The Castelli Free Aero Race Bib Shorts have not only survived the test of multiple seasons under Pro Tour behinds, they have moved from strength to strength largely due to the intelligent feedback from real-world professionals. Designed to provide long-lasting, durable comfort, the Free Aero Race Bib Shorts will keep you supported and ventilated during long days in the saddle. That's why Cycling Plus magazine named these bib shorts the best of the best during extensive testing in 2011.
The beauty and effectiveness of the Free Aero Race Bib Shorts comes from the targeted use of three main fabrics. First, Castelli developed what they call an Action Micro fabric that is particularly durable and placed it in the saddle contact regions, since those are the areas that get the most regular wear and tear. Energia Micro fabric is used on the sides and back of the bib shorts to take advantage of its outstanding stretch and return. The Breathe Micro fabric is used for the front of the shorts because, as its name indicates, it has been designed to let the fabric breathe to help keep the legs from overheating when the sun is beating down on a hot day.
Perhaps nothing in these bib shorts has benefited as much from Castelli's association with professional cycling teams as the Progetto X2 Air Seat Pad. The Garmin-Cervelo team spent a year testing this short; that's a lot of saddle time to be thinking about how comfort could be improved. Since Castelli had it pretty right to begin with, there wasn't much more than tweaking going on. What it has done is add a perforated foam layer to the pad to help ventilate and keep the nether regions cooler by allowing air to flow directly onto the surface fabric. That layer sitting next to your skin is made from a four-way stretch, seamless, bacteriostatic layer designed to move with you, reducing any bunching and friction. The cushioning layer consists of strategically placed, multi-density foam. For good measure, perforated viscous comfort inserts have been added under the highly sensitive ischial and perineal pressure areas, so that your undercarriage will be supremely protected whether you are out on a two-hour weekday jaunt or training over cobbles for Roubaix.
Castelli has taken great care in making sure that these will be bib shorts that will never feel stifling on a midsummer's day. Keeping your chest free from unnecessary fabric is priority, so you'll notice that the shape of the bib straps allow for a very wide opening on the front torso that dips down to the waist. You won't feel hindered by the straps and you'll really appreciate the open-air feeling on hot climbs up mountains in July. Knowing how irritating inner thigh seams can be, Castelli has eliminated them from this bib. And what seams there are have been properly sewn so as to be as unobtrusive as if there were no seams at all.
Castelli upgraded the hems of the legs by including their Giro3 integrated leg grippers, which features grip material knit directly into the short. The generous 5 cm wide band will gently compress to secure the leg hem in place. It also lies completely flat, keeping your leg aero as if it were in a skin suit. As a final touch, Castelli included highly reflective details on the back of the grippers for extra safety.
The Castelli Free Aero Race Bib Shorts are available in Black and Black/White. They come in sizes Small through XXX-Large.
If you ride a lot, you know how important bibs are, and more important is the quality of the chamois. For me, these bibs are the best I've ridden overall. The quality is good in every aspect, including material, the bib itself, and the chamois. They are a bit expensive compared to others, but for me worth it.
On all-important sizing, I'm 5'10" and 156 lbs. and the large fit me just right. The thighs fit very tight, which is due to the compression fit of the fabric. I also have the Castelli Velocissimo bibs which are more mid-range and those do not have compression, in case that matters to you.
The second ride I did in my Free Aero bibs was in the 110 mile NY GranFondo and they were really great; comfortable, and best part is I didnt think about them at all. I also like the restraint in not using too many colors and designs, as I'm a fan of the more classic black shorts with just the right amount of logo placement.
You can read about all the additional features in the RC description, but I rate these very high.
First bib shorts for me. Love 'em, so long as I have a jersey on.
For the record: I'm a 6ft male, 32in waist, average arm/leg/torso proportions, have "normal thighs" (not fat, as I used to run a lot, but also not tree trunks either - new to cycling) and I ordered a large. It's definitely a snugfit , but not so much in regards to the shorts area (I mean, it's Lycra), but with the bib straps. I can tell I'm stretching them to get them over my shoulders. However, wore it for the first time today and barely noticed it at all by the end of the ride. I'm sure that it'll stretch to accomodate very comfortably within a week.
Honestly, even if it was marginally tight on the shoulders throughout its life, these are still worth it for the padding/chamois. Oh. My. Comfortable. Yeah they'll wear in and break down and blah blah blah. But seriously. So awesome.
Also, it is true that they are a smidge shorter than some others I've seen/have. Maybe by .5-.75 inches. But I live in Phoenix, so no complaints here.
A hackneyed phrase for sure, but rings true here. A very comfortable, well fitting, and good looking pair of bib shorts.
I am 5'8", 165 pounds with a 31 inch waist and the medium fits me perfectly. The chamois is extremely comfortable and lends itself to long rides (longest ride 75 miles in these bibs so far). Absolutely no chafing or discomfort after the ride.
The fit is perfect around the entire lower body, with good grip ensuring that the shorts do not migrate upwards. The straps are comfortable and not constricting in any way.
I am pleasantly surprised by the quality of construction; there are absolutely no flaws. I had a problem with the quality of a pair of Sorpasso bib tights in the past, but not a single problem with these free aero shorts.
I hand wash these and air dry, as I am a bit concerned about the iron on emblems deteriorating, but no problems so far.
I got these instead of the "Paint" product because they seem a bit more durable. Very pleased with this purchase.
Comfortable, supportive bib shorts. I've used these for 100 mile rides and the chamois lived up to the test. I went for the solid black and the materials are very comfortable against my skin. The chamois is very simple in appearance, but you can tell a lot of thought went into the design. Simple straps that are very comfortable as well. I'm 6'3"/195 lbs and the shorts in XL fit me perfectly. These are my "go to" shorts when I'm heading out for a long ride.
I recently got the black/white version of this bib.
I spent a long time deciding whether to get medium or small.
First of all, this is a very comfortable bib. I machine wash cold and the bib is just fine.
I was very luck to have chosen medium. I rarely saw a review with a person my size, and it was hard to gauge. I hope that this will help out some of the smaller people.
Height: 5' 7.5'
Weight: 130 lbs
Good luck on picking the right size :)
I used to exclusively wear Capo bib shorts, until a riding buddy suggested I try Castelli with my next pair. I bought a pair of the black Free Aero Race Bibs and have never looked back. They are now my favorite shorts - fit is great, at times I was wearing and washing them daily - no material problems or decals coming off like others report. And they still are great for rides from 20-100+ miles. I love 'em.
I have only used this bib shorts once so far but with that said it is clear the Castelli Aero Race Bib Shorts are quality bike shorts. I have previously used Castelli Ergo Tre Shorts and Castelli Endurance Shorts and the Castelli Free Aero Race Bib Shorts are more comfortable. I am 5'9, 155 and the large is a bit snug but overall I would say a good fit.
These shorts are great, super comfortable and just feel great, the first time i used them was for an endurance mountain bike race and they kept me comfortable throughout. the most important thing is size up though I wear a L in Pearl Izumi shorts and needed an XL in these.
As the castelli badges peeled off, but ordered a new set, great bibs just a shame for the money you pay the badges wrinkle and come off! going to see if the newer ones are better !
Pretty darn expensive. I have other cheaper shorts I like better but not made any more. May be getting better w/ some age on them.
I got these and used them on a long ride- very nice. Washed them (delicate cycle) and hang dry, used them again the next week and when I went to wash them I noticed the stitching in the chamois had started to come undone.
$200 for that? No thanks-- I'll stick w/ demarchi, desoto and craft.