This is a great jersey for cooler riding. Paired with the right base layer and windshell, it is versatile for a range of weathers. In terms of value, it packs a high performance for its price.
Not the stretchiest
No reflective detailing
By Stefan Abram
Castelli is keen to tell you that Team Ineos Grenadiers more often choose the Castelli Cubi Jersey FZ over a jacket: breathability is the priority when riding hard in cold weather. That said, the addition of a windshell does greatly expand the conditions this thermal jersey can be worn in, making it an easy go-to for the majority of winter riding. Castelli does not claim any water resistance for it.
Castelli Cubi Jersey FZ: construction
A warm, fleecy fabric is used on the arms and sleeves, while the side panels get treated to a thinner and perforated fabric – underling the emphasis on breathability that comes with this jacket. The main fleecy fabric only has two-way stretch, and so is a little more restrictive than alternatives which come with a four-way stretch fabric.
In terms of fit, the jersey is pretty spot on, with sleeves that are neither too short nor too long, and a collar that doesn’t leave a gap but isn’t constrictive. Somewhat surprising is the lack of a fleece backing on the collar, which is constructed from the same material as the outer of the jersey. It still felt pleasant enough against the skin, just a little less cosy.
At the hem there is silicone gripper, while the zip is a robust YKK item that runs smoothly down its length. There is a noticeable absence of any reflective detailing, which is a shame as this is a jersey intended for the darker months. The pockets are middle of the road when it comes to size, being neither notably big nor notably small.
I found this jersey to be incredibly versatile and it performed well in a range of conditions and intensities. I was snugly isolated from the cold when cycling round at a steady pace in 13°C, and when putting in some efforts I was able to quickly dump the excess heat with a quick pull on the zip. Even in intermittent showers, I found that the heat I was producing was sufficient enough to stay warm, even if I was getting a bit wet.
Heading out in a proper downpour I did have to pair the jersey with a hardshell. Although, when it cleared up later on, I was glad to be able to simply tuck away the rain jacket, as opposed to the alternative of being committed to a potentially stifling full winter jacket. Had it been colder during the period I was testing the jersey, I’m sure the addition of a base layer would have kept me warm well into the single digits.
The pockets, while not being the most roomy I’ve experienced on a long sleeve jersey, weren’t exactly small either. They did provide ample support, even when loading them to an ‘ambitious’ degree. Although the zip is really very good, it’s let down a little by having such a small handle, which is a little difficult to operate with thick gloves.
Castelli Cubi Jersey FZ: value
At £100, the Castelli Cubi Jersey FZ represents pretty good value for money. There are cheaper options, such as the Altura Icon Long Sleeve Jersey at £60, which is suited for similar conditions, though the cut of the Castelli jersey is far superior.
On the other end, this jersey is considerably cheaper than the Rapha Pro Team Long Sleeve Aero Jersey which is £150 and offers similar performance. A closer competitor is the Endura Pro SL Long Sleeve Jersey II at £89.99 which is a little cheaper than the Castelli Cubi Jersey FZ, but did have issues with particularly long sleeves and a tight wrist cuff.
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