Long Roads and Longer Routes: Castelli SS20
By Stan Portus – 21 January 2020
Castelli's Spring Summer 2020 collection maintains the Italian brand's commitment to delivering the ultimate performance race wear, but has evolved for the roads less travelled.
The new Castelli SS20 collection maintains Castelli’s commitment to providing the ultimate, pro-level race wear. Drawing on the huge experience and insight of Team Ineos the collection features new items that Castelli has made in response to the demands of the team’s riders and have already been tested in the crucible that is professional racing.
But the collection also responds to cycling’s future. It’s for the long routes as well as the fast roads. The adventures as well as the battles.
Peace of Mind
In the last few years, the pro peloton has ridden on gravel and dirt tracks more and more.
As race organisers have looked to shakeup the somewhat formulaic nature of the racing in recent Grand Tours, they have turned to the uneven pavé and unpaved roads that animate the Spring Classics. But with this has come a greater risk to riders.
Greater protection is needed too in the opening Stages of the Tours, where riders are jockeying for position trying to secure their place at the front of the peloton not to lose any crucial seconds that could come to make or break their race later on.
The Free Protect Race Bibshorts are Castelli’s answer to a request from Chris Froome for a pair of bibshorts that offer more protection.
Castelli found inspiration from the track riders who used to wear two pairs of shorts, knowing that Lycra on Lycra is the best way to prevent road rash on the hip. With the Free Protect Bibshorts Castelli has added an extra panel of Vortex fabric on the thigh meaning that you get the same fabric-on-fabric shear force that you get from wearing two pairs of shorts.
These shorts were made for the pros, but every cyclist knows the risk of sliding out and benefits from the peace of mind brought by feeling safer on the bike.
Just as the pros have been riding more and more on gravel, so has the rest of the cycling world. There is nothing particularly new about this: cycling has always been about exploration, and has rarely ever taken the easy route.
Castelli’s new Unlimited range is about riding on all surfaces and across all terrains. It brings Castelli’s road performance prowess to the back roads, byways, trails, and desire lines, for when you want to just point and say, “That way.”
The Fuori Jersey is constructed from Castelli’s ProSecco Unlimited Fabric, offering breathability and stretch while being more durable than the typical race-ready fabrics Castelli uses on its World Tour derived road-specific jerseys. Highly resistant material is used in the shoulders and back panels – two areas particularly prone to catching on overhanging branches and brambles.
Three deep rear pockets and a zipper pocket provide ample storage to keep you stocked up on supplies for the longest days out.
Added storage and added protection: The Unlimited Bibshort is designed to give you the option to carry more in an accessible fashion. Pockets on either thigh put bars and essentials within easy reach, while the extra panels also create the same fabric-on-fabric shear effect that is present in the Free Protect Race Bibshorts. Two pockets in the rear of the shorts old any extras compressed against your body and keep it from bouncing around over rough terrain.
The Unlimited Bibshort is made from a 200m/g2 fabric that is highly resistant to abrasion and tearing, while not compromising on stretch or moisture control.
No Holds Barred
The Superleggera collection is performance refined – designed to be cooler, lighter, and stylish to boot.
At 109g (size large), the Superleggera Jersey is incredibly light. A new fabric called ‘Oltre’, meaning ‘beyond’ in Italian, goes further than any other jersey material. Horizontal striping ensures great breathability while providing stretch for comfort and support for loaded pockets.
The Superleggera Bibshort features a new woven material that reduces weight by 30%. The shorts weigh 48g less than the previous Superleggera bibs but retain 30% less moisture. So when you’re pushing your hardest you’re saving closer to 150g.
The fabric is woven in a gradient that becomes lighter the further down the leg. This provides support where it’s needed and saves as much weight as possible.
The women’s specific Aero Pro W Jersey benefits from Castelli’s extensive Research and Development. Designed for riding at high speed, the jersey is Castelli’s most aero to date. Yet Castelli has also listened to the pros who want an aero jersey that would provide enough comfort for long training days.
The Hors Categorie Jersey takes its name from the Tour mountains that are deemed harder than Category 1 climbs and are considered “beyond categorisation”. Whether you’re scaling the Galibier or putting the miles in closer to home the Hors Categorie Jersey is for the hardest days in the saddle.
With the Hors Categorie Jersey, Castelli has prioritised practicality and utility over all-out aerodynamics. This allows the pockets to be slightly larger than Castelli’s pro race jerseys, meaning you can stuff them with enough supplies to keep you riding. Colour matching Free Aero Race 4 Bibshorts, socks, and caps create the complete look.