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Castelli Velocissimo Due Short Review

Castelli Velocissimo
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $110 List | $99.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Fit, low profile chamois, compression leg cuffs, breathability
Cons:  Heaviest short (non-bib) we tested
Manufacturer:   Castelli
By David Mackey ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 15, 2017
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78
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Style - 10% 8
  • Breathability - 15% 8
  • Padding/Protection - 25% 7
  • Fit/Comfort - 25% 8
  • Efficiency/Pedal Friendliness - 25% 8

The Skinny

The Castelli Velocissimo Due Short earned our Top Pick Award for excelling in short to mid-distance rides. It scored near the top in every category and was the most consistent of all the shorts/bibs we tested. The Affinity Lycra material forms to your body and stays with every movement in the saddle, and we enjoy the unique fit that the panels provide. The Kiss3 chamois had us covered for hard training and leisure rides, as well as keeping us efficient while pedaling. Although the Due Short didn't work as well as the Giordana Laser Bibshorts or Craft Performance Short for our long rides, it stood out on the mid to short distance.

Nam Change in 2017
Castelli confirmed that the Velocissimo Due is now simply the Velocissimo. This name change was accompanied by a change to the chamois - keep reading to learn more!


Our Analysis and Test Results

The New Velocissimo vs. the Velocissimo Due


While the original Velocissimo Due used the Castelli Kiss3 chamois, the updated Velocissimo short uses the new Kiss Air seat pad. According to the manufacturer, the Kiss Air was designed to include many of the same features as their top-of-the-line chamois, but at a more affordable price. Check out a side-by-side comparison here, featuring the new Velocissimo on the left and the original Due that we reviewed on the right. Then, keep reading for more details on the Kiss Air chamois.
Castelli Velocissimo
Castelli Velocissimo Due Short

Here's a summary of the new Kiss Air seat pad:
  • Chamois — According to the Castelli website, the Kiss Air has three main traits: a seamless skin care layer, an anatomical shape, and a dual density thickness. The seamless, microfiber top layer was designed to be comfortable and flexible while avoiding sores, chafing, and abrasion. The Kiss Air has a variable cushioning system, with a thicker padding in the ischial zone, a moderate padding in the perineum, and a thin padding along the perimeter. Our testers though the Kiss3 of the Due shorts excelled in testing, so we're looking forward to trying out the new shorts to see how they compare.

Because we haven't yet tested the new Velocissimo, the rest of this review continues to reflect the original Velocissimo Due.

Hands-On Review


A noticeably breathable pair of cycling shorts without a bib upper, the Castelli Velocissimo Due Short work well in hot weather. With a seamless and low-profile chamois, these shorts are comfortable for short and mid-length rides.

Performance Comparison


The Castelli Due short earned points for both fit and style.
The Castelli Due short earned points for both fit and style.

Padding/Protection


Castelli uses their seamless Kiss3 chamois for the Due Short, which we found to excel on the short to medium length rides. The chamois is much lower profile than the Pearl Izumi Quest Short and not quite as precise as the Craft Performance Short, but very comfortable in the saddle. The Kiss3 is one tier below Castelli's top of the line Progetto X2 chamois, yet it provides a lot of comfort while maintaining a low profile. We always looked forward to testing these shorts, but we did start to feel some fatigue after mile 45 or so.

Unlike the other chamois we tested, the Velocissimo Due Short does not have parallel panels or cuts along the perineum to the front of the chamois. We didn't notice any issues with this in our testing until we stretched into the longer mileage, and even then it was hard to determine if the cause was the shape of the chamois or the construction. We appreciate the seamless, brushed microfiber finish of the chamois, and the anatomical shape followed our bodies during any movement.

The Due Short utilizes Castelli's Kiss3 chamois.
The Due Short utilizes Castelli's Kiss3 chamois.

Efficiency/Pedal Friendliness


Castelli's Affinity Lycra plays large role in adding to the Short's pedal friendliness. The fabric has a high stretch-return aspect, which enables flexibility and movement, but returns to its natural shape quickly. This means that the Due Short is staying close with every movement you make, increasing your efficiency and making it a high-ranking short in this category.

