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Castelli launches new Premio Black bibshorts

25 May 2021
Verdict:

Castelli says its latest bibshorts are its most comfortable ever

With the launch of the new Castelli Premio Black Bibshorts, the brand says it has completely redeveloped its top-of-the-line bibshorts to make them the most comfortable it has ever produced. With such a bold promise we were obviously very intrigued to find out more.

Premio means 'prize' in Italian, and is a moniker Castelli only bestows upon its absolute best-in-line products. The Premio Black bibshort, then, is its latest and greatest innovation.

Castelli says the goal for the Premio Black bibshorts was to create ‘the most comfortable shorts for the longest rides’. For which the brands also suggests, the most comfortable cycling shorts are the ones you barely notice you’re wearing.

In that regard, the crux of the Premio Black’s design is a less is more approach: fewer panels – three instead of the traditional 10, fewer seams, less bulk to the fabric and padded insert, which altogether means less overall weight too, although Castelli says the low weight is really just a bonus and was never a specific target.

 

The first thing you notice about the fabric is that it feels really thin, almost like tissue paper. That’s because it’s a woven fabric, where most cycling shorts are knitted fabrics which are by definition, thicker and bulkier.

Castelli also says it’s an ‘engineered fabric’. What is that? Well, it essentially means Castelli has worked with its fabric supplier to create a specific structure for each part of the short.

A good example of this is the way Castelli has technically woven rubberised fibres directly into the fabric inside the lower part of the legs to prevent the shorts from riding up. A much more savvy solution than the old style silicone grippers, that means the raw cut legs can lay completely flat against the skin for comfort and also aero benefits.

 

Features like this and the ‘body mapped’ compressive nature of the woven fabric too, help give the shorts a second skin feel. The hand of the fabric is also extremely smooth, providing a very luxurious and premium look and feel.

Castelli says the benefits of the compression are twofold: firstly for optimal muscular support, but secondly to ensure the seat pad remains in place and precisely positioned.

 

Like the rest of the short, the bibstraps also have a very minimalist construction, but a useful touch are two small tabs, to the front, which might at first appear decorative but do in fact prevent the straps from bunching, keeping them lying completely flat under a jersey.

A perforated back panel reduces weight while increasing breathability.

Fabric tech

Another advantage of woven fabric, Castelli says, is its performance across varying climatic conditions.

The denser weave of the fabric means in cool conditions less wind comes through, while on the flipside, the fact it’s so thin means in hot weather moisture is evaporated closer to the skin for improved cooling too and dries incredibly fast.

Other claimed advantages are that it offers high durability and abrasion resistance as well as being less see-through when stretched. This is particularly important in the rear (posterior) panel – for which Castelli has additionally lined the fabric to make sure there are no unsightly surprises for anyone following you closely.

 

Seat pad

The seat pad in the Premio Black is Castelli's latest Progetto X2 Air Seamless, developed through more than 12 years of seat pad evolution.

It is created as two separate components, each performing a different role. The so-called ‘skin care’ layer – next to skin – Castelli says is the softest it has ever created for improved comfort and less abrasion, and looks after moisture management.

 

Beneath is the ‘cushioning layer’ – shaped like a saddle – and provides progressive cushioning through a mix of soft and medium density foams with additional 3mm gel inserts under high pressure points like the sit bones and perineum.

Details, details

They say the devil is in the details, and in this case the Scorpion is in the details, as the Castelli logos are laser etched into the fabric itself, for durability, to maintain the look of the short for its lifetime, with no chance of peeling or cracking.

Now for the burning question….what do they cost?

All this technology, Castelli says, doesn't come cheap. The woven fabric reportedly costs three to five times the price to make.

As such the Premio Black bibshort will set you back £220 for the men's and £200 for the women's.

Price: 
£220 men's; £200 women's

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