Castelli Espresso Jersey and Bib shorts – Product Review


If you’ve read any of my reviews, you know my fascination with Castelli cycling apparel. The outfits of the pros. Perfectly tailored pieces that, in my opinion, offer the best mix of performance and design for the best price. Like many brands, Castelli offers different “levels” of gear, from basic to pro.

When choosing what to wear on a ride, the choice for me, and I think for many others, is very natural when you have many Castelli items to choose from: race weekend or a long ride calls for the Rosso Corsa, while daily training and after-work rides will probably be done in a lighter piese, in my case the competizione bibs.

With the Espresso kit, Castelli has filled this gap by offering a new “all-around kit” that combines a high-end, tailored jersey and bib with a touch for everyday riding and a better price. For performance, they used the same materials and pads as their Rosso Corsa kits.

I tested the Espresso jersey and bib shorts extensively during training camp in Spain and my regular rides in Germany and Belgium. My thoughts you’ll find further.

Castelli Espresso Jersey – a new favorite

If my red espresso is clean, that’s the jersey I’ll wear. If it’s above 17 degrees, the red will stand out and match my bike details, if it’s a bit colder, in combination with my arm sleeves or a vest, the espresso will still be my first choice. Castelli hasn’t lost sight of the 2024 trends and has added several colors to the palette. So, no need to choose an “Instagram brand” to look good on the bike. The brand of the pros has you covered.

It has a much slimmer and better tailored cut than other Castelli “everyday” jerseys, staying much closer to the Free Aero jersey in terms of cut, feel, and style. The raw cut sleeves and elasticated waist also match the sophistication of the Aero Race jersey, giving the Espresso many qualities of a Rosso Corsa piece.

The Air_O Stretch fabric is the same as the Free Aero Race jersey used by the world’s top Tour teams. It provides a nice, close fit without restricting movement. It’s also highly breathable and moisture-wicking to keep you dry. The fabric has naturally also been optimized for aerodynamics with wind tunnel testing.

The pockets are large enough to stay in place even when fully loaded. Castelli didn’t miss the fourth zippered pocket trend, so you can keep your valuables extra secure. The full-length YKK® Vislon® zipper is smooth and reliable, and ventilation can be easily adjusted on the go. There is no “fighting the zipper. Angled pulls will open it, as easily. Reflective details enhance visibility, adding a safety element for those early morning or late evening rides.

Castelli Espresso Bib Shorts – comfortable cut and the same pad of the pros

The Espresso bib shorts are Castelli’s best non Rosso Corsa bib shorts in my opinion and could even put some of the Rosso Corsa to the test. It features the Progetto X² Air Seamless chamois, my favorite pad on the market, and the one used by Castelli on the Free Aero RC, the bibs they supply to the pro teams. It’s designed for comfort with its four-way stretch, seamless construction, and perforated foam backing for airflow.  This pad adapts to your body shape for maximum comfort and support where you need it most.

The mesh straps are stretchy and provide excellent ventilation. Additional features like a rear pocket for extra storage and reflective stripes for increased visibility add to the shorts’ practicality. These details make the Espresso Bib Shorts not just comfortable but also highly functional.

For most customers who contact us, the Espresso would probably be a perfect fit. It has many of the qualities of the Castelli racing bibs, like the padding and stretchy material, as well as the comfort of other Rosso Corsa bibs, for a lot less cost. Also, unless it’s a “red zone” day, we don’t really want to feel compressed, and bibs like the Free Aero RC are designed for compression. The Espresso, however, is still slim and fit, and provides a nice sporty and fast feel with a relaxed and comfortable cut.

Conclusion – Are the Espresso Jersey and Bib Shorts for You?

If you’re looking for a cycling kit that combines Castelli’s top features with everyday comfort, the Castelli Espresso jersey and bib shorts are your best bet. They offer a tailored fit, excellent breathability, and practical features that make them suitable for any ride. Whether you’re an experienced racer or a weekend warrior, this kit will add value to your cycling routine.

In Mallorca I wore this jersey in various conditions and found it very reliable, comfortable and high performance. The jersey has no warm spots on the back or under the arms, so you won’t feel wet. If you throw a bottle of water on your head to cool down, the jersey will dry right away. The same goes for the bibs. They are very comfortable on warm days as well as on cooler German spring days.

If you asked me to recommend 2 kits for the 2024 season, I would most likely tell you to get 2 Espresso kits. 😉