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4 5

The bike is beautiful out of the box and is well spec-ed, especially for under 2K. The frame is very muted and yet not wooden: it jumped when you accelerate uphill and feels light. Descending is a joy even though the head tube on the 51 I bought was far too high even with a -10 stem for someone used to a greater drop (the FSA wing Compact while a great bar doesn't help here as it's drop is 20mm less than my current bar making my torso position that much higher). I was not a fan of the setback with the included (and lovely aesthetically) 20mm set back FSA SLK carbon post but I think that this frame was a touch large for me (6ft with a 34 inch inseam and longish arm).
For all these reasons I sent the bike back and am ordering the 48 as the head tube is 25 mm shorter and the setback a bit less. Still I imagine I will want a 0 mm setback post with this frame. My current bikes are more conventional shaped frames without the sloping top tube, but I still like this bike a lot and if the size is right I think that it could be a great bike. It doesn't feel like a comfort bike like the Synapse or (gasp) Roubaix and the tubes are beautifully shaped. It's only too bad that it's not the Campy version on sale!

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3 5

These are decent booties but the fit is a little large relative to the size chart and as a result they tend to pull up in the back because they have a small bottom strap that is in the center of the shoe. The yellow on front and back is more visible than the picture shows, which is fine for me but is probably worth noting if you aren't into the bling of yellow on your booties. Materials are decently warm and reasonably waterproof, but much less than my Capo Lombardias or my Castelli Poggios.

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4 5

Castelli is notorious for fit issues and the Aria is no exception. I am usually a large in most Castelli (6 ft, 175lbs, 42 inch chest, longish arms) and so I ordered the large in this jacket as well. Out of the bag I liked the fabric and build quality of the Aria: it is thin, but not as thin as the Leggero, but it doesn't stretch like the Leggero either. It is very long in the back which allows it to fit over three very full jersey pockets or to cover most of you backside if the pockets are not full. This is however also where the Aria fun into problems because it seems to fill with air in the back making one look a little like an inflated marshmallow. I wore it yesterday on a four hour ride starting out in rain and 39 degrees and ending up in sun and 48 degrees and I was comfortable the whole time. I believe that the Aria's fabric is awesome-- a big improvement over the typical rain cape, but of course it also costs a lot more.

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5 5

These are excellent inexpensive Castelli shorts. I have a pair of the $220 Gavia bibs and a pair of the Velcosimas that were $180 and I think these are actually my favorite of the three. The chamois is great and has a little more front coverage than the Gavias. The fabric is excellent--stretchy without being thin--reminds me a little of the fabric on my Craft bibs which I love. The sizing is defintely Euro and is even smaller than the Gavias. I love the XL and I am 6', 175lbs, 32 inch waist, 42 inch chest, with a track specialists thighs and the thighs are just right, but they are definitely on the short side in the bibs--and I have a shorter than average torso. I love them when I am riding because they stay nicely up in the chamois area, but they are not the most comfortable when walking around (if you want bibs for hanging out at the coffee shop you probably shouldn't go with these, but if you want to wear bibs at the coffee you should probably just reconsider that choice altogether for the good name of all cyclists). I would say that when on sale at Real Cyclist these are the best deal you can get on bibs--they blow any other $50 bib out of the water and are better than my $150 Pearls and Descentes.

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