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Rom

Romwrote a review of on January 4, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Other reviews have covered these shorts exhaustively. I've purchased four over the past 2 years and have these comments:
1. I'm 5'4" and weigh 127 lbs. Live in Seattle and commute every day, rain and/or shine and these shorts endure wear during wet/cold days here. The shorts have held up very well except for the iron-on logos. Believe it or not, I've taken to gluing the "undone" corners of the lettering with fabric/vinyl cement (I must have some serious OCD or past life regression issues. Probably both).
2. Castelli's "Care" info on their website says that the DWR and Nanoflex treatment will hold up for "40 - 50 washings". I haven't washed them as many times but repellency seemed quite a bit less after 5 or so washings. Castelli recommends washing (machine or hand), then tumble dry under low heat for 20 minutes or pressing with a warm iron. I've tried both and the results are OK. What works best for me is to wash with NikWax Tech Wash followed (while wet) with NikWax TXDirect, then tumble dry for 20 minutes. Afterwards, repellency was like-new and haven't had to be re-treated so far this winter.
3. Fit: When new, the shorts were very, very tight. Over time, they've loosened up a little bit. I'm glad I had stuck with size small as opposed to sizing up.
4. Call of Nature: it would be helpful if if the bib fronts were cut a little lower to facilitate irrigation.
5. Other: The leg grippers do a great job with knee or leg warmers (especially the Nanoflex warmers and their silicone grippers). The hems of the shorts don't ride up over the warmers wet or dry. I've used them without the warmers and the grippers didn't irritate me (full disclosure: I shave). Inseam length: these are cut longer than my Pearl Izumi PRO shorts. However, the longer length is a nice interface with the Nanoflex warmers. Again, the grippers stay put and the warmers don't sag.
6. Pad: three of my shorts purchased last year have the same pad (Kiss3). The 4th pair, purchased in November this year, has a different pad labeled Air which. may be the Kiss Air spec'd for the current Nanoflex 2 shorts. In any event, these Kiss pads hold up well in cold/wet conditions.

Overall: So far, the Nanoflex bib shorts have been a great value. If you had the fortune of purchasing these during the recent 50% Off Sale, they're unbeatable. I've several thermal shorts from other companies that haven't seen use in wet or transitional conditions last winter or this winter because the Nanoflex shorts have the range the others don't possess.

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Rom

Romwrote a review of on December 16, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is an interesting jacket. As other reviewers have stated, it attempts to strike a balance of warmth, breathability and water resistance; a jack-of-all-trades.

Warmth: the fleeced interior delivers on most counts. Rides in Seattle during November and December (daily commutes and weekend rides) in weather ranging from colder (34 - 36 degrees) to warmer (42 - 45 degrees), from moderately dry to full-on rainy. At the lower end of temperatures, it feels a bit cold with a thermal base layer. The sweet spot seems to be high 30's to mid 40's with a light or medium base.

Wind & water resistance is quite good. And it's possible not to work up a huge sweat if you layer up with a light base layer at the upper temp range or a heavier thermal base at the lower end.

It's not a rain jacket. The "Warmer" fabric on the back makes this a "180 degree" jacket. That is, it's wind and water repellant on the front of the torso and the sleeves. You'll get wet, as I have, on a 2 hour ride in showery weather. You'll also find that the the narrow 1.5" strip of fabric on the back of the sleeves is also Warmer fabric, not X-Fast. Your arms will feel a bit chilly on a windy day or cold descent.

And that brings the balancing act to the point: in my opinion, the Mortirolo fits a well-defined niche in Castelli's jacket line-up. The zippered chest vents, X-Fast on the torso and sleeve front and Warmer on the backs of same, helps the jacket achieve the goal of being a jack(et)-of-all-trades.

Conversely, it's a master-of-none. It performs well in a wide range of temperature and conditions but at the ends of the spectrum you might be cold and wet or hot and sweaty.

