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Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Toe Protector

Remember that great pair of cycling shoes you bought that promised to keep your feet cool all summer? Well, you are going to hate them this fall (and next spring). Cool summer bike shoes usually have a lot of vents to increase air circulation and in the fall this is a real problem. The good news is that the Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Toe Protector can block the wind and keep you comfortable at the same time.

Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Toe Protector

Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Toe Protector

The Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Toe Protector is made of the breathable, yet totally windproof, Windstopper soft shell fabric. Please bear in mind that this protector is not insulated—it is intended to stop the wind, not warm you up (there is a difference). The product has reflective logos, but they are really not a great selling point. The logos are on the side of the protectors but I doubt if anyone could see them unless they were standing next to you and looked down. Gore only offers this protector in two sizes: S/M (36-41) and L/XL (42-47) sizes.

This toe protector is designed for road shoes. I use these covers on my road shoes with Look Keo cleats and they work perfectly. Some people put these protectors on mountain biking shoes, but I would not recommend it. In order to get them over the sole of a MTB shoe you would really have to stretch it a lot and probably ruin it in the process. In addition, because MTB shoes have tread that hangs down below the cleats, if you use this item on a MTB shoe the fabric will rub against the ground every time you walk in your shoes (something it is not designed to handle).

The Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Toe Protector retails for $30 and I think this is a great investment for something that can extend your cycling season. However, if you are looking for a toe protector for even cooler weather or for your mountain bike shoes then you should buy the Planet Bike Dasher Shoe Cover.

 

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Gore Bike Wear Windstopper Arm Warmers

Most people check the calendar to find the first day of fall. For me the first day of fall is the day in early September when I have to grab my arm warmers before I go out for a morning ride. I own several different brands of arm warmers, but the Gore Bike Wear Windstopper Arm Warmers are my absolute favorite.

Gore Bike Wear Windstopper Arm Warmers

Gore Bike Wear Windstopper Arm Warmers

The Gore Bike Wear Windstopper Arm Warmers are made of a nylon/spandex/polyester blend and have a Windstopper membrane that keeps the wind out. While these arm warmers are not waterproof, they do offer great protection from light drizzle. If the temperature rises while you are out on a ride you can roll these arm warmers up and stuff them in your jersey pocket and you’ll still have room to spare. The reflective accents on these arm warmers are larger than you will find on most cycling jerseys or jackets. Since you are going to be wearing these arm warmers in the spring and fall when the sun sets earlier in the day this is a valuable feature.

A couple of things separate these arms warmers from the other brands. First, these arm warmers actually work! The Windstopper fabric keeps the wind out and the fleece backing traps warm air next to your skin to keep you comfortable. Second, the “grippy” elastic hems keep these arm warmers in place. I have several pair from other companies that just won’t stay where they belong!

I use these arm warmers in temperatures from around 50 to 64 degrees. When the temperature drops below 60 I also put on a cycling vest—this way I can avoid wearing a jacket for as long as possible.

Gore Bike Wear Windstopper Arm Warmers retail for $50, but you can find them online (Amazon.com, Nashbar.com, et al.) for around $40. There are a lot of cheaper arm warmers on the market, but I don’t think you will find better ones.

 

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Gore Bike Wear Windstopper Gloves

I own a lot of cycling gloves, but there are really only a few pair that I regularly use. Most of the gloves I’ve bought have failed to meet my needs and are now residents of the Island Of Misfit Cycling Purchases (the population of the island increases every time I go to a bike show). I separate my gloves, like most of my cycling outerwear, into different weather categories roughly based upon 10 degree categories. When the temperature is in the 40’s I really like the Gore Bike Wear Men’s Alp X III Windstopper Gloves.

Gore Bike Wear Men's Alp X III Windstopper Gloves

Gore Bike Wear Men's Alp X Windstopper Gloves

The first thing you need to know about these gloves is that they are for cool weather, not cold weather. My fingers do get cold in these gloves when the temperature drops into the 30’s. However, they are highly breathable and block the wind like no other gloves I’ve ever used. They have a bit of reflective trim on the fingers, but not enough to make them stand out much in low light conditions.

As for sizing, these gloves run a bit tight. If you normally wear medium-sized gloves I would order these in large.These gloves have a very good gel pad in the palms and silicone-coated fingertips that provide a  good grip. I used these gloves on dozens of 50 mile rides and have found them to be very comfortable. The long wrist cuffs on the gloves have a Velcro closure so you can provide some ventilation if your hands get too warm (they will if you are riding with these in the mid 50’s).

The Gore Bike Wear Men’s Alp X III Windstopper Gloves have a list price of around $60 and are available on Amazon.com and many retailers.

 

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Gore Bike Wear Phantom Bike Jacket

If I had to limit myself to only one cycling jacket it would have to be the Gore Bike Wear Phantom Bike Jacket! I live in the Chicago area and it’s not called the “Windy City” for nothing. The Gore Phantom Jacket is made with Gore’s famous WindStopper fabric and it really makes riding on windy days a lot easier.

Gore Bike Wear Phantom Bike Jacket

Gore Bike Wear Phantom Bike Jacket

This jacket not only stops the wind from penetrating the fabric, but since it is designed to be tight-fitting it reduces drag as well. While they do not claim the jacket is waterproof, I have found it to be highly water-resistant and very breathable. The sleeves easily zip off and leave you with a great vest with quarter-sleeves. It has reflective accents to make your presence known in low-light situations and has the best pockets of any of the jackets I own.

I rode with this jacket during the winter in temperatures down to around 25 degrees (I was also wearing a Performance Polar Jersey and an Under Armour Tactical Longsleeve Crew). I could have ridden with this jacket in colder weather, but I really didn’t want to ruin it with all the grit, grime and slush that splashes up on me in the winter months.

I purchased my jacket from REI for around $170, which is about the same price you’ll find on Amazon.com.

 

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