Giro launched its New Road clothing range last year to more than a little bit of confusion over its unique mash-up of casual styling and high-performance fabrics and features. Now that we've had the chance to use some of it over the past few months, however, the concept makes much more sense – and we've just taken delivery of a fresh batch of good-looking test pieces intended to carry us through from winter into spring. Impressively, most of it is made in California.
Related: Giro New Road women's collection
Headlining the recent arrivals is the $350/£TBD Neo Rain Jacket, which skips over the usual hardshell construction of other waterproof outerwear in favor of Polartec's decidedly softer and stretchier Neoshell fabric. Key features include hidden zippered vents up around the shoulders, an offset waterproof main zipper, and a mix of traditional zippered front pockets plus Giro's hidden 'Stowback' zippered rear compartment to maintain a casual look.
Those looking for a more traditional hardshell can instead turn to the Waterproof Jacket ($220/£TBD) with two-layer Pertex construction, taped seams, a small pocket on the sleeve, and waterproof zippers all around – including the clever System Zip rear panel that allows you to access your existing jersey pockets instead of adding a secondary layer of storage on the shell.
The Giro New Road Waterproof Jacket is built with a two-layer Pertex shell, taped seams, and waterproof zippers
We took the Insulated Vest ($180/£TBD) out on day one and have already found it to pack an impressive amount of warmth for such a compact package. Though at first glance it more resembles a micro-puff jacket than a traditional cycling vest, the Insulated Vest nonetheless features a very trim cut and highly compressible Primaloft insulation so you can (barely) stuff it into a jersey pocket when things warm up. And yes, there are other color options besides bright orange.
No, we're not going hunting, but drivers will certainly notice you in this color option for the Giro New Road Insulated Vest
The Giro New Road range of jerseys is dominated by Merino wool and polyester blend fabrics and very casual styling. The 80%/20% wool/polyester LS Ride Jersey ($200/£TBD) features a rather loose cut, a very soft hand, and subdued color options. Clever vents built into the shoulders enhance the material's already-excellent breathability but we've already found the three rear pockets to be a little lacking in support when even moderately loaded up.
Neat details on the Giro New Road LS Ride Jersey include these clever vents in the shoulders
Riders heading out on colder days might want to add the LS High Neck Zip-Up ($140/£TBD) with its more polyester-heavy Merino wool blend (20%/80%). A quarter-length front zipper adds a bit of ventilation control while Giro's 'System Zip' feature gives you easy access to the underlying jersey pockets.
Layer up with the Giro New Road LS High Neck Zip-Up
The rest of our Giro New Road jersey collection comprises a smattering of very casual-looking tops: the Ride Crew ¾ ($99/£TBD) with a 35%/65% wool/polyester blend and ¾-length sleeves; the standard short-sleeved Ride Crew ($85/£TBD) with a more generous 75%/25% blend; the 100% wool SS Merino Polo ($130/£TBD) with the same shoulder vents as the LS Ride Jersey but with a notably slimmer cut; and the SS Merino Crew ($140/£TBD) with a lighter-feeling 89%/11% Merino/nylon blend called Nycore. According to Giro, the lighter Nycore fabric should combine with the traditional three rear pockets to give a sportier feel.
Cycling clothing doesn't get much more casual looking than this
Giro doesn't yet offer full-blown winter clothing for your lower half so our test samples right now are limited to more 'cool weather' gear.
The 40M Tech Overshort ($120/£TBD) takes a page from mountain bike apparel as it's a fitted shell designed to be worn over separate liners. Four-way stretch fabric with extra-stretchy side and crotch gussets maintain a trim cut but with good flexibility while a DWR coating lends some protection from rain and road spray, too. The fitted waist can be worn with or without a belt and there are two zippered pockets on hand to stow your gear.
Like mountain bike shorts, the Giro New Road 40M Tech Overshort is designed to be worn with a separate liner - except these are mainly meant for road use
Designed to be worn underneath is the somewhat curious ¾ Bib Undershort ($200/£TBD). Giro builds three rear pockets into the bib section to provide more discreet storage options (many of the matching jerseys have zippered access panels) while a traditional overlapping fly up front facilitates nature breaks. Inside is a stretch chamois from Cytech.
The Giro New Road 3/4 Bib Undershort features an overlapping fly for easy nature breaks
We wish the cut extended a bit further than just-below-the-knee but nevertheless have already found the 48%/40%/12% nylon/wool/Spandex material to provide good warmth in very cool conditions.
Stay tuned for more in-depth reviews as the season progresses.