Giro's Chrono Pro jersey is positioned as the American brand's top line performance jersey, and it really doesn't disappoint – but you do pay quite heavily for it.
- Pros: Close aero cut, top performance, good practicality, nice styling
- Cons: Slightly tight arm hems, cost
As you can probably tell from the pros and cons listed above, when it came to identifying the Chrono jersey's strengths and weaknesses, I was taxed far more with one heading than the other. The truth is, after sitting for 20 minutes trying to come up with downsides, all I could think of – bar the price – was the fact that the arm hems were a little tight.
In a race-cut jersey designed to sit on the skin, it's hardly surprising that it'll feel a little small in areas where I'm larger than the average racing cyclist (the arms being one of a few areas), but even with the band-like hems, it's certainly not the most uncomfortable I've been in a jersey of this type.
Mainly that'll be because the undersides don't have a tacky gripper like some jerseys, instead allowing the hems to find their natural sit point. And the surrounding fabric (the whole jersey, in fact) is very flexible so it can mould to the body remarkably well.
Giro calls this fabric a 'gradient stretch woven' material, which is very breathable and light while not looking (or feeling) like a mesh-type fabric. It's very cool against the skin, especially when you've been getting a sweat on, and that bodes well for the kind of weather that the UK has been enjoying this summer.
Stop at the top of a climb on a cool morning after giving it the beans and you can literally see the moisture steaming off the fabric.
Other benefits of the fabric are said to be a light compression, as well as high durability. The higher density of the back panel adds an air of quality and longevity, while the lighter laser-holed front panels and mesh flanks assist with breathability. It's very difficult to overheat in the Chrono jersey in normal conditions, and it's rated to an SPF of 50.
There's no flapping around the torso when on the move in an aggressive position – perfect for a jersey with a nod to aerodynamics – but that doesn't mean it's restrictive. The shoulders allow plenty of space in a medium for someone with wide shoulders to fit in, which means the zip doesn't feel too tight when done all the way up.
The bottom line is that it's very comfortable indeed, with sizing slightly on the generous side so even a 188cm, fairly bulky (albeit slim) guy like me can fit in a medium. The size chart suggests that a medium would be slightly too small for me, but it fits like a glove – even the collar fits around my wide neck comfortably.
There are three good-sized pockets on the back, with the middle pocket overlaid by a zipped security slot for phones and/or keys. There's no weather protection for it, mind, but that's hardly a priority in a performance jersey like this (even though I'd like to see some sort of sweat-and-showerproof lining).
The waistline features an elasticated band with some Giro-branded gripper styling embossed upon it, and it does a grand job of holding the jersey in place. Tighter-fitting jerseys like this can have a habit of working their way up, especially when the fit is marginal – but on me, the Chrono Pro stayed firm, keeping its length on my back.
I like the superficial design too – there's detail in the honeycomb-like design of the shoulders, with a fade-plus-diagonal grading down the body. It looks especially smart in the 'Black Cascade' colour we have on test, while there are white and blue alternatives too.
I can't fault the overall build quality either, and it stands up well to 40 degree washes despite recommendations to machine wash cold.
You'd hope that it'd stand up to some punishment too, as it costs £129.99. That's a high price – a tenner more than Le Col's Pro Air jersey. Yet, I'd say the overall quality and comfort puts it in competition with Le Col's premium HC jersey, which is £20 more. There are a number of very good summer jerseys for around the £90-£95 mark, though, from the likes of Sportful, Monton, new brand Saikels, and Hommage au Velo with its very good Bourlon jersey for £95, which does make the Giro look a little overpriced.
Despite that, I'm still very impressed by how well the Chrono Pro works – it offers racy performance in a sympathetic fit, and looks good too.
A great high-performance jersey that's hard to fault, though it does cost you
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro Chrono Pro Jersey Short Sleeve
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Giro says: "The Men's Chrono Pro Jersey is race-ready for your fastest day on the bike. The fit, fabrication and features come together to provide pure performance with a touch of luxury. Three Expandable Storage Pockets (ESP) provide extra storage capacity, and a premium hem gripper keeps the jersey in place.
"Perhaps most impressive is the Gradient™ Stretch Woven material, which offers high durability, improved compression, fast drying, impressive breathability and a UPF 50+ rating."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Features (from Giro website):
- Gradient™stretch woven material
- Made in Italy
- UPF 50+ (All materials except front)
- Italian fabric
- Mesh side panels
- 3 Expandable Storage Pockets (ESP)
- Secure zip pocket
- Full-length front zipper
- Hem gripper
- Laser-cut sleeve openings
- Reflective logo
- Reflective highlights
As far as race-cut jerseys go, this is one of the best-finished examples I've seen, thanks to its use of quality fabrics and seams.
It might not (technically) be cutting edge in terms of aero innovation, but other than that it does everything very well indeed. An excellent performance all-rounder.
Early days, but it feels very good and a step better than your usual lightweight race-cut jerseys.
Aside from the slightly tight arm hems, it's very accommodating.
Again, aside from the tight arm hems, it's excellent.
At £129.99 it's no bargain compared with other high-end jerseys out there, though it's still not the most expensive. Is it worth the money? Well, you do get bags of performance and quality...
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easily, despite the conservative instructions.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Close aero cut, top performance, good practicality, nice styling...
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Slightly tight arm hems.
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
Aside from the arm hems – which might not be as tight on you – it's hard to fault the Chrono Pro jersey. I'd be tempted to give it a 9, but taking the high price into account it has to be an 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding