These are great shorts, I only wish I had tried them sooner! The chamois is the feature that really makes these so nice, specifically the shape and the way the edges of the chamois are thin to minimize chafing. I have previously used the top model Pearl Izumi bib shorts for years and they performed ok but in the last few years my mileage has increased and I was getting more and more irritationchafing resulting in minor sores (especially in the Central Texas summer sweat season when everything gets soggy). These Castelli shorts rival the much more expensive Assos shorts in comfort and chamois performance. The only thing I would change would be to add a bit of length to the bib straps since I am tall and the size that fits my legships is a bit too shorttight from a length perspective ... it's not really a problem when in riding position but noticeable nonetheless.
First off, I am 5'11, 180 lbs. I admit that I am a bit heavier than my usual 165 lbs for reasons I won't bore you with. Losing the extra weight is a priority at the moment. That aside, this appears to be a nicely made, if rather pricey, pair of bib shorts. I say appear because I have yet to use them. The reason? The fit! I studied the sizing chart carefully and came away believing the XL would fit me fine. Wrong. I swear, trying to slip this thing on was like putting on a too small condom. It was so tight I could barely breathe. I don't know how much weight I'll have to lose to fit into this, but it could be at least 20 pounds.
My question for Castelli is who are you making these for? Eighteen year-old professional cyclists? Come on, calling this an XL is like calling a size 8 shoe a 12. And whoever came up with that sizing chart needs to get some real world experience.
I'm 5'11 190 lbs. I wear large in most cycling bibs or shorts. I followed the advice of many others & ordered XL. Perfect fit. They are comfy, cool, & stylish. The chamois is great for long rides. Too soon to say anything about longevity but was happy I bought these at % off. $ off brought them into the affordable realm for me. My only knock is the long tag in the rear.
I wore these shorts today on a 3 hour ride in 90 degree weather. They were awesome in the heat and I find them more comfortable than any of my other bib shorts.
I sized up from my normal Large size selection and purchased XL's. I am 185 lbs and 5'10.
I have worn these bibs for 2 rides so far, one 24 mile's the other 28. I have not done a long ride yet but on these 2 ride's the shorts were very comfortable and the fit was right on. I'm 5'8 and 143 lbs and the Medium fit tight but perfect on the bike. I need to do a longer ride to be sure on the long distance comfort or I would have given 5 stars.
The material used in these bib shorts is of very high quality. I have around 1000 miles in them and they've been washed numerous times (be sure to hang dry). All stitching has remained perfect and the material shows no signs of pilling. The leg grippers are thin, simple, comfortable and perform great. The mesh straps are airy and the feel of them disappears while riding. The Progetto x2 air chamois really completes the package. I've had issues in the past with chamois that have uneven edges (pod like areas) where they contact the skin. The ultra soft material of the Progetto X2 chamois is flat with any padding thickness variations taking place below the skin contact surface. I've worn these on several century rides and when paired with DZNUTS chamois cream have had no issues. These are and will continue to be my go to bibs for every ride over 60F. Just waiting for the right price to order more!
First, the good stuff. The fabric is great - light, supportive, very breathable. The leg grippers are also well designed - somewhat mesh-like, so they're cool in the heat, and they allow some sunlight to pass through which minimizes the sharp tan line lines. Finally, the flat seams are comfortable and non-chafing.
Now the not-so-good, specifically, the fit. As others have mentioned, these run small, so you'll need to order one size larger than normal. And I did, yet they were still very tight in the quads (everywhere else was fine). The oddest part of the fit was the pad. There's an ample amount of padding at the rear of the pad, well beyond what would make contact with the saddle, and seemingly unnecessary. On the other hand, there's a distinct lack of padding in the frontal area. While some might this free sensation (they are called Aero Free after all), I found it uncomfortable after 50 miles in hot weather. Finally, the padding itself seems very thick (too thick) in the perineal area which hampers long-ride comfort.
As a point a reference, I have several top-end bibs by Assos, Nalini, Squadra and ViFra, none of which give me any problems, even on longer (100) mile rides. These Castelli's are distinctly less comfortable than all the others (some costing much less) and will likely be relegated to short races and club rides. Sad, since I have several Castelli jerseys and gloves and they're among my favorites.
Although more than I would have spent on competitors shorts, these are worth it. Tight but in a good way, and the chamois is not overly big but does the job well. I can't give some rave review like a scribe in a magazine but these fit very well and are probably going limit the use of my other shorts. I am quite pleased with this purchase and can say you definatley get what you pay for. I will buy another set for sure.