Reviewed: Castelli Feroce Midweight Baselayer and Fedele Jersey

Overview: This clever base layer/jersey combo is great for fall cycling and eliminates the need for arm warmers in cool conditions.

Price: Feroce Midweight Base Layer: $99.99, Fedele Jersey: $99.99

Castelli Men's Feroce Midweight Long Sleeve

The Feroce Baselayer.

Castelli Men's Fedele Jersey Black MD

The Fedele Jersey.

Castelli is one of our favorite apparel brands here because its rich Italian heritage pervades through every well thought out, stylishly designed piece. The result of combining that invariable classiness with the latest technical fabrics bodes well for the continued success of the Castelli brand.

The 2011 Fall/Winter collection has some real gems – unique pieces with remarkable functionality and, of course, classic Castelli style. Two such products that stuck out in my mind when I first saw the line 6 months ago were the Feroce Midweight Long Sleeve Base Layer and the Fedele Jersey. Used together, this combo is the perfect system for fall cycling, or the “transitional season” before you start pulling on a heavy duty jacket and full-length leg warmers or tights.

The Feroce Base Layer is unique from other long sleeve base layers because the sleeves are made of a thicker material than the chest because it’s

The sleeves are warmer than the rest of the base layer.

The sleeves are warmer than the rest of the base layer.

designed to be worn with a short sleeve jersey. Gone are the days of the dreaded gap between your arm warmers and jersey. This base layer allows a seamless transition and creates the perfect temperature equilibrium. The medium weight material utilized in the chest makes it great through multiple seasons.

The Fedele Jersey is much warmer than a typical summer jersey thanks to the Thermoflex Lite fabric, which has a brushed, fuzzy finish and is velvety soft and really stretchy.

I rode in the jersey and base layer for the first time on a brisk October morning. I set out just before sunrise with the temperature in the low to mid 50’s. I was chilly as I rolled down my street, but as soon as I hit Highway 1 to head north toward Morro Bay, my muscles began to de-stiffen and my core temperature started to warm up.

I felt perfectly cozy for the duration of my ride, even through the heavy fog along the coast. If the temperature were any cooler, I would have gone with a vest over the jersey or possibly a lightweight jacket, like the Castelli Leggero. But for temperatures between 53 and 65 degrees, the Feroce base layer and Fedele Jersey are tailor made to keep you warm and looking good.

A horizontal zippered pocket perfectly stashes an Ipod

A horizontal zippered pocket perfectly stashes an Ipod.

Features I really enjoyed on the base layer included a high neck collar to seal out the cold when the jersey was zipped all the way up. I was delighted to find a side zip media pocket on the jersey to store my Ipod. These details, along with reflective accents on the jersey, are welcomed attributes that leave little to be desired.

My only complaint was that the material on the arms of the base layer wasn’t warm enough to be worn in temperatures down to 50 degrees, as the Castelli website states. At that temperature, I would definitely want another layer, but that’s my personal preference. You may find it to work just fine.

Summary: Arm warmers can be tricky – they can slip down, bunch up, twist and pinch. The Feroce Midweight Base Layer eliminates the need for arm warmers and creates a seamless transition between jersey and sleeve. The Fedele Jersey is warm, but not too hot and has classic Castelli styling. When used together, this system is the perfect solution for rides between 53 and 65 degrees.