Castelli LW Bibtight Review: Great For Shoulder Season Riding
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Let’s take a look at the Castelli LW Bibtight
The Castelli LW Bibtight has a very clean design, it’s lightweight, and is jam packed full of features. Being that it is designed and intended for lighter winter riding, I am super stoked to add this to the mix. The climate in Colorado (especially along the Front Range) pretty much allows for year round riding. The false perception is that we are always socked in with snow here in Denver. The mountains get all that powdery goodness, but at 5280′ of elevation, it is considered the high dessert. Hence, I ride my bike a lot, all year round. That’s a very nice thing!
Mostly, I battle the morning ritual of trying to figure out my gear for temperatures that hover around the freezing mark. All the while taking into consideration the wind and the effort level I’ll be exposed to by a very fit and race-minded peleton. These Castelli LW Bibtight are a nice fit to my cycling pursuits.
The Technical Specifications And Features of The Castelli LW Bibtight
- NANO FLEX is a Castelli exclusive, and is prevalent on the lower panel. They take the thermal Fleecy Stretch Thermoplex and coat it with millions of tiny nano filaments. This creates for a fantastic water-repellent fabric finish. Drops of water stay as spherical balls on top of the fabric or bounce off without leaving a trace.
- The Seat pad or Chamois, the PROGETTO X2, provides maximum technology for supreme comfort where it counts. It’s constructed in two components that together create a very comfortable seat pad.
- Skin Care LayerSeamless is a bacteriostatic layer made to adapt to the shape of your body and saddle without any folds in the fabric.
- Cushioning LayerSeamless Integrated Technolodgy (S.I.T.)
- Perforated Viscous Comfort Zone
- Thermoflex fabric for exceptional warmth, stretch and breathability
- Mesh bib straps so that you can regulate insulation with your base layers, not the bib
The Fit Of The Castelli LW BibTight
I peak out at just over 6′ tall and about 162-172 pounds depending on the season. I wear a size Medium for most of my gear except for my cycling pants. That’s where I tend to go for the Large. My legs are a bit larger in proportion to my upper body (a by-product of biking and running). Plus, I am a little taller, so the large fits great. If you are a little larger, I still think this is a good size for you as there is lots of stretch for a good fit.
Please, do keep in mind that Castelli fits quite snug for the racer out there. This is good for the fit cyclist, but may create some comfort issues if you are more on the average build side of things. I would recommend sizing up from most other cycling apparel brands. The only thing they could have done in my opinion is make the mesh bib straps a little longer or with more stretch.
Putting These Bad Boys To The Test
Seeing that this is considered a lightweight bibtight, I am impressed at the relative warmth when wearing them in the 40 degree temperature range. The Castelli LW Bibtight are not insulated, but any early chill from cold or wind quickly dissipates as I warm up. Maybe the compression elements are at work to provide some positive benefits?
I have about a dozen rides in them thus far. Enough saddle time to know that my seating area is comfortable enough for rides lasting 2-3 hours. The Chamois is a one piece pad with seamless stitching to provide a clean fit. There are various pockets with a “Viscous Comfort Zone” with various thicknesses throughout. Saddle time in general is very important, so please bear that in mind. Putting on any brand or type of short will still require a breaking in period, and how the particular chamois works for you! I try to make a point to get out of the saddle at least once every 10-15 minutes to stretch the legs, and provide some relief. With all that said, I have not experienced any bunching, and have remained relatively bum sore free.
I can’t speak to the longevity of the Castelli LW Bibtight quite yet as they’ve seen about 7-8 weeks of use, but I hope to get at least a couple of good seasons out of them. As the temperatures warm up, I’ll be going to shorts, but my twice per week early morning rides will certainly require some added leg warmth for several more months to come.
Final Aerodynamic Thoughts On The Castelli LW Bibtight
I say aerodynamic because I feel very smooth and fast wearing these. I know that means diddly squat, but when you feel good about your stuff, it generally makes you stronger, faster, and happier. Hence, I’ll take that tiny mental advantage on my group rides to put my best foot forth. These Castelli LW Bibtight are quite comfortable, provide adequate protection from the elements, and look great. That is definitely a trifecta in my book.
I honestly, can’t say enough about these tights, so do yourself a favor and pick up a pair. And in this case, I actually think for the price, they are a good deal. These pants straddle a lot of different riding conditions. If you are going for a longer ride, it will take care of the morning chill, and allow you to still function fine as the weather warms. Couple that with the Nano-flex rain protection, and you can keep riding with some inclement weather in the forecast. Sizing up is my rule of thumb with Castelli if you are on the fence or straddle a size range. For more information on these and other Castelli products, visit jensonusa.com/castelli.