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Review: Giordana FR-C Cargo Bib Short, comfortable and functional

Perfect for your next adventure with lots of room for snacks

I have spent a lot of time in cargo shorts. In fact there may have been a time when I had more pairs of cargo shorts than regular shorts. This was around the same time 10 speed drivetrains were all the rage and we had no clue how many watts we were losing thanks to our externally routed cables. Cargo shorts were cool and practical. However with time comes change, and usually for the better. I prefer having 12 speeds instead of 10, and internally routed cables do look better and save energy.

Nonetheless over the years our need for carrying capacity in our shorts has not changed. Some would argue thanks to big smartphones and monster key fabs we need more pocket capacity now than ever before. Despite these valid claims cargo shorts remain on the periphery of the fashion world. Until recently when we have seen a resurgence in the freight focused design thanks to the gravel riding movement and the need to carry more stuff on longer rides.

Enter the Giordana FR-C Cargo Bib shorts. Spawned from Giordana’s flagship FR-C Pro bib, the cargo has many of the same attributes that make the originals so popular, but with a host of additional features that make them ideal for people looking to take more items on rides. At the core the shorts use the same HC 50 material and Cirro S Chamoix as the FR-C Pro bibs. The Cirro S chamoix is a little on the thicker and firmer end of things, which I personally prefer. Especially for bigger/longer days, or for rougher roads and surfaces. The HC 50 material feels good against the skin and breathes very well.

It’s worth mentioning that since the pockets use an extra layer of material the shorts do feel slightly warmer when compared to shorts with a single layer of fabric. I wouldn’t say this is a deal breaker by any means because I was still comfortable even on hot days. The woven elastic leg cuff sits just a few inches above the knee and stayed in place well during testing. Giordana has a great elastic cuff that has got to be one of the most breathable and comfortable on the market. I’m not a true roadie and thus have hairy legs, which don’t get painfully pulled by the FR-C cuff. Lastly, the bib straps sit comfortably on your shoulders without being too tight or moving around under a jersey. I would say that other than being slightly warmer than the original FR-C Pro bibs, they perform very similarly, which is a good thing because the FR-C Pro bibs are fantastic.

When it comes to Payload you have a few options with these shorts. There are two main pockets, one on each leg, as well as two pockets attached to the back of the harness portion of the bibs. The two main side pockets are quite big taking up most of the real estate and plenty large to house several energy bars or even a pair of arm or knee warmers. Maybe both depending on how big you are. The two back pockets are also capable of holding more than a few bars and gels, however these pockets are a bit tougher to access, especially with your jersey on while riding.

That being said I will also add that accessing the side pockets for bars or gels is significantly easier than reaching around to a jersey pocket. Something that could benefit riders who aren’t comfortable fishing for things in their jersey while riding. I found that the limit of how much you can take in these shorts is not actually restricted by the volume of the pockets, but rather how much and what you can comfortably carry. You could probably fit 17 cliff bars, a smart phone and a camera in the pockets, but it’s not going to feel great pedaling around like that.


So even though I wont be putting a pair of cargo shorts back into my daily summer wardrobe, the Girodana FR-C Cargo bibs will certainly make their way into my cycling short rotation. With all the features I love from the original FR-C Pro’s and added storage, these have become my go-to big gravel ride short and have even made their way onto the mountain bike trails where I used the pockets to store a flat kit instead of using a hip pack. If you are one of those people who’s jersey pockets are bulging or you are just looking for a convenient place to access snacks or your phone, be sure to check out the FR-C Cargo bibs.

Giordana FR-C Cargo bibs will be available in March 2023 at select retailers and unoimports.com. The bibs will retail for $295, and offered in five colours: olive, midnight blue, chocolate, black, grey.