The Kiss3 chamois has a lower profile, which also aids in efficiency. The chamois isn't as precise as some of the other shorts we tested, but does have an ergonomic fit that follows movement.

Fit/Comfort


The Due Short's super stretchy Affinity Lycra makes for a very comfortable fit. The fabric hugs your muscles tightly, but isn't quite a compression short. The race fit avoids material bunching while in the riding position, as well as adding lower back support. The cut isn't as aggressive as the Craft Performance Short, but is low enough in the front to avoid pressure on the lower abdomen. The combination of fabric and shape of the panels also adds to the comfort. The panels actually wrap the muscles, which provides comfort on and off the bike.

Castelli uses the Giro3 leg cuffs on the Due Short, which has grip fabric woven right into the material that makes up the 5 cm band. This is a unique cross between a compression band and silicone grippers, which worked nicely to keep the short comfortably in place. A 9" inseam was the standard in the shorts we tested, and never felt too long and definitely not too short.

The leg cuffs of the Due Short have a gripping material woven in to keep your shorts where you want them.
The leg cuffs of the Due Short have a gripping material woven in to keep your shorts where you want them.

Breathability


The Castelli Velocissimo Due Short has a lot going for it in terms of breathability. The Affinity Lycra 210 g fabric is a very breathable nylon that works very well in wicking sweat away while pedaling. There are two generously sized mesh panels down each side of the short to increase airflow as well. The Due Short was one of the best performing models during warm days on the bike, ranking at the top of this category with the Editors' Choice Award winning Giordana Laser Bibs and the Louis Garneau Equipe Bib. We never had issues with feeling too much sweat build-up, and we appreciate not having bib uppers when the temperatures climbed.

The Castelli Due Short has extra breathable panels down the sides of each leg.
The Castelli Due Short has extra breathable panels down the sides of each leg.

Style


Castelli pays attention to aesthetic details when it comes to designing their garments. The Velocissimo Due Short is comparable to the Craft Performance Short and the Louis Garneau Equipe Bib as far as style is concerned. The Due short is mostly black with the Castelli mark ­– the red circle with the white scorpion inside – on the front of each quad, and 'Castelli' written just below on the leg cuff. Although we don't necessarily like to be a walking billboard, this placement actually looks rather nice. The scorpion shows up again on the back left panel, slightly larger, as well as two vertical lines of reflective material on the back of each leg cuff. The last graphic piece of the Due Short is a 1" x .5" rubber Italian flag that is stitched onto the lower back of the short. This part was a little large for our tastes, and seems to represent the Castelli name, seeing as the shorts are manufactured in El Salvador.

The panels of the Castelli Due Short incorporate curves that wrap your muscles and give a supportive fit.
The panels of the Castelli Due Short incorporate curves that wrap your muscles and give a supportive fit.

The Velocissimo Due Short also does a good job utilizing the material change and the panel shapes. The breathable panels down the side of each leg are made of a double-layered square mesh that runs diagonally across the space. This breaks up the short visually from the rest of the shiny Affinity Lycra material that makes up the short. The panels are based on curves instead of angles, which make for more organic and dynamic shapes, and make the Due Short look like none other we tested.

Best Application


The Castelli Velocissimo Due Short works best on any kind of ride up to 40 miles. We were able to go out fast on interval training rides and on leisurely rail trail rides in these shorts, and they delivered quality performance. However, once we approached the long- to mid-distances, we started to feel seat fatigue, which set in and never quite left until we were finished with the ride.

Value


The Due Short retails at $110, $15 less expensive than the Craft Performance Short and $60 more expensive than the Pearl Izumi Quest Short. We found that the price is worth what the Due Short delivers. For cyclists staying on short to mid-length rides, this can be your go-to short for every ride.

Conclusion


A high performance short that feels most comfortable on short distance rides, The Castelli Velocissimo Due Short is an excellent pair of protective cycling apparel without a bib upper. They win our Top Pick award for short rides.


David Mackey