If there was ever a premium kit designed to help you cut through the wind, climb faster, and ride longer, Castelli’s Aero Race Series is the one. Labeled with “ROSSO CORSA,” the Castelli Aero Race kit is cycling apparel at its pinnacle, and as fast as some Italian counterparts.
Backed by years of innovation and design, Castelli’s Aero Race 5.1 jersey and Free Aero Race bib provides cyclist the perfect combination of aerodynamics, comfort, and cooling technology. Sponsored by the likes of Mikel Landa and Chris Froome, the Aero Race kit has been tested and proven to conquer anything thrown its way: from the mountains of the Pyranees to the 70 kph winds of the Rhone Valley — so much so, I had to test it for myself; riding it against San Francisco’s micro climate which can change in less than a New York minute. Both the jersey and bib are built to outlast 59-86 degrees F.
As Karl the Fog broke on in to the avenues, the Aero Race kit and Castelli base layer stood up to the weather shift much better than I had hoped. Although San Francisco is classified as having a warm-summer mediterranean climate, temperature swings often feel more dramatic than the term ‘mild’ would imply. Despite being very thin and light, its fabric construction is designed to withstand long rides( these are a few of my favorite summer routes in the Bay Area),
keeping me comfortable enough on the brisk ascents and cool where patches of summer sun prevailed.In fact, up Twin Peaks not only did I have the best view, I also had the most comfortable (and best looking) kit among our group.
The Aero Race kit is best suited for warm environments, and due to its impressive airflow and super lightweight construction, isn’t ideal for rain. However, a breathable shell did the trick for early morning jaunts near the coast. Pairing this kit with the Castelli Core Mesh short-sleeve base layer proved to be the right choice. Again with a focus on breathability and weight, this piece compliments long rides with seamless comfort and moisture wicking. The Core short sleeve base layer lacks lycra in its construction, allowing air to flow more freely while removing sweat from the body. Much like the remainder of the kit, this top is minimalist in design and virtually disappears when your mind is focused on the road — this is a very, very good feature.
The performance fabrics used on the Aero Race kit (vortex, forza, carre, and Progetto) are undeniably above and beyond with respect to fit comfort and aerodynamics. After all, this kit is intended to be the lightest option for the fastest riders on the tour.
Weighing in at a grand total of 103g, the Aero Race 5.1 jersey is the lightest option Castelli has produced to date — nearly 40g lighter than the next jersey in Castelli’s repertoire. Built for the likes of Team Sky, the velocity-dimple design reduces wake and friction against the wind, making the rider as aerodynamic as possible. This feature in particular, I came to appreciate the most. Pedaling into a warm headwind is something you come to terms with in San Francisco, so even the slightest advantage is treasured. If that wasn’t enough, its Italian quality, permeable fabric provides unrestricted airflow to help you battle the summer sun, keeping you cool for hours on end. Paired with the Free Aero bib, the 3D mesh fabric and silicone grip components wick every bit of sweat and moisture your body produces. The Progretto X2 Air seat pad makes this the most comfortable bib I have ever owned, HANDS DOWN! And that class includes the stitches from MAAP, Panache, and Rapha.
Overall, if you’re looking for that extra boost of confidence, either for a full-blown training ride, race day or TT, the Aero Race kit will help you focus on what matters most: riding. Castelli has spent years channeling their focus on innovation and performance, and this latest design is affirmation for their many hours of testing and hard work. We are now living in a time when it’s reasonable to ask yourself, why not wear what the pros wear?
Review by: Aaron Tirazona – @atirazona2
Photography by: @rj.agc @patrik.lee