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Giro Chrono Pro kit review

7 Sep 2018
Verdict:

Produce some sunglasses and Giro will have you head-to-toe in proficient kit.

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£129.99 - Jersey, £169.99 - Bibshorts
For 
• Lightweight • Breathability • Construction quality
Against 
• The jersey arm hem grippers are thin •Bibshort legs could be a little longer

Giro built its reputation in hard goods from well-considered material choice, clinical styling and high-quality performance. It is an attitude the Californian brand has transferred into its emerging apparel catalogue, which it has been developing over the last few years.

Luigi Bergamo, the man responsible for textile research and development at Assos for many years, was initially brought in to consult on the fabric choice and ergonomic design of the garments.

Buy the Giro Chrono Pro bibshorts from Evans Cycles and the Giro Chrono Pro jersey from Tredz

Giro has refined the experience and knowledge it gained from that partnership in the time since, considering Bergamo’s input along with user feedback. The Chrono Pro jersey and bibshorts are the latest results of this process, representing Giro’s top-tier products for road riding.

Aerodynamics was a priority in the design of the kit, which is made obvious by the Chrono Pro jersey’s ‘Gradient Stretch Woven’ panelling on the arms and across the shoulders.

The fabric has a textured hexagonal pattern (not unlike the dimples on a golf ball) that is unusually dense. That meant it stretched to conform to my upper body but exerted noticeably more compression on my arms and shoulders.

It had the effect of smoothing out ripples and folds in the fabric that would otherwise be present if more conventional materials were used. While I couldn’t conclusively say this made me faster through the air, the general consensus is that this should be beneficial.

The gripper at the end of each arm is a simple band of silicone that reduced the amount stretch afforded by the rest of the ‘Gradient Stretch Woven’ fabric, which made it cut in slightly.

It would be good to see this feature refined - even something as simple as separating the silicone into individual sections I’d imagine would preserve their grip but add in some flexibility.

The front, back and side panels of the jersey are all made from different fabrics - more regular polyesters for the front and back, mesh for the sides. While the cut of the panels amounts to a racy overall fit, the jersey is noticeably stretchy, light and airy.

I found because of this the Chrono Pro jersey ventilated superbly in the recent hot weather and was comfortable to wear for extended periods.

The matching bibshorts reinforce the jersey’s aerodynamic claims by more liberally making use of Giro’s ‘Gradient Stretch Woven’ fabric. The panelling is textured once again but is vertically ribbed instead of hexagonal.

While the athletic benefit of compressive clothing is yet to be conclusively proven, in this application it allowed the shorts to provide a comfortably firm hold on my thighs.

The limited stretch in the fabric meant I found the shorts sat a little higher up my thighs than I would expect from an aerodynamic design. However the extended frontal panels, which wrapped my legs by pretty much 270°, cannily hid the few seams the shorts do possess, so they look to provide a svelte frontal area in any case.

Elsewhere sensibly shaped panelling and material choice blends in some comfort with the purported aerodynamic benefit. There is a further panel of ‘Gradient Stretch Woven’ fabric across the lower back in an attempt to improve lumbar support and the bib straps, while substantial enough to keep the shorts in place are light enough to be fit-and-forget.

At the core of the Chrono Pro bibshorts the comparatively thin pad is deceptively comfortable, giving good perineal support when riding in an aggressive position.

Buy the Giro Chrono Pro bibshorts from Evans Cycles and the Giro Chrono Pro jersey from Tredz

Giro has been unafraid to make unusual design and material choice in its latest Chrono Pro kit. Straying from the tried-and-true can be a recipe for disaster but in this case, Giro’s fresh take has produced some accomplished kit that racers will get the most out of.

With more designs of this nature, it won’t be long before Giro garners the same reputation for its apparel as it currently holds for its helmets and shoes.

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