At Eurobike 2016, Castelli announced two of its innovations for 2017 – the ultralight, weatherproof Vela Vest and the incredibly comfortable Premio Bibshort.
An ultralight, weatherproof, packable gilet is one of the most useful arrows in a cyclist's quiver when the temperature begins to drop.
Forever looking for the newest, most innovative materials to use, Castelli has turned to sailing and the Dyneema fabric, when designing the Vela Vest.
Used to make sails, climbing ropes and even bulletproof vests, not only is Dyneema completely wind and waterproof, it is 30% lighter than nylon and polyester, and 15 times stronger than steel. This makes it an excellent choice for a gilet which will be packed in and out of a jersey pocket, ride after ride.
With the fully waterproof and windproof Dyneema on the front, all ventilation is provided from the water-repellent and highly breathable DWR-finished stretch woven side panels for when you need to cool off after those big efforts. Not only is the fabric choice great for protection and breathability, it also allows the Vela Vest to be incredibly lightweight with the large weighing in at only 59g – so light you might as well take it on every ride!
Whilst the Vela is designed to fit best whilst in the riding position and has an overall tighter race fit, Castelli have included reflective detailing on the elastic arm and waist hems to ensure you remain visible no matter what time of day you are riding.
The easy open-and-close YKK Vislon zip means it's incredibly easy to get on and off from the saddle, and for a vest packed with so many features, it's hard to believe how small it packs down for when you want to chuck it into your pocket.
If you are heading out on that epic ride where you want total comfort, mile after mile, the Premio Bibshort is the short for you.
Instead of the usual Castelli race-specific, minimalist product, the Premio is designed to offer that little something extra you need to ensure you are completely comfortable for the entirety of your longest rides.
Whilst there are nods towards minimalism with the elastic-free, raw-edge leg endings and the completely seamless bib straps, the Premio offers a little extra support needed when you're pushing your body. This support comes in the form of just the right amount of compression in the legs, as well as a compression band across the lower back.
Designed to feel like they are a part of you, the Premio Bibshorts fit snugly thanks to the compression and contain only two seams which are carefully placed to avoid chafing. When you are demanding that little bit extra from your legs, you won't be held back by these bibs at all.
"A major theme when constructing the Premio Bibshort was to create shorts that wearers would be able to forget they had on for logging long hours on the road free of clothing-related distractions," said Steve Smith, Castelli brand manager.
The flat bonded seamless bib straps certainly allow the shorts to disappear when you're in the saddle and the combination of Forza fabric and 3D mesh fabric make the Premio an extremely quick wicking short so you can focus on racking up the miles with no distractions.
The Premio is finished off with the pro level Progetto X2 Air seat pad - designed to be supportive in all the right places, but well ventilated and so soft you hardly notice it's there.
This combination of ultimate comfort, and compression in all the right places means you can keep your mind on the miles, rather than your clothing.
Both the Vela Vest and the Premio Bibshort will be available to buy Summer 2017, and are two products we are very excited to test out!