It was one of those rides you dream of. Everything was perfect. The weather was glorious. The bike was efficient, silent and fast. And the cycling kit that I have for review absolutely blew my mind.
(See links below for a special offer from Giordana.)
Blog / Video / Product review, by Rob Arnold
Only yesterday I decided not to ride because I had concerns about traffic in this manic week leading up to Christmas. There are now 10 days to go until Santa is due to arrive (if you’ve been good) and, in Sydney, that often means: do not venture out on the bike – it’s not worth the risk. At this time of the year it’s usually mayhem on the roads. It’s the final week of school, a gift buying frenzy, end-of-year office parties… these things – and many other ingredients – can make cycling hazardous in our cities.
But today I couldn’t resist the lure of the early morning ride. Summer is here and it’s a great time to be on the bike. The rain and wind, a feature of the past few weeks, have abated and Sydney is covered by blue sky, while only the lightest of breezes blows gently from the north-east (but, at 5.45am this morning, it was barely noticeable).
The conditions early today were absolutely irresistible. And, everywhere you looked, it was obvious other cyclists got the memo too. ‘Get out of bed. Get on the bike. It’s riding time!’
There were hundreds of people cycling near where I went this morning. It was my usual not-too-far-from-home loop, down to the turnaround at La Perouse first… and onwards. It was a see-where-the-mood-leads-me kinda day. If I hadn’t had a few other things booked in to do, I’d have spent much longer on the bike this morning.
It wasn’t only the conditions that made today’s ride special. It was only 50km on the bike, but it became something of a big deal for me.
Towards the end of the ride, I turned on the camera, pointed it towards me and declared: “A true revelation ride!”
It was as though I’d discovered something wonderful, but really it wasn’t anything new. Rather, it was just the circumstances (ie. the brilliant weather, early sunrise, good mood, restful sleep, etc) that helped make today’s ride something special.
There was also another significant bonus. I have just ridden in the best cycling kit I’ve ever worn. It is by Giordana and I’m not yet familiar with the code names for the knicks and jersey, but I’m going to get to know them well in the coming days and weeks because this clothing has just blown my mind.
To be clear, for around 25 years I’ve been incredibly spoiled in my choice of cycling garments and bikes and all matter of equipment. That’s a perk of my job. I get lovely stuff to ride on and in, and I could say that I’ve become rather complacent over the years.
“It’s lovely. It looks good. It fits really nicely. And it’s comfy.” That could be a summary of many reviews I’ve written in the past. Cycling clothing has improved immensely in recent years and, if you haven’t tried some of the latest offerings, I strongly encourage you to give them a try.
If the clothing you’re riding in is over five years old, chances are you too will have your mind blown when you sample something new. The cut of jerseys has improved enormously in the last little while. And knicks are far more considered than ever before, with brilliant fit and comfy chamois, and just-the-right-length on the legs. On modern cycling knicks you’ll find funky gripper, clever stitching, great colours and pretty much something for everyone who wants to spoil themselves a little.
In summary: cycling kit in 2021 is wonderful! And I’ve tried a vast range of clothing in the past 12 months.
I’ve got my favourites too, knicks and jerseys that are picked out of the cupboard without hesitation. If my preferred kit is clean, then – obviously – it gets worn… still, there’s not a bad set of kit in my collection. (I’ve jettisoned the clothing that no longer impresses me and only retained the items that suit me and the riding I do.)
As of today, however, there’s a new set of ride wear that will get priority. It’s by Giordana and it is simply outstanding!
* * * * *
I was going to begin this review with a warning: ‘Please note, I’m going to gush…’ It was obvious within a few minutes of riding in the new-season Giordana kit that it is special. But, as the ride progressed, it became obvious that I was going to start raving about what I was wearing. The fit is fantastic, the colours brilliant (and safe, to the point where I seemed to command respect from all other road users… cyclists, commuting motorists, even tradies) and the functionality of the kit has blown my mind.
