Castelli has today released the Premio Black bib short, a product addition that it describes as its “biggest launch in a decade”, thanks to the new ground broken on design.
The performance orientated clothing label has achieved just a three panel construction, all the while reducing the number of seams and inserts, creating what it says is like a second skin to the rider. The three panels that make up the short replace up to ten components in traditional shorts.
The fabric weave utilised was created exclusively for Castelli and varies throughout the short to cater for specific needs. For example, in the thigh, Castelli lighten up the fabric to keep the rider cool while providing just the right amount of compression.
“Most cycling shorts you’ve ever used have been made with knit fabrics, which are heavier and bulkier for comparable levels of coverage and compression. The woven fabric costs three to five times more, but you’ll agree it’s worth it during your next seven-hour adventure,” says Castelli of the secret blend’s construction.
The engineered stretch-woven fabric is smooth for aerodynamics and body mapped to the needs of each part of the body. The lower leg has a raw-cut leg ending and rubberized yarns for a flat grip to keep the leg in place. In the hips the compression and support increase to keep the seat pad and everything else in place.
The bib straps are a study in minimalist comfort while achieving the sole goal of keeping the shorts in place. The elastic straps cover as little of the torso as possible to keep you cool. There is a tab over the strap at the front of the shoulder to prevent the strap from bunching. The soft perforated back panel provides even support to the back of the short. Little details that make a big difference on your long rides.
As for the pad, it’s a Progetto X² Air Seamless unit that features, which is described as two separate components that deliver a close to skin softness and stretchiness. Beneath that, a cushioning layer is built with a soft medium-density foam, with 3mm gel pads held under the sit bones and perineum. Made with a 3D forming process, the pad features infinitely variable thickness and has no pronounced steps like many pads that are punched out with a die.
In terms of temperature regulation, the label says the fabric’s weave brings further advantages. These “include staying drier, since there’s just less fabric.” Likewise, Castelli state “It’s better in cool weather since the tight weave means less wind comes through, while it’s great in hot weather since the thinner fabric means that moisture evaporates closer to your skin to keep you cool.”
In the UK bike shops can enquire about a Castelli account by contacting distribution partner Saddleback. Earlier this year Saddleback CEO Andy Wigmore told CI.N that he expects the performance cycling market to remain buoyant despite the industry’s attention largely turning to everyday cycling of late.