About a month ago, we posted a Review on ArtsCyclery.com about Castelli’s release of the updated Free Aero Race Bib Short. At the time, I had nothing but praises for the bib shorts. Over a month later, I am even more happy with them and have been wearing them at least 3 days a week…I can’t get enough! I’m posting up here because PEZ Cycling News, being in a similar boat as ourselves, recently felt compelled to post a stand-alone review of the bib shorts (which is very infrequently warranted by a single product, so well done AGAIN Castelli)! Below is a paraphrase what was said:
“Castelli’s new Free Aero Race Bibshort has been redesigned from the bottom up, inside out, and top down, and back to front – it’s a brand new bibshort named after their best selling bibshort ever. Early Spring here at PEZ HQ means I’ve logged a few good rides in ‘em and they’ve impressed enough to warrant a stand alone review. It’s not often we dedicate the space, or time to a detailed review of a single item of riding kit, but there’s a lot of smart thinking and technical design in these bibshorts to make them worth talking about. Virtually every part of the short has been rethought, redesigned and rebuilt – from the materials, to panel shapes, to fit and feel, to replace the Free Bibshort launched in 2007, that Castelli says changed the bibshort industry with the “feeling of freedom it provided” – and there’s where the name came from……”
“I count 10 panels of material (plus the seat pad) on the new Free Aero Race bibs (part of their top-shelf Rosso Corsa line) – more than I’ve seen before, but knowing Castelli (they’ve supplied our custom PEZ kit for 3 years now), there’s a purpose to every one of them. Most noticeable are the new look leg panels – that feature a dimpled fabric called Vortex that makes up the large side panels of the legs.
It’s no secret that dimpled surfaces allow air to slip by with less resistance, thereby reducing drag and basically making you faster. These panels run up to the hip, and a third Vortex panel is used across the top of the butt (see it below) that should allow air flowing over your back to slip by more easily and create less of a vacuum behind your saddle than a traditional fabric would. The fabric of the inner legs is called Forza, and uses 38% lycra to add some noticeable compression, that improves fit and helps hold the bibs in place though a full range of motion.”
“The Progetto X2 Air chamois gets an upgrade too. Already one of the most comfy chamois I’ve had the pleasure of sitting on, thanks to its smooth seamless under-the-butt surface, they’ve gone and found a softer fabric to cover the multi-density padding. The chamois is also ergonomically sewn to create the best support for yer boys. The equipment stays put, and I’ve yet to notice any long term chaffing, giving me one less reason to duck out of a long ride.”
“The heavier lycra content also adds a feel of higher durability – which makes good sense when you’re spending $199 (which is a very good price for this level of quality). I’ve only been on them for about a month, so can’t comment on long term durability, but overall my experience with Castelli kit in the past 8 years has all been very good.”
Well said PEZ Cycling News….Well said, and thank you.