Giordana pushes upscale with high-end NX-G bib shorts and jerseys

Italian company overhauls production with new factory, new materials and new product families

Italian racer Giorgio Andretta created Giordana Cycling Apparel in 1979, naming the apparel company he had been running for eight years after his daughter, who was born that year. Now Giordana and her brother Julian help their father run the company, which  for 2016 has its own new Italian factory, new materials and a broad cross-section of clothing tiers for different budgets and various styles of riding.

Showcasing the new Giordana is the new NX-G line, which features thermobonding instead of stitching, aloe vera-infused chamois pads and hydrophobic foams. This ‘next generation’ line pushes Giordana well up into the luxury category with the likes of Assos, with the NX-G bib shorts retailing for $400 / £243and the NX-G jersey selling for $300 / £179.

Giordana’s new factory sits in Montecchio in Italy’s Vincenzo region. For decades Giordana was part owner in the Italian manufacturer APG, which also produced high-end clothing for the likes of Vermarc and custom clothing for many private labels. A keen eye could spot similarities between the top-end offerings of Vermarc and Giordana, for example, and more recently, APG’s new house brand Alé. Now, with designers in the US and Italy and its own factory, the Andretta family is delivering unique high-end road wear.

“Because we bought our own factory, we’ve had the benefit of being able to source materials from many different industries, including swim and intimate [wear],” said Ms Andretta. Even the chamois pads are proprietary and made in-house. Usually clothing brands will buy pads from CyTech or another supplier.

The blue hydrophilic layer moves moisture to the outside of the shorts for evaporation:
The blue hydrophilic layer moves moisture to the outside of the shorts for evaporation:

Even this four-layer chamois with a blue hydrophilic outer layer is made in Giordana's new factory

As well as the top-end NX-G range, Giordana is also touting its retro-style-meets-modern-tech line of Giordana Sport. In addition to being on trend with merino-poly jerseys, Giordana Sport also provides a nice talking point for the company’s rich history in professional cycling, and a chance to take a dig at newcomers like Rapha.

“While some brands have to create a sense of history, we do not,” said Ms. Andretta, pointing to the brand’s work with top-level pro teams over the decades, including Motorola, CSC and Liberty Seguros.

Wool jerseys are nothing new to giordana:
Wool jerseys are nothing new to giordana:

Cycling clothing isn't a new game to Giordana

Giordana is also looking ahead to current trends, with lines like the Lungo, which has high-end materials but in a less aggressive fit than NX-G, and with long-distance/adventure features like six pockets, and plenty of reflectivity.

Other product families include Sahara (ultra-lightweight for hot conditions), FR-C (race fit), Silverline (relaxed fit at a good price) and Fusion (entry-level).

Next generation

New for 2016, the NX-G comes with a hefty price tag and some big claims.

“The NX-G bib shorts are the best fit you’ll get from any bib shorts,” Ms. Andretta said. “A graduated compression on the leg is finished with a slight bonding at the hem. They have more of a trouser fit and will not bunch. And the Cirro S chamois with its four-layer construction is the best there is.”

The nx-g bib shorts have a different cut and fit than standard bibs:
The nx-g bib shorts have a different cut and fit than standard bibs:

The NX-G bib shorts have a unique cut with graduated compression on the legs

The skin-facing layer is a soft microfiber infused with aloe vera through nanotechnology. “Even with 100 washes, 99% of the aloe vera stays in the material,” Mr Andretta said. Underneath, a bonding layer connects that microfiber to memory foam and an outler layer of hydrophobic foam, which pushes moisture to the outside of the shorts for evaporation.

While some clothing companies opt for heavily sublimated or contoured skin-facing pads that look techy, Giordana has opted to keep the look and feel simple and soft.

The NX-G bib straps are woven in a single piece, with the front having more stretch than the back.

The NX-G jersey looks and feels quite svelte, with material joined by thermobonding instead of the traditional stitching. “This keeps it as light next-to-skin as possible,” Ms Andretta said.

The tight-fitting matte shoulder yoke is bonded to the softer body material:
The tight-fitting matte shoulder yoke is bonded to the softer body material:

Most of the NX-G seams are bonded, not stitched

As with the shorts, the jersey’s arm hems are bonded for a clean, flat finish.

The pockets sport a similar look, but with an internal lip at the top of the pocket to help prevent contents from sliding out.

The breathable mesh back is topped off with more of a matt fabric at the shoulders for a snug, aero fit.

BikeRadar has a set of NX-G clothing in for test, so check back soon for a review. In the meantime, click through the gallery above for a look at samples of Giordana Sport, Lungo, NX-G and a 20g jacket that packs down into a self-contained pouch that fits into your palm.

Six pockets, count ’em:
Six pockets, count ’em:

The Lungo jersey has a whopping six pockets for big adventure rides

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