An undeniably comfortable pair of shorts, but at a price I'm just not sure about.
Oct 19 2017
Shorts and 3/4s
Comfortable shorts for all-day riding.
Impeccable construction and premium fabrics
Too expensive, with diminishing returns at this price.
You're looking for performance shorts and don't mind the significant outlay.
The Giro Chrono Pro bibs are high-end shorts with a price to match, but whilst they are undeniably comfortable and well-designed I’m just not sure that I can argue that they are worth £200. I have used shorts that are almost as comfortable that cost significantly less and at this price, I want to feel like I’m on a throne instead of feeling like the princess and the pea.
Let me start by saying that the build quality on these shorts is excellent and the fabrics are clearly premium. The legs have good compression and the fabric provides a very good feeling of support. The matt black fabric, the lycra yarns are actually black rather than white and then dyed overlooks and feels great. I appreciate the heavier weight fabric, which is well suited to everything except the hottest climates whilst remaining durable. It does, however, mean that I wouldn't recommend using these as under-shorts.
These shorts fit well throughout and the seams are nicely finished and don’t chafe. Same with the seamless leg grippers, which leave minimal marks after a day wearing the shorts. However, none of this is revolutionary for shorts at this price point. This is what I would expect even at a lower price point.
I do like the chamois on these shorts – whilst off the bike it feels a bit nappy-like, on the bike it fades away and just does its job. I would say it’s on the thick side, which for me, for longer distances works really well. Again though there are plenty of chamois on the market that do an equally good job.
The one standout feature for me on these shorts are the bibs, which have just the right level of stretch to remain flat and comfortable throughout the day. Some shorts just seem to get wedged right up inside me, these straps have enough give to keep them up but comfortable. The flat, broad bibs have an almost 3D curvature that conforms nicely to my body, and don’t dig in at all. The large mesh panel on the back spreads the load nicely and ensures decent ventilation.
These shorts also feature a stretch panel that is claimed to provide lumbar support in the lower back area. I’m not sure I can verify or disprove these claims – I’m not sure that realistically it provided any tangible improvement in comfort/performance over the course of my rides, but nonetheless, it did feel supportive.
I have always wanted a pocket on bib-shorts to store essentials like cards, money and phone. These shorts have a pocket – but it’s a radio pocket on the back. Unfortunately, with its awkward position mid-back it can’t really be repurposed for other uses.
There’s no doubt that these are very nice and high-end bib shorts. However, there does seem to be a point of diminishing returns where this amount of money doesn’t get you that much more. The fabrics used are premium, the construction quality is impeccable, the chamois is comfortable, but in my opinion, there is nothing that definitively distinguishes these as £200 bib shorts. Based on performance alone, I would happily recommend these, but perhaps wait until you find them on sale before pulling the trigger.