Sportful Giara jersey - review - Road Cycling UK

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Sportful Giara jersey – review

New 'gravel' jersey offers technical quality and a relaxed cut ideal for road rides too

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to ride in Sportful’s new Giara kit on sections of the Strade Bianche with the 2016 winner Fabian Cancellara. Understandably, while we were initially impressed, it wasn’t quite the dominating aspect of the day, so we’ve got the jersey in to test properly to find out exactly what it’s like.

The new Giara range from Sportful, which also includes these matching bib shorts, was designed to suit the more chilled out nature of gravel riding, and while it meets this rather niche brief, quite frankly it’s just at home on the road as well.

– Sportful Giara bib shorts review –

That’s because, despite the more relaxed cut and look, it’s still a highly technical piece as we’ve come to expect from Sportful over the past few years. The ‘heathered’ finish we mentioned in our first ride review is clear and present, although the fabric certainly remains as technical as any other performance jersey out there.

The Giara jersey has a more relaxed look and fit than we’ve come to expect from Sportful

This means breathability and flexibility around body movement is very good, while the cut still lends itself strongly to a keen road rider. On test I had a medium, which mimicked a large cut in most other race jerseys, so while it’s more generous than your normal race-cut jersey, you can still get a good slim/race fit if you size down. It’s also offered in anything up to XXXL, so there’s plenty of scope for a generous fit too.

Regardless, it’s supremely comfortable to wear in any situation, as long as weather is warm or the need for ventilation is high. I used it for a variety of purposes including a series of shorter commutes and even a turbo session (not its home territory) and it dealt with all scenarios with equal prowess.

The three cargo pockets at the rear are capacious enough for a long day in the saddle, along with a welcome secure zipped storage compartment for valuables.

The one criticism I’d have of this area is that the zipped compartment isn’t waterproofed, so while keys will be safe, other bits like bank notes and so on won’t be. Still, if you wrap those in a sandwich bag or something, then that small issue is easily dealt with.

Sportful offer the jersey in six sizes, so it’s easy to get a close fit if you want to

The finishing touches are well-thought out though. There’s a textured elasticated gripper which keeps the jersey retained without getting stuck high up around your waist, while the arms do away with grippers completely. Instead, the fabric’s natural elasticity keeps the jersey comfortably fast against the skin, and importantly avoids the potential for chafing with that evil cocktail of salt and sun cream.

  • Specification

  • Price: £75.00
  • Sizes: S-XXXL
  • Size tested: M
  • Colours: Grey/green/black; blue/blue/black
  • Website: Sportful

Additionally, comfort is further improved by quality flat stitching, with a soft cotton fabric neckband, much like one you’d see incorporated in a quality t-shirt to absorb sweat and add structure to the neckline.

The great thing is the quality and comfort stands up to multiple washes too, even when washing it more robustly to get out mud marks. That speaks volumes for its potential longevity; ideal for gravel tourers as well as road riders – even the zip is easy to engage and pull up and down.

Sportful Giara jersey - review (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)
Sportful Giara jersey - review (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)
Sportful Giara jersey - review (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)

Capping it off, the design is sleek and genuinely stylish too. While a nod to the gravel focus of the Giara range against the rest of Sportful’s offerings, I think that the understated graphics and clean lines work well in a road peloton.

I’m even a fan of the triangle texture of the black panels, which look great separated by the flouro green band in our test piece.

Conclusion

Apart from the lack of waterproofing in the zipped valuable compartment, which is merely a niggle, the Giara jersey is a great all-round piece for pretty much any kind of riding you want to do. If you want to complete the look, we’ve been equally impressed with the Giara bib shorts, too.

Pros

  • Comfortable, technical and cool
  • Stylish
  • Generous enough for larger riders or if you want a relaxed fit
  • Value squared by the quality

Cons

  • Lack of waterproofing in the valuables pocket

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