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ira.goldsc1527338

ira.goldsc1527338

ira.goldsc1527338

ira.goldsc1527338wrote a review of on August 18, 2017

2 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small

I love Giordana’s blend of technical features and quality construction, so I've wanted to own one of their bibs for several years now. However, their fit (both leg circumference and length) varies greatly between models. This has been a challenge for me as a small person (5’5”, 125lbs., 29”waist) with a leg length of a 5’2” person. Unfortunately the "hot pants" fit of these FR-C’s with a 5cm shorter leg length has led me to give up on Giordana for now. But first some background.

BACKGROUND: In my search to find a Giordana bib that might fit without breaking the bank I previously tried on two other models in a sz. Small. First the Laser a couple of years ago, but this was too loose especially at the chamois area & at the leg bands which came down to the narrow part of my quad just above my knee caps. I then recently tried on the Fusion since the Giordana "inseam" chart shows that it's the shortest bib @ a 10” inseam (1” shorter than the Fusion) but it was even looser fitting than the Laser (larger than a sz. Medium Castelli) and, because of this, they fit as long & with even looser leg bands than the Fusion.

Finally I decided to try the FR-C’s since they supposedly have a tighter fit than most other Giordana models. However, the feedback indicated that the supposed 11” inseam runs long which meant that they would once again end at my knee caps with leg bands flapping in the breeze. Competitive Cyclist recommended that I try the 5cm shorter (i.e., 2”) model which should've been close to perfect (that’s how much shorter the Laser & Fusion needed to be so that the leg bands could fit more snugly around a wider part of my lower quads).

CONCLUSION: The FR-C’s are definitely a much tighter "race fit" than the Fusion or Laser...not quite as tight as Castelli Free Aero’s but close enough. However the leg length on the 5cm shorter model was 1-2” shorter than expected such that the leg bands ended well above my tan line and close to “hot pants” in look. I confirmed this surprise when I measured the inseam at 8” (not the expected 9”). Based on this they should be called "7.5cm shorter" - what gives? Otherwise these are beautifully designed bibs in every aspect (closer to perfect vs. the likes of Assos Equipe’s and Castelli Free Aero’s), but I am tired of returning Giordana bibs due to their fit suprises…so I’m raising the white flag.

NOTE TO GIORDANA – Please make your fit more consistent between models. And why not make a race-fit bib (or a sz. XS one) with an inseam closer to that found on most other brands (i.e., 9”-10”) rather than giving me the choice between capri pant leg lengths (with leg bands that are too loose) and that of hot pants?

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ira.goldsc1527338

ira.goldsc1527338wrote a review of on August 10, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs large

These sz. Small bibs continue to shatter the myth that Italian bibs run small (Castelli’s do, but I need an XS for Sportful). I am 5'5", 125lbs. w/ a 29” waist. Unfortunately I was able to pull these Giordana bibs on way too easily (they feel like a sz. Large in Castelli) and the chamois was drooping away from my butt, both of which don’t bode well for long days in the saddle. This is very strange given that Giordana’s sizing chart claims that a sz. Small is for a 25”-28” waist (which is further off the mark than the 31” that Castelli claims for a sz. Small except in the wrong direction for a wee person). Even more unfortunate is that Giordana does not appear to make sz. XS for consumers so I am probably outa luck in experiencing the Giordana magic (unless the FR-C fits way more snugly).

Additionally the inseam was rather long @ 10” (I have very short legs so these came down to my knee caps--a location where the leg bands fit loose like capri pant hems and where they'll be rubbing my calves while pedaling). It is true that Giordana’s listed inseam length for this model is 10” but that’s for a sz. Medium, but you’d think they’d take, say, a ½” off of this for the Small.

Too bad since these have higher-end features that you don't see on other “entry level” bibs (especially those that can often be available for under $100): the same “Cirro” chamois used on the top-end Giordana models, lay-flat bib straps that look like they’ll actually lay flat (kinda like what Assos is currently doing), and ~3” wide leg bands of a material similar to the straps (with a classy gray contrasting color and minimal silicone gripper globs on the inside).

