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Verdict: 
High-performance bib shorts with a very comfortable pad for long rides or quick blasts
Weight: 
171g

The Velocissimo IV bibshorts from Italian clothing specialist Castelli are sublime, especially thanks to that KISS Air pad. You seem to float over the saddle, and the whole shorts fit beautifully. Comfort is key and these have it by the chamois load.

  • Pros: The pad is soooo comfortable, beautifully cut
  • Cons: Low front panel

Velocissimo is Italian for very fast but these aren't Castelli's high-performance shorts, they are focused on comfort – 'It'll just seem like you get there faster,' Castelli reckons. They are certainly very, very comfortable.

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castelli_velocissimo_iv_bibshort_-_riding.jpg

KISS Air pad

The heart of any bib shorts is the pad; get that wrong and it doesn't matter how good everything else is, they'll spend more time in your wardrobe than on your saddle. This KISS Air pad is one of the most comfortable I've worn, and I spent a lot of time in these shorts while riding the ultra-stiff J.Guillem Orient (review to come).

When you look at it there isn't a whole lot going on. There aren't grooves and channels running between various density pads, it's just a saddle shaped piece of foam with dimples in it.

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For me at least, the foam is the perfect balance of thickness and firmness, so as you move around during the pedalling stroke it compresses without ever feeling bulky or bunching up. It's like a little shock-absorbing cushion that takes out a lot of the vibration that the bike can't handle.

Whether you are sat a little more upright and relaxed for a long day on the road, or hunched right over on the nose of the saddle for an eyeballs-out blast, the pad just seems to work.

castelli_velocissimo_iv_bibshort_-_rear.jpg

A simple flatlocked seam around the outside to keep it attached doesn't irritate at all; you don't even know it is there.

Shorts story

As for the rest of the shorts, the material has a high level of stretch to it which means they can feel quite restrictive when you put them on, especially around the thighs, but this soon passes once you are on the bike and moving.

On the outer thigh there is another section of material that runs vertically and is more taut than the rest, which makes sure the legs stay put and means Castelli has only had to put vertical thin strips of silicone at the bottom of the legs rather than a thick gripper. This is great for comfort.

castelli_velocissimo_iv_bibshort_-_side.jpg

Castelli bib shorts have always had quite a low front compared with a lot of brands where the material comes higher up over the stomach. I'm not a massive fan of the lower design as I find it less supportive when in the saddle. I'm not whippet-thin with a single digit body fat percentage, though, so it could be that. (It's not me in the photos.)

castelli_velocissimo_iv_bibshort_-_straps_front.jpg

For the bib section Castelli uses a mesh material to keep things lightweight and you cooler. They are comfortable as they pass over the shoulders and don't feel restrictive in any way, plus they are wide enough to avoid any pressure points.

castelli_velocissimo_iv_bibshort_-_straps_rear.jpg

When it comes to sizing Castelli is consistent... consistently small like a lot of Italian brands, so it's always worth going up a size to get a good fit in my experience compared to most others.

Good value?

Looking back through the list of bib shorts we've tested recently suggests that £100 for a pair isn't that excessive. Sure, we've had plenty under that, from the likes of dhb and Lusso that have scored very well, so more cash doesn't necessarily mean a better product.

But these Castellis are worth the money in my opinion, as the comfort levels are so impressive that you'd be likely to use them a lot. Looking at the quality of the build, they are going to stand the test of time too.

> Buyer's Guide: 18 of the best cycling bib shorts

The recently reviewed MAAP Team Bibshorts look to be very similar to the Velocissimos in terms of performance and comfort but are nearly £75 more expensive.

Overall, the Castellis are right up there in the comfort stakes and will provide many fast and luxurious miles.

Verdict

High-performance bib shorts with a very comfortable pad for long rides or quick blasts

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Castelli Velocissimo IV Bibshort

Size tested: Large

Tell us what the product is for

Castelli says, "Velocissimo is Italian for fast, very fast. But this short is focused on comfort, so it'll just seem like you get there faster. We've given it a new anatomical shape that moves stitching away from areas that can annoy you, and we've even managed to completely eliminate the leg-ending elastic band by borrowing technology we developed for the Premio short. The KISS Air seat pad is the choice of some of the Team Sky riders, so you know it'll stand up to your 200km rides."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Castelli:

Anatomically constructed for exceptional fit and comfort in Pro Dry Soft fabric

New Doppio waistband for extra stretch around the stomach area

KISS Air seat pad for all-day comfort

Raw-cut leg ending with silicone vertical gripper keeps short leg in place without pressure

Flat-lock stitching

Reflective heat-transfer viz strips for visibility

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

I find I need to size up in Castelli clothing for a good fit, even compared to what the sizing chart says.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

They've survived plenty of washes and a cool cycle always brings them up clean.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Designed for comfort, they deliver comfort.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The KISS Air pad is great.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Low front panel.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The price isn't excessive for the quality and the comfort is absolutely brilliant from the pad and the fabric.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is:

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.

1 comments

Avatar
ourdave [48 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Thanks for the review.

I have pairs of the last two versions of these and the only thing that has ever bothered me is the leg length - a bit shorter than I would prefer. Is it true that Castelli have designed longer legs for the IVs?

Also, i'm not too sure about the look of the straps. In the previous versions they were superb and, to me, far more comfortable than those on the more expense Free Aero bibs. Any thoughts?

Nice to see fewer scorpions for once!