when you first put these on, they feel good, comfortable. the pad is the same they have used for years ,nothing special. the mesh on the sides support you .I ride 80-125 miles and need a good comfortable short, these do pretty good.
I ride long distance rides 100 miles plus in a day, and need shorts with good pads to keep my rear from complaining. I bought these men's shorts and after my wife washed them ,she asked if they were hers or mine. We compared hers with these and the padding was exactly the same, o well they fit good, and the padding works pretty good, even if they are the same as womens. I like the mesh on the sides,keeps me cooler on hot days.
I am an avid mountain and road cyclist. I had always used a certain brand of cycling shorts. But recently I thought of trying the Castelli shorts and was very impressed by the material, construction and fit. They fit a bit tighter than I was used to but, once I got adjusted, I love the snug fit. I was so impressed with the Castelli shorts that I purchased two pairs for my wife. They are now her new favorite shorts.
I feel these shorts are a step up from even the top tier of other manufacturer's short I've used. After a couple of rides I immediately bought a second pair. They do seem to run small. I usually take an XL in most shorts ... bought XXXL in these shorts and they fit snugly and perfectly. The various materials work as advertised. The leg grips are especially comfortable. However, the best feature, for me, is the chamois. It's flatter than the current trend of 3D, stepped chamois, yet cushions just right. I currently run a racing saddle with a big hole down the middle. It's great for relieving pressure, especially when on the drops or aero-bars. However, 3D, stepped chamois sometimes clash with the inside edges of the saddle hole, causing sore spots. This Castelli Free Aero chamois cured that problem. Wish they weren't so expensive, as now I'm hooked ....
Great looking shorts but definitely very tight fitting. I normally wear a large cycling short but based on others' comments I bought an extra large. These are still the tightest shorts in my collection. An XXL would probably me more comfortable for 100 mile rides. I have not experienced any of the quality issues a few other reviewers have mentioned.
Ride hill country every other day averaging approximately 200 miles a week in them. Would love to have two pairs, however they are pricey. Love the compression fit. Only wish I was a litter younger and a little faster to be more worthy of shorts.
I caution purchaser to consider sizing up at least one size.
Bought this short because I was going to be riding longer distance (over 100 miles) in a single day for a multi-day tour. The short is very comfortable, never got any hot spots, or chaffing. As some of the others have mentioned this short definitely runs small. I ordered large and extra large just in case, and would not have been happy or comfortable in the large. I usually wear large. Not in this short. This summer I may be doing a 600 mile tour and will likely buy a second pair to reduce the need to wash and dry the shorts nightly.
I am an older semiserious rider riding around 2,500 miles a year. I have used Castelli shorts for years and decided to try their Free Aero short. I am pleasantly impressed with the fit and comfort of these shorts. 50 mile rides with no discomfort.
I biked from SF to LA (AIDSLifecycle) and used 1 pair of these shorts, plus 2 pairs of the similar bib shorts. I loved them.
Most important, the pad and crotch area fit snugly, so the boys don't jiggle or rub much, which means I don't chafe.
The weather was mostly on the cool side, in the 50's, with just a bit of temps near 80, so I don't really know about performance in heat.
These products are not inexpensive, but I found them worth it.
Good quality, castelli run a little small so consider going up one size. I am a little on the thin side so castelli fits me very good and comfortable. The little decals on the legs may come off after repeated use, its the only flaw I can find, otherwise a very good short.