I probably shoulda tried the supposedly snugger-fitting FR-C "5cm shorter" model instead, but I didn’t know about that bib until recently since it isn’t shown or described separately on the Competitive Cyclist website (it’s listed in the FormaRed’s size pulldown list with a mysterious “5 cm”)…oh and $250 is a little rich for my blood.

NOTE TO GIORDANA: Please make sz. XS bibs for consumers and shorten the leg lengths on smaller sizes…Esteban Chaves’ Orica team FR-C bibs look racer-tight on him and he’s my height & weighs 7lbs. less than me so he's gotta be in an XS…just sayin?

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ira.goldsc1527338

ira.goldsc1527338wrote a review of on August 10, 2017

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small

I am 5'5", 125lbs. and w/ a 29" waist. Castelli bibs in a size Small generally fit me best (for most other brands I need a sz. XS if they’re available and if the bib straps aren’t too tight). So it came as a big surprise that in a sz. Small these bibs (which are supposed to be for a 29-31" waist) were so tight that I could barely get them past my calves (they fit waay tighter than the XS Bontrager I own). Once I muscled them on the lycra was so stretched out that they were sorta see-through, the seams looked ready to burst, and forget trying to move them around a bit to get the chamois positioned just right. Very strange experience for me!

I then returned these and tried the sz. Medium which fit 2-3 sizes larger than the Small (close to a real "medium" vs. the totally skewed XXS fit of the Small). Unfortunately these were way too loose fitting for my skinny frame, so these too are going back too.

Otherwise, for bibs sometimes discounted close to $100 these have some nice higher-end features: a great looking multi-layer/density chamois (apparently an EIT that’s well-ventilated), soft/airy mesh straps with a unique doubled-over "tunnel" design, and a soft microfiber lined “wind protective cup” that provides perhaps a bit more room "for the boys" (though not anything close to what Assos provides on most of their current models).

However, I’m not a fan of a few other features: the 3” doubled-over hems instead of separate leg bands (a P.I. model using this approach did not hold very well and was very sweat-inducing), the lycra material feels kinda rough (vs. the “luxurious” feel of the lycra on most other mid/high-end bib models these days…though I doubt this will be noticed much during a ride), and the design is rather boring ("if I can no longer ride fast I may as well look mahvelous?").

NOTE TO GORE: Please fix the huge size jump between the Small (which fits like an XXS) and the Medium (which fits like most other brand's "Mediums"). As it is I am between this huge size jump and can't enjoy the unique design of these bibs..

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ira.goldsc1527338

ira.goldsc1527338wrote a review of on October 11, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I road these in several recent 70-90mi. days with 40-50deg. temps and some rain.

They are nearly perfect except for one issue: the seam across the back/bottom of the shorts crosses right where my sit bones contact the saddle. During some of the riding I didn't notice it while at other times I kept thinking that it could be causing some irritation. However at the end of each day's ride I did not have any added saddle soreness. Hopefully the thickness & softness of the Nanoflex material along with the thickly-padded chamois will make this seam a non-issue over the long run. However, it's location did unfortunately put a bug in my head about the possible source of some added butt discomfort...and we all know that this is an unwanted distraction when you're suffering. Castelli may have a reason for putting the seam there (perhaps to "shield" it from rear wheel water spray?); however, I'd happily trade this little bit of ultimate water resistance for not having a seam located in perhaps the worst possible location.

