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.
sounds silly, but the bibshorts fits the contours of my rear end better than any other shortbib I have worn ( assos, pearl izumi, louis garneau, velor etc ) My only bugaboo is they usually dont last as long ( wear quicker ) as a few of the other brands.
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.
I've been buying different types of mid range bib shorts to see which I like best and so far these are my favorite.
I ordered a Medium size after reading that these sizes are closer to that of a European size. I normally wear a small in club style mid range bibs and a medium in the tighter pro style bibs. These are what I'd call mid to high materials and I feel I made a good choice in going with Medium over small as they do run a little small.
I haven't found much I don't like about these yet. The style of the cut of the chest bib straps is what free denotes in the name and it does fit differently than the other bibs I own where the straps go over my nipples and could potentially rub them (has never happened on any of my bibs) and I don't know if its necessary or not but I can see where in these since they don't rub against them it could make a difference... I don't hate it.
I like these bib shorts (I wear only bibs now), but the fit is a bit odd. I'm a 34 waist, and needed an Extra-Large, and then the leg-grippers are a bit too big. Maybe these are made for younger guys with skinny waists and humongous legs, and the sizing reflects the quad size, no the waist. I dunno. I just roll up the leg grippers and enjoy the rest the fit and the great chamois. I'm not sure I'd buy another pair, I bought these to see how I'd like them. Overall, they're pretty good, but I do better with Pearl Izumi PRO bibs.
My experience with bibs consists of Pearl Izumi Elite, PI Pro and Louis Garneau Elite Lazer bibs all size large. My favorite and most comfortable have been the PI Elite. I ordered these Castelli's in size large and could barely squeeze into them. I re-ordered an XL and I absolutely love the fit and comfort. I am 5'10, 180 lbs. My longest ride in these bibs has been 112 miles and they were very comfortable.
I absolutely intend to order another pair of theses Castelli bibs when I have to replace one of PI bibs.