Castelli is one of Italy’s most iconic cycling brands, having been making top-quality kit for more than a century and currently supplying clothing to Team Sky.
But while Castelli may produce clothing for the very top level of the sport, the Feltre-based brand's apparel is equally popular with sportive and club riders.
And it's easy to see why when you think back to trail-blazing kit like the Gabba (Milan-San Remo 2013, anyone?). Before then, Castelli was the first company to introduce lycra shorts for racing, way back in 1977. Fast forward to today and Castelli's top kit includes the Perfetto weatherproof jersey and plush Premio bib shorts.
But high-end kit doesn't have to mean top-end prices - and certainly not now, with plenty of Castelli kit available at bargain prices. We’ve rounded up some of the best deals to be found on cheap Castelli clothing.
An ideal piece of kit for the shoulder seasons of autumn and spring, or even as an additional layer in the depths of winter, the Castelli Core Warmer offers plenty of warmth while minimising any weight penalty or restriction of movement. PrimaLoft insulation, a woven inner liner and Nylon ripstop outer layer keeps the wind at bay and protects your core from the cold - this is a gilet that means business.
Meanwhile, the laser-cut ventilation holes are designed to allow heat and moisture to escape. It weighs 205g in a large, and also boasts an easy-access zippered rear pocket and reflective piping on the back.
The Castelli team is understandably proud of the Gabba, a ground-breaking, weatherproof garment which gained huge popularity at Milan-San Remo 2013 when, faced by driving snow and a re-routed course, scores of riders emerged from the team buses wearing the jersey - even those not sponsored by the Italian brand.
But times change, technology moves and so has the Gabba – the Perfetto is the latest iteration of Castelli’s foul-weather jersey and, yes, Perfetto means 'perfect' in Italian. Castelli are pretty happy with it. For your money, you get a water-repellent jersey which doesn't unduly compromise breathability, while you'll also find a splash flap and laser-cut drainage holes in the pockets. Crucially, it's a lighter jersey than the Gabba so well-suited to the British climate.
Castelli pitch the Velicissimo 2 jacket at moderate-intensity riding in cool conditions or high-intensity riding when the mercury drops even lower. Utilising Gore’s Windstopper X-Fast fabric on the front and sleeves, it is windproof and water-resistant, while Castelli’s own fleece fabric adds warmth and breathability on the back.
With a race-like cut, the Velocissimo is more like a long-sleeve jersey than a traditional jacket. A silicone gripper keeps things in place, while a Thermoflex collar and side panels add more breathability. Three rear pockets and reflective tabs complete the get-up.
With the NanoFlex tights originally designed for the occasional rainy training ride, Castelli stepped things up with the NanoFlex Pro – more rainproofing, more wind protection and a plusher chamois pad for those long winter rides.
The tights have an extra layer over the thighs, knees and bum; the inner leg, meanwhile, is now said to be completely waterproof. Comfort has been catered for by the upgraded Progetto X2 Air pad, to add to the reduced seam construction.
There’s no escaping the wet stuff if you want to ride in Britain, and to make matters worse the weather can be super-unpredictable too. You'll need a good rain jacket then, and Castelli’s Riparo Rain is designed to be waterproof while still packing down into a jersey pocket. It’s lightweight – 110g for a size L – but offers full protection against the rain.
A 2.5-layer fabric, with a woven outer shell and waterproof membrane, will work hard to keep you dry, helped along by fully-sealed seams and a waterproof zipper.
Now in its third iteration, the Castelli Gabba has an improved drop tail and pockets, but the winning combination of warmth, breathability and water resistance remains.
The Gore Windstopper X-Lite Plus fabric is designed to shed water while also striking a balance between warmth and breathability. Meanwhile. a stretchy 'Nano Flex' fabric under the arms adds some extra comfort.
Shoecovers are plentiful in the cycling market, but it’s hard to find 'Belgian booties' that hit the sweetspot between warmth, breathability and weather-protection – particularly when it comes to the spring (and autumn).
The Castelli Troppo looks to plug that void, however. The fabric is breathable, windproof and water-resistant, according to Castelli, while there's a a reflective insert at the heel for good measure. That's before we mention the super-bright colour.
Buy it now: Castelli Troppo – was £55, now £27.49 at Wiggle
The Prosecco base layer is Castelli’s high-wicking base layer for cool conditions. Two different fabrics are used, with the main body fabric polyester, blended with a lighter 'Micro' fabric where less warmth is needed – i.e. under your bibs.
The base layer also has a hydrophilic 'Prosecco' treatment, which lends the base layer its name and spreads any moisture for more effective evaporation. Flat stitching at the hem and an anatomical cut complete the piece.
Top performance is not only consigned to the race-ready pieces in Castelli’s range. Take the Espresso 4 Jacket, for example, which is cut with a looser fit. Nevertheless, it still features full Gore Windstopper protection to seal out the cold.
Castelli have also stuck in some ventilation zips and updated the wrist and neck closures to ensure you can manage your temperature. Three back pockets, plus a zipped chest pocket, provide plenty of storage on a jacket designed for all-round training.
Castelli have made use of Polartec's toasty Power Stretch fleece fabric on the Potenza and added a water repellent finish for a jersey designed to provide plenty of protection in winter weather.
A dense knit structure keeps the wind at bay, with thick fleece adding extra warmth, while you also get a chest pocket, three rear pockets (plus zippered pocket) and 360-degree reflective piping.
Castelli's Spettacolo gloves are some of the warmest the Italian brand produces thanks to double-layered insulation. The outer is crafted from Gore's Windstopper X-Fast fleece (with touch screen inserts and a leather palm with silicone grip pattern).
That's paired with a Polartec fleece inner layer for even more warmth, capable of coping when the temperature drops close to freezing. In short, it's Castelli's style and craftmanship, blended with the expertise of two of the leading foul weather fabric specialists in the business. Handy.
The concept behind the NanoFlex Pro Omloop bib shorts is simple. Named after one of the early-season spring races (Omloop Het Nieuwsblad), the shorts have been extended by just a few centimetres to finish just above the kneecap. A raw-cut edge at the front meets a shorter length on the back (to avoid bunching) and the minimal use of seams is designed to prevent water ingress.
Castelli's Nano Light Pro fabric has a brushed fleece inner to keep things warm, combined with a water-repellent treatment on the exterior for changeable conditions. A Progetto X2 Air pad keeps things comfortable for long rides, meanwhile, and completes the construction on a set of shorts designed for riding hard through spring.