With Giordana's new EXO System Jersey, it pursued the Holy Grail of cycling jerseys -- the balanced combination of comfort, support, and aerodynamics. Not surprisingly, Giordana nailed it on the first try. With five fabrics, three of them brand new, and a cut that both supports the muscles and provides an aerodynamic profile, the EXO System is breaking down the boundaries of what was previously thought possible with 'just' a cycling jersey.
It's no secret that Giordana recommends wearing the EXO system as a 'system,' meaning that the jersey and shorts are intended to function as singular entity. However, while the EXO bottoms place a focus on compression, the jersey draws its inspiration from aerodynamics. The reasons for this are simple. While the benefits of compression design are easy to follow at the legs, your legs don't have lungs to worry about compressing. This imposition on breathing left Giordana to focus on aerodynamics at the torso and compression at the sleeves. Why the sleeves? Because the arms are the upper body's first response to road vibration and the resulting muscle oscillation. Accordingly, the EXO jersey features Giordana's newest fabric, Asteria 2.0, at the sleeves, shoulders, and center back panel.
Now, Asteria 2.0 isn't a 'compression' fabric. Instead, it features a relatively high composition weight of 130g/m2. However, what it lacks in fiber weight, it makes up for in threads per square centimeter, or TPC. Prior to this material, Giordana's HC44 fabric boasted the highest TPC in the cycling industry, at 44TPC. However, this high thread count is now shared with Asteria 2.0. Accordingly, the characteristics of this construction lend themselves to increasing the softness of the material, while concurrently improving the fabric's ability to conform to the body and manage moisture. So, with this balance of strength and conformity, the arms' muscle groups are thoroughly supported, while still retaining their ability for movement and flexibility.
At the front panel of the EXO jersey, we find another new fabric, A.i. One. This material is exclusive to Giordana, and you're about to find out why. A.i. One was commissioned by Giordana, making proprietary alterations to an already stellar construction. The end result is a two layer fabric that's composed of two different filaments. At the inner-layer, Giordana implemented a 'special' weave that essentially creates air pockets between the skin and the material. Of course, this creates a cooling sensation, but the weave also enhances breathability, while rapidly wicking moisture away from the skin. At the outer-layer of A.i. One, Giordana incorporated a polyester microfiber that's produced from recycled materials. And like the inner-layer, the outer-layer also makes use of a 'special' weave. Accordingly, this layer features an omnidirectional stretch that Giordana describes as 'mechanical stretch.' Additionally, Giordana added two separate treatments to A.i. One, an antimicrobial and an adaptive. So, one prevents the proliferation of bacteria in the fabric, while the other aids in thermo-regulation. As a result, you remain clean, comfortable, and more importantly, cool.
Along the rear panel, Giordana borrowed technology from FormaRed Carbon, incorporating its Host Carbon fabric throughout. This material features a lightweight composition with a carbon fiber filament. Why? Essentially, with the carbon filament, material stretch becomes omnidirectional and controlled, but not just in the supportive sense. Basically, the carbon reinforces the honeycomb-knit Lycra, making it lighter, yet stronger, and allowing to universally stretch in all directions, not just four-way. Additionally, the carbon fiber blocks out static and rogue atmospheric electrical interference for an increased anaerobic output and a delayed onset of fatigue.
Now, the omnidirectional stretch of the aforementioned fabrics allow the jersey to sit closely next to the skin without inhibiting your freedom of movement. And as a result of this 'next-to-skin' fit, airflow remains more attached over the body, minimizing your aerodynamic profile. Not surprisingly, Giordana incorporated a few more features in order to bolster this design trait. At the collar, Giordana utilized what it calls a 'no-profile integrated collar.' This means that there's no material over the neck, streamlining your body position whether over the hoods or down in the drops. Additionally, the sleeve position is secured by Giordana's venerable LoPro 30 cuffs. These are comprised of a very low-profile band with an internal silicone gripper for attachment. These grippers alone perform wonders at minimizing drag, but in the spirit of both maximizing support and aerodynamics, Giordana cut them low to right above the elbow.
For storage of ride essentials, the EXO jersey features three rear pockets that have been given flaps in order to maintain the jersey's aerodynamic profile.
The Giordana EXO System Jersey is available in six sizes from Small to XXX-Large and in the colors Black/titanium and White/black.
I just picked up a pair of these and I'm very impressed! I didn't think Giordana could do better than the FRC but they somehow managed. I have 5 rides on them now and its the first jersey I reach for in my drawer. This is the first jersey I've ever worn that I immediately wash when I get home so it will be ready for the next ride. Guess its time for another pair.
Fit is American, but slim with a wide chest. I'm normally Medium to Large and the Medium is plenty big.
I hate to say it, but my Assos shorts may now be set aside for trainer rides.