Castelli Palmares Due Bibshort
Sizes: XS to XL
More Info: Castelli-cycling.com
Note: Only two pairs of test shorts received.
What The Manufacturer Says
Highlights include Softlex RS fabric for soft stretch with a cotton-like hand, mesh bib straps, soft touch waist, two rear reflective tabs and KISS3 Donna women’s-specific seat pad. Start building your summer wardrobe with this versatile short. Not only do you get a touch of color with flattering lines, you get the comfort of Softlex RS fabric, our women’s-specific KISS3 Donna seat pad, and the new microfiber elastic band with silicone Castelli script that keeps the leg in place without the sausage effect.
Tester: Kate Powlison (Size Tested: Small)
Fit: The length is on the shorter end of the spectrum, and the bib straps are short too — even with my shorter torso. I really appreciated the flexibility of the fit. These shorts expanded nicely to my body’s shape, thanks to the crescent-shaped side panels of extra-thin material. Despite the sideways give, you might want to order one size up, especially if you have a longer torso and/or an upright riding position.
The highlight of these shorts is the bib strap design, which features thin straps that run down your sides instead of your front. Not only is this a better solution to avoiding breasts than the yoke straps than goes down your center, it also feels great because it keeps your bib straps out of sight and out of mind. I could see this design being a hit on a men’s short too. You forget the bib straps are there.
Function: The silicone logos on the leg bands prevented the shorts from riding up while being more flattering than other full-band designs. The reflective pulls on the rear of each leg add a little extra peace of mind for those fall rides that end at sunset.
Materials: The lightweight fabrics made these shorts a great pick on hot days. The chamois pad is more flexible than most. One section of stitching broke on mine after a handful of washings — likely my fault for not being super careful getting in and out of them, but still not something I want to have happen.
Fashion: Riders with an eye for style will appreciate the understated look of these shorts. With a great cut and few restrictive seams, these shorts were very flattering, too. The front is cut lower than other shorts and hit beneath my navel.
Additional Comments: Overall, the minimalism of these shorts makes them an excellent choice for a warm ride in the sun. The inventive side bib strap design is pleasantly liberating — unisex bib designers should take note.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Tester: Elizabeth Train (Size Tested: Small)
Fit: These bibs fit well in every way. They aren’t quite as supportive as some of the other bibs I tested, but they’re very comfortable.
Function: I really like the way the straps work in these. They’re light and unobtrusive.
Materials: These became my go-to bibs on the hottest days of the test. It may have just been in my head, but they felt cooler because there’s so little fabric (and it’s all very breathable) in the top/suspenders, and they’re nice and short. The chamois is good, but not fabulous. I started loving it less on long rides.
Fashion: These bibs look pretty good, but aren’t quite as slimming as some of the others I tested in this round (probably because they’re not as supportive). I like the little reflective detailing at the back of the leg. Safety first!
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5