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Ridden & Reviewed: Castelli’s Alpha Wind Jersey

November 17, 2014

Its no secret that I have a thing for Castelli gear. I find that for the price Castelli’s gear generally offers the greatest value in fit, function, and durability. When asked what my top 3 pieces of cycling kit are, I always respond:

1.  The Fawsome (aka Gabba) vest

2. The San Remo speedsuit, both the road and CX versions

3. The CW 6.0 CX glove

All are from Castelli.

Today, that list changes.

I spent a solid two hours in the Lamar store on Friday pouring over the various long sleeve jerseys that the shop has in stock. I tried them all on, then tried them all again. It took that long because the selection is so good and the options are all so great. I stood outside in the cold wind in most of them and sat on bikes in many others. I was looking for the best jersey I could get. Because the fact is that I know that buying Winter gear in Texas means buying a piece of kit that you’re bound to keep for some time, even if like me you ride all the time, year round.

The Castelli Alpha Jersey threw me. To my eye and to the touch it seemed more jacket than jersey. (As it turns out there’s a jacket version too, as shown in the video below).

Wind Stop Gore fabrics, a sewn-in inner thermal layer with a separate zipper to keep you warm when venting the outer layer, a high, articulated collar, front zipper pocket. All sounds like a jacket to me.

But then there were the jersey features. Three rear pockets, hem and cuff lines that keep the jacket, er, jersey in place, and a snug, close to the body fit that definitely said jersey.

Not the least expensive option on offer at $249.99, I still purchased it knowing that it’d last me years. Plus, I needed something to wear Sunday. I was planning on tackling a 4 hour ride, something I haven’t done since cyclocross season started, with a few local elite road racers. I knew there’s be few stops to sort out clothing so I knew I wanted something that was basically an all-in-one. And I knew it was going to be about 40 and drizzling most likely.

I was right on every count. The ride was steady, rarely slowing. It was damp and cool. And the jersey was flawless.

Paired with Castelli’s Iride short sleeve base layer underneath and my beloved Fawsome vest, I was only slightly warm on the longer climbs and couple of hot spots the juniors threw in during the ride and, in Goldilocks parlance, I was just right the rest of the time, even on high speed descents and milling about the coffee shop pre-ride. The mist and light rain beaded up on the Wind Stop fabric, which sliced through the cool breeze and kept me warm and dry. The high, thermal neck was quite welcome in keeping the cold out without being bothersome. And in those few instances where I was getting warm, a gentle pull of the zipper on my vest and the jersey and I was able to focus on the wheels disappearing ahead up the climbs instead of worrying about overheating.

Post ride. Vest, jersey, and base layer. Perfect in the 40 degree drizzle and wind.

Post ride. Vest, jersey, and base layer. Perfect in the 40 degree drizzle and wind.

So yes. The Alpha Jersey makes the cut for the top three pieces of cycling kit:

1. Gabba Fawsome Vest and Alpha Jersey (tied)

2. The San Remo Speedsuits

3. The CW 6.0 CX gloves

I wont’ get to wear my new Alpha Jersey this weekend. It’s going to be 70 (and I’ll be racing cyclocross). But I’m already scouring the weather forecasts for hints of Winter weather to come. I’m also going to order one of these Alpha Jackets.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Solly permalink
    January 17, 2015 4:23 pm

    Hi, what i am suppose to do if i want to join/play this sports,bicycle sport?

  2. Tim H permalink
    December 1, 2016 10:43 pm

    Thanks you for taking the time to write this review. Well written and the picture of your layering system is very interesting. Two years since you wrote it and still relevant.

    I’m considering an Alpha Wind Jersey as a mid-layer as well as a Perfetto (Fawsome?) vest for a layering system similar to what you describe.

    Do you size up the vest to fit over the jersey? The photo show the vest’s neck open – how well does the vest’s neck close over the Alpha jersey’s neck? I’m not even sure the Perfetto vest zips all the way up.

    -Tim-

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