Caratti Sport is returning to the UK market with a range of off-season clothing at prices that look very reasonable.
If you’re a cyclist of a certain age, Caratti almost certainly means something to you and perhaps makes you go all misty eyed. Caratti were the first UK importers of well-respected Italian brands like Sidi, De Marchi, Colnago and Castelli, but they were probably best known for their own range of clothing, originally made in Italy.
Caratti sponsored and provided clothing for many UK pro teams, and if you were riding bikes in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s, chances are that you wore something from Castelli at some point, most likely a pair of six or eight-panel shorts. If you’ve been cycling long enough to have worn crochet-backed gloves before they were retro, you might well have had a pair of those from Caratti too.
Caratti disappeared in the late 1990s but the brand is back with a new range that appears to offer impressive value for money. We’ve just taken a delivery of clothing that we’ll review on road.cc over the coming weeks.
Looking at the clothing we have, Caratti aren’t trying to be a fashion-led brand, they’re aiming to produce good quality products at decent prices. No-nonsense stuff, essentially.
There are three levels of gloves: Mid-Season Gloves at £25 – mid-season meaning autumn and spring conditions – Deep Winter Gloves at £30 and Dual Control Lobster Gloves also at £30.
The Lobster Gloves are windproof and water resistant, with a long wrist and a fleecy inside. They’re designed for rides when the temperature is down into single digits.
Caratti are also offering water resistant Thermal Arm Warmers at £20, Thermal Knee Warmers at the same price, and a short sleeve base layer with a long, seamless body for £20.
The range contains Toe Warmers (£10), Mid-Season Neoprene Overshoes (£25) and Deep Winter Waterproof Overshoes at £35.
As mentioned, Caratti shorts were incredibly popular first time around and they reckon they sold about half a million pairs over the years. Shorts are a central part of the new range too, with three different levels starting at £40 for the Sport Bib Shorts with a basic pad and going right up to the Treviso Bib Shorts at £120.
These top-level shorts are made in Italy from Power Lycra and use an Elastic Interface Comp HP pad that’s positioned forwards for racers who will spend a lot of time on the drops rather than further back for those who are going to sit more upright.
Head over to www.caratti.cc to see the entire range as it currently stands – the idea is that the range will develop as time goes on – and to order direct from Caratti, and keep your eyes on road.cc over the coming weeks for our reviews.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.