Giordana Sahara bib shorts review

The lightweight bibs for hot weather

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Giordana's Sahara bib shorts are built for, you guessed it, hot weather riding. With purposeful breathability and focused compression, they're also aimed at uphill specialists whose goal is to minimize weight. 

Giordana's Sahara bib shorts come in three colorways and Small - XX-Large sizes
Giordana's Sahara bib shorts come in three colorways and Small - XX-Large sizes

Giordana Sahara bib shorts specs

  • Giordana's lightest weight bib short yet
  • Developed for the hottest days in the saddle and the steepest climbs
  • Ergonomic fit
  • Compression
  • 1on1 Paneling System - one panel, one seam per leg technology
  • Breathable core and back panels that shed heat quickly while keeping everything in place
  • Perforated bib straps
  • Dual stretch bib straps with stability enhancement
  • Mesh-like breathable leg band
  • Giordana rubber logo
  • Cirro S chamois

The fit and ride

Pulling on the Saharas, the material has a distinctive mesh pattern to it. It definitely made me double check the mirror to see just how opaque or not they were. Thankfully, they provide proper coverage.  

The Sahara bibs fit is tight. Giordana claims compression as one of the bib's main features, and the squeeze put on my not-that-big legs was certainly noticeable. If someone claims these bibs are anything but snug, tell them to go eat a cheeseburger.

One panel and one seam per leg maximizes compression
One panel and one seam per leg maximizes compression

The legs feature Giordana's 1on1 Paneling System which basically means one panel per leg for consistent compression. The single leg construction continues to the bottom seam, which has a perforated ultra thin layer underneath. Throughout my rides, the legs stayed put and were comfortable. I even grew to enjoy the slight compression. Whether or not it gave me a boost in speed is entirely up for debate. 

I wore the Saharas in hot conditions and was pleased with the ventilation, especially the upper back panel which is fully mesh. They are definitely lightweight as well, so that certainly helped with the heat factor. Bombing down descents a breeze can definitely be felt through the Saharas, and in my experience it was always welcome after sweating my way to the top.  

The upper back is a very breathable mesh
The upper back is a very breathable mesh

The Cirro S chamois felt soft and protective and its position worked well with my sit bones. Miles added up with nary a thought to my underside, which is high praise for any chamois. Despite its performance it's not a bulky chamois, I could feel my saddle underneath which was totally acceptable. 

Giordana's Cirro S chamois provides the padding
Giordana's Cirro S chamois provides the padding

While the legs and chamois hit the mark for me, a couple things didn't. One potential negative, I say potential as everyone is different, is where the bibs in front connect with the shorts. This junction sees three panels as well as the bibs all joining in roughly one spot. Because of that, the seams are definitely noticeable to me. Even with an undershirt there's a pronounced bulge of material. Perhaps if the legs weren't so smooth and well-crafted it wouldn't stand out as much as it did. 
A lot of seams meet here, potentially fouling a steller bib
A lot of seams meet here, potentially fouling a steller bib
Another personal struggle I had with the Saharas involved the bib straps themselves. They're 45mm wide and didn't line up with my body in a comfortable way. I felt like the elastic needed some stretching as they were seriously tugging on my shoulders, but of course your fit will likely differ. 
The bib straps switch from a purely vertical stretch to a more dynamic stretch halfway up
The bib straps switch from a purely vertical stretch to a more dynamic stretch halfway up

Giordana Sahara bib shorts pricing

$200, UK and Australian pricing not available

Russell Eich

Tech Writer, US
Russell fell head over heels in love with bikes in the '90s, and has been involved in the bike industry ever since. Between wrenching in bike shops, guiding professionally, and writing about bikes, Russell has honed an appreciation for what works, gained knowledge of what doesn't, and can barely contain his enthusiasm for what comes next. His two-wheeled passion continues in the Rocky Mountains high above Boulder, Colorado.
  • Age: 39
  • Height: 6'3"/190cm
  • Weight: 175lb/79kg
  • Waist: 34in/86cm
  • Chest: 42in / 107cm
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: High altitudes, forgotten singletracks, bike parks, roads without cars
  • Current Bikes: Custom Meriwether steel hardtail, Specialized S-Works Enduro 29, Kona Jake the Snake, Trek 69er, and a bunch more
  • Dream Bike: Yeti SB5c, Intense Tracer 275C, Black Cat custom road
  • Beer of Choice: Gin + Tonic
  • Location: Rollinsville, CO, USA

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