Bookending the Mortirolo is Castelli's Trasparente if you want a light jacket (or heavy jersey) with X-Lite on the sleeve/torso fronts for less inclement weather. At the other end, Senza features 360 degrees of X-Fast on the torso and sleeves and eliminates the breathability of Warmer and the zippered chest vents (a stripped down Espresso). All of which enhances overall resistance to the wetter colder conditions that fall outside of the Mortirolo design intent. All that and at a price point that bridges the gap between the Mortirolo, Espresso 3 and Alpha.

I own several Gabba jackets, Nanoflex bibs and warmers. These have pretty much become my core Seattle Fall/Winter/Spring kit. With the right base layers, Gabba has a very wide usability range. Using these pieces the past two years motivated me to purchase the Mortirolo, then the Espresso 3, and more recently the Tempesta system. The Mortirolo and Espresso replaced jackets from other makers that aren't designed, fabricated or fit as well as the Castelli pieces. Tempesta is a nicely thought-out and executed system approach that works together better than my large assortment of rain gear from other makers.

Do you need a Mortirolo? Maybe. Maybe not. In Seattle, Mortirolo and Espresso are probably not core Winter pieces. Gabba? You bet. Tempesta? Probably should be. In some climates, a single jacket such as the Mortirolo may be all you need. I happen to think Castelli has designed a line-up of pieces with a significant amount of overlap which can make it both easier and difficult to narrow a choice down to a single piece. Or maybe it's counting on you buying them all.

Choose wisely.

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Rom

Romwrote a review of on December 7, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Why? When they're used with the Tempesta leggings.

I've used the combination several times here in Seattle this winter (which is turning into a wet one after last year's dry spell). It poured last Saturday and I wore the Tempesta jacket, 3/4 pants and leggings for over 2 hours. I'd always worn full length Pearl Izumi PRO WXB rain pants prior to buying the 3/4 pants.

The Tempesta 3/4 pants are cut in a relaxed but not loose fit. The silver fabric knees are gusseted but not so much that they flap. The opening at the cuff is also fit close but not snug. In fact, when the knees are articulating through the spin of the cranks, the gussets open and close without much or any restriction. Unlike long pants, the 3/4 pants don't catch on your calves. And the overlap of the 3/4 pants with the Tempesta leggings mean you gained the overall effect of a long pant, with less restriction and better ventilation. You can use a standard non-thermal, non-Nanoflex bib short with this combination.

The eVent fabric of the body of the pants and the reinforcing seat panel have enough stretch to work with you, not against you. Breathability and water resistance seem excellent. Not a bit of water has leaked through, yet. I'll use NikWax Tech Wash and txDirect when it comes time to clean and renew the DWR top coat. Dry for 10 minutes in a dryer on low heat and then hang to finish.

The nicest thing you can say about any piece of kit is that you don't notice or can't tell you're wearing something new or different. The 3/4 pants were, in my opinion, like that. If you buy these pants, try the Tempesta leggings (and vice versa).

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Rom

Romwrote a review of on December 7, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My Gabba, Mortirolo, Espresso and Tempesta jackets are all size Small (and fit perfectly) as are my Nanoflex bib shorts. But the size Small Nanoflex leg warmers were so small I couldn't pull them over my calves. The Nanoflex mediums were fine. The Tempesta leggings were similar in that they were too small in size Small. Not so interestingly, the Tempesta leggings were nearly too snug in size medium. The length is about right.

Sizing aside, the Tempesta leggings worked very well by themselves and even more so with the Tempesta 3/4 pants. It poured here (Seattle) last Saturday and while my feel got a little wet after 2 hours, the legs and thighs stayed reasonably dry.

The waterproof nylon lower section is clammy after a while but the thermal lining is a nice buffer. I zipped the leggings over my Pearl Izumi WXB shoe covers without any problems (it's very snug but it kept the water out for most of a 30 mile ride). The reflective coating is really effective.

Overall, I liked them well enough to buy 2 pair.

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Rom

Romwrote a review of on December 7, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Where: Seattle. Weather: it's been wet. Rides: average 30 miles on paved roads.

