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Castelli Free Aero Bib Shorts - Women's

Sale $119.97 - $199.95

Item # CST006P

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Item # CST006P

Ladies second.

The bad news is that, like the Italian manufacturer's competitors, the top products from Castelli's men's Rosso Corsa line tend to take an extra generation of production to show up in women-specific shapes and sizes. The good news is that that means the experimental kinks get worked out in the men's designs, and the women's version of kit like the Free Aero Bib Shorts enjoy at least one entire development cycle before being released. This is evident in the updated chamois, new bib construction, and — our favorite — the innovative changes made to the already ground-breaking leg bands.

As the name suggests, the Free Aero Race Shorts are designed to cheat the wind, reducing power output requirements by a claimed 10 watts at 50 kilometers an hour. The secret to these gains lies in how the shorts manage airflow across their multiple boundaries and textures — most obviously via the dimpling on the shorts' outer thigh of Vortex fabric. Like with a golf ball or some deep carbon rims, these dimples manage the turbulent lamina of air that runs along the shorts' surface, preventing its premature release into pockets of drag-inducing dead air. This is complemented with a compressive stretch from the Forza fabric on the inner thighs, which incorporates 30% Lycra in order to ensure that your ride is both wind- and restriction-free.

The shorts incorporate a women's version of the Progetto X2 Air Seat Pad, returning this year 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 new bibs' wide open, non-stifling design also returns from the previous model, but the straps themselves now comprise two materials. The straps are mesh 3/4 of the way up, but — like any good domestique — the mesh lets a yolk of Castelli's innovative Carré material summit your shoulders. Carré is a hem-less strap that lies virtually flat against your skin, so there aren't any wind-grabbing, stegosaurus ridges from bib straps bulging out of your jersey. The liminal seam between mesh and Carré is also reinforced, so you don't have to worry about any wardrobe malfunctions while hoisting a trophy on the podium.

The previous men's model featured Castelli's upgraded Giro3 integrated grip bands at the hem, but the women's first foray into Free Aero land starts off premium. The new Giro Air has the same perfectly flat, stay-in-place grip, but with less mass, which no doubt contributes to the claimed overall weight loss of 17 grams and definitely reduces the aerodynamic footprint. The new band is wider, almost equaling the length of a typical Euro-slammed road stem, and every square millimeter of the material acts as the gripping agent. No silicone gel print here.

We should also point out that the leg bands are also pretty transparent, which may initially be a turn-off, but will likely take off as it appears in the pro peloton. In this case, it's important to note that "pro" isn't short for "UV protection," so we recommend a bit of sunscreen applied a few minutes before suiting up. As a final touch, Castelli included highly reflective details on the back of the leg bands for extra safety, just in case you get caught out at a time when sunscreen won't do any good.

  • Aerodynamic race fit
  • Progetto X2 Air Donna chamois
  • Giro Air leg grippers
  • Reflective elements

Tech Specs

Material:
[outer thigh] Vortex, [inner thigh] Forza
Fit:
aero race
Chamois:
Progetto X2 Air Donna
Bib:
yes, Carré yolk
Leg Gripper:
Giro Air
Claimed Weight:
[size small] 149 g
Recommended Use:
road
Manufacturer Warranty:
1 year

Size chart

Castelli

Women's Cycling Apparel
 XSSMLXL
Chest

31.1in

(79cm)

33.1in

(84cm)

35in

(89cm)

37in

(94cm)

39in

(99cm)

Waist

24.8in

(63cm)

26.8in

(68cm)

28.7in

(73cm)

30.7in

(78cm)

32.7in

(83cm)

Hips

34.3in

(87cm)

36.2in

(92cm)

38.2in

(97cm)

40.2in

(102cm)

42.1in

(107cm)

Inseam

29.1in

(74cm)

29.7in

(75.5cm)

30.3in

(77cm)

30.9in

(78.5cm)

31.5in

(80cm)

Note: Castelli has a "Euro" slimmer fit. We suggest ordering at least one size larger than your normal US size.
How to Measure:
For best results, take measurements over your underwear.
Chest:
Measure under your arms, around the fullest part of your chest.
Natural Waist:
Measure around your natural waistline, keeping the tape a bit loose.
Hip:
Measure around the fullest part of your body at the top of your legs.
Inseam:
Using pants that fit well, measure the crotch seam to the bottom of the leg.

Reviews & Community

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Nice bibs

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: medium

I bought these for my wife. She enjoys them. They are definitely on the smaller side. The one thing she wishes was that the bibs came up a little higher on the waist, but other wise, they work well with good padding

Easy to forget about these!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: Medium

I love a pair of bib shorts that are so comfortable that I forget I have them on! These fit the bill! The straps are so soft and disappear instead of rubbing on my shoulders the whole ride. The chamois is among my favorite, even though it is larger than some. And the legs stay in place without irritating leg grippers! Highly recommend these if you want comfortable, technical fabrics to make those long rides a breeze! I do ride mountain as well and tried these under a pair of baggies. The way the chamois is shaped was not as comfortable on the mountain bike so I will keep riding these just on the road.

Sizing is so relative but I ranked these as "runs small" because you will want to size up from your current size in "american" fits like Pearl Izumi or Giro. I wear a small in those brands and found the medium to be perfect. They will fit like other European cuts such as Assos or Giordana.

Soooo comfy

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

This bibs are one of the most comfortable I have ever worn. And I have worn tons of bibs. Fabric on the straps is REALLY soft and comfy. Chamois is amazing, really thick and moves with you even on the longest rides. I usually wear a medium in Assos, Castelli and Giordana and a medium in these bibs is perfect. My only complaints are that there is not a clip closure in the front to make it easier for ladies to answer natures call mid ride and that the white paneling on the side of my shorts is *slightly* see though. Like when I wear leg warmers, you can see them a little through the bibs.

Other than that, these are comparable to Assos Laalalai bibs, Giordana Formared bibs (top of the line stuff here!)

Bibs that hug just right

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

I've been learning about which chamois works best for me and these bib shorts are the best I've encountered. They fit like a glove and I barely feel any rubbing on a long ride (4-5 hours)!

Avg. ride time: 4h 58m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

What long ride?

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

Honestly, at first I was a tad hesitant with the thickness of the chamois. However, the feature attraction for me was that the straps and the leg grippers completely disappear. You quickly forget you even have bibs on. I have tried many brands and many styles that I can easily say do not 'disappear' like these do. As said, at first, I thought the chamois too thick for my liking; yet on longer rides, I never noticed the thickness and have come to favor these bibs over old favorites.


Update 2017: the bibs are not consistent. After ordering multiple subsequent pairs, the sizing and cut is not done well across the board. Quality control is a significant issue. I still love the fit of most of the bibs, but the inconsistency given the price is unexpected and disappointing. Updating from 5 stars to 3 due to this issue.

Misrepresentation of product

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

The black bibshorts are not as pictured. There is white piping along the seams as opposed to being all black. I contacted Competitive Cyclist to see if they sent the wrong product, and as opposed to understanding my issue with the product, they hurriedly sent out a replacement (with the same white piping). Please update the photo! I would not have purchased these knowing the bibshorts were not all black. I received no follow-up from customer service upon sending pictures to further explain this.

Misrepresentation of product

I will do my best help, and I wanted to make sure you?re 110% satisfied. Please feel free to call me or email me, so can help you get the right product., or help with your return.

Office: 801-746-7580 ext. 4646
dmyers@backcountry.com

Hi Don,

Thanks for your response. So does a version of the bibshorts exist that have black seams like what you have pictured for this product?

Thanks,
Claire