Last year at Kona there was a lot of buzz about the Castelli stealth tri top. It will be hitting the shelves very soon but I have been lucky enough to give it a bit of a test while out in Mallorca on training camp this new year.
The idea behind the stealth top is that it is made of a material more aerodynamic than our skin (especially those with hairy arms!) It claims to give the wearer 3 mins on the bike leg of an ironman. The other main benefit is all important sun protection.
This is probably an item that would give the most benefit to those 'going long' due to the time taken to take it off in T2 vs the time benefit of the aero-ness. Despite this I thought I would give it a go on our 10km time-trial between Alcudia and Port de Pollensa.
The first thing I noticed was that it was nice and stretchy and form hugging. The sample I had was a small which usually wouldnt fit me, but in this case it was fine. it also seemed to do a pretty go job of regulating my temperature. It was around 10 degrees that day and it kept me nice and warm while stood around, but I never overheated while working hard on the bike.
I cant comment on whether it made me any faster on the bike as I wasnt able to give it a proper test, but i think it made me at least LOOK faster! I would probably wear this top for an decent length ride in the sun (for protection) or if I was going to time-trial, as well as for triathlon. It is tight fitting though so it would depend on your own judgement as to whether it is the kind of thing to wear outside of a race setting.
Castelli always seem to raise the bar when it comes to developing clothing in cycling and now in triathlon. This top isnt an exception. It fits well, it feels very nice to wear, it looks good and is at the top of its game in terms of technical benefits.
If you want to order go to -->