Last year, Giro launched a new line of clothing that sparked interest and confusion in equal measures across the Total Women’s Cycling team. At first glance the line seemed to be more about style than substance, suitable for no more than a jaunt around town and geared mainly towards hipsters. But alas here we are, ready to eat our words. There is a lot more to this range than one would assume on first glance.
I was lucky enough to be invited out to the Easton Bell Sports HQ in Scotts Valley California to get a closer look at the gear and really put it to the test. And I have to say I’m impressed.
Clean lines and classic cuts are evident across the range while performance fabrics help to shift its suitability from city riding to longer spins. I wore the women’s CA Ride jersey (£99.99) for an 80km, hilly ride on a balmy Californian day. About three hours into the ride, I realised I hadn’t noticed the jersey at all, which is a really good sign for a new piece of kit. No itchy labels, a perfect fit and more than capable of wicking away large volumes of sweat.
Made from 89% merino wool and 11% nylon, the jersey is sublimely soft, has a full zip, three standard pockets on the back and a silicone gripper on the hem to prevent the jersey from riding up. The fit of the jersey is slightly roomier than a traditional fit. Aside from other benefits, it makes your cake stop slightly more comfortable!
Across the range the colour palette is filled with muted greys and blacks with the exception of a couple of bright orange offerings in the form of a wind and rain jacket. The rain jacket (£169.99) in particular is worth mention.
This soft, 2.5 layer taped-seamed fabric is fully waterproof, exceptionally breathable, unbelievably comfortable and light. And as an added bonus looks good enough to wear casually without feeling you are in ‘cycling gear’. Safe to say I am a big fan of this product. Features such as a dropped hem, silicone grippers on the rear and vents on the back further enhance the overall performance of the jacket.
Another one of my favourite items in the range is the Ride Overshort (£89.99). Initially, I was extremely sceptical of the product, having never riden in anything except lycra. The idea is for this short to be worn over an undershort. Giro have two offerings in this department. The classic undershort and the boy undershort. Both are equipped with slim chamois. The latter unfortunately is not suitable for longer rides.
The merino wool boy short (£59.99), is as its name suggests a boxer short of sorts. Made from merino wool it is soft next to the skin, breathable and thanks to its discreet nature, perfect for popping on under your regular clothes for commuters. I however put it to the test on a longer spin and found out the hard way that it is simply not suitable for harder ride – I will leave the exact details of the consequences to your colourful imaginations but let’s just say there was a saddle sore or two by the evening.
The classic lycra undershort (£84.99) however is perfect for longer rides. It has a sleek, comfortable fit with the size small fitting my size 10 frame like a glove. It also fit under the Ride OverShort perfectly.
The OverShort looks like a classic, tailored short, suitable for nothing more than a jaunt around the city. But perceptions can be deceiving and that is definitely the case here. This loose fitting short is actually made from a two-way stretch material that offers adequate freedom of movement and sublime comfort on the bike while protecting your modesty for those who are not fully comfortable bearing all in Lycra. This particular short sits just above the knee but there is also a shorter offering in the range. A size US6 fit my size 10 pretty well and very comfortably.
The Giro new road range has been a pleasant surprise. Additional items such as merino wool arm warmers and socks and feather light gilets prove that Giro has produced a comprehensive range of stylist, high performance products for women.
Liked this? Why not also read: