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Castelli's Sanremo 3.0 Speedsuit is an excellent one-piece aero option that offers a ton of comfort.
Our man Dave reviewed the previous model, the Sanremo 2.0, last year and loved it while Stu heaped a lot of praise on the cheaper (£160) Velocissimo version a few weeks ago. Castelli really have hit upon a winning formula here.
Essentially, the Sanremo 3.0 combines Castelli's new Aero Race 5.0 jersey with their Body Paint shorts. The uppers and lowers are stitched together around the back and the sides, but they're kept separate at the front so you get an overlapping opening. This is excellent if you want to open the top up for loads of ventilation on the climbs, and for making things easy when nature calls.
So, what has changed from last year's 2.0? Castelli have updated the Aero Race jersey (£100) and carried the changes over to the Sanremo.
As we reported earlier in the year, Castelli say, 'In terms of aerodynamics, version 5.0 of our Aero Race Jersey showed wind tunnel results a full 12 watts faster than the 2013 industry-leading model.'
How come? According to Castelli, the section at the top of the back, behind your neck, is a key area. Any folds that form there are bad news in terms of airflow, so they have produced a close-fitting collar that's very stretchy so that it sits flat around the back.
All of the Aero Race jersey's other panels and seams are similarly intended to improve airflow. It is cut slim so it doesn't flap and a compression band around the waist is designed to keep the pockets in place.
These features make it over to the Sanremo 3.0, the most noticeable difference from before being the neck, which sits lower than previously and right against your skin. When you're not wearing the Speedsuit, you can see that the neck is positioned towards the front of the jersey section rather than centrally, which helps keep it smooth when you're in an aggressive riding position. Being so low slung, it initially feels odd for a cycling garment, but you get used to that in no time.
The Sanremo 3.0 is made from a whole bunch of different fabrics – five, if we're counting. The front of the upper is made from a lightweight, stretchy polyester while the back is almost a mesh. It's certainly very textured and it doesn't tend to stick to your skin when you sweat.
The black band around the middle – the bottom of the torso and the three pockets – is a very stretchy nylon/Lycra fabric. The idea is that it holds the jersey against your body even if you have a lot of stuff in the pockets, and it does this very successfully. An elasticated band at the top of the pockets stops them from gaping open and catching air.
The lowers feature Castelli's Progetto X2 Air seatpad which we're always praising to the skies. It's up to 12mm thick with a top layer that can move independently of the main cushioning. It works incredibly well whatever the length of your ride, and perforations add to the breathability.
There's only one seam in the lowers so it's virtually impossible for you to get any chafing as you pedal, and the wide leg grippers are super-comfortable. I'm not convinced the 'aero dimples' on the legs add to the performance, but they look pretty good.
In terms of sizing, I'm usually a large but the XL fitted me better here. Check out Castelli's sizing guide to get it right. Even then, I found the shoulders quite tight (they're supposed to sit close, of course) and I'm not the chunkiest cyclist ever. Try before you buy if at all possible.
At £230, the Sanremo 3.0 is the same price as last year's 2.0. When you consider that the Aero Race 5.0 jersey costs £100 and the Body Paint shorts are £175, that seems reasonable, though nobody is going to claim the Speedsuit is cheap.
Castelli's speedsuit concept – an all-in-one upper and lower that's separate at the front – is excellent and I'm surprised more manufacturers haven't jumped on the idea. Okay, it might not be an option if you take a different sized jersey to your shorts, and it would be a pain if the lowers wore out before the upper (or vice versa) but there really is no flapping fabric here and the comfort is second to none. Get on board with the speed onesie and you won't regret it.
Excellent one-piece aero option that's very comfortable
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Make and model: Castelli Sanremo 3.0 speedsuit
Size tested: XL
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, "A year ago the Sanremo Speedsuit was the fastest option out there for road racing. But then we developed a faster back/shoulder construction technique with the Aero Race 5.0 jersey and have updated the Sanremo as well. Still the fastest thing for road racing... now even faster."
They list these features/attributes:
* The most aero option for road racing
* Body Paint lower portion combined with new Aero Race 5.0 upper portion
* Full zip with overlapping front opening
* 3 rear pockets with limited-stretch back keeps pockets in place
* PROGETTO X2 AIR seat pad for famous X2 comfort and improved airflow
* Possibly the fastest bit of kit ever invented for road racing...now even faster
They say it is suitable for temperatures from 17-35°C. That's about right – summer conditions, essentially.
It's a really clever design that's well made. The zip is good quality.
The Sanremo 3.0 is as durable as separates.
It's very comfortable indeed thanks to an excellent seatpad. Plus, there are no shoulder straps to dig in or shift out of place – the whole of the upper acts as support for the lower. The cuffs and leg grippers are both very comfy too.
It's not cheap but you're effectively getting a top-end jersey and shorts here.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
We can't tell you how the Sanremo 3.0 performs aerodynamically, but there's no flapping fabric and the comfort is excellent.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The all-in-one design that's separate at the front.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I wish Castelli's scorpion logos were more hardy. They crack and peel quite easily if you're not careful, making the clothing look a bit tired. If you take a different sized jersey to your shorts, you have to compromise on one of the other, or do without.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
This is easily worth an 8 and you could make a case for it being a 9 because it's such an innovative product. The only real downside is that if either the upper or the lowers wears out, you have to replace the whole thing.
Age: 43 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: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
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.