15 Years In The Making: The New Castelli Free Aero RC Bib Short
12 April 2022
By Rob Borek
The latest premium short offering from Castelli is the product of 15 years of expertise, with professional riders helping to develop and fine tune this iconic bib short.
Castelli have a long history in creating innovative and revolutionary cycling clothing. They released the worlds first aero bib shorts in 2007, and five iterations later have now launched the Free Aero RC.
The design of the Free Aero Bib Short has always been driven by the concept of its name, allowing riders to feel more free on the bike by eliminating any unnecessary features and stream-lining those remaining.
The first thing you're likely to notice about the Free Aero RC, is the lack of leg gripper material. Yes you heard me, no leg gripper at all. No silicone, no elastic, nothing. Just a smooth flat fit specially designed to stay in place. After many years refining the leg gripper Castelli have found that the solution to ultimate comfort is to do away with it entirely, and move towards using innovative fabrics. Castelli went through 28 different fabrics to find one which offers great support and is suitably light weight, but doesn't move and "ride up". Even the very best leg grippers bring with them some kind of discomfort. You certainly won't miss them when riding in the Free Aero RC.
Less Is More.
The 'Free' theme continues with the bib straps. The straps of your shorts should do nothing but hold them up. No sweat, no discomfort, no excess weight. To reduce material Castelli have created a new monofilament strap which is super stretchy, and attaches along the seam of the shorts to evenly distribute force rather than pulling in one area.
The back portion of the straps is a narrow soft mesh, which is reinforced where it meets the straps to allow them to lie flat and sit comfortably. The narrow rear strap of the bibs attached closer to the seat pad than previous versions, making way for a functional rear pocket. The pros will use this to store their race radios, but for the rest of us its a handy storage location for some cash, a card or a house key.
Gradually evolving since its development in 2009, the process of continuous improvement means that no part of the Progetto X2 Air seamless seat pad is the same today as it was in the original.
The pad utilises a soft and stretchy skin care layer made to move with your skin and avoid any abrasion or discomfort. Underneath this is a cushioning layer which provides progressive padding where its needed most, this layer uses soft and medium density foam along with 3mm gel pads beneath the sit bones and perineum. The Progetto X2 Air seamless seat pad is the ultimate in comfort, both in male and female specific designs.
Castelli's goals in developing this short were the same for the men's and women's versions, and they use the same fabrics throughout. Where they differ is that the patterning has been completely different from the first sample to the final product, ensuring a great fit for men's and women's bodies.
Supremely comfortable, aerodynamically efficient.
We mentioned the design of the Free Aero shorts has been driven by its name, and that means aero performance. Not only is this short supremely comfortable, it has also been developed to be fast. In completely still winds it is very similar to the outgoing short, but in even the slightest of cross winds it makes measurable gains, saving up to 0.7% of overall aerodynamic drag. When performance matters, the Free Aero RC delivers.
It's all in the details.
With 15 years of research and development it's little wonder the Free Aero RC is well refined. By focusing on the finer details year after year Castelli have pushed the limits of performance. Every single feature of the new short has been obsessed over to give you the very best riding experience. From the brand new fabrics, durable stitched or embossed logos and reflective detailing, to the supreme comfort and aerodynamics, we're certain you'll be impressed.