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Castelli Inferno Bib Shorts - Men's


Item # CST005L

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Item # CST005L

Conquer the heat.

As the name implies, Castelli's Inferno Bib Shorts were created for rides when the summer wind blows in heat-related agony on par with that suffered by Dante's blasphemers. Whether you're riding in the seventh circle of hell or in the French alps during the seventh month of the calendar year, you'll appreciate the Infernos' Virgil-esque ability to safely pilot you through the extremes of summer.

The most obvious construction elements designed toward this end are the panels, apparently mesh, on the outer thighs. We say "apparently," because what appears to be a simple mesh is actually a non-transparent, perforated panel with radically increased breathability and a hydrophobic structure that refuses to absorb moisture. It's also been made lighter for 2015, but compression doesn't suffer to considerations of weight, as these panels boast an out-sized fiber weight that gives the Infernos the kind of comfortable compression we expect from racing shorts.

The shorts' front and rear panels maintain this focus on compression, further reducing the fatigue-causing impact of micro-oscillations and road noise. Castelli boosts the compressive element yet again with an additional fabric panel over either thigh. The rib knit construction of these thigh panels adds targeted compression that doesn't hamper breathability.

As for fit, the Inferno is a racing thoroughbred. It's slim, precise, and deliberate — hardly surprising, given that it was developed directly with the Cannondale-Garmin squad. The multi-panel cut of the bib shorts follows a contour in order to mimic and support the movements of cycling without bunching or pinching. In the interest of maintaining breathability, Castelli opts for pure mesh in the straps instead of the Carré material found in its other high-end bibs. The leg bands get the full premium treatment, though, with Castelli's newly updated Giro Air bands. They're single-layer, perfectly flat, compressive without pinching, and wide, making them among our favorite cycling innovations since the derailleur.

Castelli found itself unwilling to part with the Progetto X2 Air Seat Pad, so it returns with only one, minor change: its surface is softer, which means it now presents a more gentle face to your perineum. It retains its bacteriostatic properties, seamless construction, four-way stretch, and ventilating, perforated foam layer. The perforated viscous comfort inserts also enjoy an encore performance, so your sensitive areas will enjoy riding over all manner of terrain.

The Inferno is lightweight enough to protect you from heat, but that also means that it won't protect you from UV rays. Because of this, Castelli recommends using sunscreen underneath the shorts. After an uncomfortable post-ride shower, we agree.

  • Compressive, lightweight, opaque mesh shorts
  • Progetto X2 Air chamois
  • Pure mesh bib straps

Tech Specs

Progetto X2 Air
Leg Gripper:
Giro Air
Claimed Weight:
[size large] 188 g
Recommended Use:
Manufacturer Warranty:
1 year

Size chart


Men's Apparel
Chest 36.2in
Waist 31.5in
Hip 37in
Inseam 31.9in
How to Measure:
For best results, take measurements over your underwear.
Measure under your arms, around the fullest part of your chest.
Measure around your natural waistline, keeping the tape a bit loose.
Measure around the fullest part of your body at the top of your legs.
Using pants that fit well, measure the crotch seam to the bottom of the leg.

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The scoop on sun and fit

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: large

I have been using Castelli for a while and I still deliberated buying these shorts for months. Two reasons, the fit and my concerns about sun protection on long rides. I did not want to spend a lot of money and not be able to wear these bibs in the environment I live in. I live in the SoCal desert and heat and sun are a serious element to contend with. Also, my Scottish complexion means I burn, peel, freckle, and repeat.
Fit - they are tight as expected when standing up. I wear a large and am 6' even and 178 lbs with a 33" waist. Once in the riding position they are great.
Sun concerns - I wore these bibs this past weekend for an 80 mile ride thru Death Valley and some of the nearby passes. I did apply sunblock once before the ride at about 0430am and never again. I stopped mid-afternoon. No sunburn!
These bibs fit great, are very comfortable on long rides, support the legs and do a great job managing the heat. Pleased with this expensive purchase. I won't be buying a new pair every month, but I don't regret the investment.

Avg. ride time: 41m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Great in the heat

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Medium

69 inches, 165lbs, short legs and a long torso is my body type, size Medium. The bibs work great. At first a little tight while standing upright but disappear on the bike. Pattern on the legs is similar to Froomey in his summer kit so u have very small holes with skin color showing thru but nothing revealing or scary. Progetto X2 Air chamois is great and made my first long ride in a while comfortable. If u live where it's boiling hot in the summer like I do I would recommend these bibs. Plus they're Castelli so you can't go wrong!!

very comfortable shorts

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: medium

These are very comfortable bib shorts; used them dozens of times. They are what Castelli says they are; breathe very well in hot weather. I really like the Progetto X2 Air pad; but I understand that's very subjective. I don't care for a big thick pad as some other brands have. There isn't the "compression" fit as in other typical shorts, probably due to the fabric type. As an example I also own the Free Aero Race shorts, ( same size- medium )which are tighter in the thigh than the Inferno. The waist runs the same but the inferno isn't the compression style short, which truthfully turns out to be very comfortable; you almost forget you have them on. I also really like the leg gripper Castelli is using, again very comfortable for me. I think if I were to be out there a long time I would pick these over the Free Aero simply because they're not quite as tight on the thigh. However, both shorts are premium; can't go wrong with either.

Run small and don't keep the sun out

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: L

Without actually riding in these, they look good and look like good quality. The chamois feels good and contains decent padding. Unfortunately they run a bit small so I had to return mine. And then I found out that Castelli recommends putting sun lotion underneath them, so I just switched to a different brand -- I do a lot of long rides on the weekend and there was no way I was going to want or remember to put lotion on before putting the bibs on.

Avg. ride time: 7h 6m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Great fit for me

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Tried the Body Paint bibs and the straps and legs were too small - even in XL. The Infernos are great in XL, almost disappear - in a good way (the L's were too tight in the legs and straps too short, which seems to be common to Castelli for me). I am 6'-0" and weigh between 175-180, generally wear a L bib in Pearl Izumi or Garneau brands. So you may need to size up.