Castelli Summer 2013
At first glance you’d think that there wasn’t much change at Castelli, and with many of their best products remaining unchanged, Castelli have not rested on their laurels as there are some exciting new products, some of which first saw their development period with the Garmin SHARP Team.
I am going to try to break this into a few key areas, the first being Wardrobe Essentials.
The first selection has to go to the Nanoflex Warmers series of products which umbrellas the Arm, Knee and Leg Warmers and stretching out as far as the Gabba family of jerseys & the Nanoflex Bib Shorts. The benefits of this fabric is wide ranging in that it falls into three key areas.
From a Comfort and Fit perspective the product has a reduce amount of seams so to reduce chaffing on the body while in use. Because the material has a high level of stretch it allows the fabric to better fit the rider, no matter the shape of the arms or legs. The key behind any warmer is the versatility it offers the rider to extend their jersey or bib shorts into a different range of temperatures than just wearing those items alone. From using these Warmers I believe the operational range is wider than normal Warmers allowing lower temperatures to be explored.
On the Protection front the Nanoflex range allows the rider to use the product while it is raining but offering the same elemental protection from rain as some waterproof jackets. In use they avoid being soaked through to the skin for a very long period, and for those racing or riding hard the bodies heat that can be generated through hard exercise can actually begin to dry the product out. You can see what these items have become a firm favourite with both professional and amateur races alike.
The Rosso Corsa line of gloves is the top of the line glove where no expense has been spared to deliver the best product. The palm uses Pittards leather for comfort and durability. The upper part of the glove uses soft, yet supportive, fabrics that also allow the hand to remain cool.
The first two products we will look at come directly from the work that Castelli do with the Garmin Sharp team. The team have loved products like the Body Paint short, aero jersey and the Sanremo suit, but they were looking for something cooler to wear in the high mountains of the Giro d’ Italia and the Tour de France. This pursuit led to the new Climbers jersey and the Inferno Bib short.
The Climbers jerseys comes into the collection for the first time outside of the Team Kit, it was available in that range last year. This will offer riders a solution for both heat and moisture management when the temperature goes beyond 28*c. A new fabric was created, Strada Light, which is a 3D mesh fabric used on the front and the back of the jersey. Still retaining the aero cut of the jersey that the Team uses year round was of vital, as it allows marginal gains and excellent comfort in use, the Velocity mesh fabric was used over the shoulders to retain those features. What is important with that was when the jersey had food in the back pocket it still performed like a heavier jersey and that no objects where ejected from the back pocket while riding. All of this attention to detail resulted in a 116g jersey, with a full zip, so there’s been no compromises aloud on this super technical jersey. So ditch the base layer and wear this jersey as you will experience new levels of cooling on the hottest of days.
The Inferno Bib Short is the perfect a complement to the Climbers jersey. The same attention to detail was applied to this as the Climbers Jersey, but to achieve this on the bib short Castelli had to use seven (yes 7!) different fabrics to apply the right cooling properties to different areas of the short. As the weather turned to HOT in the grand Tours like the Giro or the Tour de France the riders looked for a more breathable, lighter weight version of the Body Paint short, but the new short needed to retain the same fit as the Body Paint which the riders have come to rely and trust upon. No detail was spared a re-focus under the brief of making it cooler, more breathable and after the fabric of the short had received its attention the focus shifted towards the seat pad. The Progetto X2 pad is designed for long hours in the saddle, but to improve the wicking capabilities in the searing heat of July the top piece of fabric received more perforations to improve airflow. All these details have resulted in this short (and jersey) being a go to piece when the dial is turned up to HOT!
Often an overlooked essential is the Base Layer, or underwear as these garments are known in Europe, for the cyclist. The Core Mesh range has been developed in conjunction with the Garmin Sharp team, and so the rigours of high end racing have proved to be a formidable testing ground. Designed to keep you cool in the heat this open mesh design both insulates and wicks, and with minimal seams allows maximum comfort.
Having Base Layers that perform well in different temperatures extends the range of use that you’ll get out of your Summer jersey. The Seamless piece uses a polypropylene fabric to pull moisture away from the skin and direct it through your jersey. In use I’ve found this to be the perfect piece for Spring and Autumn days. With its next to skin fit the comfort levels of this garment are high and it has an excellent soft feel in the hand. Did I mention it’s pretty light also at 61g for a size large.
