Castelli has launched its new Premio Black bib short.
Premio Black has been created with the goal to be the “most comfortable performance short for your longest rides”.
Castelli has reduced the number of panels, seams and inserts to a minimum by incorporating these components into a single engineered fabric that “supports the body like a second skin”. The three panels that make up the short replace up to ten components in traditional shorts, said the brand.
The engineered stretch-woven fabric is smooth for aerodynamics and body-mapped to the needs of each part of the body. The lower leg has a raw-cut leg ending and rubberised yarns for a flat grip to keep the leg in place. In the thighs, the fabric is lighter for breathability yet compressive for “just the right amount of muscle support”, and in the hips, the compression and support increase.
The bib straps are a study in minimalist comfort while achieving the sole goal of keeping your shorts in place. The elastic straps cover as little of the torso as possible to keep you cool, said Castelli. There is a tab over the strap at the front of the shoulder to prevent the strap from bunching and the soft perforated back panel provides even support to the back of the short.
The short ‘wouldn’t be possible’ without the state-of-the-art engineered-weave fabric created exclusively for Castelli, said the brand: “When we say “engineered” we mean that we can change the structure of the fabric according to the specific needs of each area of the short.”
The bottom of the leg includes 7cm (men’s) or 6cm (women’s) of grip to prevent the leg from riding up. The grip is not coming from any sort of silicone applied to the surface but rather a specific weave that brings the Lycra fibre to the inner surface. Further up the leg, in the thigh, Castelli lightens up the fabric to keep riders cool while providing “just the right amount” of compression. In the hips, it makes the fabric thicker for more compression and to keep the seat pad in place.
The fabric feels “papery” due to it being constructed as a woven fabric like denim, poplin or taffeta. The woven process gives Castelli a thinner, denser, and more durable fabric that’s extremely abrasion-resistant, it said. It added 35% Lycra to give the stretch, since normally woven fabrics aren’t elastic.
The Progetto X² Air Seamless pad is made for “maximum comfort”. It’s a proprietary design with more than a decade of evolution and improvements, said Castelli. The key aspect of the X² is that it’s two separate components, each designed for a completely separate function.
The Skin Care Layer is the “softest and stretchiest layer we’ve ever made”, said the brand, to move with your skin and avoid abrasions. Beneath that layer is a completely separate component called the Cushioning Layer. There’s a soft foam for immediate comfort, with a medium-density foam for support and 3mm gel pads under the sit bones and perineum. Made with a 3D forming process, the pad features variable thickness.
This pad has seen more than 12 years of continuous evolution, originally debuting with the Cervélo TestTeam in 2009. Since then, it has seen more than 40 adjustments to every material, shape, position, and manufacturing process, with each modification intended to make it more comfortable. This iterative process of continuous improvement means that not a single material used today is the same as it was in 2009.
Read the May issue of BikeBiz below: