Some people love shopping for clothes. Me? I hate it. Usually I have to buy clothes because I wore holes in something very comfortable but no longer available. Thus I gotta buy something that is often less comfortable and more expensive then what I had before. So when I had to admit that one batch of riding shorts was dead and that the replacements weren’t getting any less ill-fitting, I gave in and ordered up some new bibs from my old time favorite, Castelli.
Castelli changed distributors in the US not too long ago, and rumor has it that a lot of the designs are being determined on this side rather than Italy. But if anything, the quality and detail of the product has improved. Take these Castelli “Wicked” bibshorts I bought.
The Wicked bib features flat-stitching on the complex, multi-panel pattern. The mesh back and straps a clever kind of dual, spaghetti strap shoulder area that is designed to prevent irritating bunching. Of course, the shorts have the Castelli favorite “KISS” synthetic chamois pad which is 4-way stetch to allow it to conform to you better.
I was pleased with the fit, but I warn you that you that most riders will want to go one size bigger than normal. Castelli is what you’d call “pro fit” rather than “club fit”. The inseam is not markedly short, but the leg openings have been designed to allow you to roll up you the legs if you prefer. The leg grippers are effective without being constrictive. The KISS pad exactly meets my needs: comfy, with no more thickness than necessary.
The two Wicked bibs now sit at the top of my drawer after proving themselves on 60 miles fixed gear rides with cadence at 90-120rpm the whole time. At $120 retail, they are almost a bargan when manufacturers including Castelli are marketing $250 plus bibs. They are available in blue, red, black, and stylishly impractical white.