Whatever colour combination you choose, the design of the Aero Race 6.0 jersey is flashy and stylish but it's backed up with solid performance. The focus is definitely on racing but it's got features to make it work no matter if your race lasts an hour or twelve.
- Large plastic zipper won't corrode from sweat
- Comfortable neckline
- Aero optimised design
- Plenty of room in the pockets
- Sleeves are so long they sometimes get into the elbow crease
- Zipper bulges at lower stomach when riding
Castelli makes a huge range of clothing but what it does best is race-ready gear, and the Aero Race 6.0 jersey falls into that category. It's straight from the pro peloton and right off the backs of the Ineos Grenadiers riders, but if you don't race, you needn't look away as the jersey has something for everyone looking to go fast.
While the Aero Race 6.0 jersey is race-ready it also has the features you need for fast rides of any sort and any length. Finding the right balance of race features and endurance features is a tough thing to do but Castelli might have done it.
Keep reading to see our thoughts on what Castelli has managed to put together and how it compares to the best cycling jerseys on the market.
Design and aesthetics
Castelli offers the Aero Race 6.0 jersey in four colour options. Things like Dark Infinity Blue and Sunset are excellent pieces of marketing copy but really, they are green, blue, grey, and yellow. At least at the top of the shoulders, that's the colour. Then all four options go through a gradient that brings the colours darker as they reach the bottom of the jersey. It's a flashy bit of design that will definitely get you noticed but it's also more than that.
The colour gradients look great but they also reveal what drives the technical side of the design. You can think of the dark shade as the real colour of the garment and the light parts are where the wind hits and the colour gets stripped back. It's certainly esoteric but the best designs take root in a grounded concept and that's what's happening here.
According to Castelli, the seam placement and fabric choices have been extensively tested with CFD modelling. Get down low on your bike and the leading edge of your body becomes the shoulders, and in this area, Castelli has chosen the Velocity Rev2 fabric, which is smooth and silky to the touch with just a little less stretch.
The sleeve opening is raw cut for a seamless transition from the skin then there's a seam on the inside of the bicep. The slight downside here is that the sleeves are so long that they can sometimes fall into the crease of the elbow - a problem we also observed on the Rapha Pro Team Aero jersey. The panel wraps over the cap of the shoulder and there's a curved, organic, seam that roughly follows the edge of the pectoral muscle on the front. It dives down into the armpit and emerges on the other side before arcing up towards the neckline.
With the panel that makes up the sleeve creating the top border of the front of the jersey the rest is just two panels. The same smooth Velocity Rev2 fabric creates the front without any additional breaks aside from the zipper and the elastic hem at the bottom. There's no silicone gripper on the front, just a relaxed elastic that flattens against your bib shorts and wraps to the back panel. There are separate side panels that sit above the lower elastic section, and the construction of these uses the same fabric as the sleeves and front and leads into a different fabric on the back.
In the rear of the Aero Race 6.0 jersey is a 3D mesh. This is where the jersey design vents heat but even the mesh feels impressively aero optimised. The outer surface is just as smooth as the front of the jersey. Then on the inside, there is a texture that comes from the thicker sections sitting on top of the thinner sections. Think of it as a piece of mesh with a thin layer across the top.
The shoulder cap section creates a look reminiscent of a channel at the top of the rear. The less aero material is thin at the top where it hides behind the rider's helmet. As you drop lower down the back the mesh spreads to cover the entire panel. This follows the curve of your back as it drops lower and then comes out of the wind.
At the bottom of the back is a long drop panel that holds the pockets. Unlike other designs on the market, the pockets continue to the very bottom of the back panel and begin down low. The whole pocket section uses the mesh fabric and it's got plenty of stretch, unlike the dhb Aeron Lab Raceline 3.0 jersey we recently reviewed. On the inside, the silicone gripper sits higher than the bottom of the pockets and rear panel.
The first thing you will want to understand about the Castelli Aero Race 6.0 jersey is that it is going to attract attention. Just about every time a friend rides up who hasn't seen it before, they want a picture before we get going. Certainly, the Sunset colour is brighter than others but none of them are subtle.
Other than that quirk what's most notable about this jersey is how user friendly it is for a race jersey. It's optimised in every possible way but instead of being unusable for anything longer it actually lends itself to long rides because of the optimisation. The pockets in particular are a perfect example of this.
Making the pockets more aero means getting them down low and out of the wind. That has the side benefit of making them easy to get your hands into. There's no contortion needed because they are low on your back. At the bottom edge, there are no pleats, keeping the pockets flatter when empty. By keeping the silicone gripper higher than the bottom edge, the jersey stays put even when stuffed pockets cause the bottom edge to pull away from the body.
The fit follows a similar storyline. Long sleeves with a raw cut edge are more aero but they are also more comfortable and give just a little more sun protection. The seamless shoulder caps mean the jersey sits flat on the shoulder as you move but never binds. The neckline, a Castelli speciality, has enough structure that it never curls and the height is perfect for both aero gains and comfort.
Finding the balance between racing and long-distance riding is a lot easier said than done. Some designs focus too heavily on aero optimisation and fall foul in areas such as pocket size and overall comfort, while other designs lean entirely toward comfort and result in a casual style that has no thought of aero optimisation at all.
In this jersey, there's no choosing. Endurance cyclists might not think aero matters but every watt saved is a watt you don't have to push through the pedals. All the little details complement both needs, and as a result, the Castelli Aero Race 6.0 Jersey works for whatever sort of road cycling you want to do with it, just as long as you are ready to stand out.
Tech Specs: Castelli Aero Race 6.0 Jersey
- Materials: [front, sleeve] Velocity Rev2, [back] 3D mesh
- Weight: 119g
- Size availability: XS-3XL
- Price: £120.00 / $159.99 / €120.00
- Temperature: 18°-32°C / 65°-90°F
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