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
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
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