17 June 2008

bikefix Exclusive Review: Castelli "Castelli" jersey

What's just about as good as being fast? Looking fast! I ordered Castelli's "Castelli" jersey this spring because it reminded me of the colors used on Gulf's Porsche race cars from the '60s and '70s (light blue and orange), only reversed. Can't get much faster than that. Of course, coming from Castelli, I expected that the construction would be high quality, the fit a bit slim, and the details pretty well thought out.

Sharing the same cut as several other Castelli Jerseys, the "Castelli" has a 3/4-length zipper. The three rear pockets are pretty standard, but in one sits a nice soft inner iPod or cell phone pocket with a buttonhole (to the inside of the jersey) for a headphone cable. It's a bit small for a wide-ish Motorola Razr, but fits skinnier phones and iPod Nanos very well. While I tend to discourage the use of headphones while road riding, there's no better way to get a good workout in a short period of time than listening to some good music while single speeding, and the player stays put very nicely while riding. Three reflective dots on the leftmost rear pocket are a nice touch if the ride runs unexpectedly long (but no substitute for proper lights come nighttime). The fabric itself is very thin- almost papery and very lightweight.

My jersey was one of the first '08s to come through and felt a bit baggy around the waist. Castelli had a problem with the "gather" on some of their early deliveries, but it's since been addressed. The looser waist may suit baggy short fans, though, so go through your shop's inventory to find one that works for you. Though I ordered expecting Castelli's fit to be a bit snug, it wasn't as snug as I expected. I usually wear a medium, and the Castelli large fits my 145lb frame OK (though not road snug). If you're over, say 175lb, an XL may be in order. Looking at the photos, I'm thinking that a medium would probably be more flattering to my (ahem) aerodynamic biceps- without being too short. As always, try to support your local shop and make use of their fitting room if possible. While the fabric isn't nearly as airy feeling as I expected, it does a very good job at moving moisture away from the body- great under the kind of big pack that big summer rides require. While there are cooler jerseys out there, I find that more open fabrics can be too cool for early morning starts and find that a long zipper makes up most of the difference once the day warms. I've also worn far warmer ss jerseys, so would have to put this one somewhere in the middle of things.

In this case, $80 gets you a very cool looking (in my opinion), American-made jersey with a hidden pocket that makes it perfect for music lovers. The colors are visible in traffic without screaming commuter!- a plus in my book. It wicks moisture very well, and while it isn't as cool as some of the more mesh-y jerseys I've worn, it's all the more versatile for it. I've been wearing it nonstop since I got it.



1 comment:

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