Giordana has long been a top name in cycling kits and last summer I had the privilege of meeting with Giorgio Andretta, who gave me a rundown of their new line. One of their new kits is the FR-C Pro bib shorts and jersey, which I’ve been wearing for several months now. This kit is available as part of their custom line or in two off-the-shelf designs.
Giordana Moda FR-C Pro Bib Shorts and Jersey Features:
- Bib shorts feature a mix of compression and abrasion-resistant Lycra panels
- Includes Giordana’s best Cirro S chamois
- Non-restrictive mesh leg and arm bands
- Low-profile collar
- Optimized fabric panels on jersey for optimal fit and performance
- Available as a custom kit (tested) or in two Moda styles (“Get In Line” and “Polaris”)
- MSRP: $200 (Bib Shorts) and $200 (Jersey)
FR-C Pro kit holds its own
High-end kits will set you back a pretty penny. For several months now, I’ve been sporting one of Giordana’s best kits, the FR-C Pro jersey and bib shorts. This kit is available separately or as part of their custom collection, which was the flavor I tested. Of course, this kit will set you back $400, so you’re going to be extra-picky when looking it over, but just know that you’ll be hard-pressed to find much to complain about here, so let me dig in.
I first used the FR-C Pro kit while at Bike PressCamp in Deer Valley back in June 2016 and it felt felt immediately comfortable with a great pro-style fit. Since that time, the PressCamp-branded kit has been my compañero on hundreds of miles across Utah and my go-to for indoor training this winter. Several things come to mind when sussing out this kit: 1) The chamois is great, 2) I love the low-profile collar and 3) It breathes like a champ.
Many will opt for this kit as part of Giordana’s Custom Program, so if you’re looking, this should give you an idea of what to expect.
Let’s start with the Cirro S Chamois. This Aloe-infused chamois smoothly transitions between materials and its 14mm thickness makes for a comfortable ride from mile 5 to mile 55. Certainly, this chamois is one of the best I’ve tried and has worked well across a variety of saddles.
Something that’s standard-fare for high-zoot kits these days are wide arm and leg bands without rubbery grippers (hallelujah!). That said, the mesh material utilized here was initially scratchy and actually a bit tight in the legs. For a few rides, I felt a little bit of unnatural pressure on my hamstrings that lessened and disappeared with use. Just keep that break-in period in mind.
The race-cut jersey breathes extremely well and dries out in a jiffy. Nearly all seams are flatlock-stitched for the ultimate in next-to-skin feel and comfort. With a blend of fabrics designed to be close-fitting and aerodynamic, the FR-C Pro jersey is very pro in looks, feel and function. In a unique touch, the pockets and front hem of the jersey feature a double-over design. For the pockets, it keeps items in place and facilitates pocket entry. For the front hem, it keeps the jersey in place while allowing slight movement. It really is a nice touch and not something I’ve seen before.
I’ll also highlight the low-profile collar, which is even better for warm weather riding. Nobody likes a full-tilt collar in the summer so the low-profile one here is fantastic. Additionally, the zipper is easily-reached with a single hand for zipping/unzipping in the saddle. All this is wrapped in a kit that’s entirely made in Italy — again, not something you commonly see these days.
My test bibs are of the longer-length variety and I quite like them. The leg bands sit below the quadriceps muscle and allow the compression bands to do their job. Classic-length bibs don’t do it for me anymore as I often find myself tugging them down. Giordana does offer a shorter length if you so desire.
Aside from the excellent compression and comfortable chamois, the bib straps can be a little rough next-to-skin. They aren’t terrible, but I’ve experienced much more comfortable designs. Straps aside, with flatlock seams throughout, the body-mapped panels offer a superb fit that perfectly cradles my leg muscles.
For reference, I’m 5’11” and 170 lbs. I wore a size large top/bottom.
- That chamois is superb
- Top-quality throughout
- Breathes well and dries in a jiffy
- Low-profile collar is always a good thing
- Wide leg/arm bands keep things in place
- Easily-stretched for bathroom breaks
- Staying stink-free after extensive use
- Pockets carry well and hold their shape
- Leg grippers were initially tight and a bit scratchy
- Front of the bib does dig into my abdomen a bit (maybe a reminder that I could lose 5 lbs.)
- Zippered pocket is small and could use some water-resistant fabric
- V-shaped jersey hem seems to ride up a little when off the bike
The Bottom Line: Giordana FR-C Pro Bib Shorts and Jersey
While certainly pricey, the FR-C Pro is worthy of the price tag with a race fit that breathes extremely-well and delivers proper muscle compression. Certainly, have a look at it for your next summer-weight race kit.
More Info: Visit GiordanaCycling.com