Few names inspire the confidence of Gore-Tex, whose Windstopper fabric provides the basic protection at the top end of virtually every manufacturer of cycling clothes. Gore Bike Wear's own Xenon 2.0 SO Bib Tights are no exception to this rule, and the combination of fabrics, cut, and the Xenon chamois make this a pro-level pair of bib tights for the most dedicated high-mileage, cold-weather cyclists. The Xenon Bib Tights live up to their namesake's nobility, which is only fitting as Gore is the king of cold-weather protection.
As with all Gore clothing, the star of these tights is the fabric. They incorporate three layers in a build more akin to a 2.5-layer construction: an outer shell, a Windstopper membrane, and a lining. In this cycling sandwich, the two pieces of bread protect the Windstopper so that it can protect you by keeping you warm, breathing to transfer moisture and prevent overheating, and fending-off the elements. The Windstopper panels are used on the front of the legs and around the crotch, protecting the parts of your body that lead into the wind. The back panel has a more flexible but less protective blend of materials, letting you move freely in the areas that don't need as much wind protection and ventilating well to dump excess heat.
The Xenon insert is Gore's finest chamois. It shares the strategically varied thickness, the freedom of movement, and the ventilating properties of Gore's other inserts, but with an additional anti-vibration element under the key pressure points. This means that it's its most comfortable chamois, and will ensure your comfort across five hours of cold-weather base building.
The Xenon's pedigree shows in their construction. They have pre-shaped knees, foot straps, and shifted seams to make for a fit that's unrivaled in comfortable support and accommodating the pedaling motion. Gore also tapes the crotch seam to prevent abrasion in the area that sees the most contact, protecting your investment. The short front zipper makes them easy to get on and facilitates quick bio breaks, and its underflap is yet another indication of Gore's focus on rider comfort. Reflective piping and logos help keep you visible in low-light conditions from all angles.
The Gore Bike Wear Xenon 2.0 SO Bib Tights are available in five sizes ranging from Small to XX-Large in the colors Black, Black/neon yellow, and Black/white.
- Item #GBW001L
- Q & A
Decent product except for stitching
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Size Bought: XL
The Good. Form fitting, great wind blocking with good breathability. Good for 20-40f for me. Not as pricey as Assos
The Bad. The Stitching, I have owned several Gore bike wear products and all seem to have Stitching issues this my 2nd pair of these CC warrantied the 1st pair and now this one is coming unstitched near the waist. Also the chamois is place too far back for my liking and makes it easy for your junk to be above the chamois. Not near as comfortable as my Assos but as I stated about 1/2 the price.
Picked from 5 options, all reviewed here
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
Last year I bought Castelli Sorpasso Windstopper bib tights. I like them except when the temp is <40F, and I start feeling an ice pack against my crotch and lower abdomen! I wanted another bib with the Primary Goal to not freeze my tackle in temps into the 30’s. I tried on 5 sets of bibs tights. As long as you don’t wear these bare bottom and you keep the tags on, CC is great with taking back stuff you try on. I am 157lb, 5’ 7’’, 32" waist. My Castelli’s are a large, but I ordered M size for these 5 options: 1) CAPO PADRONE ROUBAIX: great look and fit, good compression, pad seemed very good, and more insulation in the lower abdomen/crotch area than the Soprasso. I also received a version with no zipper in the front as was shown on the CC and Capo websites (newer version). 3rd choice as I thought some of the other options had more insulation in the crotch/lower ab area. 2) GIORDANA FORMA RED CARBON WINDSTOPPER: Giordana has been my “go to” bib short for years. These had the most comfortable fit for me with no wrinkles, good compression, same excellent chamois as on their upper end shorts. They were the nicest looking bibs. I wanted these to be my choice, but I though the insulation in my “target area” would have been no better than the Castellis. 