Castelli - AERO RACE 4 Spar: 29 %
After 12 years of evolution and millions of miles of on the road testing, where exactly have the Castelli design team squeezed out even greater comfort and performance from the already exemplary Free Aero Race Bibshort? Well, the heart of any great shorts is the seat pad and for this year the brand new Progetto X2 Air is softer and more flexible than ever with a new seamless top layer giving you a pad that is virtually unnoticeable.
Progetto X2 Air Seamless Seat Pad
Let's look at the Progetto X2 Air Seamless seat pad in more detail and see just why it's so incredibly comfortable. The first contact point against the skin, the upper skin-care material, is now seamless and even softer than previous versions letting you enjoy smooth and chafe-free pedalling. The next layer, Castelli’s infinitely variable thickness padding, imparts just the right level of support where you need it, thicker under the sit bones and thinner on the sides and under the perineum - the result is intense comfort with reduced bulk. Lastly, to really push home superior comfort levels, perforated viscous padding is added under the highly sensitive ischial and perineum pressure areas, offering luxurious support when you're on the saddle for hours on end.
GIRO4 leg grippers
Next, new GIRO4 leg grippers get enhanced stretch and yet are grippier than previous versions so the pressure is spread wider but without any loss of traction on the thighs. A lie-flat raw edge provides a smooth transition between skin and shorts and the vertical silicone grippers hold firm without exerting excess pressure.
Improved Bib Straps
Lastly, the Stripe Mesh straps are reduced in weight and yet offer enhanced support, in all honesty, you'll barely notice they're there, but that's the whole point. Castelli have also used a more breathable material meaning even greater comfort when the pace picks up, wicking away sweat before it can pool and cause discomfort. Team Sky wanted a new radio pocket too, now it's lie-flat and unobtrusive, a real pro-ready design.
While these improvements are subtle, they all add up to a major step up in comfort, providing support on both the longest and shortest rides.
The Free Aero Race 4 are the go-to race shorts for Castelli's pros, including those on Team Sky, and with many riders clocking up 30,000kms a year on the saddle they're very exacting with regards to their kit. They're the perfect testers and Castelli continually gathers feedback to improve their cycling kit. They listen, learn, tweak and improve products and the result for this season are shorts that are minimalist, aerodynamically slippery and yet with no compromises when it comes to comfort. The pros love them, and we think you will too.
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