If your summer riding plans involve long climbs and sunny weather (fingers crossed) or if you’re jetting off for a road cycling camp, then Castelli Climber's or Fortuna Jerseys could be just what you need.
Italian born firm Castelli have built a global reputation for quality products. It's one of the brands you'll see constantly on the backs of road cyclists, from club riders to pros.
Castelli's extensive women’s collection provides top to toe options. The product range is well thought out with an eye on fit and comfort, incorporating technical fabrics and panelled construction.
From caps down to socks, Castelli's spring/summer 2015 range includes pink and blue options to complement the usual black and white options. The overall look of the range is towards the race-inspired end of the spectrum, but playful motifs crop up here and there.
Typically Castelli kit is cut on the performance side, and the items we’ve looked at are no different. This means you can expect super close-fitting jerseys and bibs. If you sit towards the upper end of a size, or you prefer your kit a little looser, it’s worth going up a size.
Women’s Climber’s Jersey
Designed for climbing but great for general hot weather rides, the £75 / US$120 / AU$TBC Climber's Jersey combines panels of extremely lightweight and breathable Flusso 3D fabric, with slightly thicker back and arm panels for sun protection and fit.
Lots of riders will appreciate the jersey's inclusion of a front 'modesty panel', behind the three-quarter-length zip. This enables you to open the zip fully without flashing the world as you pass. It’s also handy when the jersey is zipped up, because the light fabric is thin enough to be translucent otherwise.
Castelli also claims the Climber's Jersey is ideal for wet weather as well hot and dry conditions, with wicking properties so it doesn't hold moisture and dries quickly.
Women’s Fortuna Jersey
The Fortuna Jersey (£55 / US$TBC / AU$TBC) is a lightweight summer jersey constructed from ProSecco 3D fabric. This material contains small recessed circles, said to help wick sweat away from the body, and has a subtle honeycomb appearance. The zip is three-quarter-length, and it’s available in white, coral pink and blue options as well as stealthy black.
We like the wide stretch mesh hems at the arms and waist, which don’t pinch, pull or ride up. There’s not much give in the fabric of the body though. Again, if you’re on the upper end of a size you may want to go one size up.
Women’s Velo Vest
The Velo Vest (UK£65 / US$79 / AUS$TBC ) is lightweight, packable and comes in a range of colour options. It's the type of staple kit item found in the back pocket of many a cyclist. It stows away conveniently into itself and is DWR (durable water repellent) coated, which provides some rain protection if you get caught out.
We found the length pleasingly ample for an above average height woman, with a feminine cut that still allowed for freedom of movement.
Promessa Socks, Retro 2 Cap, Dolicissima Glove, Secondapelle RC Glove
Secondapelle means ‘second skin’ in Italian, and it’s an appropriate moniker for a glove that fits as closely and comfortably as these. Stitching on the Ultrasuede palm is kept to a bare minimum, with some padding at the base of the thumb and outer edge of the palm. The Secondapelle Glove comes in at UK£36 / US$59 / AUS$TBC
If you like a little more padding in your glove, then the Dolicissima Glove (£30 / US$29 / AU$TBC) is one to look at for your summer riding. The printed Lycra back is woven to a mesh pattern to aid breathability, and there’s a range of different shades available.
If you're a completist you can finish your Castelli kit off with a Retro 2 Cap (£15 / US$14 / AU$TBC), the amusingly named Head Thingy (£20 / US$TBC / AU$TBC) and some Promessa Socks (UK£13 / US$14 / AUS$TBC). They're again available in coordinating hues… so if you want to go for the full matching outfit, or you prefer to mix and match, you can.