The Castelli Mondiale bib shorts are new for 2016 and top of Castelli's range. We've sized them up.
The Castelli Mondiale bib shorts are new top of the range design for 2016. The shorts are made of 50% lycra, so there’s lots of stretch and they feel very soft on the skin. The fabric has been cut to minimise seams, with those seams that there are not being flatlocked, but taped on the inside to smooth them off.
Castelli suggests that the Mondiale shorts are designed for long training rides, but that you should race in its Free Aero Race shorts, which suggests that the emphasis with the Mondiale is above all on comfort.
The leg grippers are bonded into the inside of the leg openings rather than being sewn in, so the fabric of the leg extends in a single piece right down to the openings without a seam. There are no seams on the bibs either; instead they’re made of a slightly lighter lycra with bonded-in reinforcements and there are laser cut ventilation holes in the rear of the bibs. There’s a more stretchy elastic section over the upper back and the shoulders.
Watch: buyer’s guide to bib shorts
The Castelli Mondiale bib shorts come with the company’s very comfortable Progetto X2 Air seatpad which it uses in its other high-end offerings, such as the hot-weather Castelli Inferno bib shorts. It has a continuously variable thickness between 3mm at the edges up to 15mm under the sit bones and a pre-formed shape to conform to the body. The pad is flatlock stitched into the shorts.
As with all things Castelli, sizing on the Mondiale shorts is a bit of a moveable feast, and I thought at first that a medium was too small, as I had a bit of sausage-leg and a squeezed in feel. But after a few hours riding and a couple of washes they have relaxed and are a much more comfortable fit, if still close. That closeness means that the pad stays well placed. It’s very comfortable for longer rides too.
Design-wise, the Castelli Mondiale bib shorts are very understated, particularly by Castelli standards: apparently it’s not yet possible to print colours and logos onto the fabric. But the deluxe finish is emphasised by the small raised scorpion logo and silver Castelli branding on the left leg. And since they can’t be printed, the pros can’t use them yet.
If you’re after a top end pair of bib shorts the Mondiales are a good option. They’re comfortable with premium features – and a premium price – and a quietly classy look which will match pretty much anything and doesn’t scream Castelli at you.
For more details visit the Castelli website.
Castelli’s new top of the range shorts really are top-notch with few seams, innovative features, Castelli’s very comfortable Progetto X2 Air seatpad and understated looks.