In May, we took inspiration from the Giro d’Italia, and consequently found ourselves clad in the clothing of Italian designer, Castelli.
By happy accident (we’d like to claim foresight), the overall winner of the Giro, Ryder Hesjedal, turned out to be a rider on a Castelli sponsored team.
The Velocissimo Equipe bib short we found comfortable and stylish, especially at the laser cut hem which gripped our (unshaven) legs without discomfort. The thick, Kiss3 pad performed well, offering comfort, stability, and an easy wash. The bib straps were a little tight for our liking, made from a similar polyester mesh to the Vermarc shorts we tested in April. A more forgiving stretch would have been kinder to the shoulders and the nether regions.
We wanted to get out in the Gabba jersey, a rain proof, short sleeve jersey, but, as is so often the case in England, the weather was simply too clement. Who knows when it will rain again on our sun soaked isle, but when it does, we’ll give it a try. Watch this space.
Instead, we slipped on Castelli’s Velocissimo Equipe jersey FZ, made from a lightweight polyester (“Prosecco Strada” in Castelli-speak). The jersey is close fitting rather than tight. Intelligently tailored for cycling, as you might expect from Castelli, we liked the full zip, three rear pockets and low collar. In the recent unseasonably warm temperatures it was just the ticket, but we’d class this as a summer jersey rather than a garment for spring. We wore it with a thin, polyester base layer and…
Nanoflex arm warmers. Unusual it may be to pair fleece lined arm warmers with a summer jersey, but such was the requirement of the recent unseasonal weather. The arm warmers were tight, and we’d strongly recommend a try-before-you-buy policy, or ordering a size up; this is pro kit after all (Daniel Martin donned a pair during foul weather in the Volta a Catalunya). They looked great, stayed in place, and kept us warm, meeting all of the limited requirements of an arm warmer.
The Compatto rain vest saw plenty of action at the start of last month, where it was donned for cooler days and chilly, early starts to warm ones. The long drop tail easily covered rear jersey pockets bulging with tubes, wallet, phone, etc, and the elasticated hem kept it from riding up. A tall-ish collar shielded the throat. It’s a super light garment without unnecessary detail, which made it easy to stow when temperatures rose. The breast pocket proved handy, and at a different time of the year (rides ending in gathering darkness) the reflective chest and back detailing may do so too.
The Velocissimo socks were a perfect match for the shorts, jersey, and gillet, nicely shaped with a lightly elasticated gripper in the middle of the foot and at the cuff. They breathed well, but went a bit ‘bobbly’ after only a few washes.
Finally, the S.Rosso Corsa mitts were excellent, their gel padded palms absorbing pressure on the bars, especially at the heel when riding on the tops, while the ‘micromesh’ back provided what little protection was required on a sunny days (from insects, overhanging foliage, and occasional light drizzle). The exterior of the palm (Pittards leather, no less) proved sufficiently grippy, while its interior dealt with moisture well enough.
Like a lot of Italian kit, Castelli’s sizing is on the small side, unsurprising given the brand’s WorldTour clientele. Pro cyclists don’t require a flattering cut, and if you do, consider a size larger than usual. If your requirement is for functional kit, cut for performance and with an Italian flair that does its damnedest to make you look like, well, a pro cyclist, this ticks all the boxes.