The Ultimate Gravel Bib Short
The Castelli Men's Free Protect Race Bibshort was initially made specifically in response to a request from Chris Froome to help protect him through the first dangerous stages of the Tour de France. He wanted something to reduce road rash in case of a crash on those stages when everyone wants to be at the front and crashes are frequent.
Castelli went back to the old trick, familiar to track riders, of wearing two pairs of shorts, knowing that Lycra® sliding on Lycra® is the best way to prevent or reduce road rash on your hip. In this case Castelli uses the Vortex fabric from the Free Bibshort on the outside, which is extremely durable in everything from sliding across the pavement to dog bites (yes, really!). An internal layer of a stretch woven fabric reinforced with a ripstop grid made from Dyneema® is used. It's the same miracle yarn used in rock climbing ropes, reinforcement in sails for America's Cup, and in bulletproof vests. This will help prevent the inner layer from ripping in many situations.
This dual-layer construction is put over the side panel, which gives generous coverage for the hip and thigh in the event of a crash.
While originally created to help Tour de France riders survive the first few stages of the race better, this short may come in handy when you're riding on loose gravel or in your local criterium, or even if you just happen to fall off frequently and always slide on your hip like our favorite GCN presenter.
Beyond the protective aspect of this short, we've constructed it using the components and construction from Castelli's Free Aero Race 4 Bibshort, their top race bib short that also gives remarkable comfort.
Double-layer side panels for extra protection in the event of a fall
A special smooth layer of Vortex fabric backed by a stretch woven fabric featuring a Dyneema® ripstop grid
Forza fabric on inner legs with 38% Lycra® content for perfect fit
Stripe mesh engineered minimalist bib construction to keep you cool
Giro4 leg gripper elastic for better grip distributed over larger area
Doppio V construction in front for increased support and comfort
Progetto X2 Air Seamless seat pad
Performance fit: Castelli apparel is designed with a performance cut that often runs smaller than that of other manufacturers. Consider sizing-up one size to ensure a comfortable fit — e.g., if you typically wear a Medium, select a Large in Castelli.
Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Free Exchanges: This product qualifies for free exchanges within the first 60 days after order. We'll cover the shipping both ways for US customers if you need a different size and/or color of this product. Returned product must be in new condition with all labels and packaging. Free exchanges apply only for product in stock or available for backorder.