Gore Xenon Jersey £59.99
This year has seen a rise in what has been dubbed the “Climbers Jersey”. This denotes a jersey that receives the same thought and design process as high-end bib shorts; this is no longer a simple garment. The goal is to produce a lightweight and cool temperature garment.
Gore has utilized the body mapping technology that was first seen on the Xenon Windstopper jersey. The theory is that the cut of the panels mirrors the body’s ergonomics ; where they differ from other manufacturers is that the material chosen for a particular area has been optimized. This results in a multi panel garment that performs to the best parameters for the cut and fabric. The whole of the Xenon range is designed using this process.
Being an all black jersey, our test sample instantly looked smart and if for nothing else this one factor would guarantee lots of riding time. It was upon further examination that you could see the different panels and materials used. The lower section at the front (from your navel to waist area) was made from a lightweight mesh material. The reduced mass in this area, while at the same time allowing maximum ventilation, was welcome and stopped the material bunching up. The sleeve length lies somewhere in-between a full and capped sleeve. It is not elasticised, which is a good thing, as it lies halfway up the bicep. If you were planning on using this jersey with a set of armwarmers, I would recommend that you choose a pair that have a good set of grippers to them.
At first I had some reservations over the pockets, which felt like they would not hold anything, due to their small size. On the other hand, I liked the central pocket as it had two sections to it, one being a zipped option big enough to hold a digital camera. In use the pockets worked fine and my original suspicion was unfounded. I am happy to say that I have not lost anything from them.
In use on cooler days you really noticed the added ventilation of the jersey, as it offered no wind protection, which on a hot day I found to be very beneficial. Although I am sure that the designer may have had such events as the Etape du Tour in mind when designing this jersey, it would be foolish to limit it to just this arena. In any event where intensity is high the Xenon jersey would excel. Finally you don’t have to sacrifice buckets of sweat to achieve that Johnny Cash (man in black) look (although the jersey is available in other colours)[red and white – ed.]. This has been a great jersey to use and with the price being around half that of some of its competitors, I think this represents a excellent buy.