Kit: cheap vs high-end - worth it?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
TobinHatesYou
Posts: 1388
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

I think the worst thing about Castelli is the same style of jersey will fit differently depending on where it's made. For example Castelli retail stuff runs very small. An Aero Race 5.1 retail jersey made in Europe in size small is very tight at my shoulders and upper torso. The custom club kit made in Oregon in the same size small is almost loose in some areas. The fabrics even feel different.

Also the retail kits from Castelli/Sportful, Assos, Santini, Giordana, etc. are either tacky looking or uninspired.
Last edited by TobinHatesYou on Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

DJT21
Posts: 186
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:35 pm

by DJT21

Wookski wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:08 am
I’m happy to spend money to look good and be comfortable.
Honestly, I don't think wearing lycra and disco slippers is the best way to "look good".

I can't honestly say I've found a jersey uncomfortable so I'm happy to buy cheap. Shorts are a bit more important, but if your saddle's right and your fit is right then you should be comfortable.

Jackets are worth spending some money on though, as well as shoes.

by Weenie


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themidge
Posts: 632
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by themidge

Good kit doesn't have to be expensive. The bib-shorts I use from Decathlon cost £25, have a good quality, well placed chamois, and the cut of the shorts is so good for me that it doesn't matter that they don't have leg grippers. My favourite winter jersey is an old Mapei training top that cost £10 on eBay. I hate spending money on bike stuff that isn't my bike, so cheap kit is the way to go. I'm not a total fred though, I have a Kask mojito and my shoes have carbon in them... :D

P.S. The worst piece of supposedly 'cycling specific' clothing has to be socks. How anyone can say with a straight face that they need special sports socks for cycling, I cannot fathom.
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Wookski
Posts: 698
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:51 am

by Wookski

DJT21 wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:31 am
Wookski wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:08 am
I’m happy to spend money to look good and be comfortable.
Honestly, I don't think wearing lycra and disco slippers is the best way to "look good".

I can't honestly say I've found a jersey uncomfortable so I'm happy to buy cheap. Shorts are a bit more important, but if your saddle's right and your fit is right then you should be comfortable.

Jackets are worth spending some money on though, as well as shoes.
OK you got me there, I’ll rephrase to “look less shit” :lol:

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853guy
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:48 pm

by 853guy

I don't take my phone on rides because I don't want to be thinking about technology or work.

I want to be thinking about riding. Or to put it more specifically, when I'm on the bike, I don't want to be thinking about anything other than riding.

So I don't want to be thinking about the zip that constantly jams because it's been sewn in crooked; or the way the material bunches in the chest; or the way the jersey rides up onto my back; or the way the chamois feels inconsistent front-to-back or side-to-side; or the way the silicon is either too grippy or not grippy enough; or the way the shoulder straps have been cut too high and dig into my neck; or the placement of a seam that makes itself conspicuous - I just want to be in the moment and enjoy the experience of being on the bike.

I would add that yes, I like to look cool, but then 'coolness' is very much in the eye of the beholder.

Best,

853guy

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4ibanez
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by 4ibanez

RyanH wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:04 am
I have had poor luck with Castelli and Pactimo on the longevity end of things. I have jerseys from Rapha that are over 4 years old and still look good. It's quite possible that some of my Rapha jerseys have been worn and washed 100 or more times each. I haven't had to retire a Rapha jersey because it was faded or worn out. Pactimo barely lasted a season and Castelli's logos would fall off after a handful of washes.
I've heard a few people talk about Castelli not being the best CQ-wise, but I actually had a different experience. My Castelli Free Aero bib shorts and Rosso Corsa jerseys seem to last well. The logos on the front of the thighs are showing some wear after a few years of 40° washes. The pad and stitching is 99% impeccable.

