12 October 2009

bikefix Review Update: Castelli Endurance bibshort

Following my review of their Endurance bibshorts last month, Castelli's brand manager got in touch with quite a few technical points about the shorts' construction that I found interesting (and would have rolled into the review if I'd known). He acknowledged that the large logos (which peeled off of my bibs) were tricky to implement and that if the transfer machine's settings are off by a degree or two, they don't always hold.

More interesting, the leg endings are the result of a three-year effort to build the least obtrusive grippers possible (that still do their job). They are actually a Lycra fabric that is finished (rather than cut) to reduce bulk and seams. What I didn't notice until he pointed it out was that the inner surface of the leg endings is actually shiny and slightly grippy across its entire surface. That is the result of distributing rubberized Lycra throughout that side of the fabric. If I remember correctly, DuPont require a minimum 10% Lycra content for a fabric to carry that name and most bike shorts are in the 20% Lycra range. The leg endings on the Endurance bibs are a massive 43% Lycra, which helps them stay put without resorting to silicone grippers (which can apparently cause allergic reactions and heat blisters, among other things) or resulting in a tourniquet effect on the thigh.

I can't help but agree that Castelli's efforts (which involved re-inventing some of their knitting machines) paid off. The price is high, but the fit is excellent, durability (if my Free shorts are any indication) will be fantastic, and the technical effort that's been invested is impressive. With the exception of the length and bib warmth issues mentioned in my review, I can't find any room for improvement- which says a lot.




Anonymous said...

i love that package.

bikefix said...

You, my friend, are not alone...