Gore C5 Trail mountain bike shirt and shorts review

Gore’s C5 shirt and shorts are designed for fast summer trail riding, so that’s what the Bike Perfect test team have been doing in them

Gore C5 Trail jersey and shorts review
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

BikePerfect Verdict

Lightweight but usefully tough and really well designed kit


  • +

    Great lightweight performance

  • +

    Fast drying

  • +

    Surprisingly durable

  • +

    Excellent shorts detailing


  • -

    Mid-length can leave pad gap

  • -

    Colour mismatch

Why trust BikePerfect Our cycling experts have decades of testing experience. We'll always share our unbiased opinions on bikes and gear. Find out more about how we test.

Gore has learned from previous lessons to create a lightweight, hot/fast ride friendly shirt and short set that’s still usefully specced and surprisingly tough. Pricing is good for the performance and features, too.

C5 Trail short sleeve jersey 

The last Gore summer jerseys we tested had a tendency to pull threads and smell bad much sooner than we expected but Gore has clearly learned from its lessons. The latest C5 shirt uses a slightly stretchy 91% polyester, 9% elastane fabric mix that’s fought its way through mid-summer thorn attack and a few ground impacts without any obvious damage. It never smells any worse than we do and it dries fast after long hot climbs or short hard showers and it’s held its colour fine. The elastane gives it enough stretch to be sized down and snug for speed or cope with bulky body armour in a normal size. The multi-panel cut adds to the easy mobility and while there are no pockets or glass wipe details, the reinforced collar and subtle black reflective strips on the side seams are quality details for the money. There’s a women’s cut version for the same price, too.

 C5 Shorts 

There’s a lot more going on with the matching C5 shorts but, again, the basis is a lightweight polyester elastane (88%/12% this time) for easy, relatively quiet movement and fast-drying from sweat, rain or puddles. The fabric is also water repellent to reduce soaking in the first place. 

The multi-panel hem with broad logoed side adjuster straps gives a stable active fit with twin press stud and zip fly for convenience. There are two mesh-lined zippered pockets and a zippered right-hand thigh pocket, too. 

They sit just above the knee which is great for avoiding drag and keeping you cool and there are laser cut vent holes up the inner thigh for intimate air con too. The length can leave a gap between short knee pads and the hem though so go for the longer C5 All Mountain if you’re worried about flashing flesh.

We’ve put several hundreds of km trail riding and a few metres of trail sliding into them since spring without any obvious signs of wear in the seat. There is some ‘fluffing’ on the lower thigh and inside the left hip where we took a big wiping slide out but there’s no external damage at all. The only potential issue to fashionistas is that the ‘deep water blue’ of the shorts and the allegedly same colour of the shirt don’t actually match - or if they did (and we can’t remember) they don’t now. There’s no C5 women’s short but there is a women’s C5 All Mountain.


We’ve been wearing the shorts a lot since we got them as they’re a lightweight high performance short without being flappy, noisy or flimsy. TBH our stinky, easy shredding, overly synthetic feel experience with the last generation Gore shirts meant we only tried the new C5 more recently but it didn’t take long to become a real favourite. They are still looking and smelling fresh and it’s not a bad price either.

Tech Specs: Gore C5 short sleeve jersey 

  • Size: S-XXL
  • Price: $69.99 / £54.99 / €59.95

Tech Specs: Gore C5 shorts

  • Size: S-XXXL 
  • Price: $110 / £89.99 / €99.95
Guy Kesteven

Guy has been working on Bike Perfect since launch in 2019. He started writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.

Current rides: Cervelo ZFS-5, Specialized Chisel, custom Nicolai enduro tandem, Landescape/Swallow custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg