Bibs are quite a critical part of cycling attire. Think about it – this layer of lycra and chamois connects your body to the bike – so it best be bloody comfortable. Let’s be frank; the right ones will have you riding for days, the wrong ones will have you throwin’ in the towel. Castelli, whom don’t need much of an intro, have been in the cycling game since 1876. They’ve been developing their products with pro riders who spend countless hours in the saddle for decades. The latest iteration of their continued pursuit of bib comfort is the Castelli Premio 2 Bibshort.
Firstly, these bibs aren’t for racing, they’re for the many hours training. They super sleek, have a real minimal feeling and are quite understated. I like the low-key approach of the branding, there’s only two Castelli logos on the back of each leg, the clean look is enhanced as there’s no bottom hem. In fitting with the sleek style, there’s a lack of seams, which actually means they’re pretty damn comfortable, especially on the longer days in the saddle. To add to the comfort compression material used not only on the leg but also to give lower back support, and also the Progetto X2 seat pad, a well-tested pad used in many Castelli shorts.
I’ve had these shorts since last June, when I visited Castelli’s HQ in Italy. The first few rides were done in the Cols in and around Nice, it was hot and I was spending three-five hours riding. These shorts kept me cool and comfortable, the chamois worked really well. It even helped with a saddle I wasn’t used to as I had a loan bike. I’ve ridden in them countless times since then, and have always found them remarkably comfortable. I really like the elongated anti-slip area towards the knee, which is longer than typical – this means you don't have a small part of your skin taking all the pressure. The slight compression and material used is tight enough to hold but doesn’t restrict you, which offers a good range of movement. For me, this welcomed, no one likes to be in a confined space – right?! The ultra-reliable Progetto X2 chamois, preforms incredibly well, and just does what it’s supposed to do. They give comfort to areas around your perineum and sit bones that need the most protection, have been given a substantial 15mm of padding while the pad is also breathable and comes with an anti-bacterial upper, cause, err you don’t want to mess with hygiene?! These bib shorts also have a ‘dual-layer lumbar support band’, which helps to hold the shorts and specifically the seat pad in position around the back of the rider above the pelvis.
These are quite hard to fault, I continue to use them as my go-to for long rides. Castelli don’t do things by half’s, have and anxious eye for nailing every detail, and have packed in a ton of tech into these bibs. Perhaps, the fault is their price, but the Premio 2 Bibshort
are part of the Rosso Corsa range, which is the top-line for Castelli, and if you break down the cost to how many rides you’ll have in them, then it’s well worth the coin.
Distributed by PRV | RRP: $400
Reviewed by Liam Friary