Best performing hot weather kit we tested, but the featherweight mesh jersey needs to be given extra care to keep it looking sharp in the long run.
Cooling mesh jersey for sticky summer days
Chamois effectively channels air to remote cooling and moisture control
Excellent leg compression
Materials didn’t hold up through a standard wash/dry cycle
Mesh jersey is slightly transparent
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Giordana is a super premium cycling brand and the $250 bib shorts we tested are their mid-range offering. Their performance matched the price, and set a new bar for keeping us cool on a muggy summer day. The entire kit fit well and looked clean, making us feel like pros. The downside of the kit is that it needs to be cared for like the premium Italian apparel that it is.
Giordana FR-C Pro Bib Shorts ($250, competitivecyclist.com)
These bib shorts feature the same aloe vera infused Cirro S chamois of their more expensive bibs, which is both comfortable and high performing. The contours allow for airflow that we were able to feel while riding. The leg compression and moisture wicking mean these bibs remain comfortable all day, and the thin suspenders help to keep the bibs in place but remain unnoticed while riding. The bibs did hold up to a standard wash cycle, but we recommend hang drying to extend their life.
Giordana FR-C Pro Jersey Lyte ($225, competitivecyclist.com)
This jersey performed so well in the heat that if not for sweat streaks down our sunglasses, we may have questioned whether we had been sweating. The fit was perfect, feeling loose without being baggy, and despite the slightly transparent mesh, looks good too. The pockets are a little higher than we prefer and with such a light material we found it challenging to get our hands into the opening on the first try. The biggest drawback, and why we don’t recommend this $225 jersey, is the durability. After just one wash cycle the jersey was pilling and parts of the mesh were coming apart.
Giordana mastered the hot weather performance, but the fragility of their jersey makes it a tradeoff we wouldn’t make. The FRC-Pro Bib shorts, however, are worth considering and would be nicely paired with a sturdier jersey from Giordana or one a top performer from another brand, like the Giro Chrono Expert or Rapha Pro Team Flyweight.