With the Endurance X2 bib shorts, Castelli set out to produce shorts for long distance riding. They have done exactly that; the quality and comfort of these shorts really shines through on those long summer rides.
They say the whole design process revolved around comfort, from a new bib strap configuration to the use of their tried and tested Progetto X2 air chamois.
The shorts are made from Endurance Evolution fabric designed for better 'muscle support', whatever that means, and as always fast wick to make you feel dryer on those hot sweaty rides. Although intended for dry riding, the material stayed comfortable on the odd ride when I was caught out. Naturally, being in shorts in sporadic spring showers is never ideal, but the pair were definitely no colder on the skin than any other wet bibs.
Quick to dry, the shorts are as comfortable as you could hope when the wet had evaporated. The Progetto X2 chamois is the same trusty seat pad used in Castelli's top of the range bib shorts. The three-layered pad has seen endless testing by pros over the years and has now been perfected with remarkable performance. The seamless top layer of bacteriostatic fabric wicks moisture away impressively quickly and adapts to the shape of your body without any folds. The lack of seams or folds is certainly noticeable during a long ride where even the slightest blemish would cause irritation.
A viscous comfort pad underneath has been perforated for greater breathability and helps to keep the pad cooler and dryer. The base has variable thicknesses, being thin around the edges and thicker where you need it most under the sit bones and high-pressure areas. Having ridden the shorts for nearly a month, I can't say I've had a single thing to complain about when it comes to the padding - they must be doing something right.
Sizing is the only major fault I can bring up. As with a lot of Italian kit, these shorts come out on the small side. Considering I was testing mediums and I'm a skinny little climber, the bib straps were still pretty tight. The straps are newly engineered and supposedly designed for a wide range of body shapes. This is apparently to incorporate cyclists who are looking to use the long riders primarily to burn calories. Even so, they seemed smaller than you would expect and is definitely worth keeping in mind when buying a pair. Maybe go a size up to normal.
Despite the small size, there was no sign of over tightness around the legs. The Giro3 grippers held firm and felt well fitted without any discomfort. The soft and rubbery material stretches well and the lack of seams means no irritation.
With high quality materials, the only cheap looking part is the heat-transferred logos. Even after just a couple of weeks of use and washing, they have already started to crack and peel away. It's not a major problem, but it doesn't exactly shout the high quality that we have come to expect from Castelli.
All in all, the Endurance X2 bibshorts are extremely comfortable and, if sized correctly, you will be struggling to find anything wrong with them. If you are planning to get some long rides in this summer, there won't be a better pair out there in their price range.
Exceptionally comfortable and quick wicking bibs, if a little smaller than expected
road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Endurance X2 bib short
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?
Designed from start to finish for making longer rides more comfortable in dry weather. Castelli have certainly succeeded in that. The chamois is designed to mould to your body shape without folding meaning no sore spots. The new bib straps are configured to accommodate a wide range of body types and aimed primarily at those who are looking to burn calories on long rides. I can't say I was looking to burn calories, but even so they were the most comfortable bibs I've used.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Castelli's Endurance Evolution fabric for optimum muscle support and feels dryer in nearly all conditions
- Newly engineered bib strap construction is comfortable on a wide range of body shapes
- Progetto X2 Air seat pad for famous X2 comfort and improved airflow
- Giro3 leg grippers lie flat
- Rear reflective tabs
- Heat transfer logos
Couldn't fault the fabric construction and seems. Only let down by the heat transfer logos which were fine to start with, but after a few weeks have started to crack and peel away.
Excellent comfort on long rides and can only say the bib straps were a little tight even in a medium. Other than that the shorts were pretty much perfect!
Having tested the pair for a month, they are still in great condition and had no issues with the material. Again only the heat transfer logos letting it down.
I couldn't rate this more highly for comfort as long as you get the sizing right.
I think you would be struggling to find a better pair of bibs designed for its purpose at this price range. I certainly haven't.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
- Extremely comfortable
- Stayed dry even on long hot rides
- The leg grippers were never constricting but never moved.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Sizing seemed slightly small on the bib straps.
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
I usually ride: Cannondale Cadx My best bike is: Scott CR1 Pro
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,