Castelli's Body Paint lineup never ceases to impress us, as the fit is always spot-on and the ultra-thin fabric applications make seamless transitions (literally) to our skin. Positive feedback from professional team riders continues to flow into Castelli's headquarters, which is why it decided to produce a new limited run of its popular bib shorts. Using the same smooth materials from the original Body Paint bibs, the Castelli Body Paint Tour Limited Bib Shorts give you some of the fastest shorts on the planet, in an entirely new 'Tour' graphic treatment.
The Body Paint composition feels as it sounds, like a barely-there skin layer that's been painted on. However, this isn't a byproduct of design, but the intent itself. In fact, every aspect of the design works to make the fit as precise as possible. This way, by eliminating fabric bunching and pulling, airflow passes over the shorts more freely. Integral in this concept is the fabric selection itself, in this case a lightweight Lycra that can only be described as soft. Furthering this attribute is the bib shorts' nearly seamless construction. The legs feature a one-piece design that flows continuously to the upper regions of the shorts. This smooth upper portion of the bibs is made from the exclusive Giro bib straps. Basically, this is a single strip of Giro fabric that's very soft and stretchy. Castelli then eliminated the Lycra trim that typically edges bib straps, and more often than not, cuts into your shoulders to cause discomfort. Over the past year, Castelli has worked extensively with Team Garmin-Barracuda in order to absorb rider feedback, tunnel test, and to achieve real-world race experience. As a result, the cut, shape, and elasticity of the bib shorts have been scientifically and methodically dialed-in.
This brings us to the shorts' aerodynamic benefits. It all comes down to managing airflow, and coincidentally, the human body accounts for over 90% of aerodynamic drag on the bike. To mitigate this, the shorts have been made to be what Castelli calls 'slippery.' Essentially, by combining a virtually zero-seam design with a low-profile, compacted thread Lycra, airflow remains attached to the body as it comes off of the helmet and front of the bike. Through this, turbulent air is controlled, and your drag numbers decrease.
At the cuffs of the bibs, the leg grippers aren't actually grippers. This is a Body Paint exclusive, as the inner-layer of the Lycra is precisely 'stripped away,' leaving thin lines of exposed fiber. These 'reduced' Lycra fibers have a soft, yet firm, grip on the skin, only without the potential irritation caused by a silicone band.
Rounding off the shorts is Castelli's most innovative chamois to date, the Progetto X2 Air. The Progetto's surface uses a skin-care layer comprised of a seamless bacteriostatic fabric that conforms to the body without folding. The material supports airflow, and aids in evaporation. The second layer is comprised of multi-density foam. With variable thickness, Castelli ensures that padding is only placed where you need it, not where you don't. The comfort level is also aided by Castelli's Viscous comfort inserts. Basically, these are perforated padding that have been added to the highly-sensitive ischial and perineum pressure regions.
The Castelli Body Paint Tour Limited Bib Shorts are available in six sizes from Small to XXX-Large and in the color Black.
this is my first pair of bib shorts, after doing a lot of research. I've put about 300 miles on them.
the bottoms are very comfortable, chamois is awesome (pads right, no diaper feeling), the legs do not ride up, fit like a glove that you forget is there.
I have to say, though, I am not in love with the straps. sometimes they stay flat, more often there is a small fold in them by the end of the ride. I wouldn't care, except by the end of my ride I do feel it as a pressure point (usually when riding for > 1h). end up having to rest my arms by hanging them, or windmilling one at a time, which I never had to do before using these.
5'10.5", 150lbs, 37ish chest, 31 waist, shorter torso to longer legs/arms. I bought medium and they seem to fit right (tried on a small and a medium). considering trying in a large to see if it would help with the straps, but I think that might be too big all around. I will keep these, as I love them otherwise, but I think I'll try the free aero bibs next to see if I like those straps better.
update: seems harder and harder to tell if the straps are causing issues. yes, they definitely fold slightly despite my best efforts; however I am not convinced all my arm symptoms are caused by the straps. I have noticed that I sometimes get finger numbness now without bibs on, seems more related to neck muscles or hand position I think. if I consciously try to keep my shoulders relaxed while riding, it is better, supporting that. I can't deny that there is somewhat of a pressure point where the straps are after riding for more than an hour, but on my most recent 1h20m ride I felt great. at the end of the day, I reach for these over and over again when my sugoi evolution shorts are ready and willing (solid shorts btw), so go figure, they are still better despite possible shortcomings. at this price point, I will likely buy another.
One thing I've learned with Castelli from CC is to order the size you think, plus 1 size up. Yes, I spend a little on returns; but I get to make sure the fit is just right. I seem to be 50:50 with Castelli; I usually wear a medium, but for these I found a large was the perfect fit. They are my main summer bibs - comfortable over all of the longest rides. I can't speak to the aerodynamic benefits of these shorts, I still haven't added a wind tunnel to the bike gear in the garage, but I will say that the bib straps are a big reason that these bibs are so comfortable (my winter bibs have the same straps). These straps have just the right balance of tension and stretch. As an aside, my wife also loves her woman's version of these bibs. So far, they've also been very durable - I can't see any wear after 1.5 seasons of use.
OMG these feel good. No seams and perfect leg grippers - none - the material is just a bit thicker and stays in place. Very lightweight so best for warm to hot days, although compression is pretty good despite thin material. Runs slightly small. I am 5'6" 29" waist 139 lbs and the small works for me. The straps are a bit flimsy and tight but I always wear a baselayer and I am on short side so not a problem for me. If you are tall they might dig in a bit. Superb chamois. Have held up well to repeated use but would not call these everyday bibs.
The fit of the shorts are great. They have great positioning on your body when seated on a bike, a great chamois, and are very light with good grippers (about 2 inches around). The issue with these shorts are the straps. They are very flimsy and they don't lay flat but rather roll up on your shoulders causing them to cut into your shoulder. If the straps would lay flat (need to be a bit beefier) these would fantastic all the way around.
This bib is sheer to the point of being indecent. Total Castelli and Competitive Cycle let down.