“A good quality kit is hard to beat.” We said that back in April when we first heard about Castelli’s newly release Aero Race 4 Bibshorts and we still feel that way now. But the question we had then was whether these new shorts would make the cut, or would they be all talk and no comfort? Well after 5 months of steady use we are ready to make our verdict. But first lets jump into what Castelli built with the Aero Race 4.
The Castelli Aero Race 4 Bibshorts
The Free Aero Race 4 Bibshorts latest update of Castelli’s best-selling short of all time. The updated Progetto X2 Air seat pad is softer, stretchier and seamless for supreme comfort.
All the fabrics have been improved for greater comfort, better fit and enhanced aerodynamics. The stripe mesh used is super-thin and featherweight to aid breathability. The top layer is a seamless, anti-bacterial fabric that isn’t attached to the cushion layer below, which is thicker where you need it under the sit bones. This means that the pad rather than your skin can move around, reducing friction on delicate areas. The perforation enhances breathability, moisture management and add support for the rider.
The bibs and grippers are engineered for better hold without being restrictive. New lower leg grippers feature vertically running silicone to maintain grip but allow stretch through different phases of the pedal stroke. These also feature laser cut raw edges, added to improve comfort.
Aerodynamics are achieved via Castellis’ vortex-dimpled fabric on the legs. Castelli’s suggested price is $199.99.
We’ve always found that a great pair of bibshorts is as comfortable on the trainer as they are out on the road. In fact, we would argue that trainer rides are almost harder on a pair of shorts due to the lack of air flow, increased perspiration, and the differences in how the bike sits stationary versus moving with you. So, when we test a pair of bib shorts we make sure to spend some time on the roads of south Florida and sometimes in our pain cave… and the Free Aero Race 4 had absolutely no challenge in either case – these shorts walked the walk.
Castelli told us that the bibs and grippers are engineered for better hold without being restrictive and we definitely found that not just to be marketing speak. We couldn’t remember a single ride where we had to readjust the kit or pull it back down. Even after repeated washings and riding, the leg grippers held strong.
Likewise, the chamois remained comfortable after multiple hours in both the pain cave and out on the road. With temperatures hitting triple digits (F) out on the road and 80+ in the pain cave the chamois never faltered on us. We said in our first look “if it’s good enough for Froome it’s worth checking out”. And after the miles we put on the Free Aero Race 4 we can see why Chris and company never had concerns about putting grand tours on their set.
Our only real gripe with the Free Aero Race 4 is the price. At $199 these are far from the cheapest option, but well in line with the other top end bibshort prices out there. And as we said at the top – a good quality bib short is hard to beat.
For those looking for a kit that can handle not just the distance from T1 to T2, but also the training miles you built up to get there, the Free Aero Race 4 definitely hits the mark. Add in the fact that these shorts were built with aero in mind and you have a kit that definitely will find it’s ways on to the AG training rides for many miles to come.