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Since its introduction in 2007, the Castelli Aero Race jersey has been challenging the status quo, and continually unseating the considered rulers of the jersey realm. And now in its sixth iteration, the Aero Race 4.0 Jersey continues along its path of revolution and race-day domination.
As its name suggests, the Aero Race jersey is both aerodynamic and race-ready. The two characteristics go hand-in-hand for racing, so to combine them, Castelli constructed the majority of the jersey from its Velocity fabric. This material is renowned for its quick-drying properties and overall light weight -- around 131 grams for the entire jersey. Additionally, the fabric has a tightly knitted weave that increases laminar airflow over the body. In fact, Castelli makes the claim that this material is so effective that you'll save an average of 12 watts at 40km/h. In theory, this not only translates to less exertion, but around 35-40 seconds saved over an hour.
Castelli expanded upon Velocity's high breathability by adding its patented Prosecco treatment. This process is a topical, hydrophilic treatment that spreads moisture out over a larger surface area for rapid evaporation. Along these lines, the rear of the jersey has been constructed from a lightweight, breathable, and subtle mesh. The theory behind this is simple. While the wind naturally confronts and evaporates moisture at the front of the jersey, the rear needs extra support in both ventilation and wicking. And in practice, nothing does this better than the mesh that's been selected here. Taking this an extra step forward, the arm pits have been constructed from an even more breathable material called Nervato. Now, your thermo-regulation will be well maintained with the body's natural exhaust point for excess core temperature being so well ventilated.
Castelli incorporated a minimally seamed pattern that eliminates abrasion while adding to the aerodynamic advantage of the jersey. The cut of the Aero Race also falls on a curve as to follow the contours of your body. However, the jersey has also been designed around the body in motion. This means that the fit is most precise throughout the movements of cycling. To keep the jersey in place, Castelli placed a comfortable, silicone gripper at the waist. And at the sleeves, the Aero Race features the custom Giro3, single-layer gripper elastic. This gripper system keeps the sleeves flush with the skin as to minimize the allocation of drag.
For storage, the Aero Race has three rear pockets. Castelli also included reflective elements throughout the jersey to increase your visibility to motorists in low-light conditions.
The Castelli Aero Race 4.0 Jersey is available in four sizes from Small to X-Large and in the colors Anthracite/yellow fluo/black and White/red/black.
Share your thoughts
I have an older iteration of this jersey, one with 3/4 zip, but the picture gives a good idea of how this particular line wears, sleeve length, etc. As noted in my review, this is a medium on a 35" chest--looks almost like a skin suit. I pair the jersey with the Castelli Endurance shorts.
For racing or speed work
This one's intended for the hard-core rider who wants to go as fast as possible, and consequently is cut in a way that is unforgiving of any bodily flaws. This is by design. There is no excess fabric to flutter in the breeze, slowing you down. I have a 35" chest, no love handles, and thin (cyclist's) arms and a medium fits perfectly. But it is a body-hugging fit. If you just like the style but feel self-conscious wearing a shirt that wears like it's painted on, then you may want to size up yet again. By the way, the lightness of the shirt is no joke. A regular jersey's fabric is a canvas tent compared to this. It's just so comfortable (unless you wear them in cool temps--good luck then). As long as you understand the jersey's specific function, you really can't ask for anything better. I think these are supposed to be worn with the body paint shorts, but I'm cheap and wear them with the Endurances. They look uber-sharp & if I didn't have other great kit from Castelli I'd wear these as much as the weather would let me.
Oh. If you wear this on a long ride on a sunny day, be forewarned that you should apply sunscreen to your back or else wear a covering base layer. Unless you like sleeping on your stomach.