By Lars Hundley
- High visibility color options
- Aerodynamic design, with a claimed 12 watt savings at 40 kph.
- Light weight
- Breathes well in hot weather
- Three standard rear pockets, plus a zippered fourth pocket for keys, etc.
- Dimpled fabric on front and shoulders for improved wicking and faster drying
- Arm grips designed for improved aerodynamics
- Castelli performance features and quality don’t come cheap!
Price: $149 MSRP
Colors: High Visibility Yellow, Red and Black
Source: Company website, online, retail
How obtained: Sample from company
RBR Sponsor: No
Tested: 20 hours
It can get pretty hot in Dallas during the summer. So when Castelli sent me their Aero Race 4.1 jersey in high visibility yellow for testing, I was happy to see that it was designed not only for speed, but also for heat transfer. The lightweight fabric wicks very well and helped keep me cooler when I was out riding in the blazing Texas sun.
The high-visibility, fluorescent-yellow color makes you easier to see in traffic — especially since Castelli also included a pair of matching yellow Circuito gloves. As we’ve written about before, one recent study showed that high visibility areas that move around (like shoes, socks and gloves) are much easier for motorists to see.
One of my favorite features with this Castelli jersey is their high quality, oversized zipper. Castelli uses YYK zippers that are a bigger size than most competing brands. They are easy to zip up or down while you are riding, and the pull is well-constructed. If you’ve ever had to throw out an otherwise perfectly good, expensive jersey when the zipper failed, you probably understand why I find this so important.
With most jersey brands I wear a medium, but I typically size up to a large with Castelli. Castelli often recommends sizing up, so be aware of the fit if you haven’t ridden any of their clothing before. My large jersey fits nice and snug.
This jersey earned a regular spot in my cycling drawer, and I use it often.
What makes this jersey faster? It’s race fit, for one. But it also uses a special dimpled “Velocity fabric” in front that is more aerodynamic than other fabrics. The sleeves are also designed for speed, with raw-edge arm grippers that have the same look you see on most pro jerseys today with no bulky, folded over seams. It’s not just fast though — it’s also light, at only 123 grams. In spite of the light weight, it still felt as substantial as my other Castelli jerseys, with good construction.
I also really liked the matching high visibility yellow Circuito gloves. They make a noticeable difference in visibility when you are making hand signals to indicate turns, whether you are in traffic or on a group ride.
These are pull-on style gloves, with no velcro straps to loosen or tighten.
Some pull-on gloves are very difficult to get back off your sweaty hand at the end of a ride, but the Castelli gloves include a very nice synthetic suede tab between the middle and ring finger on the bottom side of the glove. (You can’t see it in the photo, unfortunately.) When you want to take the gloves off, you can pinch the tab with two fingers and pull from a securely sewn, thicker tab and not worry about wearing out the more delicate fabric around your fingers.
These gloves have plenty of padding, so they are comfortable over rough roads and also do a good job of dampening general road vibration. The black portion of the gloves is made of a microsuede that you can use to wipe sweat away from your face. The mesh on the back of the hand allows air flow so that the gloves won’t overheat your hands. My gloves were sewn well, with good stitching, so I expect them to hold up over time. They have already gone through the wash several times without incident.