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The Castelli Aero Race 6.0 Jersey is a great update, offering excellent breathability and a comfortable fit, and promising some go-faster aero qualities.
It took me a while to get the review going on this, as the British weather hasn't been entirely kind to highly breathable jerseys and their reviewers. However, since the temperatures have beuan to rise, the jersey has truly came into its own and its strengths to the fore.
The key element of the jersey, as you might have guessed from the name, is its aero qualities. In this, the sixth iteration of the jersey, Castelli has used 'CFD analysis of wake flow in the riding position' to improve aerodynamics. As always, I can't give any accurate review of this given that I don't have access to a wind tunnel to test it.
However, the fit, the elongated sleeves and the way the jersey sits against your body in a crouch makes it clear that aerodynamics are at the core of this jersey. Given that, as with everything in cycling in 2019, this is about marginal gains, I didn't notice a huge difference over another aero jersey, although it may well exist.
As fit is so important when it comes to aerodynamics, it is not surprising that this jersey has a lot of stretch in its fabric to cater to different riders' lumps and bumps. Castelli has used Velocity Rev2 fabric on the front and sleeve panels, which offers excellent wicking and breathability in addition to stretch. The back panel is made from a 3D mesh which, although not offering quite the same amount of stretch, still has more than enough.
The back panel is particularly impressive in terms of breathability and when you hold it up you can clearly see through it. It means that when you're putting in big efforts, moisture is wicked away nicely and it keeps you comfortable and cool.
Helping with this breathability is the full length YKK zipper; when the mercury starts to really rise you can unzip if needed.
The jersey has a drop tail with a silicone gripper around the hem to keep everything in place when riding. This works particularly well and I never noticed the jersey shifting out of position throughout my test rides. This drop tail also helps to incorporate the three rear pockets, which are a good size and enough for everything I would need on a regular ride. A zipped pocket for valuables would have been nice, though.
At £110 rrp it's not cheap, but about what I would expect for a high-quality aero jersey from one of cycling's most established brands. It's £10 less than the Neon Velo Pro Fit Aero Jersey which offers the same kind of aero and breathability qualities. Stu tested out the dhb Aeron Lab Raceline Short Sleeve Jersey which is the same price; it might offer slightly more breathability but perhaps fewer technical features.
Overall I really like this jersey. It looks good and has some excellent technical elements and breathability. The material works very well and keeps you comfortable thanks to the breathability and fit. Yes it's on the pricey side, but to be honest you can get considerably more expensive jerseys that offer practically the same qualities.
The sixth iteration of this jersey does not disappoint, with aerodynamics and breathability at the fore
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Aero Race 6.0 Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
This is a high quality performance jersey for road racing, with impressive breathability.
Castelli says, "The first aero race jersey project was called split second and back in 2006, everyone thought Castelli was crazy. Back then, aero was only for TTs. Performance clothing meant moisture management. And you could win the Tour de France with a baggy jersey that was little more than a polyester T-shirt. Even Castelli's aerodynamic consultants expected limited gains, so they named the jersey Split Second, though, like now, they thought even small gains were worth pursuing. In the end, the gains were pretty substantial, and Castelli completely revolutionized the look of the pro peloton.
"Castelli is now on the sixth major revision of there aero jersey. Each generation has become more aero and better fitting. The Aero Race 6.0 benefits heavily from CFD analysis of wake flow in the riding position for fabric and seam placement. It also benefits from Team Sky riders' feedback, as Castelli have worked to make the jersey comfortable for their long hours of training and then racing in every possible weather condition.
"It's Castelli's most aero and most comfortable Aero Race Jersey yet. But they're already working on an update."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Castelli lists these features:
CFD-based fabric placement and seam construction
Engineered for aero efficiency at 30 to 55 km/h
Airflow shoulder construction
Velocity Rev2 fabric on front and sleeve
3D mesh back for breathability
Elbow-length stretch sleeves with raw-cut edge
YKK® Vislon® zipper
Drop tail allows perfect pocket placement while keeping jersey fitting well at waist
18°-32°C / 65°-90°F
Very well made with quality stitching throughout combined with good material choices.
Performance is excellent, staying cool while you (allegedly) cut through the air more easily.
This isn't likely to survive a 20m skid down the road, but for general use it's likely to last a long time.
Excellent fit thanks to the amount of stretch in the material, so it will sit nicely regardless of any lumps and bumps you may have.
Fit exactly as an Italian medium should.
The comfort is really helped by the impressive wicking and breathability, so even when you're putting a real effort in you stay cool.
It's a high-performance jersey that comes with a high-performance price, but given that you can spend a lot more money and get a comparable performance it's not bad value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy, simply washed it at 30 and stuck it on the washing line without any issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performed very well; it feels aero and fast, and you feel cool while you're wearing it thanks to the impressive breathability and wicking that it offers.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The breathability is a real highlight.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Could do with a zippable valuables pocket.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
You could compare it to the Neon Velo Pro Fit Aero Jersey which comes in at £10 more and promises the same kind of aero and breathability qualities. Stu tested out the dhb Aeron Lab Raceline Short Sleeve Jersey which is the same price and may offer slightly more breathability but perhaps fewer technical features.
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
A very high-quality aero jersey that also offers impressive breathability. I couldn't test its aerodynamics, but everything else is exactly what you want from a high-performance jersey.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.