The Castelli Fedele is unusual in that it's thicker and warmer than most short-sleeve jerseys which makes it a useful option for spring, autumn and cool summer morning/evening rides.
The Fedele is made from Castelli's Thermoflex Lite fabric which is a brush-backed polyester. It's a mid-weight fabric, not far off the kind of thickness that you sometimes find on long-sleeve winter jerseys. It's in no way windproof – it's not that dense – but it's thick enough to provide considerably more insulation than a standard summer jersey.
Castelli designed the Fedele for use with their Feroce long-sleeve base layer that we reviewed last year, but there's no reason why you can't use it with a short sleeved/sleeveless base and arm warmers.
What's the advantage to a combo like this over just wearing a long-sleeve jersey? Versatility. You get a decent amount of upper body warmth here while arm warmers or a stretchy base layer like the Feroce allow you to uncover your arms to cool down if the sun comes out.
In that way, wearing the Fedele is a little like wearing a thinner summer jersey with a gilet over the top. The advantage, though, is that the Fedele is super-stretchy so you get a close, comfy fit, and it's very breathable.
The front zip is full-length option from YKK so you can easily let loads of air in if you start overheating. It locks in place, doesn't creep open and comes with a large puller that you can't miss even with gloved fingers. A broad, elasticated gripper around the back and silicone inside the hem stop the back from shimmying up as you ride.
As well as the usual three pockets in the lower back, there's an extra zipped pocket back there for safely storing your keys, phone or whatever. As is often the case with very stretchy jerseys, the pockets can drift south if you carry tons in them, but you really do have to go a bit over the top for that to happen here; they'll handle normal ride essentials – a pump, spare tube, multi-tool and waterproof – just fine.
Castelli give this jersey a temperature range of 14-22°C. I'd say both ends of the scale should be a little lower than that, and I'm someone who feels the cold (don't get me started; I'm a martyr to it. I very rarely moan, though). I'd say I've been using the Fedele in temperatures of 11-19°C is or something like that. Those Italians don't realise that 22°C is high summer over here.
If you think the white option is hopelessly optimistic for UK conditions, you're probably right. The Fedele is available in black too.
Super-comfy mid-weight jersey that provides a little more warmth than normal in spring/autumn conditions
road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Fedele Jersey
Size tested: Large, white
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, "One of the coolest new products in this collection, the Fedele jersey was created to use over our new Feroce long-sleeve base layer. It uses our new mid-weight Thermoflex Lite fabric for perfect between-season riding, and with the Feroce base layer you get two layers of protection over your torso with the addition of seamless long sleeves. The Fedele works equally well with a pair of Nano Flex arm warmers."
In short, it's a mid-weight jersey in standard short-sleeve jersey cut.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Thermoflex Lite fabric is 100% polyester with a brushed inner face.
Neatly done. It's a standard short-sleeve jersey formula but it's done well with very good materials.
The build quality is good.
The fabric is super-stretchy and very soft.
Short-sleeve jerseys start at about £20 and go up to about £200 for some Assos models. The Fedele is a mid-weight fabric with a few neat features and that goes a long way to explaining the price tag.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does it's job very well. You could say that a lighter weight jersey with a gilet over the top would do a pretty similar job, but the Fedele certainly does what it's supposed to.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The slim cut, the stretchiness and the extra warmth.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The pockets can be a bit stretchy if you sling loads in there.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.