Gore is the most famous apparel brand that people don’t think they’ve heard of. Gore? No. You’ve heard of Gore-Tex? Everyone’s heard of Gore-Tex. OK, so Gore is the bike stuff. Gore-Tex is the fabric your jacket is made from, and the bits around the end of you guitar strings, and your granddad’s aortic stent… and your space suit.
Gore is ubiquitous. It’s even in kit that bares the logo of other, more famous, cycling brands. But with a little help from Fabian Cancellara, things are changing. You’ve heard of him, though, right?
Enlisting Cancellara has been a huge step for Gore. He’s become part of the team. His feedback is imperative to the way the brands garments are now being produced. Over a career that has been as long, and as successful as his, he’s amassed a few ideas about what a rider needs. And what they don’t.
The Gore C7 Gore-Tex Shakedry Jacket has been a while in the making. It’s origins stem as far back to 1985 and the brands first foray in pro cycling when team Superconfex (which later became Rabobank) wore its Giro jacket at the Tour de France. This jacket was way ahead of its time. Roll the clock forward 30 years and the latest version is still pushing boundaries.
The jacket is breathable, aerodynamic, packs into something the size of a cigarette packet and it’s waterproof. Not to be confused with water resistant for a bit and then starts leaking like a wet tea bag. Usually it’s a case of picking a couple of these desirables and then sacrificing the rest.
How’ve they done this? Well, Cancellara has helped with the fit, which we’re aware was a strain on office relations (he’s unsurprisingly demanding). The rest was down to the experts.
The shell of a Gore cycling jacket typically has three layers consisting of an outer layer, the Gore membrane in the middle and then the lining that’s next to the skin. This jacket only has two layers, the membrane and the lining. The challenge was to then produce the Shakedry fabric tough enough to actually wear and not tear like wet tissue paper.
We’re assured it wasn’t easy, but neither was appeasing Fabian Cancellara.