Castelli spring clothing – first look

Our month of Giro-inspired content will see us testing clothing from three iconic Italian brands: Campaganolo, Castelli, and Santini.

As we write, the maglia rosa is clad in Castelli. Ryder Hesjedal’s Garmin-Barracuda team have been closely involved in the development of some of the garments we’ll be testing this month.

First among them is the Gabba jersey, the piece we’re looking forward to wearing the most. Based on a simple, potentially brilliant concept, a short sleeved, but waterproof jersey could be the perfect solution to the British summer.

The stretchy, polyester-elastane mix fabric (known to Castelli as Windstopper® X-Lite Plus) is finished with a host of pleasing details that include a long-drop tail (banded with reflective trim, a neat trick repeated at the top of the three rear pockets), full zip, high collar (lined on the inside) to keep out the rain, a subtle, black-on-black logo across the chest, and not so subtle, but always elegant red and white scorpion logo on the breast and middle rear pocket.

The arm pits are made from Castelli’s Nano Flex fabric (more of which later) lined on the inside with a Roubaix-type material, presumably to wick away sweat – something we’ll be testing. A silicone gripper band lines the hem, but not the drop tail, allowing the additional material to hang freely, and, hopefully, do its job of keeping spray off our rear end.

We’ll be pairing the Gabba with Nano Flex arm warmers on mild, damp days: a super tight, water repellant tube of fleece-lined polyester-elastene fabric, with a silicone gripper band at the upper end and an elasticated cuff. Stenciled with bright white ‘Nano Flex’ and Castelli logos on the outer edge, these look extremely ‘pro’, and are team issue kit for the Garmin-Barracuda boys.

A gillet is almost an essential item of clothing for this time of year, so we’ll be trying the Compatto rain vest. It’s a very close fit, which we like, and equipped with a high collar, long tail, elasticated hem (especially at the rear). The breast pocket is lined with a thin, polyester mesh, that will support light items like a phone or credit card, but doesn’t prevent the gillet from being packed tightly. Castelli are claiming resistance to wind and water from their Windstopper® vega fabric (56 per cent polyamide-nylon, 44 per cent PTFE) which we’ll test in the weeks ahead.

The Velocissimo shorts are an eye-catching affair in the black, citrus green, and white colourway; rather fetching, we reckon. The rear and crotch panels are hard wearing black, while the white side panels add a touch of pro peloton sophistication. We love the deep, laser cut hem, lightly coated with silicone on the inside for grip. The Kiss3 pad is among the thickest at the sit bones we’ve encountered, so we’ll be interested to see if that translates to comfort and stability on the bike.

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