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Castelli Fedele Jersey



Super-comfy mid-weight jersey that provides a little more warmth than normal in spring/autumn conditions

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Castelli Fedele is unusual in that it's thicker and warmer than most short-sleeve jerseys which makes it a useful option for spring, autumn and cool summer morning/evening rides.

The Fedele is made from Castelli's Thermoflex Lite fabric which is a brush-backed polyester. It's a mid-weight fabric, not far off the kind of thickness that you sometimes find on long-sleeve winter jerseys. It's in no way windproof – it's not that dense – but it's thick enough to provide considerably more insulation than a standard summer jersey.

Castelli designed the Fedele for use with their Feroce long-sleeve base layer that we reviewed last year, but there's no reason why you can't use it with a short sleeved/sleeveless base and arm warmers.

What's the advantage to a combo like this over just wearing a long-sleeve jersey? Versatility. You get a decent amount of upper body warmth here while arm warmers or a stretchy base layer like the Feroce allow you to uncover your arms to cool down if the sun comes out.

In that way, wearing the Fedele is a little like wearing a thinner summer jersey with a gilet over the top. The advantage, though, is that the Fedele is super-stretchy so you get a close, comfy fit, and it's very breathable.

The front zip is full-length option from YKK so you can easily let loads of air in if you start overheating. It locks in place, doesn't creep open and comes with a large puller that you can't miss even with gloved fingers. A broad, elasticated gripper around the back and silicone inside the hem stop the back from shimmying up as you ride.

As well as the usual three pockets in the lower back, there's an extra zipped pocket back there for safely storing your keys, phone or whatever. As is often the case with very stretchy jerseys, the pockets can drift south if you carry tons in them, but you really do have to go a bit over the top for that to happen here; they'll handle normal ride essentials – a pump, spare tube, multi-tool and waterproof – just fine.

Castelli give this jersey a temperature range of 14-22°C. I'd say both ends of the scale should be a little lower than that, and I'm someone who feels the cold (don't get me started; I'm a martyr to it. I very rarely moan, though). I'd say I've been using the Fedele in temperatures of 11-19°C is or something like that. Those Italians don't realise that 22°C is high summer over here.

If you think the white option is hopelessly optimistic for UK conditions, you're probably right. The Fedele is available in black too.


Super-comfy mid-weight jersey that provides a little more warmth than normal in spring/autumn conditions test report

Make and model: Castelli Fedele Jersey

Size tested: Large, white

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Castelli say, "One of the coolest new products in this collection, the Fedele jersey was created to use over our new Feroce long-sleeve base layer. It uses our new mid-weight Thermoflex Lite fabric for perfect between-season riding, and with the Feroce base layer you get two layers of protection over your torso with the addition of seamless long sleeves. The Fedele works equally well with a pair of Nano Flex arm warmers."

In short, it's a mid-weight jersey in standard short-sleeve jersey cut.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

The Thermoflex Lite fabric is 100% polyester with a brushed inner face.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Neatly done. It's a standard short-sleeve jersey formula but it's done well with very good materials.

Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:

The build quality is good.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

The fabric is super-stretchy and very soft.

Rate the product for value:

Short-sleeve jerseys start at about £20 and go up to about £200 for some Assos models. The Fedele is a mid-weight fabric with a few neat features and that goes a long way to explaining the price tag.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It does it's job very well. You could say that a lighter weight jersey with a gilet over the top would do a pretty similar job, but the Fedele certainly does what it's supposed to.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The slim cut, the stretchiness and the extra warmth.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The pockets can be a bit stretchy if you sling loads in there.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Possibly

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,


Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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futurefunk | 12 years ago

I found the red chest band restricting across my chest. Everything else fit right. 180cm and 73kg. I'm between a L/XL.

Mat Brett replied to futurefunk | 12 years ago
futurefunk wrote:

I found the red chest band restricting across my chest. Everything else fit right. 180cm and 73kg. I'm between a L/XL.

That's interesting. For everyone else, that red band on the chest is sewn on rather than part of the main fabric, and it isn't stretchy.

I had the size L, designed for a 100cm chest – which is what I am. I didn't find it at all restricting but it might be something to consider if you get the chance to try this jersey on before you buy.

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