I've found the Rapha bibs (pro team) more inclined to lose the stiching round the pad here and there. Also had a mate with the same experience. I'm guessing the pad is also stuck with an adhesive cos it's not really lifted at all, so nothing major. Also I found the pro team jersey zip has gotten pretty stiff (but candlewax has more or less fixed that). I treat my Waffa better - I wash at 30° as I've heard others complain about colours running, and I do a low spin too.

Anyway, both kinda expensive kits at more or less the same level in each company's roster - although Rapha is obviously a fair bit more expensive. You can't really go wrong with either IMO. Despite my (minor) issues with the Rapha, it is my favourite kit to wear - has the edge in the looks department, and nice touches like wide straps and slightly better pockets. The Rapha pad is marginally deeper than the Castelli, which gives a bit more comfort on a long training ride or sportive.

I've found some cheaper jerseys tend to not wick away sweat so well, and the materials are visibly lower quality. OP: Just push the boat out - or look for lightly used items on ebay - I do. It's a good way to get top notch gear affordably. The only "from new" purchases I like to make is helmet and socks.
Last edited by 4ibanez on Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

harvsurrey
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:18 pm

by harvsurrey

Have tried a fair few different bibs and have to say Assos excel.
Their shirts don't inspire in either cut or design however i didn't think their very expensive bibs could be better than their expensive ones.
I was wrong !!

Jerseys , different cuts suit different people but agree its about cut, fabric and designs for me .

i have a bunch of Cycology tops because they tick the boxes i need .

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ParisCarbon
Posts: 944
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:39 am
Location: Winnipeg Canada

by ParisCarbon

Ive done the China knockoff Nalini.. it was some nasty ####... the guy selling it claimed it was real Nalini even though it wasn't.. when the stuff arrived you knew right away it wasn't (And I knew it wasn't when I ordered, and knew what I was potentially getting into) Anyways, the chamois was awful, the material in the short is thick and baggy, really bunching up in areas you don't want it bunching up... the jersey surprisingly was OK... I mailed the guy back when it arrived and told him it wasn't real Nalini and should quit lying to people that it was (People who don't know any better probably wouldn't know) He still insisted it was... I sent him pics of a real Liquigas Nalini short vs the knockoff garbage shorts he was selling.. in the end he agreed with me and actually offered me all my money back.. I told him keep it and just quit lying that its the real deal... For high end stuff.... I like the Sportful stuff.. I have a set of Tinkoff Camo stuff thats 2 years old and still looks new! I just find the sportful stuff is such a crap shoot on sizing.. 6'1 165 lbs and sometimes I need a Large, sometimes a medium... bought a wind/rain jacket when I was in France last year and needed a 2xl!! The girl at the shop in Bourg D'Oisans agreed with me that their sizing is often very misleading to alot of customers...

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wheelbuilder
Posts: 451
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by wheelbuilder

I have been riding Giordana FRC exclusively for the last 2 years or so and for me, it is by far my favorite. Made in Italy, great race fit, super supported pockets that don't sag, and fantastic chamois. Size is identical every time you buy it. I agree about Castelli. Their stuff is ridiculously hit or miss. Lousy company in my opinion. My club kit is Castelli. Vest is made in Honduras, jersey in El Salvador. When I first got serious about road riding, I tried a lot of their stuff. Quality was pretty poor and sizing was all over the place, depending on Country of origin, even for the identical piece. Not sure how they became so popular.

RyanH
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by RyanH

I forgot to add two things: the more important being that very few brands have good items across their entire range (Assos comes to mind as having a handful of mediocre at best items and some exceptional items) and also that I'm actually moving away from Rapha.

With the latter statement being said, I will say that Rapha a few seasons ago probably had the best all around performance. Their most recent lines, the fit changed on the jerseys so now they're loose in places and most are nearly transparent. While I went through and returned 3 different jerseys from them, I ordered my first pair of Assos bibs and Giordana FRC Bibs. I then realized how baggy the crotch area is on the Rapha bibs. I can't wear them anymore after going to Assos. My entire jersey collection is still past season Rapha though.