Now for what's great about these shorts:
1) Fit - They fit great like all other Castelli shorts I've owned or tried on which means they're sized for a lean, biker's body. So for me the fit is "true to size" while most other brands run large. The thicker yet-still-very-stretchy material makes them harder to put on vs. a summer-weight short, but while riding they feel like a "normal" race-cut bib to me (i.e., compressive/conforming but not overly tight or restricting).
2) Length - These are longer than your typical summer-weight short, which for me meant they come down to the top of my knee caps. I found this length to be great since I will generally be wearing knee warmers under them (i.e., the added length keeps the knee warmers in place better and allows the knee warmers to be pulled further down if needed).
3) The upgraded Kiss Air chamois seems to work nearly as well as the Progetto X2 (which is one of my 2-3 favorite chamois's). The cushion at my sit bones feels a bit less isolating due to the lack of the Progetto X2's gel inserts. However, I'd still consider it to be as good as or even superior to many other brand's top-end chamois's, which makes it a steal at this price point (so much so that my next summer-weight bib purchase will probably be a lower-end Castelli with the Kiss Air chamois).
4) Warmth - Definitely provides the added warmth in 40-50deg. weather that I was seeking vs. my summer-weight bibs (and I generally don't ride in temps lower than that).
5) Water-Resistance - Definitely fends off light rain and road spray. However I chose to wear rain pants over them during periods of heavy rain (for me the possibility of riding with a wet chamois isn't worth it just for the sake of seeing how water resistant this shorts are).
6) Miscellaneous - The Giro3 leg grippers have worked great for me in the past and so far these do too given that they're tighter than on a summer-weight short (i.e., since they are gripping the narrowest part of my thigh just above the knee). Finally I might complain about the bunchy traditional seamed-mesh bib straps but at this price it's hard to expect much more (and I'll generally be wearing them over an undershirt such that this issue is not really noticeable).

In conclusion, other than than the oddly placed rear seam, these shorts do what they claim to do (and do it better than the thermal shorts from Bontrager or P.I.). They are a steal at this price for something with the Castelli name on it. Buy 'em unless you see value in the extra cash needed for the likes of the Assos or Rapha thermal bib shorts.

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ira.goldsc1527338

ira.goldsc1527338wrote a question about on August 7, 2015

According to the LG sizing chart I should take an XS (I have a 29" waist and am 5'5"). Is this true? I have never used an XS before because I stick with the few bibs out there that fit me snugly in a small (i.e., Assos Equipe, Castelli, P.I. Pro, Sugoi RS). True - an XS in other bibs that fit me more loosely (i.e., Bontrager, Endura, Mavic, Specialized) might work too, but finding an XS to try is not normally possible (if they even make them in an XS).

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ira.goldsc1527338

ira.goldsc1527338wrote a review of on August 14, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs large

These are the most beautifully-designed bibs I've seen with a unique ventilated "lay-flat" strap system that sits wide (i.e., not on top of my nipples). However, the sizing is a bit off. I am 5'5", 130lbs with a 29" waist. Unfortunately, even though the size Small is supposed to be for a 25"-28" waist, the fit is fairly loose and hardly feels compressive (even though I have big thighs). The straps even feel loose out of the box! I'd call these a "comfort" fit like the Assos T.cento_S7 (vs. the "race" fit T.equipe_S7, Castelli's, Pearl P.R.O.'s...), so buy accordingly!

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ira.goldsc1527338

ira.goldsc1527338wrote a review of on February 2, 2009

4 5

For the money it is hard to beat this jacket. The materials and construction seem as bombproof as the more expensive brands. Its style is unique too - not a faux mountaineering look, not a snowboarder look nor a "hey I'm a racer" look - instead it has an elegant western design with some subtle elements like rivets and gussets (hey I live in cowboy country).

Even with the above I can't give it 5 stars due to a few design missteps that you would think a company like Columbia would have gotten right, like:
1)The liner is so long that accessing and using the powder skirt is very difficult.
2)The inside of the shell has two open mesh pockets and no zippered pockets - one mesh pocket is plenty (not sure what two could be used for since this is not a backcountry jacket that be used for stowing skins), while the lack of a zippered pocket is a glaring exclusion.
3) There are four zippered or velcroed pockets on the outside of the liner, which makes them difficult to access when zipped into the jacket. The two pockets inside the liner are small, open and mesh - not sure what you'd use these for. The liner needs one or two more secure pockets on the inside.

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