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  • Castelli Free Aero Race Team Bib Shorts - Men's
  • Castelli Free Aero Race Team Bib Shorts - Men's
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CastelliFree Aero Race Team Bib Shorts - Men's
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Item # CST005I

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Item # CST005I

Smooth operator.

Castelli built the Free Aero Race Team Bib Shorts for one functional purpose: to smooth out the air. The Team designation implies a difference though, and that difference is the addition of design elements that are so subtle that they may as well only be implied, too. It's got a splash of Italian flair, including Castelli's iconic red as an underscore to stress the leg bands' low-contrast branding, but the flashiest element of the kit remains the literally flashy reflective patches on the backs of the legs. The graphical restraint means the shorts operate as smoothly on the eyes as they do in the wind.

Just like the rest of its family tree, the Free Aero Race's Team version is 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 across the shorts' outer plane. 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.

The shorts also keep the beloved Progetto X2 Air Seat Pad, which returns from last year's version 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.

Those may be the only returning features of the previous model — not even the materials used were safe from Castelli's obsessive need to tinker. The seat and front of the shorts both feature fabrics designed for durability and cooling breathability, respectively, and the entire body is 30% Lycra for a fit that strikes a balance between compression and unrestrictive movement.

The bibs' wide open, non-stifling design also returns from the previous model, but the bibs 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 the trophy on the podium.

Last year's model featured Castelli's upgraded Giro3 integrated grip bands at the hem, but it shouldn't surprise you at this point that Castelli has upgraded these yet again. 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.

The lower mass means 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.

  • Race-specific cycling shorts with a bit of aesthetic flair
  • Dimpled side panels to reduce wind drag
  • Lycra content provides light compression and streamlines fit
  • Carré yolk bib straps provide hem-less comfort on your shoulders
  • Leg grippers and chamois increase comfort
  • Reflective accents for late returns from evening criteriums
Tech SpecsSize
Tech Specs
Progetto X2 Air
Carré yolk
Leg Gripper
Giro Air
Recommended Use
road cycling
Manufacturer Warranty
1 year


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.

View more Men's Pro Team Bib Shorts

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Avg. ride time: 11m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Castelli Bibs

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: 3XL

Be aware that Castelli bib sizing runs very small. I normally wear an XL with Pearl Izumi. I had to order 3XL with Castelli to match the normal XL sizing. (In the Jersey I ordered a 2XL to match normal XL) Castelli makes a very nice high quality product. I have never been disappointed with any of their clothing.

Unanswered Question

What year is this bib short? 2015 or 2016?

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

Already in love!

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

First off, I wanted to say that I read a lot of the reviews about these running small and I was worried that I may still have to return for a larger size. I busted out the tape measure and lined up with the Castelli sizing chart above...

My waist is 32in so that would have squarely put me in a medium, but my chest is a little over 38in, and I have a taller torso, so I opted for a large based on that. It fits perfect! If I would have ordered based on my waist alone, I am *certain* that the bottom part would have been too tight.

Size up for sure! Just make sure to size up based on your current measurements vs. the table above, and not "well, this is the size I wear with American clothing normally." If you go with the latter, you'll probably run into trouble.

Yes! Always size up +1 with Castelli. Always. (sometimes +2).


  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: XXL

I posted below and wanted to share this. These bibs run 2 sizes smaller and the straps are small and they road up in the groin. SO I took mine to a seamstress and had them add 2 Inches to the strap!! Now they fit much better.
Also, the padding is the same size as the prior ones, 2014 down, but is now thicker and is No Longer cloth, which would absorb sweet, not good. BUT what I found was that it is rotated back by approx 3 inches!! Not sure why they moved it, BUT what I did was cutout a pad from a 2010 pair, the foam was gone from the sit area, and used that front section to give my boys some comfort. It works, but I should not have to do this to make something work!!!!!
Otherwise, the PLUSES are, the material is much better from the 2014 down material. The padding is thicker.
BUT not sure why the red section is on the straps?? The straps are short. The positioning of the padding is not correct.
Jury is out on saying to buy. Hopefully Castelli will fix........

Great bibs but run smaller than ever

  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: Large

I've got a closet full of great Castelli gear, summer, winter, etc. I love these bibs, good for a season( few thousand miles), fit and feel great, quality construction, great chamois. I'm 5-8 155lbs and wear M in most off bike clothes, but in euro sizes like Castelli I wear L, but I could still get by with a M in their bibs but this years new ones are definitely sized even smaller and now the L seems ok. Not a big deal given the return policy of CC you just need to know up front so you can save time and order up a size.

