Giro’s clothing keeps getting better, and it’s not just the fit and finish. Now, it’s about the materials, too. Their new Chrono Expert bibshorts and jersey (along with the Roust MTB shirt, also reviewed below) are part of their growing Renew Series. The Renew fabrics are made with recycled nylon, polyester and elastane, including Econyl Lycra made from reclaimed fishing nets and other ocean debris.
That helps keep plastic out of our landfills and oceans, but to wear them you’d never know anything was different from the rest of their high performance Italian fabrics. Giro says these materials reduce the global warming impact by up to 80% compared to using virgin materials made from oil.
The Chrono Expert line sits in the upper middle of their range. The jersey is $100 and the bibshorts are $150, putting them in the middle of pricing spectrum for hero brand products. As a bonus, you can generally color match with Giro gloves and socks, too, and sometimes even the shoes and helmets (the Giro helmet and shoes here are items I’ve had in for a while, though, intentionally in white so they’ll match anything, and these socks are from DeFeet).
I’m 6’2″ and about 189lb with average proportions, and the size XL tested fit very well. It leaned toward very fitted, but without being constrictive. Leaner/skinnier cyclists might want to size down on this kit, as there are a few spots where there’s a bit of extra room. Example:
Note the slight bit of extra material on the sleeve and up near the collar. And in the second photo above (me trackstanding), you can see a bit of bunching above the center pocket. Without stuffing that pocket full, that material would have dispersed around the midsection a bit. None of this is to say it’s a baggy “club” fit -it’s definitely on the performance end of the spectrum- but if you’re looking for something with all-day comfort rather than skinsuit-like adhesion, the Expert level is a good option. I actually like that I can zip the jersey all the way up without choking.
The pockets are deep and generously sized, allowing you to over fill them. Even with an iPhone XS Max (left), Giro windbreaker jacket and mini pump (center), and B-Line energy gel pouch (right), they didn’t feel overloaded. Nor did that weight tug down on the jersey. There was room for plenty more, too, and there’s a small zipper 4th pocket for cash, cards and keys. You’ll also find reflective details all around for night time visibility.
Those deep pockets come at the expense of a high entry point, so it helps to have flexible shoulders. They weren’t too hard to get into, but worth noting. I prefer this to having the tail drop too low, though, which ends up looking dumpy when it sags over the butt. This kit keeps it high and tight for a pro look.
Other details include a wide, lightweight mesh strap system that’s very comfortable, a micro-gripper imprint on the leg bands that’s tall enough to keep the legs from riding up, but doesn’t leave a deep impression on your legs or feel too constrictive. This is another spot where it would pay to size down if you’re unsure…there was just a bit of looseness until I started riding and my legs got a little pump. Not shown, there’s also a small pocket on the back of the bib straps.
The triple-density foam pad is their own design and has been quite comfortable even on long slow days where I’ve kept a lot of pressure on the saddle. A vented front is nice, too, and the cover is a Bluesign-approved recycled fabric.
Overall, the kit has a thick, slick feel to it that makes it seem more expensive than the price suggests, which is nice. It’s UPF50, too, yet it still breathes well and wasn’t too hot, even on a very warm, humid NC spring day. They offer the Chrono Expert shorts in black, blue (tested) and a limited edition Jeremiah Kille artist print, and the Chrono Expert jerseys add a few more colors, plus a limited edition Olive Floral print.
Giro Roust Renew mountain bike jersey (and more)
The trails get a little eco-love from Giro, too, with their Roust mountain bike jersey using the Renew material, too. And they have the Havoc shorts with Bluesign-approved materials to match. Eventually, more of Giro’s line will use the Renew fabric, but they’re incorporating other eco-friendly touches where Renew doesn’t make sense.
The Roust jersey offers UPF 20 sun protection with a material that’s got a good feel without feeling heavy. Even under tree canopy on a warm day, it wasn’t too hot. Nor did it seem to get all sweaty and sticky under a heavy Camelbak. The cut is loose enough to work well for trail to enduro, with sleeves that come almost to the elbow. A drop tail provides a bit more coverage on the rear, which helps keep it from riding up when wearing a pack.
The Roust shirt is basic, with no pockets or trick features. The side panels are a slightly lighter mesh material that runs all the way up and under the arms for improved breathability. It runs $60 and comes in five different colors/patterns. There’s also a long-sleeve version ($70), and women’s versions, too.
The 4-way stretch Havoc shorts are a little more technical, offering vented lower legs with enough room for thin knee pads to slid underneath. Two hand pockets are nice, and there’s one zip side pocket on the right that’s (barely) large enough for my iPhone XS Max. That said, it sits a little low for it to be comfortable when really pedaling with that phone in there.
I tested a size 34, which required me to adjust the Velcro side straps about as tight as they’d go. They’re offered in even sizes from 30 to 40, and have belt loops, too. Retail is $120, available in blue and black, all with a basic DWR coating. For folks in wetter areas, they also offer a waterproof Havoc H2O version.
Check out all of the Renew options from Giro at this link.