The real test for a new pair of shorts is getting out of the shop and down into the drops of your bars. When you don sub-par shorts, seams start to rub, fabric bunches, you sweat through at the hottest spots, and, after a bit, some of the high-wear areas get threadbare. This is where Giordana's implementation of specific fabrics in targeted body panels differentiates its new FormaRed Carbon Shorts from others on the market.
Starting with the bulk of the shorts' construction, Giordana went with its compressive HC-44 fabric. With a nylon/Lycra composition weight of 180g/m2, the FormaRed Carbon (FRC) shorts take on a nearly medical compression level (roughly 240g/m2). And while dissecting the fabric title, we find that 'HC' designates 'high-compression,' while '44' stands for the material's threads per centimeter (TPC). As Giordana puts it, the highest prior thread count hovered around 36 TPC. This means that, compared to most competition, the HC-44 is softer and more conforming, and it has a higher level of wicking capability. And remarkably, HC-44 achieves this at a lighter weight than most Lycra blends. This is important because, as you'll have noticed if you've worn compressive fabrics in the past, they're heavy in comparison to traditional Lycra. HC-44 encompasses their key traits, like inhibiting muscle oscillation and promoting a positive circulation, without the detriment of a weighty, poorly breathing composition.
Moving to the inner legs and seat panel, Giordana placed an even stronger fabric called Zaffiro. This material is a certified Power Lycra with a composition weight of 200g/m2. But, unlike HC-44, Zaffiro features a purposefully denser weave with Giordana's SUPER 40 construction technology. This guarantees a continuation of HC-44's aforementioned characteristics, only with a higher level of durability and friction-reduction at the highest points of saddle abrasion. Additionally, Giordana placed its new Ametista fabric around the waist as part of its Core Contour System. Again, we see a return of 200g/m2 Lycra, only now, Ametista is characterized by its woven-in carbon threads -- thus, the 'Carbon' in 'FormaRed Carbon.' With the carbon filament, material stretch is controlled, but not just in the supportive sense. Basically, the carbon reinforces the honeycomb-knit Lycra, making it lighter yet stronger, and allowing it 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.
As for the fit, the FRC benefits from Giordana's innovative contoured cut. Designed to eliminate excess material, each panel follows the contours of your body in the cycling position, creating a ‘second skin’ effect that makes movements on the bike feel natural and less restricted. By following your shape, the shorts have fewer creases, meaning less drag and more comfort. To secure this position, Giordana incorporated its AeroLite leg cuffs. This design uses a low-profile, seamless cuff that holds strong while maintaining an aerodynamic presence. And for further comfort, the entirety of the shorts has been constructed with four-needle flatlock stitched seams.
The shorts' chamois is one that Giordana touts as being the most advanced in the industry -- the Cirro O.F. It's the first chamois we've heard of with Aloe Vera particles directly infused into the threads of the microfiber. Aloe is not only a natural bacteria fighter, but its implementation in the fiber provides a cooling effect that protects and heals during activity. Below the skin layer, the Cirro has a 4mm-thick pad of waffled-texture expanding memory foam. The texture aids in ventilation by moving moisture to the perimeter of the chamois where accelerated evaporation can occur. The final layer of the chamois is a thick section of hand-sewn open-cell padding with recessed channels for pressure relief. These technologies amount to a chamois that won't get wet and nasty 100 miles into a ride, let alone 20.
The FormaRed Carbon Shorts are available in five sizes from Small to XX-Large and in the color Black/black.
|Giordana FormaRed Carbon Bib Shorts||$249.95|
|Giordana FormaRed Carbon Jersey||$199.95|
|Giordana FormaRed Carbon Jacket||$379.95|
|Giordana FormaRed Carbon Short-Cuff Sock||$13.95|