and Mitch Rosset
Castelli Climber’s 2.0 Jersey
Castelli Inferno Bibs
Cost: Jersey: $129.99; Bibs: $229.99
Sizes: S – 3XL
How Obtained: Sample from company
Availability: Online, retail
RBR Sponsor: No
Tested: 50+ hours
Jersey: White w/black chest stripe and cuffs, Black w/red chest stripe & blue cuffs, Dark Blue w/orange stripe & cuffs
Bibs: Black, or Black with white panels
Castelli’s Rosso Corsa Label Excels in Performance
The Castelli kit worn by Team Sky in the 2017 Tour de France was made available for us to test locally. The Climber’s 2.0 jersey was designed especially for the mountain stages. It’s aero, lightweight and keeps the rider cool while climbing. The Inferno bibs were Team Sky’s go-to shorts for every stage, but they really excel in hot weather.
The kit is only available in men’s sizes, but since I’ve worn Castelli shorts in the past, I wanted to give it a go. Unfortunately, the bibs were not available in my size, so Mitch tested the bibs, and we both tested the jersey. We both agreed, this is a great kit.
Even though the kit is designed for warmer weather, Mitch tested it down into the 50s. It was a little chilly at first, but as the ride went on he felt comfortable and dry. I tried the jersey down into the 60s and as warm as the 90s. The breathability of the fabric kept me cool and dry. (Castelli rates the jersey for 68-95 degrees F or 20-35 C, and the bibs 64-95 F or 18-35 C).
Jersey is Comfortable and Cool
The Climber’s 2.0 jersey is both aero and lightweight, qualities that made it a perfect fit for Team Sky during climbing stages of the Tour de France this year. The key to keeping cool is the Flusso 3D fabric located on the front and shoulders, which is lightweight and dries extremely quickly. Castelli uses Strada Pro 3D fabric on the jersey back. The 3D weave reduces contact area with your skin to provide excellent wicking and fast drying, as well as UPF 16 protection. The mesh raw edge arm grippers secured the sleeves in place even in the drops. With the traditional three storage pockets, you’ll have plenty of room for nutrition and more.
When I wore the jersey it was very comfortable, looked good and I stayed cool. It wicked great, and I never was sitting in a damp jersey. The only negative I had was with the jersey being a racer/aero style, the collar is minimalistic, which means low-profile. So you need to ensure that you apply sunscreen far enough down the back of your neck for complete coverage. Plus, when the jersey is fully zipped, I experienced some rubbing by the zipper at the neck line (there’s no zipper garage, in keeping with the minimalist design aesthetic). Mitch had no issues with the collar or the zipper, though, because he never fully zips his jerseys.
The Camlock front zipper makes it easy to unzip with one hand for added ventilation, and it locks when in the tab is fully in the down position to securely stay in place. There are also some small reflective elements on the back of the jersey for better visibility in low light.
If you are looking for a proven aero jersey, Castelli tested this one in a wind tunnel. (It posted the same results as their Aero Race 5.0 jersey, and just 2 watts slower than their updated 2016 5.1 version.) So the Climber’s 2.0 successfully combines lightweight, cool-running and aero properties into one jersey.
One word of caution when ordering the Climber’s 2.0 jersey: Because it is a race/aero cut (designed to suit pros), it runs small. Order at least one size up. And even then expect a snug fit.
You May Forgot You’re Wearing the Bibs
The sign of a good pair of bibs is you don’t even think about them while riding. You slip them on and just ride. No binding, no adjusting the pad, nothing. Castelli uses 6 different fabrics to bring maximum cooling to each specific part of the short. Combine that with an improved Progetto X2 chamois and GiroAir engineered mesh leg grippers, and you have an amazingly comfortable pair of bibs.
The Progetto X2 pad is hyper-engineered to achieve that level of comfort. Closest to your body is a four-way stretch, micro denier, seamless, bacteriostatic layer that adapts to the shape of your body and the saddle without any folds in the fabric. The air flows right into the surface of the fabric to aid in evaporation, keeping you dryer. The cushioning layer uses a multi-density foam with variable thicknesses. The pad is designed to provide cushioning where it is needed most. In addition, perforated viscous padding is added under the highly sensitive ishial (sit bones) and perineum pressure areas. All these features combine to provide one of the most comfortable chamois Mitch has tried.
The leg grippers keep the fabric in place. But note that due to the mesh design of the cuffs, and the fact that the inseam may be shorter (approximately 7 inches, or 18 cm) than other bibs, sunscreen is recommended a bit farther up the legs than normal.
Since these are the same bibs Team Sky uses, there’s a pocket on the back for a race radio. That won’t come into play for most of us, but it’s there if you need it.
Castelli is known for high-quality, pro-level gear. I’ve never been disappointed with Castelli apparel, and the Climber’s 2.0 jersey and Inferno bib shorts continue that run. Both get high marks in performance, comfort and style. You may or may not feel like a Team Sky member as you cut through the air in this aero kit. But best of all, you’ll stay comfortable and dry even on the hottest of days.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.