I type this while still doing ‘chamois time’ with my bib-and-brace pulled down, and my undershirt still on. I type this in haste because it feels like I need to share my joy with other bike riders.
I’ve found something special, an outfit that helps to make a good ride a great one.
The kit is superb. Have you got that impression yet? But, of course, there is a catch: the price. This stuff is good, but it doesn’t come cheap. The Giordana outfit I wore this morning – ie. knicks, jersey, undershirt and socks – would amount to a total spend of AUD$699.96. Yep, for four items of clothing (well, five if you count each sock). It is expensive but, it’s worth noting, it is easily possible to spend even more on the equivalent items from other clothing brands.
There are a lot of companies that have contributed to the evolution of cycling kit, and it’s clear that plenty of research and development now takes place to perfect garments that are not only made to fit well but look good, wash well, and last. Terms like ‘technical’, ‘engineered’, ‘optimised’, ‘breathability’, ‘SPF’, are now common parlance when talking about riding outfits. It isn’t just hyperbole either, there’s wonderful stuff on the market and I’m a fan of several brands I’ve sampled of late.
For custom kit, the market leader – in my appraisal – is Cuore. Big or small orders are managed with efficiency and the outfit you get is personalised more than you could ever have imagined only a few years ago. Great fit, easy ordering, quality clothing, quick delivery and great service… it’s a win-win scenario for anyone wanting their sponsors’ logos – or even their name – on the kit they ride (or race) in.
My experiences with Giordana over the years have only ever left me impressed. And the latest offerings from the company with Italian heritage (and factories) have taken things to an entirely new level. I expected good, but what I rode with this morning was simply better than anything I’ve tried before.
Video review to follow
This column was bashed out immediately after my first ride in the new kit. It is a quick summary of what sprung to mind while I was on the bike and put into words the moment I arrived at the office. I’ve covered only a few of the basics about Giordana’s latest offerings but there is a hell of a lot more to add.
The good news is, today’s ride will most certainly not be my last in the outfit featured in the photos on this page. As the review continues (in the coming weeks and months), I’ll keep adding to the commentary.
A lot of cycling kit feels fantastic during the first ride but, after a few washes, it can begin to sag or simply not cope with the beating it gets inside the washing machine and age quickly. In other words, the true test of how good stuff like this is comes after months of use. I’m pleased to report that this outfit – and several others kindly supplied by TMO Sports as part of this promotion – will not be returned after the review is published. It will be used repeatedly, and I’m at your disposal to answer any questions you may have. (Feel free to send an email and/or leave a comment on any RIDE social media channel and I’ll do my best to respond quickly and honestly.)
After this morning’s experience, I’m going to find out a lot more about the product and you’ll see more detailed reviews – including some videos on RIDE Media’s YouTube channel – in the coming weeks. Considering the surprising reaction I’ve had after my first ride, I’m keen to find out if the buzz remains in subsequent adventures.
All going well, the weather conditions I enjoyed this morning will hang around for the holiday period and I’ll get to experience more effortless, comfortable, joyous rides like the one I had earlier today. I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, why not at least have a click around TMO Sports site and find out a little more about the Giordana range that’s now available direct-to-consumer. There are, of course, also plenty of bike shops around Australia that stock the Giordana range, and I’d highly recommend you try some on. It could be that the ride you have is not just a good one, but a great one.
– By Rob Arnold
To be continued…
Note: Discount code is GIORDANA10 for 10% off all Giordana Apparel for Australian customers.
Offer expires 31/03/22, does not apply to any items on sale or clearance products.
|Clothing item||RRP*||Size worn|
|Giordana NX-G bib shorts||$419.99||Small|
|Giordana FR-C tall sock (orange)||$24.99||Large|
|Giordana lightweight sleeveless base layer||$74.99||Small|
|Giordana Silverline Jersey (tangerine)||$179.99||Small|
|*All costs quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD), correct as of December 2021.|