Best Castelli Bib Shorts: In-Depth Comparison & Price Guide

Founder, Mr. Mamil

Castelli, a leading cycling apparel brand decades ago, re-emerged in the spotlight of professional cycling through its sponsorship with Team Sky in 2017 and Soudal-QuickStep in 2023. This resurgence has allowed a broader range of cyclists to experience Castelli’s diverse collection of bib shorts.

So, how do Castelli’s bib shorts compare against one another, and which Castelli bib short is the best fit for your cycling needs?

Castelli bib shorts nomenclature

Here are the important terms to know about Castelli’s bibs.

  • Rosso Corsa. Translated from Italian, it means racing red. Rosso Corsa or RC is a label Castelli use for their premium apparel. If a bib short has the RC label, you can be sure that it features all the best fabric technologies Castelli has to date.
  • Progetto X2 is Castelli’s top-of-the-line chamois made from softer, dual-layer fabrics for added support.
  • Kiss Air 2 is the mid-tiered chamois used in all bib shorts from entry to mid-level.
  • Giro4 grippers. Castelli’s fourth iteration of leg grippers features vertical silicone strips colored in red on the inner. It’s usually found in mid to premium-level bib shorts.
  • Giro3 grippers. An older leg gripper design is used in entry to mid-level bib shorts.
Castelli bib shorts rangeCastelli bib shorts modelChamoisRosso Corsa label
Premium / ComfortCastelli Premio BlackProgetto X2Yes
Premium / Hot conditionsCastelli SuperleggeraProgetto X2Yes
Premium / RaceCastelli Free Aero RC ProProgetto X2Yes
Mid-range / ComfortCastelli Endurance 3Progetto X2No
Mid-range / DurableCastelli UnlimitedKiss Air 2No
Mid-range / Everyday useCastelli CompetizioneKiss Air 2No
Entry level / Everyday useCastelli EntrataKiss Air 2No
Comparison between Castelli bib short models

Castelli Premio Black bib shorts

Now in its third iteration, the Castelli Premio Black is Castelli’s best bib shorts.

It’s designed to provide maximum comfort and muscle support for long-distance rides. It has only three panels and is made from very soft and stretchy woven fabrics. Unlike most other models, the leg grippers are cut raw and flat.

Castelli Superleggera bib shorts

  • Colors : Black, Saville blue
  • Chamois : Progetto X2
  • Weight : 141g (Large)
  • RRP : $240
  • Available at : Amazon, Competitive Cyclist

Designed for hot weather, the Castelli Superleggera bib shorts are lightweight, weighing only 141g for the Large size.

Castelli uses a gradient fabric design to bring down the weight, where the material gradually gets thinner further down the leg. With such thin fabrics. they’re prone to tears during crashes.

Castelli Free Aero RC Pro bib shorts

The Castelli Free Aero RC Pro is a top-of-the-line race bib short. It’s Soudal-QuickStep’s go-to bib shorts for most of the season.

Now in its fifth generation in the past decade, it uses Castelli’s best chamois, the Progetto X2, and has visible Vortex dimples on the sides for added aerodynamic benefits. Unlike its predecessors, it uses raw-cut grippers at the thigh without needing silicone to stay put. This leads to an improved grip with a larger distribution area.

Castelli Endurance 3 bib shorts

The Castelli Endurance 3 is a mid-range bib short. Designed with recreational cyclists in mind, the focus is on comfort while keeping the price affordable.

It features the same Progetto X2 chamois used in the Castelli Free Aero RC Pro but an older generation Giro3 grippers with mid-tiered Endurance Evolution fabric.

Castelli Unlimited bib shorts

The Castelli Unlimited is a mid-level, durable bib short. It’s the cheaper version of the Free Protect Race bib shorts.

It features the same Protekt fabrics on the sides but uses the Kiss Air 2 chamois instead of the premium Progetto X2. Designed with gravel and off-road riders in mind, there are four hidden pockets at the sides and back for additional storage.

Castelli Competizione bib shorts

  • Colors : Black, Dark Grey, Savile Blue, Military Green
  • Chamois : Kiss Air 2
  • Weight : 173g (Large)
  • RRP : $140
  • Available at : Amazon, Competitive Cyclist, Wiggle

The Castelli Competizione is another mid-level bib short designed with recreational cyclists in mind.

It has the same Kiss Air 2 chamois as the Endurance 3 bib shorts but uses a different Lycra fabric and has the newer Giro4 grippers. The side panels are textured for added aerodynamic benefits, similar to the Free Aero Race 4.

Castelli Entrata 3 bib shorts

  • Colors : Black, Savile Blue
  • Chamois : Kiss Air 2
  • Weight : 175g (Large)
  • RRP : $100
  • Available at : Amazon, Competitive Cyclist

The Castelli Entrata 3 is an entry-level bib short.

Although it’s designed for budget-conscious cyclists, it still features some technologies in more expensive bibs. The Kiss Air 2 and Giro 3 grippers ensure that comfort is not sacrificed in place of price.

Castelli bibs FAQ

What is the difference between Progetto X2 and Kiss Air 2 chamois?

Which is the best Castelli bib shorts for long rides?

Do bib shorts and tights sizes correlate to jersey sizes?

How do I take care of my Castelli bib shorts?

Alex Lee at Mr.Mamil

Alex Lee is the founder and editor-at-large of Mr. Mamil. Coming from a professional engineering background, he breaks down technical cycling nuances into an easy-to-understand and digestible format here.

He has been riding road bikes actively for the past 12 years and started racing competitively in the senior category during the summer recently.