- Warm and cosy
- Dries quickly
- Slim fitting and stretchy
- Long cut means there's lots of excess
The Castelli Prosecco R women's short sleeve base layer is a warm, luxuriously soft underlayer that's great for chilly winter rides. The fit is a little odd though – it's best for longer, taller riders – and its not the cheapest option out there.
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I've worn this baselayer both under Castelli's own road gear and with mountain bike jerseys from other brands, and found it performs well – so long as it's cold.
The mid-weight fabric is cosy and feels warm and soft against the skin. It insulates impressively well, despite the short sleeves – I found it best for 10 degrees or lower, and too much at anything above. It wicks away moisture very efficiently and dries quickly too, which further helps with heat retention.
The Prosecco's cut is figure-hugging but stretchy, so it's never any restriction to your movements, and the high neckline blocks drafts. It works especially well if teamed with a neck warmer.
After nearly a winter's worth of washes, this base layer's soft feel and slim shape remains intact. That's extra good if you also ride roads, as the slim fit means it works as well under skin-tight stuff as baggy off-road gear.
The Castelli is rather long in the body, though. I found this problematic when tucking it into bibs or lycra shorts – there's simply too much of it. Granted, I'm 5'3" and taller/longer-bodied riders may not find it a problem, but I'm not an unusual size and this is supposed to fit mine. I found the excess fabric prone to folding up and chafing at the crux of my hip and thigh – I'm all for a decent hem, but Castelli has gone overboard here!
Given the fundamental warmth of this base, you may actual be better off with the long sleeve version. Generally speaking, if it's cold enough for the Prosecco SS, then it's cold enough to need some arm coverage too. It's ultimately a rather niche product, especially as the potentially far more useful LS version is only £10 more.
On that note, £55 is fairly high for a base layer, but its quality, longevity and sheer warmth means the value is still good. If you have a long torso and typically hot forearms(!), this short sleeve Castelli is the only warm Prosecco you're likely to enjoy.