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Castelli Potenza jersey review

30 Nov 2016
Verdict:

Castelli’s versatile Potenza jersey occupies a happy middle ground

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£175
For 
Incredibly versatile, useful weatherproofing, clever CrossWrap cuffs
Against 
Expensive if seen just as a jersey

The kind of prolonged mild weather we had going into winter this year presents cyclists with quite the clothing dilemma. Do you dress light and risk uncontrollable shivering for the first 10km, or go warm and end up sweating until you dehydrate?

Castelli attempts to solve this issue in the Potenza jersey, and does a very good job of it.

Castelli employs Polatec’s Power Stretch fabric for the majority of the jersey, which is a lofty fleece bonded to a tightly-knitted, but flexible face fabric.

More than a jersey

The result is a garment that is a bit more than a jersey, but slightly less than a jacket - it is nicely insulative but thin enough to breathe properly, coming close to merino wool in its ability to keep you warm when it matters but shed heat when you need it to.

Castelli has added some more versatility to an already proficient fabric by including a DWR coating, making the jersey hydrophobic.

In practise this doesn’t stand up to heavy rainfall but I found the protection it does offer was enough to dissuade me from taking out waterproof shell when the weather forecast was showery.

The jersey consistently repaid my faith - it shed enough of the rain to prevent it becoming saturated, which meant it was quick to dry out as the weather cleared up and I was left comfortable while other riders were faced with a boil-in-the-bag scenario.

Figure-hugging

The cut is typically racy, so consider sizing up from your usual, but the figure-hugging shape facilitates Polartec’s ‘4-way stretch’ technology to fit really evenly when I was riding - it is nice to find a jersey with this level of protection that cuts such a svelte profile.

A final point worthy of mention are the Potenza’s cuffs - they are a new design called CrossWrap which Castelli has rolled out across its winter range this year. They are a thin, raw edge ployamide/elastane fabric that wraps and overlaps like a rose petal.

They sat neatly and comfortably over the backs of my hands and under gloves and topped off an accomplished product from the Italian brand.

Verdict: Castelli has hit a happy middle ground with the Potenza, giving you the cut and fit of a jersey with the winter-proofing qualities of a jacket. 5/5

£175, saddleback.co.uk

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