What's Cool In Road Cycling


The Castelli Cycling Potenza Jersey FZ actually IS different from the other long sleeve jerseys at PEZ HQ (and I’ve got a drawer full). The Polartec Power Stretch fabric blocks wind and light rain like a shield, but offers lots of warmth and excellent breathability.

It’s March and winter refuses to end at PEZ HQ – perfect conditions to test gear like Castelli’s Potenza jersey FZ long sleeve. This winter refuses to end – I recall years where I’d logged 25-30 outdoor rides by this time of the season – but at least I can’t use lack of clothing as an excuse to stay indoors.

Those of you sitting in front obviously caught my What’s On PEZ post earlier this week, and got here early – so let’s get to it…

Unlike almost every other long sleeve jersey I own, the Potenza is built for the coldest days – whether it’s layered under a vest or jacket, or over a base layer, this one offers a big range of warmth, thanks to its heavy pile Polartec Power Stretch fleece material. Outta the bag it’s got thicker and fluffier patina than standard weight long sleeve jerseys. But it’s not bulky – my size small tester weighed 305 grams – and Castelli’s snug racer-fit cut offers a sleek fit with no extra material to flap in the wind.

The Polartec Power Stretch is a multi-way stretch, that’s designed to breathe, insulate, stretch – and recover its shape during active use. I couldn’t write this explanation better myself, so I’ll borrow directly from the Polartec website: “The outer surface has a low-friction finish that reduces irritation when worn with other fabrics and increases overall abrasion resistance”. Bottom line is it blocks out a bit of wind and even small amounts of rain, while the inside works to wick away moisture, and also keep you warm by trapping a layer of air between your skin and the outer layer of the jersey.

The collar is tall enough to offer good neck coverage, and sleek enough to not add bulk under you chin when fully zipped.  The black material around the neck is also fully windproof – adding to the warmth.

Another design feature I like is the easy-pull full zip – they’ve added a tiny toggle to the zipper that makes it easy to grab even with full finger gloves. The cuffs are a cross-wrap design made of a windproof material that fits snugly and with a very low-profile around the wrists to both block out wind and also to slide easily into another sleeve.

Storage is plentiful and practical – with four pockets in back: three deep as you you’d expect, plus a fourth zippered pocket for small bits, plus a 5th zippered pocket on the chest that’s big enough to hold my iphone 6.

The standout moment for me was my day riding in subzero temps in the snow in Minneapolis. I wore this one over a long sleeve wool base layer, and under a windproof canvas moto jacket, for a 3 hour ride around town and a frozen lake. It was the coldest day I’ve ever ridden, but was impressed by how warm and comfortableI stayed – due in no small part to the Potenza jersey. I can see this one getting a lot of use this Spring and Fall when long sleeves and a vest are de rigeur in my part of the world.

It comes in black, gray, and the blue you see above, and is also offered in a women’s cut.

• See more info at the Castelli website
• Check prices at Amazon.com


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