Saturday, December 6, 2014

Cold and Wet Weather Bike Wear: Giordana's Roubaix Bib Tights and Silverline Long Sleeved Jersey

Dressing for a northeastern winter ride. Giordana thermal bib tights.
Winters are somewhat of a brutal affair here in the NYC/Metro area. Add in a bit of precipitation like snow and you have a valid reason to park your bike and stay home. All the same, if you're like me, you LIKE to ride and if I'm dressed right, I don't mind the cold weather. That's why I was so interested in trying a pair of bib tights this year. Yes, I have the usual thermal cycling tights with the built in chamois but after trying Giordana's Gita Women's Bib Shorts (Road ID), two years ago, well let's say I'm a bit spoiled! You can read my review of these phenomenal bib shorts HERE.  I also wore a full Giordana FR Carbon Kit for my first Rapha Women's 100 Sportive. So let's start with the Silverline Long Sleeved Jersey which completes this cold weather cycling kit.

Silverline Long Sleeved Jersey and Roubaix Bib Tights
Silverline Women's Long Sleeved Jersey
I have a few thermal cycling jerseys but some of them are a bit too thick and do not give the freedom of movement I'm looking for. They also don't allow moisture to wick away as well as they should. The Silverline Women's Long Sleeved Jersey features ERG200, which is a new moisture transferring winter fabric. The inside of the jersey is SO soft due in part to the brushed inner surface which effectively traps warm air next to your skin. The full zip front offers a taller collar for extra insulation. There is reflective piping down the back and three open rear pockets which are easy to access.

Bottom hem of the Silverline has a gripper band.
The bottom of the Silverline has a gripper band which helps keep the jersey down when you are in the drops. The overall styling and accents on this women's cycling jersey are incredible. One of my favorite features in a cycling jersey is a zippered rear pouch which the Silverline does not have. This is a minor gripe as the rear pouches are very easy to get at. 
I was out in the rain in it today and it was extremely comfortable to wear, keeping me quite dry. However for a major downpour I would wear something more water repellent as this jersey's forte is primarily beating the cold. It's a tricky trade off because you will often sweat more in a completely waterproof cycling jacket/jersey. The Silverline Jersey seems to offer a happy medium between the two. This jersey has their patented WCF (Women's Contour Fit) so it is very aerodynamic. Made in Italy. 

Gore Bike Wear's Countdown Windstopper Lady Vest
You can also top this jersey off with a windproof shell like this Countdown Windstopper Lady Vest from Gore Bike Wear. Once you heat up, take it off and stuff it in your jersey's rear open pouch. Works great for road work when you are expending a lot of heat and energy.

Giordana FRC Roubaix Bib Tights
Giordana FRC Roubaix Bib Tights
This is my first pair of bib tights but as I mentioned before, I've already had the pleasure of wearing Giordana's Bib Shorts with their uniquely comfortable chamois system. The W Cirro Omni Form Insert is included in Giordana's top of the line tights/bib shorts as it offers varying thickness throughout the chamois. Aloe Vera is permanently incorporated into the upper most layer of the pad which helps head off chaffing before it happens. The chamois has a second layer of memory foam with a waffled texture which aids in aeration.

Aqua Zero Seat Panel 
This is the area of your tights that is usually the "receiving end" for rain and puddle splash ups. Giordana has thought of this with their Aqua Zero Seat Panel treatment which make the tights quite water resistant.
Giordana Jersey and Bib Tights drying after being in the rain.
Fit and Feel
The inside of these Italian made bib tights are soft brushed like the Silverline Jersey so they are a dream to wear. Even the straps have the same brushed softness detail. I'm a size 6 so that corresponds to a Medium in these bib tights. While getting into some of my bibs requires using a shoe horn, I found that these weren't that much of a struggle. The ankles have reflective zippers which makes them even easier to get on and off. They are very lightweight yet warm for very cold days on the road. The black fabric has a UPF of 50+ blocking out 98% of UV radiation. 

Giordana Roubaix Bib Tights in the rain
The coldest I've ridden was about 28 degrees. When you factor in windchill, the skin feel is going to be even frostier, like 5-10 degrees colder. This winter kit would be ideal for about 3540+ degrees. If I need extra warmth due to wind, I would add a cycling vest and/or thin Merino Wool base layer like this Outdoor 160 Shirt by Bluey Australia. Wool is naturally wicking and so would work well with the Silverline Jersey's moisture managing fabric. 
I did an 8 mile ride in 41 degree weather with substantial wind and was comfortable with the Silverline Long Sleeved Jersey, a wool base layer and Windstopper Vest (shown above). I did have to stop halfway and take off the vest but overall I was very comfortable!

Bluey Australia's Outdoor 160 Merino Wool Baselayer
These pieces are really a necessity if you plan to ride this winter. It can be raw and foreboding out there and being exposed to the elements is no ride in the park. Bib Tights also prevent wind from blowing up your back and chilling your core.

Riding in this kit in sunny but windy 41 degree weather.

A cold weather cycling kit like this from Giordana can be the difference between enjoying the road vs freezing to the pavement. See all of the current Giordana cycle wear at or GitaBike

Don't let this be YOU this winter.

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