Avg. ride time: 7h 8m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

My new favorite bibs

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

These are my first Castelli bibs and I love them. Awesome chamois and nice compression on the bibs. The straps are tight, and look like they might be slightly flimsy, but feel good in riding position. On the bike, I forget I'm wearing these. Just remember to apply sunscreen to your thighs, since the lower legs are transparent. Wish I could swap all my old Sportful, Pearl Izumi, and Voler bibs for more of these. If they go on sale again, I'll buy more.

Sizing me out of Castelli

  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: XXL

I buy Castelli because I've found the Progetto X2 Air to be one of the best chamois on the market as many other reviewers have stated already. My issue with Castelli is their inconsistent sizing between their brand. Prior to me purchasing the Free Aero, I frequently wear the Inferno bibs, Sorpasso knickers and tights and Sorpasso wind tights. All in XL. 4 different models, all XL and all fit fine. Up until recently I have been 5' 11", 190-195 LB rider with most of my weight in the legs. The XL have been a good fit for me. However, I'm now less than 180 LBS (same height in case you were curious) and the XL in the Free Aero barely fit. I had to upsize to the XXL. It seems that Castelli is either moving their brand to the exceptionally small rider or they are just way off between their models. Either way, it's a bit frustrating to have to guess which size will fit me from order-to-order.

Avg. ride time: 1h 4m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Very nice, but they run SMALL!

  • Fit: Runs small

Awesome service from CC, as always. Bibs are very comfortable, 5.1 jersey is definitely a race cut fit, which is what I wanted. I wear small in Hincapie and Cuore bibs, medium in Hincapie and Cuore jerseys, small in their skinsuits. I ordered a medium in the Castelli's and they were a bit too small (5'10 160#), sending them back to get a large.


  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: 2XL

Ever since I came across Castelli's Free Aero Bibs, it is all I have used from 2010 on. Last year they re-did the shorts, changed the material makeup. The pad moved back a bit so that your "peaches and branch" are not so much on the pad, and a new double layer strip is along the the front center of the short for the "branch", follow :-) I find it helps stop the rubbing and moving of it, though the pad could come forward a bit more. I asked them about it, but was told it's the same! Clearly the sales guy is not familiar with what he's selling!!!!

The butt padding is much thicker now. It gives me the sensation of leaning forward on the seat, BUT way more compfy on long rides. I'm usually a 60-80 miler when I ride.

The legs are a bit shorter from the previous shorts, though not much, about 3/4 thigh. The cuff is a see-through type mesh which is nice in the summer. I have not tried leggings with this short!!! Though I pull my leggings up to the crotch, it should not be an issue.

FIT: The new shorts run a size smaller than previous!! I was a XL before, now XXL. Even at the next size up, the shorts are a bit snug though. Not uncomfortable snug, just snugger than previous. They also wrinkle up at the inner thigh/crotch area, not a discomfort, but not as smooth as previous shorts. Also, the bib has to be stretched to get into. I'm not sure how a XXXL would fit. I'm a 33 inch waist to give an idea. So if you never tried the shorts before, go 2 sizes up from normal. Not sure who Castelli's model was, but would be nice to use an American for USA products. BUT this company is great with returns and exchanges, so not to much trouble to go through.

Overall, I love Castelli gear, once you get the size dialed in. These Bibs are great and very comfortable, lots of butt padding and no rubbing/irritation of the front stuff, and have had no issue with the pad being lower. I own 3 pairs and shelved my previous 5 pairs, though still nice Bibs, the butt padding is what wins out.

Avg. ride time: 6h 17m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Buh bye Castelli....

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

I have been wearing the Free Race Bibs for years, but no longer. This 2016 version is just as whacky as last year...sizing/design is off (I am 6'2" 165 lbs) the XL is too loose and the L too tight. New leg gripper feels less than substantial and is somewhat transparent, so if you wear leg or knee warmers, you see the seam underneath the gripper. Chump. I also noticed some of the color on the edge of the gripper has bled (team red version). Out of frustration I tried a pair of Giordana Silverline bibs (made in Italy, not El Salvador) and this, I am happy to report, is my new bib.

Is Castelli pay'g attn 2 their brand ?!?

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: Runs small

I am resubmitting my review ( taking some of the “angst” out & replacing it with “objectivity” )

I am NOT a newbie - I've been riding with Castelli bib shorts since the 90's & still have 3 ( style #12198 ) that were mfg’d / sourced in the USA - and I’m NOT sponsored like the pros, so what I buy, 1st has to work for me & 2nd has to last… my 90’s Castelli bibs are more rideable than the last 2 pairs I've just returned.

I know Castelli's sizes run about a size small, so I know to order accordingly.

