Here is what you need to know about Giro Chrono: Luigi Bergamo, the man behind Assos R&D for years and years, worked closely with the Californian brand on the design and fabric sourcing for the road clothing. The Chrono Pro jersey and bibs shorts are not cheap, but they are closer to earth than Assos or the boutique offerings of Bergamo’s own premium brand, Q36.5.
After a false start with ‘New Road’ hipster clothing (that was since rebranded Venture), Giro lined up Chrono as a straight-ahead take on roadie clothing. While New Road was comfortable for riding around town, it never struck me as something I’d wear for a long ride. The Chrono stuff, however, I’m happy to ride in all day.
Chrono Pro jersey $180 / £139
The jersey has four main materials: mesh under the arms and down the sides, perforated polyester/elastane on the front and back, skinsuit-like nylon/elastane shoulders and sleeves, and a sweatproof backing for the phone/valuables zipper pocket.
The end result is a silky, wicking jersey that fits a variety of body types. As a guy who doesn’t have narrow bike-racer-like shoulders, I’m often frustrated by jerseys that fit either in the shoulders or in the waist, but not both. This jersey fits well all-around, and looks good on guys with narrow shoulders, too.
The Giro Chrono pro jersey comes in three styles
The longer sleeves are a big plus too, in my book. Many jerseys use cuffs with a different elasticity, which can bind or give a sausage look. The Chrono’s sleeves, by contrast, lie flat when on the bike or off.
The jersey is comfortable in hot weather, and because it wicks well, is a good layer on cold days, too.
Like many jerseys, the hidden zipper uses a cam lock where flipping the pull tab up lets you pull open the jersey without touching the zipper, and flipping it down locks it in place.
The zippered fourth pocket is excellent for those of us who often ride with our phones. It fits an iPhone 6 no problem. My one gripe is that only the skin-facing side is waterproof, not the exterior.
The zippered valuables pocket is handy
Chrono Pro bib shorts $250 / £189
There are four notable points about the Chrono Pro bib shorts. First, the chamois was designed with CyTech, the Italian specialist that makes pads for a variety of brands. It’s fairly thick, comparable to the pads in Rapha shorts, but it doesn’t feel bulky when on the bike.
The look is low-key, thanks in part to the matt-black compression Lycra that is made with black Lycra yarn, instead of the typical white Lycra yarn that is dyed black.
The most obvious differentiation from regular bib shorts is the stretch-woven lumbar panel. Think compression wear for your lower back. Bergamo has a similar design in his own line of Q36.5 clothing. Does that have a positive effect? I don’t know.
The final point of differentiation is the straps, which feature flat shoulder pieces and a radio pocket. What amateur actually uses a radio? None of us. But the pocket does provide extra storage.
Most importantly, the bibs feel great for short and long rides alike, with the compression Lycra providing some support but not feeling constrictive, and the wide leg grippers doing their job without distorting the overall fit. Honestly I was skeptical of the thick chamois at first, but after I found myself reaching for these bibs for rides on the trainer, I realized that the fit and comfort were winners.