We look at some of the common issues that can affect performance clothing, discuss picking the right kit for the right job and give you insider tips and preventative measures to keep your kit in top condition.
You can also check out our warranty procedure and warranty FAQs for more information on whether your garment qualifies for warranty replacement.
For full details check out our warranty page, but in a nutshell, Castelli products are warranted against defects in materials or workmanship for two years from the date of purchase.
This means you're covered for things like the stitching failing, zips breaking or logos falling off during normal use. You must be the original purchaser, have proof of purchase and have bought the garment from an authorised Castelli dealer in the UK to be eligible.
Without doubt, the biggest issue we find with warranty claims is down to abrasion damage – for example, when shorts rub against a saddle wearing the material thin or when a rogue Velcro fastener leaves bobbles when pulled off your jersey. This kind of accidental damage is wear and tear and not covered by the warranty.
Naturally, this can be disappointing when it's your shorts or jersey that are damaged – especially when it happens soon after purchase, so it pays to be realistic about expectations of your new garments.
Many of the Castelli garments available through Castelli Cafe are exactly the same as those used by Team Sky. This means some pieces are designed for very specific situations and are not intended for everyday use.
As an example, the Inferno Bibshort uses ultra-fine mesh on the side while the rest of the shorts are dyed over a white base for the best sun reflection. Both of these design elements can really make a difference if you're riding up the Alps against the best in the world in blistering July heat.
But that kind of a race-winning, no-holds-barred performance edge comes as a compromise to garment durability – and whereas Team Sky get free replacements to look sharp every day, most riders don't have that luxury.
These aren't manufacturing defects or design issues, they're the necessary limitations to help the fastest riders in the world go that little bit faster in very specific circumstances.
Think of it this way: would you use ultra-light, 180g racing tyres with no puncture protection for pothole-dodging winter training and commuting? If so, you're probably going to get through a lot of them!
It's a similar story with all our race shorts. They all have certain design features based on what's required in racing at the highest level where factors such as printability, stretchiness, aerodynamics and visible logos all come into play. Castelli garments are the best of the best at meeting these demands but that doesn't mean they're impervious to damage.
Just because a certain pair of shorts is the best possible choice for Team Sky doesn't mean it's necessarily the best choice for you. The Mondiale, Premio and Endurance X2 shorts might not catch your eye in quite the same way as our Aero Race Short but they use stronger gauge, pure dyed (not printed) fabrics to offer greater support and durability. If you want longevity and long-lasting good looks – and don't need printable panels and printed leg grippers – these are great shorts to look at.
As the saying goes, it's horses for courses. By selecting the right product for your riding needs and following our care guidelines you maximise the longevity of your Castelli Cycling clothing and hopefully will never need to claim on our two-year warranty.
While picking the right kit for the job is part of the battle, it doesn't solve the issue of abrasion damage overnight. After all, you're moving around on the saddle all the time with thousands and thousands of leg revolutions per ride.
To help avoid abrasion damage on the inside of the thighs – where we see it most commonly – steer clear of saddles with embroidered sections, anti-slip grippers, Kevlar reinforcement or flexibility features that might rub the inside of the legs.
On top of this, some saddle designs have such slim, cut-away sides that they can actually expose the top part of your seatpost, causing the inner thigh to touch the clamp and damage your shorts.
Finally, make sure the Velcro fasteners of seat packs do not touch the shorts – or better still, consider using a Castelli seat-pack with Magic Velcro!
We also often see jerseys that have suffered abrasion damage caused by Velcro entanglements which leaves fluffy bobbling when pulled off, so be extra careful when returning garments to your kit drawer or bag.
Overstuffing your jersey pockets with heavy or sharp objects – such as multitools – can also cause rubbing, especially when working hard out the saddle, causing the contents to move around a lot.
Check out our Castelli care guide for the full lowdown on caring for your garment, but bear in mind these tips to avoid accidental damage through washing.
Do not wash any of your Castelli clothing with gloves, bags, rain jackets, etc that have Velcro closures – as these can stick to other garments and cause damage – and always wash your Castelli clothing inside out.
Triathletes swimming in their Castelli products should be aware that salt water and chlorine-treated pool water can bleach fabrics, and damage fibres and treatments. Always rinse well as soon as possible after swimming and never store wet.
Always wash your Castelli clothing immediately after use – sweat can be corrosive if left on material – and never store any items damp or in sealed bags after use.
Oils, creams, biological detergents and fabric softeners can all break down the fibres of modern sports fabrics, so always wash carefully.
Excessive heat can damage fibres so steer clear of tumble drying, laying over radiators or leaving garments for long periods in direct sunlight where it can overheat. You don't need to worry about wearing Castelli gear in the sun is fine as your body regulates the garments' temperature.
Has your Castelli garment has suffered due to accident or neglect? Fear not, we can still help you!
Crashes, washing machines eating jerseys, shorts snagged on barbed wire fences, dogs chewing holes in gloves and even fire damage are just some of the issues we've addressed with our Cafe-Premio crash-replacement programme, which is designed to help you get back on the road and looking fantastic.