Over the coming season we will be launching a whole host of exclusives to Wiggle. The first to land will be the Thermoflex range of Warmers. When Castelli stopped producing these we lamented the loss but decided that these products where so good that you needed to be able to buy these again. On the surface they look like a simple tube construction, but the magic is in the material as its warm, soft stretchy and breathes incredibly well. You certainly feel pampered when wearing them.
The Firm Favourites section covers off the nearly new items that came out last season, and you may have passed you by, so just in case here’s a quick round up.
Top of the tree is the Sanremo speedsuit. It was developed to help Heinrich Haussler to try and win the first of the Monuments after losing it to the narrowest of margins to Mark Cavendish. As yet, it’s been unable to claim the Monument that inspired the product but it was used to great effect by Johan Vansummeren to win Paris Roubaix in 2011. So what’s the big deal here, well it’s all about aerodynamics, fit and comfort. The suit, or Onesie as its become affectionately known, combines the bib short of a Body Paint, but with the upper of an Aero Race jersey. Because these two pieces have been designed to be sewed together, it means that the bib straps can be removed. The jersey can still be opened all of the way, but due to the jersey being stitched into the side panels it will not flap in the wind if you choose to ride with it completely open to dump out unwanted heat on a big climb. The added bonus is that it make calls of nature a lot less tasking as once the jersey is open the front part of the suit resembles a regular short. As this piece is as aerodynamic as many skinsuits reserved for time trails there are no negatives to this category leading speed suit.
The Sottile range of products has a loyal following and provides a great protective barrier against the wind. Due to the material used (which has a 10,000 water column measurement) it provides ample spray under racing conditions. The garment is available as a Gilet, a Shorty (basically the same cut as a short sleeve jersey) and a Jacket.
In the Women’s line the Gisele jersey is a favourite and looks really stunning on. It seems to blend the lines of fashion and high performance athletic garment with consummate ease. The Softflex fabric has great stretch and a nice soft handle that you’ll not want to take it off.
Developed in conjunction with the Women’s Garmin Team at the time the Body Paint bib short offers new levels of comfort due to the minimal seam construction and the Giro++ fabric used on the braces part. For those women who still prefer a regular short it is also available in this option.
The Palmares range of bibs, shorts and knickers is what the Velocissimo is to the men’s range. The product is designed for hours in the saddle due to the combination of the Softflex RS fabric and the cut which has been optimised with panelling that works for a women’s shape. The Kiss3 Donna pad graces the whole range offering great support and comfort.
This year sees the introduction of spaghetti and sleeveless tops into the women’s collection, for either hot days out on the bike or intense sessions on a spinning bike in the gym.
One of the pieces I was very envious of was the ladies Leggera jacket in the orange Fluro colour. In real life this just looks amazing and I can see if becoming a firm favourite for both commutes or the journey home post evening racing.
There’s also a full range of women’s accessories from gloves to socks while many of the unisex items like the warmers, and overshoes offer a wide size range that should enable all riders to find a product that fits.
Also brand new on site this season will be Castelli kids clothing. These jerseys and shorts will utilize the same fabrics found on the adult offerings so offering no compromise to aspiring Wiggo, Cav or Marianne Vos’s out there. The Free Jersey is my favourite as the design is bold and the ProSecco Strada fabric does a great job of keeping the rider cool. It’s not cheap, but this is probably some of the best Children’s clothing out there.
So all the popular products from lasts years range are still there with the Body Paint bib shorts, Aero Race Jersey and the Velocissimo complete outfits, I think you’ll agree, it’s probably the best Castelli range of clothing yet. With a wide range of options available everybody should be able to find a piece or two that’ll be going onto to their Wiggle wish list, I wonder what’ll make it onto yours.
COMPETITION – WIN a CASTELLI POCKET LINER Jacket worth £300!
Well since winter isn’t quite over in the Northern Hemisphere Castelli‘s foul weather gear is still on our best sellers list, perhaps one of the most technical jackets on the market is the Pocket Liner which marries light weight with extreme weatherproofing & breathability. One lucky Wiggle blog reader can win one by simply answering the question below…
What breathable but waterproof fabric is used to make the Castelli Pocket Liner?
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Winner will be picked after 5pm UK time on 5/2/13
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