Castelli's Velocissimo Sanremo Speedsuit is the less expensive successor to the Sanremo Speedsuit. Originally developed as an aerodynamic combo of shorts and jersey the Sanremo turned out to be superbly comfortable, and the Velocissimo follows suit.
When Castelli's Sanremo speedsuit was released a couple of years ago it was the perfect response to the use of time trial skinsuits in road races. With bike weights sitting comfortably at the UCI minimum limit all focus has been switched to aerodynamics. There are large margins to be gained, many more from rider than machine.
The Velocissimo Sanremo Speedsuit is a new entry level version, if you like, consisting of Velocissimo shorts and a Volata jersey. If you were to buy those items separately they would cost you around £190, so with the Speedsuit at £160 it's a bargain, well, relatively speaking.
So, how does it work and why bother? Well I've mentioned the aerodynamics so we'll start there. Just like top end skinsuits designed for time trialling the cut of the Sanremo is designed for when you are on the bike with the material fitting snugly, especially around the shoulders and chest with no creases or spare material to catch the wind. The same goes for the waist as the jersey and shorts are stitched together to create a smooth transition. Admittedly there is a small compromise in having jersey pockets that could catch the wind, but these are also cut tight so the tops sit smoothly against the jersey.
The front of the jersey is free from the shorts for the section between your hips which makes it easy to get on. Once zipped up it pulls much tighter so once again there is no loose material at the chest or stomach to bunch.
The other, much bigger benefit is comfort. By using the jersey to keep the shorts up as opposed to a pair of bib straps any, however minimal, pressure points are removed and it feels just so much nicer against the skin. Cooler too as you are pretty much disposing of a layer.
The Velocity Dry material used for the jersey section is breathable even when you're pushing the effort and in an outfit designed for speed that's what you're going to be doing most of the time. The underarm and upper back mesh sections also help deal with overheating and as a last resort you can undo the full zip.
The shorts are a great fit, with a closely tailored cut that's enabled by the large number of fabric panels in their construction. The standalone Velocissimo bibs use ten panels as opposed to the more usual eight or even six on more budget offerings.
You get Castelli's entry level Kiss3 pad which has variable thicknesses and density to reduce numbness and chafing. It's not quite as comfy as the pads in their more expensive shorts but the difference is negligible. I've got two pairs of Velocissimo shorts in my wardrobe one of which is three years old and both the pad and material are still as good as new after thousands of miles.
Both the shorts and jersey sections are finished off with Castelli's Giro3 grippers which keep the legs and sleeves in place. The leg grips are a good two inches deep so spread the pressure over a larger area which is much more comfortable over longer rides.
The Velocissimo Sanremo Speedsuit is pretty much the favourite bit of kit in my wardrobe at the moment and I wear it as much as I can. Also having Castelli's latest Bodypaint Speedsuit at my disposal means I can verify the aero gains of the Velocissimo. Obviously its nowhere near as extreme (the Bodypaint takes about 10 minutes to get into) but you can feel the cut of the fabric and fit shares the same DNA, add to that the practicality of pockets and the more relaxed fabric that allows you to actually move around when you're off the bike and its an all-round winner.
For me though it's the comfort that shines through, its so much nicer to wear than a bib/jersey set and at least your kit will always match.
If you are unlucky enough to require different sizes top and bottom this could be an issue but if this is the case go for the size that you normally wear in Castelli's shorts as the jersey has much more stretchy fabric that'll adapt better.
For those of you that find the fluoro yellow/black combo a little on the bold side there is also a white/blue/black option. Personally I'm loving the whole neon comeback; high-vis has never been so cool.
Wrapping it all up then I think the whole idea of a cycling onesie is great, with hardy any drawbacks. Aero, comfortable and practical aren't normally used to describe the same piece of cycling kit but they all fit here. The quality is certainly good so the Velocissimo Speedsuit should prove to be plenty durable especially judging by the other bits of Castelli I've acquired over the years.
Castelli's stuff is never what you'd call cheap but I do rate it as far value for money goes; you'll get plenty of miles out of the Sanremo Velocissimo.
Super aero, great looking race kit which just happens to be the most comfortable cycling kit I've worn
road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Velocissimo Sanremo speedsuit
Size tested: S, M, L
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Castelli say "When we developed the Sanremo Speedsuit we did it with a singular focus on improving aerodynamics for ProTour-level racing. We achieved that goal, but in the process we made one of the most comfortable pieces for cycling by eliminating the bib straps and letting the jersey do the work of holding up the shorts."
I can't find a whole lot to argue with there.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
*Sanremo construction with a Velocissimo short for unparalleled comfort
*Short portion is Velocissimo with Affinity Lycra® and Kiss3 seat pad
*Velocity Dry fabric for incredibly soft fit and excellent wicking
*YKK® Vislon full-length zipper with overlapping front opening
*Giro3 leg grippers and arm bands
*Rear reflective tabs
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Brilliant, its fast and so, so comfy
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit and I'm loving the flouro yellow scheme at the moment
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
nothing really stands out but sizing could be an issue if you require differnt sizes for lower and upper body
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Whatever needs testing or Genesis Flyer, fixed of course! My best bike is: Kinesis T2 with full Centaur Red
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.