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Gorewear C5 Shorts Review

These mountain bike shorts offer a loose, freeride fit with accommodating leg openings that prioritize pedal-friendliness while providing ample thigh protection
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Gorewear C5 Shorts Review
Credit: Gorewear
Price:  $100 List
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Manufacturer:   Gorewear
By Nick Miley ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 15, 2023
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 17
  • Comfort - 20% 7.0
  • Fit and Pedal Friendliness - 20% 8.0
  • Features - 20% 8.0
  • Durability - 20% 8.0
  • Style - 10% 7.0
  • Protection - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Gorewear C5 are pedal-friendly shorts with a loose, freeride fit. Made with a 4-way stretch synthetic blend, these shorts promote unrestricted movement and have useful features such as two hip pockets and a phone pocket on the right thigh. Although the shorts have minimal ventilation, they are relatively breathable, and the low-profile, adjustable waistband provides a secure fit. All told, the Gorewear C5 shorts are a good choice for riders looking for practical features that enhance their on and off-trail experience.
REASONS TO BUY
Free ride fit
Comfortable for peddling
Durable
REASONS TO AVOID
Limited venting
Abrasive pocket zippers

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Gorewear C5 Shorts
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Price $100.00 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Bottom Line These shorts feature a 4-way stretch synthetic blend that promotes unrestricted movement and a comfortable feel, with useful features and decent protectionA quality all-mountain short that offers a high-quality feel but has minimal waistband adjustmentThese minimalistic, well-ventilated shorts are a godsend for those heading out on big rides on hot daysSimple and effective trail riding shorts that are comfortable and pedal-friendlyThis is a modest, low-cost, tighter-fitting short targeted at general riding
Rating Categories Gorewear C5 Shorts 100% Airmatic Pearl Izumi Summit... Specialized Trail S... Leatt MTB Trail 1.0...
Comfort (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.5
8.0
7.0
Fit and Pedal Friendliness (20%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Features (20%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Durability (20%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.5
Style (10%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Protection (10%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.5
Specs Gorewear C5 Shorts 100% Airmatic Pearl Izumi Summit... Specialized Trail S... Leatt MTB Trail 1.0...
Shell Fabric 46% Polyamide, 42% Polyamide (recycled), 12% Elastane, water-resistant Polyester elastane stretch blend 87% recycled polyester, 13% spandex VaporRize woven fabric 94% polyester, 6% elatane
Inseam Measurement (med or 32" waist) 13.4 12 12.5 13.5 13.75
Number of pockets 3 2 2 2 3
Weight (grams) 251 grams 250 grams 165 grams 224 grams 234 grams
Weight (ounces) 8.85 oz 8.8 oz 5.85 oz 7.9 oz 8.25 oz

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Gorewear C5 short offers a full suite of features and a cut that will appeal to casual and dedicated riders alike. The short has a freeride feel but is no slouch where pedal-friendliness is concerned. The loser-fitting 4-way stretch synthetic blend provides decent comfort, too, as well as durability and protection on the trails.

Performance Comparison


gorewear c5 shorts - everybody ready to rip? the c5 has a loose freeride cut that offers...
Everybody ready to rip? The C5 has a loose freeride cut that offers protection and durability.
Credit: Nick Miley

Comfort


The Gorewear C5 mountain bike shorts offer decent comfort for riders with a freeride feel, accommodating leg openings and a loose fit suited to more rowdy riding. Despite minimal ventilation, these shorts are still relatively breathable. The waist design feels minimalistic yet boosts all the modern features. The material used in the body of the shorts is a reasonably supple 4-way stretch synthetic blend that promotes unrestricted movement and has a relatively soft feel.

Fit and Pedal Friendliness


The Gorewear C5 mountain bike shorts prioritize a pedal-friendly fit, accommodating leg openings that allow for a full range of motion during dynamic rides. These shorts feature a 13 1/2" inseam and 21" leg opening circumference, providing coverage to the knee without impeding pedal efficiency. The waist adjustment is low-profile at the hips, while no-slip material at the back ensures a secure fit. The supple, 4-way stretch materials used in the construction provide unrestricted movement and a comfortable feel, making the Gorewear C5 shorts an excellent choice for longish rides. Finally, the phone pocket is positioned on the outside of the right thigh, making it comfortable for peddling but not good for crashing as it's in a common contact point.

Features


The Gorewear C5 shorts have several useful features, including two hip pockets and one cell phone pocket at the right thigh, each secured with a sturdy YKK zipper. The waistband features a grip strip at the small of the back, hook-and-loop waist adjustment, and a double-button closure with a YKK medium gauge zipper. Regarding ventilation, the shorts have a few holes at the inseam, which are effective enough to keep the rider comfortable. These vents are punched directly into the fabric, avoiding extra panels and seams. The Gorewear C5 is a great option for riders looking for functional features that improve the on-trail experience.

Durability


The Gorewear C5 mountain bike shorts feature surged, redundant stitching with medium-weight thread, the zippers are the reliable YKK brand, and the 4-way stretch synthetic blend can take a beating over the long haul. Moreover, the sturdy adjustable waistband features dependable Velcro adjustments tabs. All told, our only concern with these shorts is that the small double snaps at the waist closure feel a little loose – yet there are two of them to assume the burden.

Style


With their sporty and understated design, the Gorewear C5 shorts are great for off-trail use. They come in black, green, Nordic blue, and orbit blue and have a small reflective white logo on the cuff of the left leg. The shorts have good pockets for everyday carry items, and the pad gap is only noticeable for taller riders and not at all for average-sized guys. Overall, the Gorewear C5s are a stylish and practical choice for any mountain biker, whether at the bar or in the trailhead parking lot.

Protection


The Gorewear C5 provide ample thigh protection for riders of all heights and has a leg circumference that fits neatly at the knee pads without riding up or feeling too baggy. The medium-weight material is durable enough to withstand minor falls and impacts. These shorts are a solid choice for riders seeking reliable protection and comfort on the trails.

gorewear c5 shorts - the c5 will help to keep you in the saddle all day long.
The C5 will help to keep you in the saddle all day long.
Credit: Nick Miley

Should I Buy the Gorewear C5 Shorts?


The Gorewear C5 is a solid choice for everyday peddling. However, for a few dollars more, one can make a significant step up in performance. Before settling on these shorts, we recommend looking at the others in our review.

What Other Mountain Bike Shorts Should I Consider?


If you want a similar style of mountain bike short as the C5 but want greater comfort and style, the Troy Lee Designs Skyline will do you right. They are available without or without a liner (chamois), and the version without a liner is offered at a similar price point to the C5. On the other hand, if you want a more sporty, tighter-fitting model, have a look at both the Pearl Izumi Summit Shell Short and Patagonia Dirt Roamer. These models are better suited to long, peddle-intensive days in the saddle.

Nick Miley