The Castelli Principessa Shorts are the total package, combining a race-level cut with base mile comfort. Essentially, these shorts bridge the divide between the Castelli's top-tier Body Paint 2.0 and the more indoor/outdoor versatility of the comfort-driven Castelli Gisele's.
These Shorts are constructed with eight panels of lightly compressive Action Lycra, giving them enough return to support you on century rides and multi-day tours. Additionally, when mated with the purpose-driven panel locations, Action provides a focused muscle group support that dissipates the fatigue-inducing effects of road vibration and oscillation.
In terms of fit, the Principessa has been cut and paneled in order to mimic the body's position throughout the movements of cycling. Accordingly, the contoured design eliminates any bunching, pulling, and the chafing that occurs as a result. Securing the fit is Castelli's Soft Touch waistband. This waistband is gentle against the skin and rises a little higher in the back in order to prevent a gap from forming between your shorts and the jersey. At the leg cuffs, Castelli knit the grippers of the Giro3 leg bands directly into the fabric of the shorts. This distributes them over a wide surface area, creating a comforting, even pressure with its lay-flat hem. So, you'll find that these grippers keep the shorts in place without creating any discernible pressure points.
For further comfort, the shorts feature Castelli's highest end insert, the ProgettoX2 Air. This pad has a four-way stretch, so as you move and shift, the chamois moves with you, not against you. The padding is constructed with variable density, meaning that it's thicker under your sit bones, tapering off in areas where too much padding is unwelcome. It has a seamless bacteriostatic microfiber cover that's gentle against the skin in order to reduce the occurrence of irritation and abrasions.
Reflective rear tabs have also been added in order to keep you visible to motorists in low-light conditions.
The Castelli Principessa Shorts are available in five sizes from X-Small though X-Large and in the colors Black/white piping and White/black piping. Please note that Castelli estimates a useful temperature range of about 63 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit for these shorts.
I'm not sure if this is a materials issue, a cut issue, or an issue with my body type (5'7", 120#), but I tried both a Small and a Med in these, and they looked just awful. The stitching bunched in a horribly unattractive way, so back they went. For reference, size small has worked great for me in the Castelli body paint shorts and wind-stopper tights. Great customer service from BackCountry.com on those exchanges.