Summer officially kicks off this weekend, and in Boulder, Colo., the temperatures are already rising. We’ve been experiencing record high temperatures in the mid- to high 90s—perfect conditions to test summer cycling wear. I wore the following bib and jersey combinations riding up Boulder’s endless climbs to test how well they keep a rider cool on the hottest days. Since fit is a key, here are my measurements- I have a 38 inch chest, 10 inch arms and a 31 inch waist.
Castelli Climber’s Jersey FZ ($129) and Inferno Bib Short ($199.99)
Developed for Team Garmin-Sharp for the hottest days, Castelli has put all of its cooling tech into these pieces. The shorts are a mostly white fabric that incorporates titanium dioxide to keep the sun from cooking you. Seven different fabrics are used throughout to provide a mix of stretch, compression and fit. The weave is slightly open but isn’t too revealing. On top, the Climber’s Jersey is made to match. It uses an incredibly lightweight mesh that excels at staying dry. While not quite sheer, Castelli does recommend wearing sunscreen under it. The mesh material used under the arms and along the upper back is very fine and may not prevent burns.
My size medium jersey fit was slightly restrictive up top, but not so much that I would want to move up a size. The honeycomb knit along the inside looked like it would irritate, but it was actually quite comfortable against the skin. That open knit also made this jersey one of the best at letting air come through. The wide elastic band in the arms is soft and kept them in place without being irritating. When I dumped water over my head to cool off, this jersey allowed the water to evaporate the quickest of the six tested. Of all the shorts in the review, these were my favorite. The fabric felt nice on my skin, and the mix of fabrics and panels provided me a great fit. I also felt that these bibs did the best at keep me feeling cool. The elastic leg grippers on the shorts was smooth and seamless and Castelli’s Progretto X2 Air pad is one of the best in the business. The slightly textured saddle area kept me from sliding around in the seat.
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