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The Giro Men's Chrono Elite Bib Shorts offer a high-performance, compressive and aerodynamic fit. They feature a plush chamois offering increased support in the areas where it counts, and ensuring they provide a comfortable ride over variable terrain.
The Chrono Elite Bib Shorts are part of Giro's 'Renew Series' which offers a significantly reduced carbon footprint thanks to the use of bluesign-approved recycled fabrics.
In the case of the Chrono Elites, the fabric features recycled nylon sourced from reclaimed fishing nets, alongside polyester created from recycled plastic water bottles. On top of this, the remaining materials are bluesign approved, including the fantastic chamois.
The shorts offer incredible comfort and luxurious performance. Not only do they provide the optimum amount of compression, the leg grippers ensure they remain in place without creating the typical 'sausage leg' look, and your legs remain cool even on warm days and through max efforts thanks to the breathable properties of the Renew Series nylon.
The fact that they are rated to UPF 50+ is an added bonus, and certainly something worth considering when investing in bib shorts.
The straps, advertised by Giro as 'lightweight' and 'designed to disappear on-body', are easily the most comfortable bib straps I've had the pleasure of wearing. They remained flat throughout each ride while offering such light compression that I would completely forget the shorts even had straps.
If, like me, you switch disciplines fairly regularly, especially between road, gravel and cyclocross, you'll be glad to hear that the Chrono Elite chamois offers a plush ride over a wide range of distances with its four-density, 3D-modelled design. I found it equally adept on gravel, cobblestones and smooth tarmac.
The pad, from Elastic Interface, includes a high-density area in the ischiatic region (between the sit bones and hip), but although Giro claims that it offers greater protection when tucked into aerodynamic positions, I found it difficult to detect a noticeable difference.
Giro also claims the Chrono Elite's chamois is ideal for rides up to seven hours, but I found that on rides of over two and a half hours my perineum and sit bones started to feel smaller lumps and bumps. I would have preferred having the high-density foam throughout the pad's construction rather than only in the ischiatic region.
The Chrono Elites are available in four sizes from S to XL in the plain black and Black Mica options, and up to 2XL in the 'Andrew Jackson' colour. Personally, I'm a fan of plain, understated bibs so the boring black would be my pick of the bunch, although I'd prefer 'stealth' logos.
I found the sizing ran slightly on the small side, so would recommend double checking your measurements and ordering a size up if you're right on the border. Having said that, I didn't find the shorts overly compressive on the legs or restrictive around the hips, and loved the lack of 'sausage legs'!
At £150 a pair, the Chrono Elite Bib Shorts aren't a cheap option. Sure, they're comfortable and relatively lightweight, but there are cheaper shorts out there that perform just as well, if not better.
Stef reviewed the Albion ABR1s recently which have been constructed using mostly recycled materials, and thought they were excellent, although he reckoned the £135 price tag was steep, while Stu thought the versatile Nopinz Souplesse bibs offered unparalleled value and comfort at £119.99.
The Giro Men's Chrono Elite Bib Shorts offer an assured and comfortable ride over medium to long distances. Although they might be on the expensive side of things, they do offer a premium riding experience with soft-touch materials, UPF 50+ rating and a chamois that's comfortable on a variety of surfaces, plus its 'Renew Series' green credentials offer a feel-good factor. If you're after all-day everyday bibs, they're a great option, if a bit expensive.
Comfortable bib shorts offering great performance over variable terrain, though the pad isn't the best for longer rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro Men's Chrono Elite Bibshorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
High-performance, comfortable bib designed for riding on all surfaces.
Giro says: "The Men's Chrono Elite Bib Short is a luxurious, high performance bib with timeless style, that also makes less impact on the planet. The main body is built from a supportive, lightweight Renew Series™ performance nylon for excellent breathability and is matched with our premium performance Chrono Elite chamois that's engineered for high intensity on- and off-road riding. The seamless straps are lightweight and designed to lay flat, allowing them to disappear on-body while the wide leg grippers provide a secure hold and stable fit. Reflective highlights add a pop of visibility on the road, and a UPF 50+ rating helps to block UV and protect skin. The combination of features and performance is truly exceptional, and with Renew Series™ materials throughout, this bib is a standout on style and sustainable design."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Giro lists these details:
Renew Series™ recycled nylon (main body)
Renew Series™ recycled polyester (mesh)
Elastic Interface® Chrono Elite Chamois
UPF 50+ main fabric
Lightweight comfortable bib straps
Mesh back panel
Wide leg gripper
Main body: Renew Series™ 80% recycled nylon / 20% elastane bluesign® approved fabric
Mesh: Renew Series™ 73% recycled nylon / 27% recycled elastane bluesign® approved fabric
Excellent, compressive shorts featuring a comfortable chamois (for up to around three hours) and backed up by a soft mesh backing and shoulder straps for excellent support. They're breathable, the mesh back wicks away sweat, and they offer a UPF50+ rating.
All good so far, the chamois has maintained its shape and performance and the shorts aren't showing any signs of stretch.
They offer a compressive, aerodynamic fit without creating the that "sausage legs" look. The bib straps offer support in bucketloads without being restrictive over the shoulders.
Slightly on the smaller side, although I didn't feel like I was having to squeeze in. I'd definitely recommend checking the guide and measuring up to be absolutely certain.
Weight isn't normally an issue for me when it comes to bibs... I'd rather be comfortable. These aren't to be confused for a true aero bib, in the sense that they're not incredibly lightweight with a thin chamois, but equally, they're not heavy when compared to all-day bibs.
Incredibly comfortable over medium to long rides, though I'm not sure I would choose them for a seven-hour ride as Giro suggests; I'd need more high-density padding throughout for this.
Slightly more expensive than other comparable performance bibs, although lighter and constructed from wholly recycled content.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Machine washed in a wash bag alongside my other cycling clothes. No colour running, the chamois maintained its shape, and no impact on the Lycra or mesh.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent general performance, with soft-touch materials, great grippers and impressive compression, but just lacking enough high-density foam in the chamois for longer rides and gnarly gravel/off-road riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The soft-touch materials, mesh backing and comfortable pad. And that the shorts are compressive without being uncomfortable.
Green credentials adds a warm/fuzzy feel-good factor.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Personally, I would have liked more high-density padding throughout the chamois.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Getting expensive – there are some great options that we've tested recently on road.cc sitting around the £120 mark including the Nopinz Souplesse bibs at £119.99 and Albion's ABR1s at £135.
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
Overall, I'd say they're good. The performance of the 'Renew Series' fabric is outstanding – comfortable and breathable in warm weather, soft to the touch, UPF50+ rated and durable, with the bonus of using recycled materials. But the chamois could really benefit from more high-density foam throughout – Giro says it's good for seven hours, but I wouldn't recommend these for rides of much more than 2.5-3 hours (around 80-100km).
About the tester
I usually ride: BMC Teammachine SLR ONE My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding,