These Chrono Pro bib shorts from Giro are absolutely lovely to wear. The fit is excellent, the materials are great and the chamois pad is up there with the most comfortable I've tried. The only fly in the ointment is that they are pricier than some that deliver a near-perfect ride.
- Pros: Very comfortable pad for road riding, soft fabrics
- Cons: Pricey against the competition, thin pad is better suited to smoother roads
Holding the Chronos in my hand I wasn't too sure how they were going to perform; after all, that Gradient Stretch Woven fabric that Giro has used for the majority of the leg and the lower body doesn't exactly feel the softest to the touch with its ribbed finish.
Put them on, though, and they feel great. That Gradient material actually feels really comfortable against the skin and its slightly compressive nature feels very supportive around your thighs. It feels quite robust as well, so plenty of durability too.
Giro doesn't use the fabric all the way around, with the inside of your legs getting a more standard Lycra. The thinner material feels less compressive than the Gradient so it offers a nice balance of support, along with comfort and freedom of movement.
Thanks to the fit, Giro has provided minimal leg grippers in the way of a strip of silicone, but it works.
There's yet another fabric for the Chrono's lumbar support panel. Again, it's compressive and is designed to support the muscles of your lower back when riding for a long time. It makes sense as back pain is probably one of the most common cycling niggles, but in reality I didn't notice any performance benefits here.
You get a central rear mesh section heading up to the bib straps and it incorporates a radio pocket for all of you budding pros out there. It'll take all but the biggest of phones and with its position it is a very secure place to keep some cash or credit card.
The main straps are wide and flat so there is no irritation to be found and they don't dig into your shoulders either.
Like many manufacturers, Giro has used Elastic Interface for the chamois pad. Judging by the name, Chrono Pro, the fact that it's stamped with Giro's logo, and that you can't find it on Elastic Interface's website, I'd say it's a custom design.
It's very good too, with just a couple of changes of foam density and a central channel to reduce pressure. I found it very comfortable for road rides of any length no matter how hard I was riding, but its thinness does mean you can take a bit of kicking if you spend a lot of time on rough roads or take to the gravel.
The cut is designed to work on the bike, as in when you first try the shorts on and stand up they feel a little short in the body, but once perched in the saddle they feel exactly right.
They are shaped to fit close but aren't anywhere near as extreme as something like dhb's new Lab shorts.
Which brings me on to value... I said that the dhb Labs are some of the best race shorts money can buy, and these Chrono Pros come very close but are £30 more. You can also get some excellent bib shorts for less than £100, such as Lusso's Carbon Bib Shorts for £89.99.
In their defence the Giros are very well made, hardwearing and offer that excellent fit. And you can certainly pay more – the Alé PRR 2.0 Fusion HDs, which head the Italian brand's bib short range, are £170.
Impressively comfortable shorts for whatever style of road riding you do
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro Chrono Pro Bib Shorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Giro says, "The Men's Chrono Pro Bib Short is your go-to piece when performance means everything, keeping you focused on what matters most: the ride. The Gradient Stretch Woven material offers high durability, improved compression, fast drying, impressive breathability and a UPF 50+ rating. The custom-designed bib straps and leg grippers move effortlessly when you do while staying comfortably in place. A lumbar support panel provides essential support to your lower back for relief on long rides. The Chrono Pro Chamois is anatomically shaped for ideal fit and stability in the saddle."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fabric & Construction
Legs: 78% nylon / 22% elastane
Side Panels: 76% nylon / 24% elastane
Lumbar panel: 61% nylon / 39% elastane
Mesh: 94% nylon / 6% elastane
S - XXL
Inseam: 10.5' / 26.7cm (size M)
Gradient™stretch woven material
Made in Italy
Chrono Pro Cytech chamois
Custom comfort bib straps
Lumbar support panel
Custom leg gripper
Care & Washing
Wash on cold, tumble low, hang dry for best results.
Great fit throughout.
Going by Giro's size guide I should be wearing a large but I found these mediums to be absolutely spot on and wouldn't want to go any bigger.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Giro recommends a cool wash and hang dry for the best results and I certainly had no issues. Giro even says you can tumble dry them on cool too which is quite rare for Lycra.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A really good pair of shorts whether you are out for a short blast or cruising for plenty of hours.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great comfort levels from the material.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pad a little thin on rough roads.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
As I mentioned in the review, the Giro shorts are priced a bit higher than some we have seen recently seen on the site that perform just as well but they aren't excessively expensive.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Chrono Pros are solid performers throughout thanks to a quality selection of materials and the pad. The only thing that nudges the score down is that you can get just as good or better, cheaper.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.