Castelli's Sorpasso bib tights boast a wonderfully refined and nearly faultless cut with a compressive, skin-tight fit throughout and separate panels at the knees that almost wholly eliminate uncomfortable bunching behind your legs.
The brushed material is cozy against your skin, too, and while the lack of any proper windproofing materials limits their effectiveness in ultra-cold conditions, we found the Sorpasso ideally suited for road rides ranging from just above freezing to around 10°C (50°F).
Despite the sub-US$200 cost, Castelli have managed to carry over some high-end features borrowed from their flagship Body Paint range, including paper-thin bib straps that never slipped or irritated our shoulders and the same perfectly placed Progetto X2 chamois.
Even the ankle grippers are noteworthy, with wide elastic bands to distribute the pressure, silicone appliqués that securely grab hold of your socks, and an appropriately long zipper backed with color-contrast and reflective materials.
Our sole fit-related complaint – and it's a pretty minor one at that – lies with the cut up front. It's too tall for easy nature breaks but not tall enough to add much extra warmth to your torso. And those floppy bib straps can be a pain to put on since their near-total lack of structure makes them prone to rolling and bunching as you yank them over your shoulders.
Styling is expectedly Euro-sleek and elegant. There are just a few touches of red here and there, subtle dual color layer materials at the butt and knees, and big 'Castelli' logos down each leg to offset the otherwise endless sea of black.
Unfortunately, our letters have already started to peel slightly at their edges after half a season of machine machines. Since those first few laundry cycles we've ended up turning the Sorpasso bibs inside out and placing them in a mesh bag first, and that seems to have halted the peeling.
One last thing: the quality of fit is nearly spot-on but the overall sizing range is still very Italian – that is to say, small. Try before you buy if possible but otherwise just keep that in mind if sourcing out of a catalog or online.