@4ibanez
Yeah, all of my Rapha bibs had thread come off here and there but that somehow never affected them. I had 5 pairs of Pro Team Bibs that I wore over about 5 years. They probably saw 30k miles combined and were near end of life but still serviceable when I got rid of them.
Strava
Current Stable. The Snob Machine
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mbdurham17
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:12 pm

by mbdurham17

robertbb wrote:Buy Pearl Izumi elite or pro level stuff, in either semi form (elite) or form (pro) fit and never look back.

If price is an issue, Amazon always has last season's jerseys/bibs on sale for a fraction of what it is at full retail and the difference is really only colour/design. Their chamois are quality and their jersey material is UPF50+, wicking and washes very well and the material itself hasn't changed in years. Check the sizing chart, if any doubts, buy a few possible sizes... try on, return anything you don't use to Amazon for full refund.
Second this as I do the same. You can usually find pearl for 50 or more % off on amazon. When it comes to equipment I go all high end but I have a mental block on how much Ill spend on clothing


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rajMAN
Posts: 153
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:20 pm
Location: UK

by rajMAN

Each to their own (budget, taste etc.) but, buy cheap buy twice! Assos, Sidi, Oakley I have been wearing for donkeys years. Initial outlay may be deemed expensive but in the long run I have had more than my money out of these brands. I save up my pennies and buy quality, despite the proliferation of instant credit in the cycle trade to put everything and anything on tick! :D

coriordan
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:30 pm

by coriordan

Premium bibs and China tops.

Recently bought a Maap jersey from Alibaba and the colour is bright and fit on the body is perfect. Sleeves are a smidge short which means they ride up but for a summer jersey it makes 0 difference unless you are particularly anal about razor sharp tan lines.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 1388
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

4ibanez wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:28 pm

I've heard a few people talk about Castelli not being the best CQ-wise, but I actually had a different experience. My Castelli Free Aero bib shorts and Rosso Corsa jerseys seem to last well. The logos on the front of the thighs are showing some wear after a few years of 40° washes. The pad and stitching is 99% impeccable.

I've found the Rapha bibs (pro team) more inclined to lose the stiching round the pad here and there. Also had a mate with the same experience. I'm guessing the pad is also stuck with an adhesive cos it's not really lifted at all, so nothing major. Also I found the pro team jersey zip has gotten pretty stiff (but candlewax has more or less fixed that). I treat my Waffa better - I wash at 30° as I've heard others complain about colours running, and I do a low spin too.

Anyway, both kinda expensive kits at more or less the same level in each company's roster - although Rapha is obviously a fair bit more expensive. You can't really go wrong with either IMO. Despite my (minor) issues with the Rapha, it is my favourite kit to wear - has the edge in the looks department, and nice touches like wide straps and slightly better pockets. The Rapha pad is marginally deeper than the Castelli, which gives a bit more comfort on a long training ride or sportive.

I've found some cheaper jerseys tend to not wick away sweat so well, and the materials are visibly lower quality. OP: Just push the boat out - or look for lightly used items on ebay - I do. It's a good way to get top notch gear affordably. The only "from new" purchases I like to make is helmet and socks.
It depends on where your Castelli product was made. My made in Portland club Aero Race 5.1 doesn’t even have the same zipper handles as the retail version made in Romania. There are loose threads on the club kit near the zipper bottom on a couple of my jerseys. The fabric feels different, rougher.

Also as you said, Castelli’s top end chamois pad is worse than just about any level of Elastic Interface / Cytech pad.

by Weenie


Tango
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:37 pm

by Tango

My first kit was an Assos kit since a buddy work for them - probably more expensive than the bike at this time.
I cheated multiple times (Sugoi, Mavic, Rapha), but none them fitted me as good as Assos and they tend to wear faster (unglued pockets at my Sugoi RSE jersey and abrasive wear by the zip at my Rapha Kit).

I tried to order a cheap chinese jersey on ebay, but the wrong one arrived...

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