What's Cool In Road Cycling

Body Clone: Giordana Summer Skins

Phoenix in the summer? A crap place… Phoenix in late summer, with the humidity and monsoon rains? Watery crap… Giordana extend a helping hand with a few pieces of their newest Body Clone clothing. And of course they have a sense of humor, as it we got it in black…

Gotta love tearing open a new box o skins from Giordana. You would have to be from Mars not to know the brand, and that they make good kit is no surprise. The fact that the morning low was 92 and that this box came stuffed with the promises of “breathability and a very comfortable fit” was a bonus. In this case Giordana gave us a look at a few things from their top range “Body Clone” collection that draws it’s name from a few new fabrics designed to conform to you while remaining comfortable.

I should qualify that “new” means that it’s newly available to you and I now, but the technology has been in the testing process and in use for a couple of years, although mostly by guys making a paycheck, like the Tour De Georgia leaders and the guys at CSC.

While we did get a set of replica CSC skins, we were more interested in their new Body Clone kit. I know that jerseys are what most folks notice first but, for me, the stuff that holds my “stuff” is what’s most important. In this case we lucked out with a set of Max 02 and Forma bibs.

We’ll start with the Forma Bibs.

As with all shorts, the most important thing lies inside. The newest Chamoise in the line is the Elite Gel Omniform.


And before you email in, those are the Nanny’s nails…

The elastic pad technology (memory foam cham’s) that started in Assos FI series has now jumped out to several manufacturers and it is used well at Giordana. They of course have the standard multi thickness design, but they don’t use any heat in creating the shape or variation in Thickness. Instead, they use a pressure variation along with these plates to get the desired effect…

That’s a nice feature as, when manufacturers use heat, it creates hard or stiff spots or strips in the foam (also creating weak spots that break down quicker). It’s also beats the hell out of anyone still using stitching to either create shapes while punching seams all the way through a pad to hold it in place. Stitching through the surface not only can be felt if in the surface, but will also restrict surface movement. Not a problem either of the test shorts though, as these move very well…

Giordana say; “The padding varies in thickness and density in the various parts of the insert to comfortably conform to the male anatomy and insure proper protection where necessary.”

Pez Say; The combination of soft flexible fabric and the right shape helps to form the perfect “peter pocket”. It probably makes for a comfy “sally sack” as well, but I admittedly lack perspective (shudup Stephan).

The Chamois is called “Elite Gel”, but unlike older gel chamois, Giordana use a very light additive (actually a suspended foam gel) that doesn’t present it’s self as noticeable at all except that the pad is comfortable. That beats the crap out of dated or over done gel inserts that felt like you stuffed a salmon fillet in your shorts…

Sticky Stealth…

The feature that is present in the shorts and the jersey’s is strangely noticeable in it’s near absence. It’s the Liquid Elastic griper material around sleeves and legs that provides for better aerodynamic as there is no seam. It’s also lighter because you don’t have a doubled over fabric section with added stretch material…

More important to you and I (and the other 99.99999% of riders that are not paid for fractions of a second) the Liquid Elastic feels nice. It grips without rubbing like the rubber threaded grippers on some shorts. It also has a memory to it and once stretched to fit your limb, it grips without binding.

My one concern was for the durability of this feature, as it appears to be nothing more than an extremely thin coating that, once stretched a few times, would peel off. Not to worry though, as they have been testing it for quite a long time, through lots of wear and lots of washing (I have also run my sets through lots of cycles of wash and wear with no effect on the gripper at all). I would be careful when stretching it in to place, but I didn’t read where caution was needed… Giordana also have a very good two year warranty (see their site for details), not that you’ll ever need it…

The Forma bibs feature an interesting fabric choice for the shoulder straps in a kinda wet-suite like material called “Moxie”.

While it looks very dense and supports really well, it is also highly moisture wicking. It really seems like it shouldn’t work like it does, but it does. The fit and support are great. No seams pulling or rubbing at all and no extra sweaty build up.

The last material mention for the Forma’s is HC44. It has a pretty basic meaning in that it’s a (H)igh (C)ompression and it has 44 threads per centimiter. Kinda like a high TPI count is found in lots of good tires, the very high thread count of the Forma shorts makes for a combination of strength and suppleness. It is dense enough to provide moderate support, and the fabric is soft to the skin.

The Max 02 bibs are a set of silk Pajama’s…

They also feature the Liquid Elastic gripers, but they use a slightly different Chamois. The 3D OF insert feels quite a bit like the Elite Gel OF in the Forma’s, but it is a touch thinner. It has all the same benefits except the addition of the Gel layer.

Giordana use a combination of fabrics in the lower section of the Max02 bibs in both “Hercules” and “Chrono” materials. The Hercules material is run on the large panels and has good support as well as flexibility. The Chrono run on the sides and round the bottom where a bit less stretch (and more compression) is a benefit. The Chrono fabric is also a bit looser weave in appearance and seems to which well.

