Banish the soggy chamois.
Nothing ruins a ride faster than a damp chamois in cold weather. Whether from road spray or precipitation, once the chamois is wet, it's only a matter of time before it turns to a frigid, stinging mess. The Giordana G-Shield Men's Bib Tights address this issue, keeping your engine safe from pernicious winter water while maintaining the type of breathability and insulation found throughout the rest of the brand's thermal gear.
Giordana's G-Shield line initially made its name by being as water-resistant as other brands' all-weather gear but while maintaining a higher level of breathability with less wind protection. This is an ideal balance for late fall and early spring rides when intervals and hill repeats demand better breathability, temperatures aren't as extreme as winter, and capricious weather can turn from overcast to rain in a matter of minutes. Since the tights extend all the way to your ankles, they also extend the G-Shield window to include winter riding.
The secret to the G-Shield label lies in its DWR treatment, which was updated for the new model year. The latest treatment, Acqua Zero Eco, compels external water to bead up and roll off rather than soak into the fabric, letting the low-loft thermal material maintain a cocoon of dry warmth around your microclimate. As mentioned above, Acqua Zero Eco doesn't impede the material's breathability, so internal water vapor produced during the work/rest cycles of intervals and repeats is banished before it can convert to a clammy chill.
The latest G-Shield Bib Tights also enjoy a bib strap upgrade, replacing the predecessors' lumpy mush straps with the lie-flat Low Pro 0 straps, aiding comfort by interfering less with layering. Despite the new DWR treatment and bib straps, the G-Shield is still built to keep seams to a minimum. And by minimum, we mean one, which reduces the chance of water infiltrating the tights.
The new G-Shield Bib Tights' Cirro S chamois is the same model featured in the top-end AV Tights. Giordana minimizes the feel and look of the chamois, striking a race-appropriate amount of bulk without eliminating its plush, long-ride cushioning. New for this year, Giordana also introduces its Copa Mondiale, a male-specific recessed area on the top of the chamois made to improve ride quality and add all-encompassing support to an area crucial to long-term comfort.
- Cycling tights for cold, inclement conditions
- New Acqua Zero Eco treatment beads and repels water
- Thermal insulation from a soft, brushed lining
- Lie-flat bibs and a Cirro S chamois add summer gear comfort
- Reflective ankle bands help keep you visible in low-light
- Q & A
Very comfortable, a bit thin
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Medium
I bought these for a winter bib short on the advice of a CC gearhead. They are super comfortable from the straps to the chamois to the legs. The ankle guards are very nice. They fabric is super soft and will catch on Velcro or other items so be careful -- I have some wear on the seat due to some rubbing even with a Fizik seat.
These are not for heavy winter. I use them in the low forties but if there is wind then I put some Castelli knee sleeves under them. Otherwise the wind can bite. Other parts can get cold as well when the wind hits in the low forties. I would have returned them for something else heavier but I bought them before winter, planning ahead and was outside CC's return window.
That said, they are super comfortable and when you have them on you do not even notice them. I will say the chamois is to me not as good as Castelli whether the entry level or the mid-level, nor the Pearl Izumi. I notice the chamois rather early in a ride around mile 10. I have another Giordana bib short and notice the same thing. Nicely made, the chamois is not my personal favorite.
I give them a 4 star versus a 3 star simply because they are so comfortable and the chamois is not terrible, just not my favorite. If you have leg warmers for the 40 degree weather and need something for cold weather, however, you may just want to get a more thermal bib tight versus having to buy extra gear as I had to do to make them work.
Great Tights But Not What I Need
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Large
I am a Giordana fan as their clothing fits me the best and their chamois is super comfortable. I have FRC Wind bib tights, which are most excellent, but I thought I would try these as an in between.
First, the quality is great. This is a well made pair of tights that will last a long time.
But . . . These did not fit my needs, but they might fit yours. I tried them, and they are not windproof enough for me, nor do they have enough insulation. They bead water well, but your legs will get very chilled in a rainstorm.
If you are warm blooded, they would be fine for the 40's, but they are not for me. They would be fine for 50º and rainy for me, but 50ºF temps, I would just wear knickers and long socks.
I found the insulation was not thick enough, and I would have preferred the protection of the FRC wind bib tights in rainy 40º something weather.
I wear a Large in my other Giordana FRC tights, and these tights seemed a little bit less compressive than my FRC tights and a tad roomier. I am curious to know if the sizing is the same in this round of updates or if the newer garments are a bit roomier than their predecessors. You might not need to size up in these.
I also don't like that they did not use paneled construction—they just aren't as snug and comfy. They do this to cut down on seams that would allow water inside, but you lose comfort and compressive support.
I also found the chamois to not be as comfortable as the FRC. I think part of the issue is that the garment was not compressive enough, which might allow the chamois to move around a little more.
I would be curious to try the AV bib tights to see if they are more compressive.
So, these tights might work for you or they might not. If you are looking for something super burly, just go with the AV bib tights instead.