Just before Christmas I got chatting with the guys from probikekit and it ended with them sending me a little prezzie in the post. Like an exited child I waited patiently by the door waiting for said present to arrive, so I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a Castelli Gilet. And not any Castelli gilet but a now retro, Cervelo test team gilet from their casual range.
This got me thinking. I am not a big fan of team branded kit, but I am a fan of kit that pro teams use, and one of the things that amazes me is how they look so pro all the time. No matter what the weather a pro rider will have a garment that does the job. So where does the casual Castelli gilet fit in the “how much bike kit do you need?” debate that rages in my house?
At first I was at a bit of a loss. The gilet was quite heavyweight so the back pocket would be a stretch. I am not the sort of person who would wear cycle branded clothing to the pub either. And don’t get me started on the caps people wear at the coffee stops on a ride. So I applied some lateral thinking and have come up with the ideal application for said kit.
I regularly combine my weekend ride with the demands of a young family. This regularly takes the form of racing my wife and children to our destination of choice, be it the coast, a nature park etc. When I arrive the fist problem is a loss of body temperature while I mess around putting the bike in the boot etc. So when the chance came in between the rain, during the Christmas break we set off. Me proudly wearing my new Gilet whilst I packed the car with the stuff I needed, then slipped said garment off just before I rode away and chucked it in the boot. The plan was to ride like a god for the 30 mile ride (It felt like it as the wind was in my favour) delivering a truly Souplesse performance before arriving at my destination, popping on my new Castelli Gilet and looking thoroughly pro without shivering a bit and do you know what it worked (Not the looking pro bit, I have eaten too much for that. But the shivering was held at bay)
The week after I found a second use. Standing by the garage all ready to ride can be a cold affair with some of my fellow riders. With pumping up tyres and adjusting stuff that should be left well alone before a ride. But this time, at least it was warm and frustrating.
In summary I think the casual kit is over looked all to often. It is this kit that supports you before and after the ride. Sadly Castelli’s relationship with the Cervelo test team has ended, but while we wait for both style and practicality to once again join hands why don’t you check out what other Castelli products Probikekit have on offer. I would fully recommend the Flanders base layer which I will be writing about in the coming weeks. Oh and casual Castelli gilets come with pockets, no more trying to find you keys in the boot or dropping your GPS during your post ride faff.
Whats in the Stand: The Yeti is getting a fully strip down and grease before being treated to a new set of hand built wheels from the guys at Strada