Castelli Men’s Bib Short Guide
By Stan Portus – 2 March 2020
Castelli’s bib shorts provide unrivalled comfort and performance. For riding at the weekend, racing, embarking on gravel adventures, or taking part in sportives and grand fondos. This guide explains Castelli’s evolving range.
Bib shorts are the best way to ensure a great ride. Castelli are committed to providing the ultimate race wear, but there is also something for everyone in its collection.
Whether riding at the weekend, every day, racing, embarking on gravel adventures, or taking part in sportives and grand fondos, Castelli’s bib shorts provide unrivalled comfort and performance.
There are many factors that make a great set of bib shorts but the seat pad, or chamois, is the most significant. As the main contact between the body and the shorts the seat pad plays a crucial role in ensuring comfort and support. Castelli uses two seat pads in its road collection.
The Progetto X2 seat pad is used in all Castelli’s pro-level shorts. The pad is constructed from two layers. The top layer is seamless and made of a four way stretch microfibre that offers maximum softness and moves with the body to prevent irritation. The layer is also seamless to reduce chaffing and has a perforated back that allows airflow. There is a separate saddle shaped cushioning layer that has gel inserts and high-density foam for comfort.
The Kiss Air 2 has a seamless skin care layer to reduce chaffing and abrasion. It is stretchy to move with you. The anatomical shaping of the pad creates the perfect interface between shorts and body. The Kiss Air 2 has variable thicknesses of padding providing the right amount of cushioning in every part of the pad.
Decades in the Making
The Premio Shorts are for riders seeking the very best. The shorts draw on Castelli’s decades of expertise. Utilising the Progetto X2 pad, the Premio shorts are Castelli’s ultimate comfort shorts. They are made from Forza fabric which is high stretch and offers gentle compression.
The nearly seamless construction is derived from Castelli’s premium Body Paint shorts that debuted ten years ago and started the trend for reduced seam shorts. This means there is nothing to rub or to break. Castelli has obsessed over every detail, down to the silicone logos on the back of the leg that hark back to the design of the first Castelli Aero Short from the late 70s.
Pro Bib Shorts
The Free Aero Race 4 Bibshort is for all out fast riding. First introduced over a decade ago they have since logged millions of kilometres in the pro peloton and come race day are the go-to short for Team Ineos.
The inner leg is made from the same Forza fabric as the Premio shorts, but the outside of the leg is made from Vortex fabric which is dimpled for aerodynamics. Flat lock stitching reduces abrasion. Giro4 leg grippers distribute grip over a large area and stripe mesh straps keep things cool.
The Superleggera Bibshort is for riding in the hottest conditions and are ideal for days spent in the mountains. Made from a gradated fabric the shorts use only as much fabric as they have to, where they have to. Thicker panels around the hips provide support but the fabric on the lower sections of the leg is only 90g/m2, meaning they are super breathable and retain minimal moisture.
Made in response to a request from Chris Froome for shorts that offer more protection on the hectic early stages of Grand Tours, the Free Protect Race Bibshort features an additional layer of Lycra over the hip and a ripstop inner. This means that in case of a fall there is fabric-on-fabric sheer force protecting the hip and protection against more serious crashes. Made for the pros but appreciated by any cyclist who knows the risks of sliding out.
Best Bib Shorts for Endurance Riding
Ideal for undertaking grand fondos and long sportives the Endurance 2 Bibshort is built around the Progetto X2 seat pad and offers exceptional lasting comfort. The Endurance Evolution fabric provides optimum muscle support and has a dry feel in almost all conditions.
The Unlimited Bibshort is designed to ride on any surface. Borrowing the same principle of an added layer of fabric for protection as the Free Protect Race Shorts this extra material has also allowed Castelli to create pockets on either side of the short, providing extra storage for all-day – or even multi-day – excursions. The Unlimited Bibshort is made from a highly resistant 200g/m2 fabric improving durability for whatever riding they are used for.
The Entrata Bibshort brings together Castelli’s years on innovation into a short that simply works. Offering an ideal entry to the world of bib shorts, the Entrata features the Kiss Air 2 seat pad, Pro Dry Lycra for good compression and moisture management, and has an 8-panel construction for a fit that offers excellent support. The Entrata Bibshort is also available as a bibless short, and a bib knicker for cooler conditions.
Some entry level bib shorts offer no thrills. But the Competizione Bibshorts do. Featuring the same Vortex fabric as the top of the line Free Aero Race 4 Bibshorts, the Competizione Bibshorts provide an aero advantage and pro look come that weekend crit race or summer evening TT.