It’s often the case when searching for comfort or aerodynamics, that one end up getting compromised in favor of the other. In this instance, though, the balance might just be perfect. Complementing both the needs of an endurance cyclist - through the design and construction of the deep pocket - to the needs of a racer wanting an aero advantage thanks to the choice of materials and fit along the arms, the Castelli Aero Race 6.0 is a jersey with a good claim to 'doing it all'.
Deep, secure pockets perfect for storing food and tools
A snug, sleek fit, shaping perfectly to the rider made it comfortable and lightweight to wear
Breathable panels ensure great moisture wicking capabilities
The fit could be a little tight for some people
No choice of block colors, only a selection of fades
Sleeves are a little too long
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The Castelli Aero Race 6.0 Jersey is a fast aero jersey at heart, the 6.0 representing this being the 6th generation of the original aero jersey from 2006. Its aim is to save you watts and reduce your drag, but this jersey isn't just an item of kit you save for race day. From deep pockets to a meshed back, it's the little details which make this jersey stand out from the crowd - and might possibly become a summer staple of your wardrobe.
Castelli Aero Race 6.0: construction
An 82% polyester, 18% elastane blend helps the jersey to stretch and mold to your body shape. There are three deep pockets in the rear which sit comfortably against your back even when full of snacks and spares for the road. Up above, there is a meshed back which helps to keep you cool and fresh when out under the summer sun.
Thought and research has gone into the construction of this jersey, the mesh panel on the back transitions to a Velocity Rev2 fabric on the front of the jersey as well as the shoulder area and arms, which provides little stretch but still feels smooth and soft to touch.
Many companies opt for a rubber seal around the sleeve openings, but in this instance the opening has been left raw cut. This allows the jersey to sit closer to the skin and provide a more fluid and comfortable transition.
Castelli Aero Race 6.0: the ride
The first thing to note is the wide range of color options, with there likely to be one to match the taste of every rider. The jersey features a modern fade pattern, blending from a Pro Red to Savile Blue, but with other options including Military Green, Light Grey and Maize Yellow, there are plenty other choices on offer.
It’s a jersey that certainly provides a talking point. None of the colour options are particularly subtle, yet they stand out in a way that makes you look like a pro and not just a fluorescent traffic cone.
It's immediately clear when zipping up this jersey it's designed for speed. The clue is in the name, really. Although I wouldn't identify as a 'marginal gains' obsessive, I was still impressed by how the jersey stacked up on the road.
It is hard to really tell the difference in between the aero performance of a singular piece of clothing when riding in un-controlled conditions - it’s easy to a placebo effect to come into play and to feel as if you are going faster just because the has been marketed in that way. That said, my average speeds in the jersey certainly were not slow!
The choice of materials were picked for their aero qualities, but jersey is also user-friendly away from the wind tunnel or a racing circuit. 'Velocity Rv2' is the primary material of the jersey, providing a snug, comfortable fit that doesn't flap around in the wind or become disoriented or wonky on the shoulders or neck line.
The seamless neckline allows for a smooth transition from skin to jersey, with no irritation on what can be a sensitive part of the body really does provide all day comfort, even when the temperature does start to rise things will not become itchy or annoying.
The sleeves follow a similar design, with a seamless, raw cut finish that provides a silky, secure fit. The sleeves are longer than your traditional jersey, this is to provide an aero advantage but also a better fit. The seamless finish is tight enough so that it snugly fits around the bottom of your bicep without the tendency of rolling up into your arm pit.
For some this cut may be too long, sitting just above the elbow crease can be uncomfortable at first, but once out riding and tucked onto the hoods it proved very comfortable.
The 3D mesh along the back does well to keep you cool and provides effective moisture wicking capabilities, even when tested on the turbo never did the jersey become too sodden or sticky with sweat. This allows the focus to be kept on turning the pedals and maintaining the effort.
A higher than standard gripper running along the rear of the jersey helps to keep the jersey, snug and in place along the back. Even with the jersey half unzipped and pockets empty, when tucking down into an aero position the jersey never curled or started to roll up the back.
Castelli Aero Race 6.0: value and conclusion
Compared to the Rapha Men's Pro Team Aero jersey which retails for $210 / £170 and the Le Col Pro Aero Jersey at $205 / £160 the Castelli Aero Race 6.0 jersey ($159.99 / £125.00) is a pretty reasonably priced top of the range cycling jersey. With a comfortable, sleek fit even after multiple washes and rides the fabric still had kept its elasticity and shape with no signs of wear to the stitching or arm grippers. This aerodynamically advanced jersey not only proved to be quick, but also a practicable, well made piece of kit.
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