What's good: water resistance, breathability and fit.
I'm 5'4" and weigh 127 lbs. and the size small Tempesta fits true-to-size. Sleeve length is a little long but pulls over Pearl Izumi WXB glove cuffs without any problems. Fit in the torso was slim but not tight. No flapping when descending or into the wind. The tail of the jacket kept water running off the jacket and not onto my rear end. This is the only rain jacket I've owned where the back hem and tail stays down and doesn't ride up around my waist.

The collar seemed a little too loose for my skinny neck but it's just enough to let out some clammy, warm air without letting rain into the collar. The mesh lining is really nice as it keeps the coated nylon from coming into direct contact with the skin.

Some will say pockets on a rain jacket are extraneous. I have two other rain jackets without pockets and the Tempesta's pockets were not an insignificant reason why I bought it. I can get a gel or energy bar without taking off my gloves. Nice. And the netting at the bottom of the pockets allowed the water to drain.

Water resistance: Wore the jacket several times, then washed in NikWax Tech Wash, dried in the dryer under low heat for 10 minutes then hung to complete drying. No difference in water resistance on the next day's wet ride. Long term, who knows? I'll use Tech Wash and txDirect to restore the DWR when it's necessary and it'll be fine.

Breathability is a matter of degree: I work up a sweat in just about every wet weather cycling garment I own. I have 4 Gabba LS jackets (yes, I like them THAT much) and I sweat in those, too. I work up a sweat in the Tempesta but much less than my Pearl Izumi Aero WXB. A ride last Saturday wearing the Tempesta with a PI Thermal base layer in steady rain for over 30 rolling miles at 52 degrees F and I was clammy. If you're looking for breathability bliss , this isn't for you. Clammy instead of wet or damp inside the jacket works for me.

What's not so good:
This is an expensive jacket so you sort of hope for a piece that works right out of the bag. This didn't.

The cuff adjustment with the magnets simply doesn't work on my version of this jacket. The magnets are too weak. So, I pried open the black plastic clasp (with the little magnet) on the drawstring, cut the stitching holding the drawstring ends together, pulled the cord out, then rethreaded with a wire fish (I threw away the plastic clasps.). Then I drew the cord ends back through the hem and the little rubber Castelli puck, then tied off the ends. The puck has the perfect amount of friction to pull and hold the adjusted tightness. I tuck the extra cord into the cuff. It works fine now.

Since I'm short, the rain flap bottom of the jacket hem will sometimes catch on the back of the saddle. A little annoying so I may add a small piece of velcro or a snap.

The flap behind the zipper will occasionally catch in the zipper.

Summary:
Overall, I'm pleased with the jacket's design and performance and I'd recommend it (along with the shortcomings) to others interested in this jacket. BTW: I've bought into the Tempesta "system". I use the jacket with the 3/4 pants and leggings. I used Nanoflex bib shorts and leg warmers last winter (like them, too) and wear them with the Tempesta pieces. Good system. Except for my feet, I can stay reasonably "dry" for 2 to 3 hours. So far, so good. If things change, I'll submit a follow up.

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Rom

Romwrote a review of on November 1, 2010

5 5

I live in Seattle, WA and it's wet here during the winter. La Nina is supposed to hit hard this winter (2010) and so far the storms just keep rolling in. I bought the PRO Barrier WxB two weeks ago and have worn it every work day commute (20 miles). I've owned many jackets in search of the perfect rain jacket and this jacket has been "The One" so far. I'm 5' 4", 125 lbs. and the fit of this jacket is trim all around. No flapping fabric anywhere. Breathability is excellent despite the warm wind and rain (Pineapple Express). There's not a lot of room for much more than a single medium weight base layer or jersey. My iPhone fits into the Napoleon pocket perfectly. The extendable tail is great when the fenders are overwhelmed. And the hood, despite what others have said, works very well. Yes, it looks dumb but it fits my Atmos perfectly. Bottom line: if you're looking for a trim fitting, waterproof/breathable jacket specifically designed for commuting, training and club rides, this is "The One". Now, if I could just find shoe covers, tights and gloves that worked as well. . .

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