These also feature the Liquid elastic around the leg area for a very sheer feel (on I would call extremely sexy legs).

On the road…

Both sets of shorts are extremely soft material to the touch. There is none the roughness that can sometimes come with fabrics that give any sort of support at all. This is the easiest thing to feel right away.

The breathability of the fabrics is very good indeed. In fact I have not felt anything better than the Max 02’s in getting air through.

The Chamois are both extremely soft. They are a bit thinner than the Elastomeric pads in Assos or Bergamo bibs, but there are those that will like that both chamois’ almost disappear underneath you.

I would like to see the pads on the Max 02 shorts rotated from back to front a bit more though, so that in an aggressive riding position the pad would be slightly more used and so that “things” didn’t so readily present themselves when upright. This was only on one pair in three, so it migh have been human error though…

Something else I like is the fact that the pad and top fabric layer (the material between the pad and your skin) are attached on these shorts rather than the pad floating under a loose fabric layer. It means there is no bunching at all and the chamois still moves with you.

Introduced in Vegas, with a dash of Elvis…

The Body Clone Jersey gets a couple of nice fabrics (MCK and Moovix) and also gets the sleek elastogrippy sleeves…

We’ve had the very breathable moovix fabric on shorts before but here the jersey gets it. It’s a kind of Honeycomb weave of Nylon and Lycra and its extremely flexible, stretching well in all directions (some lesser materials are weaved in a way that doesn’t stretch as well in more than one direction…). It is very breathable and has a nice feature of also being a bit more UV resistant than some other Cycling fabrics that have less opacity. All in all it works well in a jersey.

The MCK or Micro Carbon Knit is an active carbon and polyester based fabric that is extremely soft and even more breathable. Those two features I can confirm. In fact, this is the most comfortable fabric I have ever felt in a jersey and, coupled with the very comfortable Liquid-Elastic arm gripers makes me wish for this jersey to come in more colors next year than just the basic solids (red, black, blue). Now as to the other benefits of the fabric, I lack the sensitivity to know if they are working properly.

Giordana say: “MCK has numerous beneficial characteristics. First is an anti-static, dissipative effect that protects against electrical interference. At times the human body scarcely feels the effects of these natural phenomena, while at other times it is obvious. Both electrostatic discharge (ESD) and discharge from electric over stress (EOS) have considerable effect on well-being. In fact, electrical charges that settle on the body cause numerous complications that may be magnified during excercise, such as overheating, negative reactions on muscle contraction and inhibition of blood flow.”

OK, so what I can say is that the breathability benefit is exceptional. I don’t feel invigorated to the point where I can comment, and my heart rate transmitter signal isn’t more amplified with the lack of static, but I can say that I have not been in a bad mood wearing the jersey… I can also say that, in principal, the ideas behind the benefits are sound.

Last thing you’ll notice are the little raised dots.

These are there as an aerodynamic benefit and they are in a spot that should actually provide a very small amount (in the case where everything else on you and your bike are perfect and the jersey is worn absolutely skin tight).

I feel a bit guilty as I didn’t head to the wind tunnel to see if I em, broke wind any better… But if anything else, you can have fun with people telling them how well they work. And should you bike commute to your job as a Vegas entertainer, you can go immediately from bike to stage in a pinch. Come to think of it, that right there is worth a good 10 minutes, so I guess you can shave time using the kit!

Giordana rounded out the pile with their Strada and team gloves.

Not much to say that you can’t see in the photo. These are gel gloves with enough padding that should you try out a jackhammer on your next ride, you’ll be just fine… They are massively thick and some folks will like that.

For those that don’t like super thick padding, you might try the team edition gloves, as they are sheer fabric and slight padding (with little grippy dimples)…

And of course we needed some team kit to match the gloves…

We got Basso’s Jersey…

And a his shorts.

But despite my best efforts, I could neither hold 450 watts for an hour straight, nor could I get Lance to acknowledge me as cycling’s “next big thing”, so there’s more to Ivan Basso than his choice of cloths…

Still, these are well stitched, with very clean graphics and quality fabrics that make it almost too nice to be called “replica kit” (especially compared to some of the knock off crap that you can get these days…).

The Chamois in the shorts is the TF-3 and it is a more standard antibacterial fabric Cham with a terry cloth front. The Jersey is made from Michron and while it’s not the over the top comfort that you get with the Body Clone kit, It is still plenty soft and very breathable and it also has a bit of color to it…

So have at it…

Spend the rest of the summer wisely as this winter is supposed to stink, and if you’re looking for some summer skins, give these a peak. The most obvious advantages to the Body Clone line are Very good comfort and ease of movement. The moisture transfer is absolutely top of the heap too.

If you’re into riding naked, the Body Clone line is about as close as you’ll get (and has the benefit of both legality and pockets)…

Get em at CBIKE.COM, or take a look at Gita’s site.


Note: if you have other experiences with gear, or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews, or a slap in the head if you feel the need!

Pez Cycling news and the author ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products we test here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper use and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limits that may limit their use.

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