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Road Gear

Castelli Sorpasso ROS Bibtights: What I love; what bugs me

An all-around excellent pair of winter bibshorts, with very little room for improvement.

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Castelli has more models of bib shorts and bib tights than I can keep track of, but I’m a fan of the Italian clothier’s foul-weather clothing. The Sorpasso ROS Bibtight is one of nine — nine! — models of men’s tights, and it’s an all-around excellent option for winter riding.

Here’s what I love about the $209 Sorpasso ROS Bibtight, and what bugs me.

What I love: In two words, fit and feel. You might not think stretchy pants would be so hard to execute properly, but then again you may well have ridden in some bibtights that were constricting in some places or saggy in other places, or tights that felt plasticky and restrictive, or were porous to the wind at the knees or… just didn’t fit right.

The Sorpasso ROS Bibtights fit well because of good fabrics and good construction. It’s a tricky feat for normal bib tights, but considering these have some water repellency and windproofing, it’s awesome. For contrast, I recently tried Pearl Izumi’s latest AmFib Lite bib tights, and they’re stiff, thick, and don’t stay in place. They block the wind well, for sure, but I wouldn’t recommend them.

Smart paneling and the use of different fabrics mean you stay warm, protected, and comfortable. Photo: Ben Delaney

You may have noticed that cheaper bib shorts have fewer panels while expensive pairs have more. More panels doesn’t automatically mean a better fit, but it often does, especially with a company like Castelli that has made a pair or two over the years. Here, the knees aren’t constrictive but are still well insulated, while the thighs, crotch and rear are covered with a more protective fabric (Nano Flex Xtra Dry).

Details like zippers, reflectivity, and lay-flat bib straps are all done right, for ease of use and long-term durability.

I’ve appreciated these on rides just above freezing when it’s overcast and rides when it’s 50F degrees and sunny. The Nano Flex material deflects road spray well but isn’t fully waterproof. For me, that is a-okay; fully waterproof tights just aren’t comfortable (or, often, fully waterproof!) in my experience.

The Progetto X2 Air chamois has multiple thicknesses, but Castelli doesn’t get cute with crazy sculpting. There are no seams on the pad, as it should be, and the placement is spot on.

What bugs me: Honestly, very little. I highly recommend these bibtights. But two small complaints… One, I wish the chamois came up higher in the front for modesty. This is more of an issue at a coffee stop than on the bike. And two, the things are out of stock right now in all but XL and 3XL.

Yes, that’s it. That’s the sum of my complaints. These are great bibtights at a relatively good price.


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