Yes. I’m a Gore-Whore. I freely admit it.
I’ve now had a chance to put a few rides into a pair of Gore Alp-X Windstopper pants.
These are full length pants, intended primarily for non-road riding. I use them for mountain and fatbiking. They are not bibs, and do not have a chamois. They are windstopper, so they’re windproof, and waterproof except at the seams (the seams aren’t sealed)…so Gore won’t call them waterproof. In my experience thus far, they’re waterproof.
Being a softshell design, they do have a fabric that seems durable, but does catch burrs.
That’s kind of annoying, at least compared to goretex pants (which don’t catch burrs because of their slicker exterior).
They have a nicely armored inner leg cuff to protect against errant chainring rubbing:
And nice thigh vents to help you cool off if you get warm.
They also feature a nice cuff zipper that opens up for ease of putting the pants on, and then zips down to keep your cuff relatively trim so it doesn’t flap in the wind or get caught in your chainring.
I wore these on Monday, with temps in the upper 20s and light wind, on a Fatbike ride. I had on a pair of regular bib shorts underneath, and no other leg coverings. (Up top, I had a Gore Windstopper Singlet, a long-sleeve jersey, and my Gore Phantom). With that setup, I was totally warm and comfortable.
Starting out from home in the dark, I was worried that the pants would be a little cold…but as soon as I started pedaling, my legs warmed up immediately. I was surprised by how versatile the pants were. I felt very comfortable both when I was pedalling down the road at a good clip in the wind, and when I was working hard off-road, at low speed, climbing a steep hill. The windstopper does a great job of…uhh…stopping the wind. It is amazingly breathable–no moisture issues at all, even when you’re working hard. The thigh zippers do far more than you have any right to expect; I was very surprised at how quickly they cooled me off (in fact, chilled me) when I opened them up. Very, very nice.
Even with being drug through burrs and thorns, the pants have held up well thus far (admittedly, only a few rides on them). So while they do catch burrs, they haven’t been punctured by any thorns yet.
Tobie at NCC talked about these pants at the recent Winter Clinic, and called them “Magic Pants”, for how versatile they are, and how good they are at temperature regulation. In comparison to something like the Fusion GT AS goretex pants, the Alp-X pants are significantly warmer. I wouldn’t think of wearing the Fusions in cold weather without full-length tights underneath. So unless you’re dealing with full-on rainstorms, the Alp-X pants make a great deal of sense for winter biking.
For road riding, I’ll stick with tights…but for everything else, these just might be the ticket.
As far as fit goes, I’m a 31 or 32″ waist, 33″ inseam, 6′ tall, about 147 pounds. (As of today). A medium fits in all aspects. The waist is adjustable (with velcro) for a wide range of fit. They don’t fit baggy, but they are not skintight. I’d say that they fit trim. They do have some reflective details/piping/trim for nighttime riding, as well. So far, so good.