty of breathability there, and aside from the very small section of Windstopper material the fabric is all quite light. The straps are a good length (even for longer torsos) and reasonably wide, and there are no seams to dig in to your shoulders – they're comfortable.
I did find that because the material is quite thin the straps wanted to twist themselves into a tizzy every time I put them over my shoulders, which required a bit of fiddling, but it's not a deal breaker by any means.
In general they breathe very well, though as Steve noted in his review of the Ardent Bib Shorts+, you do tend to get a little sweatier in the groin area than with regular shorts.
Gore says 'Rapid cooling down on descents is a problem for cyclists so we have employed a Gore Windstopper cup in the groin area to protect from wind chill and ensure excellent moisture management.'
Personally, I've never had an issue with a chilly wi... bits, unless the temperature is really low, but everyone is different and perhaps you do. I'd say these might be best suited to days where it's between 12-17 degrees. Anything above – especially if you're doing a lot of long, steep climbs – and you might find these overkill. And anything below you might not want to wear shorts in the first place.
In that respect, then, they're perhaps a bit niche, but then again cycling is full of niches. It's nice to have the option should you need it.
At £99.99 these feel fairly price for the quality, fit and performance, but whether they're good value or not will very much depend on just how often you find them necessary. They're probably just a little too warm to work as all-rounders, and ideally you'll need other options for properly hot weather.
We've reviewed loads of other bib shorts on road.cc, and plenty for less than these. The Orro Pyro Line Bibshorts are £30 less at £69.99, for instance, and also have good long legs, a bit of a compressive fit, a very comfy pad and a warmish fabric that's best suited to mild days.
Spend a penny (literally, not figuratively) more than the Gores cost and you get the Blackmore Bib Shorts, which were highly rated by Stef, although the front seems to come up quite high for wee stops (okay, literally as well). The pad isn't Elastic Interface, but was still a hit with the tester.
There are several other bib shorts recently reviewed that are well over the £200 mark, but personally I think Gore offers a very high quality product for the £100 asking price.
The pad is brilliant, the fit is great and these shorts feel built to last. The Windstopper cup is a good idea too, and will undoubtedly help keep away chills at speed, but the downside is the extra warmth limits the Torrent bibs to the milder days of summer.
Excellent summer(ish) bib shorts with a great pad, but best suited to milder days
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Wear Torrent Bib Shorts+ Mens
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Gore says, "Fast cycling creates a wind chill effect, even on warm days, but by using fabrics with effective moisture management and our GORE WINDSTOPPER cup for extra protection at the groin, you are able to maintain your body temperature throughout your ride."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
ADVANCED Road seat insert with GORE WINDSTOPPER Cup
GORE WINDSTOPPER Cup Technology: highly breathable, preformed windproof front for optimum comfort
Quick drying material
Full mesh bib construction for optimum fit and breathability
Flat hem provides optimum fit and comfort
Optimised seam placement for comfort
Inseam length 25 cm / 9.8 inches
Typical Gore high quality.
Very comfortable, if a bit warm for use on the hottest days.
Snug, but not too compressive. Good length in the legs and straps that are supportive but comfy.
I normally take a large and this is spot on. For reference I am 6ft 4in with a 35in inside leg.
Pretty decent for a size large with a Windstopper panel.
Very comfortable - the Elastic Interface pad is excellent for long journeys.
Given the high quality Elastic Interface pad, the Windstopper cup and the great fit I'd say these are pretty good value for money. While they're perhaps a bit niche for some riders, there are a lot more expensive shorts out there that don't seem to offer anything more.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues here.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent comfort and fit, though the Windstopper panel might be overkill.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Orro Pyro Line Bibshorts are £30 cheaper, also very comfy and also suit the milder days. Alternatively the Blackmore Bib Shorts cost the same as the Gores, are better for truly hot days and have a pretty good pad too (though they're not windproof).
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Gore Torrent Bib Shorts+ are great: they're very well designed, specced and made for the money. They have a limited operating range thanks to the Windstopper panel, though – if you don't suffer from a refrigerated crotch they're less usable than many competitors, but if you do they're a rare, and very good, solution.
About the tester
I usually ride: Condor Italia RC custom build My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,