I use the shorts for my longest rides. Very comfortable 4+ hour rides. Only negative recently is that
Castelli is making their straps a little short. I have several versions of these shorts and it seems the straps
are getting shorter with each pair. I'm a tall rider so not a problem if you are average sized.
Most comfortable bibs I have ever worn. Great cushion, but it doesn't feel like a diaper. Tight fit, so it doesn't move while riding. I got a size medium and have a 32" waist.
New bib strap fabric is very uncomfortable especially at the waist. Doesnt stretch and cuts into your sides when in an aero position. The seamless chamois moves around and ends up in the wrong place.
I own a couple of Castelli pro bibs and shorts (Nano flex pro, the free aero race shorts and bibs) and would classify myself as more of a casual rider and in my experience using Castelli products, I have been nothing but impressed - not so much with these bib shorts. The fit is typical of Castelli, tight with good compression where it is needed - it's a comfortable fit with seams properly concealed or thoughtfully placed to reduce chafing. The straps, which are touted to enhance airflow, durability, and smoothness against the body are too narrow and end up twisting. The material is too thin and no matter how much I tried to keep them flat, they would bunch up and become uncomfortable on the shoulders - so much so that I mostly ride with the straps down. After my first ride - about 40 miles - I also noted there was pilling in the seat area from rubbing against my saddle - no holes, but still a bit disconcerting given the price I paid for the product. The chamois material and pad is comfortable but interestingly, the material doesn't completely cover pad - there is an area toward the back of the chamois, where you can see the pad and actually move it around. I initially thought the opening was there so you could take the pad out and case you wanted to wash or replace it, but it's sewn into the lycra. The pad still does what it's meant to do, but aesthetically, it's not nice to look at. With all that said, I still wear these mostly for my trainer sessions at home. They're comfortable and the dark steel blue color is a nice change from all the black shorts I have. Still a fan of Castelli, just not of this short.
Ive been wearing Castelli free Aero bibs for the past 5 years and every year they improve their shorts that much more.
Cant say enough about the Chamios for great comfort on the saddle and the leg grippers are very compressed and aero and feel like your wearing nothing at all. The only thing I would like to see Castelli improve on these are the shoulder straps. I would like to have a more wider strap that stays flat, these start out ok but seem to narrow around the chest.
These bibs fit me so well I feel like they make me a better cyclist. They certainly help me cycle greater distances in comfort. They cost a lot, but the quality does not disappoint. Your lower regions deserve the best shorts you can get, so be good to yourself and don't cheap out! Fit is a personal thing, but the pad shape, texture, and overall construction are perfect for me. A word on sizing. I'm 5'9", 152lbs. I tried to go with a medium, but the bibs were too short for my torso. The shorts were pretty tight too, but I think they would have broken in. I exchanged for a large, and haven't regretted it.
I have been using Castelli bibs (Body Paint 12 and Free Aero) for 10 years. I wear the large size (5'8, 150 lbs, 32 waist). The new Aero Race 4 bib-short shows Castelli's dedication to continually improve their shorts. The pad feels more substantial and comfortable when on the bike. The shell materials just fit great and feel more breathable. The grippers are vastly improved with excellent hold (vertical series of tacky stripes). The stitching on the seams and attachment point on the shoulder straps are improved- no frayed threads. I wash them in a mesh bag using detergent with no fabric softeners and dry on a towel warmer. After 20 rides all good- even the Castelli logo shows no flaking. The blue and the grey colors are subtly different than the standard black and compliment many of my team jerseys. I prefer these colors over the black. Highly recommend. JT
They are soo good! I've had a hesitancy ordering Castelli clothing online because everyone always gripes about the sizing. The first pair I bought I did size up. To be clear they still fit and I thought everyone was right but since then I've ordered a couple more bibs in my normal size medium. I'm here to say that you should order your normal size if you feel you have a slimmish build. They are snug. It takes an extra second to pull them into place while getting them on but that is how they're designed to be. The right size feels a million times better once your into a bike ride. The pad is wonderful and probably my favorite I've come across in my cycling life. For reference I'm 5'10" and 160lbs.
Size bought: Medium
These are my third pair of Castelli bib shorts but my first set of Free Aero. They were an upgrade for me but I bought them on sale at a great price. I'm 5'7" at 150 pounds. Like my previous two pairs of Castelli bibs I went with the mediums. Yes, like all Castelli bibs they are really tight when I first put them on but soon after the first ride, they seem to conform to my body. Most of my rides are in the 30 to 50 mile range and the comfort of the Free Aero bibs is really great. The combination of comfort and compression kind of makes me feel like a better sand happier rider.
First time with the Progretto X2 seat pad - love it. Went with the compression version of these bibs & they are more work to get on, but after 50 miles of pedaling you can tell a difference.
The new pad is very nice, and I like it better than the previous Castelli pads. The fit up front is much better too. Straps are comfortable and work well. I'm 5'7 132 lb and have worn medium Castelli bibs in the past but this one is a small and fits perfectly. Snug, but that's my preference.