3) GORE OXYGEN WINDSTOPPER: from an insulation standpoint these would work well. Plenty of Windstopper fabric, and the chamois seemed fine. My biggest dislike was they were not very formfitting. Windstopper fabric does not stretch, so to make it work there need to be multiple panels, form fitting cuts, etc. These were baggy/wrinkly in the backside. There is no ankle zipper or footstrap, and I wondered if these would move around some on the ankle when pedaling. I could have worked with these but saw no point with the Xenon2.0 being only 10% more $$ and a much better design/fit. 4) SUGOI RS FIREWALL: their fabric felt stiffer and thicker than the Windstopper equipped bibs - not sure but maybe they would be warmer? They looked like they would have very good wind/cold protection, including the crotch and lower abdomen. Fit was very good, with very comfortable straps and a nice chamois. I liked the high cut in the abdomen and they had ankle zippers AND a small ankle strap that could be cut off. I tried these on the bike trainer. The ONLY complaint I had was that they seemed kind of tight in the calf area vs. the Xenons, which is really splitting hairs. GORE XENON 2.0: when I first tried them on I was really unsure. Pulling them on was the hardest because the hips were really tight, maybe because of the way the Windstopper fabric is cut. Once I got them over my hips and butt, they were comfortable. I was not sure about the combination of the thick footstrap (no ankle zipper) and the extra length of almost baggy fabric at the bottom. I love Gore winter clothes, so despite some quirks with my “dry fit” in the dressing room, I thought these might be the best choice. I tried them on a trainer and the ankle fabric tended to even out and was no concern for me, even though I am on the short end of the spectrum. Ultimately I thought the way they cut in the windprotecting fabric was a little better for me compared to the Sugoi, and the fit was more comfortable sitting on a trainer. I have ridden once in the mid 40’s, and once at around 35F with a little breeze. I really like them! The chamois and shoulder straps are awesome, fit is great and they have good compression. They are totally warm and insulated in the target crotch and lower ab area. There is a section of non-Windstopper fabric cut in a diagonal wrap across the thighs to provide stretch that you feel in colder temps. It’s more of a temp difference from the Windstopper protected area and not really cold. Once I warmed up that feeling went away. I'm still not crazy about the thick ankle strap, but otherwise extremely happy with this choice. Give them and the Sugoi a chance.
Good with some significant flaws
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: Runs small
- Size Bought: large
This review is for the bottoms and jacket together. I had both and finally sold them. Nothing negative to report on the jacket except that the top is sized smaller than the bottoms in my judgement; I would be better off in an XL up top due to my shoulders and chest. The top is cut for scrawny manorexic types. NBD. First the good: the fit is close and streamlined which I like. The warmth of the Gore wind-blocking fabric is the best I've seen particularly on the jacket and the all-important jewels region on the bottom. I was comfortable in single digit wind chill (Midwest) as far as core temp and avoiding genital frostbite. (Yes ladies, that's a real threat for us.) The negatives go to the bottoms: the cut is appropriately very snug in the thigh while being disproportionately loose below the knee. Again, cut for string beans. I had cold spots on the back of the leg because of this and because the wind-block material does not cover the back of the leg. As such, this limits the temperature rating significantly. The ankle cuff is a real problem. It does not give at all so great care is needed putting your foot through; you could easily bust the seam on your new 250 dollar tights. That cuff and the entire lower leg could be improved by using a stretchier soft shell fabric. Ultimately, for such an expensive set to be used in serious cold, I was expecting more.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
6'1" 175lbs XL is very close but leaves a bit too much wrinkle in the leg length. These bibs are nice and warm on cold days. I have worn them down to zero F and they kept my legs from freezing. The design is solid, thick quality bib-straps and a decent pad. I have washed them 100+ times, no signs of wear. These have some nice reflective details for those morning/midnight rides. I have yet to test these in a downpour, but can attest that snow is no problemo. I prefer Castelli Bibs for winter riding, but these are a close second.
comment on sizing
Recently tried on these bibs in L. Overall, i would say that the size chart is SPOT ON for an L.
I'm 5'11" 34 waist, 30" inseam, and these were good from crotch to torso, but about 1.5" too long in the leg for me, so didnt buy them. Also, they were loose in the hip which makes sense because my hip measurement is smaller than the L range.
There was no M where I tried these on at, so cant comment on how those fit.
Fabric felt great, seemed well built, overall seemed like typical gore quality. 4-stars based on my 3 mins in them.