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The Giro Men's Chrono Elite Short Sleeve Jersey has a 'formfitting' design to help you eke out additional gains. Part of Giro's all-new Renew Series, it's been constructed using reclaimed fishing nets and offers a fast yet comfortable ride while helping you reduce your carbon footprint. Unfortunately, it doesn't live up to Giro's breathability claims, and doesn't make the cut for our round-up of the best summer cycling jerseys.
The Chrono Elite is one of Giro's three high-performance road riding jerseys, slotting into the line-up between its ultimate Pro jersey and all-day Expert.
As the name suggests, Giro has designed the Chrono Elite to shave seconds (or milliseconds if you're an average rider like me) off Strava Segments and climbs. This is evident in the snug fit and laser-cut sleeves which ensure the Chrono Elite remains taut whether you're sitting up during a climb or in the drops trying to force a breakaway.
Giro has recognised that punchy climbs and extended efforts mean you're likely to get hot and bothered rather quickly, so it's integrated some clever lightweight mesh panels under your armpits and across the back. However, although excellent at wicking away sweat, their supposed cooling benefits are less impressive. That's not to say I felt like I was overheating, just that I was on the warm side of comfortable – and that was at 24°C, nowhere near the highest temperatures we've experienced this summer.
The fact that the jersey on test is black won't exactly have helped matters, and though it's available in three other colours, they're all quite dark.
It's made using Giro's Renew fabric, which has been around for a couple of years now. Originally using it on its thermal arm and leg warmers, Giro has now committed to using recycled content in all new or updated apparel. Although its target might sound ambitious, at the time of publishing, 54% of its apparel contains recycled materials, while 55% use bluesign-approved materials. In the case of the Chrono Elite Jersey, it features recycled nylon sourced from reclaimed fishing nets, and offers a luxuriously soft and comfortable riding experience.
To keep the jersey in place, Giro has integrated its hem gripper with a slanted design and high-friction silicone, which prevents the jersey from bunching up as you change positions on the bike.
This, combined with the soft-touch, laser-cut sleeves, means you can ride on knowing that the jersey will remain taut and in place, even when you've unzipped to let a bit more air flow over your chest and neck.
At the rear of the jersey Giro has included three pockets so you can store anything from snacks to spare tubes or multi-tools. While a secure zippered pocket has also been included on the central pocket – something not every manufacturer includes on their jerseys – the location meant it often interfered with the storage capacity of the main central pocket. Personally, I would have preferred Giro to have placed it underneath either of the side pockets.
The Chrono Elite Jersey is available in five sizes from S to XXL. I found the sizing to be spot on and not uncomfortably snug for a racing jersey, and would recommend choosing your usual size.
The Chrono Elite Jersey isn't a cheap proposition, especially considering its rather disappointing ventilation, and there are plenty of better value options offering better performance.
You could argue that the price is worth paying considering it's manufactured from recycled products, but if you want to spend this much on an eco-friendly jersey, you might be better off spending an extra tenner and going for the excellent Universal Colours Spectrum Light Men's Short Sleeve Jersey that Jamie reviewed in August.
Alternatively, the more aggressively cut Scott RC Premium Short Sleeve Shirt is a tenner cheaper at £99.99 (up from £90.99 since Ben tested it) and offers better breathability, making it perfect for warmer days.
Although in many ways the Chrono Elite is a great aerodynamic racing jersey, and I'm a big fan of its green credentials, plus the Renew material is soft, durable and plenty comfortable for long days in the saddle, it misses the mark in terms of ventilation, and it ain't cheap.
Comfortable racing jersey with feel-good green credentials let down by disappointing ventilation and a high price tag
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro Men's Chrono Elite Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
It's a lightweight aero jersey designed for road riders looking for marginal gains.
Giro says: "The Men's Chrono Elite Jersey offers cool comfort on the hottest days, and significantly reduces impact on the planet thanks to premium Renew Series™ recycled materials. It's full-featured, yet also the lightest jersey we've ever made, with a second skin-like fit to support your quest for PR's and adventures on the road or gravel. Engineered with relentless attention to detail including laser cut sleeve openings, ultra lightweight mesh side panels and a full mesh back panel, this jersey helps to regulate core temperature while maximising air flow. The styling is understated yet functional, with reflective accents for visibility and Expandable Storage Pockets that provide ample space for any essentials you need, plus secure zip pocket for any valuable cargo. It's proof that a better product can make a smaller impact on the planet without sacrificing comfort, performance or style when you need it most."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Renew Series™ recycled nylon (main body)
Renew Series™ recycled polyester (mesh)
UPF 50+ main fabric
Laser cut sleeve opening
Mesh ventilation back panels
Mesh ventilation side panels
3 Expandable storage pockets
Secure zip pocket
Full-length front zipper
Soft zipper guard
Renew Series™ – 90% recycled nylon / 10% elastane
Feels fast – jersey stays taut and doesn't ruffle in the wind – but disappointing ventilation considering the claims; I wouldn't recommend wearing it on days warmer than 24°C.
Early days, but jersey has held up throughout testing. Machine washed without issues in a wash bag.
Front zipper feels fragile and cheap, though nothing's failed.
Form fitting, aerodynamic design. Snug, but not uncomfortably so. Mesh back piece was long enough to comfortably cover my lower back.
The medium wasn't on the small side for an aerodynamic jersey, something I have tended to find.
Not the lightest aerodynamic jersey – comparable jerseys we've tested tend to be around the 100g mark (+/- 10g).
Comfortable, premium fabric with excellent hem and sleeve grips to keep the jersey in place.
The Renew fabric is soft to the touch.
Disappointed by claimed ventilation (probably not helped by the jersey being black). I found the Chrono Elite a touch hot and wouldn't recommend it for days where the temperature is over 24°C.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues with my usual routine – jersey in a wash bag, 30-minute cycle at 30°C. Didn't find the jersey was affected by the washing process.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It doesn't live up to Giro's bold cooling claims – I found the Chrono Elite on the warm side of things – but in terms of aerodynamics the jersey didn't ripple or flap around, testament to its figure-hugging design.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The aerodynamic fit. Grippy sleeves and hem that keep the jersey secure, and I appreciate that it has a secure zippered pocket – something not all manufacturers include.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Its breathability isn't as good as Giro claims – I found it relatively warm on 24°C days.
The cheap feel of the zip.
The location of the zippered pocket made the central pocket less usable for storing food and the like. I would have preferred it on either side of the back along the seam.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's a tenner more than the Scott RC Premium Short Sleeve Shirt, which offers better breathability, and though it's a tenner less than the Universal Colours Spectrum Light Men's Short Sleeve Jersey, Jamie reckoned that was excellent.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes – it's comfortable and felt fast, although it's on the warm side.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
I love the green credentials of the Giro Chrono Elite Short Sleeve Jersey, and the fact that the recycled materials come from rescued fishing nets. Unfortunately, although the price is very reasonable, the claimed performance is disappointing. I'd say the Chrono Elite is good up to around 24°C, but wouldn't necessarily choose to wear it on the hottest days.
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,