My 1st issue is:

- I have ALWAYS ordered size Large with Castelli: I am a North American male & am proportioned thusly - I realize fit is somewhat subjective as each rider’s proportions are unique. What some reviewers rave as great others may question;
- The new Castelli bibs were way too small: I felt like my male appendage(s) were going to be strangled ! Competitive Cyclist had no issues with the return & i re-ordered a Castelli Free Aero Race Kit Version Bib Shorts XL ( No, I'm NOT XL - I am 5'-9" & 158lbs ).

My 2nd issue is:

WHAT'S UP WITH THE CHAMOIS ??? Yes, there's more padding than my 90's bibs BUT it's NOT in the right place ! This version did NOT have enuf chamois to cover my nether bits - the Chamois actually stopped short in the front and has an absorbent-mini-pad-thingey that is sewn in way too low ! The whole chamois seems like it's sewn in the wrong place.
- The co$t of these bibs should reflect many hours of R&D as well as real world testing ( from the pros )…

- - the pad is too small;
- - & sewn in the wrong location

As a former Supply Chain Manager, I understand International sourcing to reduce mfg. co$t$, BUT...

… Your reputation is at stake as soon as you fix your ( brand ) name to the product. Castelli's graphic designers really came up with a very nice name / price tag-thingey that looks way cool. Unfortunately, more detail seems to have been designed into the graphics, the thickness of the card, the string & the cool closure of the “branding”.

- - The mfg. plant can only use the specs that the designers forward.
- - The QC department can only check tolerances, seam & material quality against the specs they have been provided by the designers at HQ.

I have NO issues with ANY OTHER piece of the Castelli line I've purchased - I have ordered Castelli in the past bcz it works for me... I recently ordered the Mortirolo, Espresso 3 & Velo jackets as well as the Leggenda ( winter ) gloves... ALL Large & ALL FIT WONDERFULLY & work great in our fickle New England weather. I have no issues with ANY of those…

So why is there a Quality / Fit difference from the bib shorts mfg. plants compared with the great Quality / Fit where the Castelli jackets & gloves that are being made ?

It really is a shame as my “kit” has had to change - something's gotta change bcz the rest of the line performs great.

Castelli, are you listening ???

This is helpful! I have a pair of Castelli bibs from a few years ago and they work well for me, but I've heard a lot of reviews and complaints about weird sizing (and not just 'runs a size small' which is easy enough to dial in, bit more along the lines of what you're saying:totally off in every way). I'm also not a newbie, so I appreciate your thoughts here. If I'm paying 150-200 for bibs, they better be awesome or else forget it. I get they want to expand their market, but why change a good thing?

I agree entirely, I have 3 other pairs,of castelli bibs including an earlier version of the free aero. The pad is bunched up or sewn wrong in the front, I thought it was a defect so I retuned it for another pair, the same defect with the pad in the front. I returned that pair also.

Avg. ride time: 2h 36m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Perfect bibs?

    If they aren't perfect, they're mighty close. These fit perfectly. The chamois is great. The straps are made of some kind of magical unicorn skin. They feel UNREAL. Every time I train or race in other bibs it's a little bit of a let down. Another home run from Castelli...

    Excellent quality!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    The product is of excellent quality in terms of material, workmanship, and design. I am about 5'-10"/165 lbs and bought a large. Normally I would buy a medium. The large still fits tight but is comfortable when riding because of the material. I have found with Castelli products you can easily select a size up and have a good fit.


    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    I have this bibs for less than 3 months ..Were great when new with tight fitting and compression feel...In less than 3 months have become really soft and they stretch too easily out of position...Not impressed for the cost..Chamois is great ..

    Quadzilla Beware - Runs Small

    • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

    I usually wear a Large in Castelli bibs. I read the reviews and decided to size up and went with the XLs. These things are still too small and I'm 6'/190(33waist/32inseam) with muscular thighs/butt. I like my clothing snug/race fit, but these bibs are very constricting on the legs and crotch. If I went with the XXL, the length would be longer than I like. Really bummed...these things are quality material and well made.

    Avg. ride time: 1h 23m per week
    • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

    awesome bibs

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    This bibs are great but run smaller then other Casttelli ordered med but had to exchange for lg. The chamois is great and your butt will thank you. I have used them on three 30 mile rides and they performed very well.

    Avg. ride time: 2h 26m per week
    • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

    Sweet Bibs

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    These bibs are freakin' sweet. Haven't used them a ton yet, but if your like me, you know a good thing when use it.

    Unanswered Question
    Avg. ride time: 2h 26m per week
    • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

    does castle have a team version jersey?