The History of Castelli
A HISTORY OF INNOVATION, PASSION AND HISTORICAL FIRSTS
1876 - VITTORE GIANNI
Castelli traces its roots back to a fine tailor (Vittore Gianni) in the heart of Milan, founded in 1876. Through the years, Vittore Gianni clothed AC Milan, Juventus, and the Milan Ballet.
1910 - ALFREDO BINDA
The first cycling clothing was made in the 1910s for the world champion and five-time Giro champion Alfredo Binda.
1935 - ARMANDO CASTELLI
The business changed course in 1935 when a young Armando Castelli joined Gianni’s staff and in 1939 purchased the company.
1945 - HIGH‑PROFILE CLIENTS
Castelli maintained Vittore Gianni’s high‑profile clients, which by the late 1940s included the cycling heroes Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi.
1948 - MAURIZIO CASTELLI
Armando’s son, Maurizio was born. He grew up following the races of Fausto Coppi who always wore Vittore Gianni clothing, including the first silk skin suits designed for Fausto’s time trials.
1953 - THE PROFESSIONALS
And it didn’t stop there, Louison Bobet, Raphael Gimignani, Rik Van Looy and Jacques Anquetil wore the Vittore Gianni apparel, including up to 12 pro teams were clothed by Vittore Gianni in these years.
1974 - THE SCORPION
An early version of the Castelli scorpion logo fashioned by Maurizio for his newly formed brand.
1977 - FIRST LYCRA SHORTS
Castelli innovates again when introducing the first aerodynamic Lycra® shorts used in racing and sold to the public.
1979 - REVOLUTION
Castelli was crowned with the prestigious Corriere dello Sport Discobolo award. “Castelli has in a truly futuristic way, revolutionize clothing for cyclists”.
1981 - FIRST COLORED SHORTS
At the 1981 Giro, Maurizio outfitted a handful of riders with the first colored Lycra® shorts – at a time when only black shorts were allowed.
1983 - FIRST SUBLIMATION PRINT AND WINDPROOF JERSEY
Castelli pioneered the sublimation dye process with the first sublimation printing of jerseys which allowed graphics such sponsor’s names to be printed directly on fabric. Bernard Hinault wore the first windproof jersey to win the Fleche Wallonne classic.
1984 - FIRST THERMAL CLOTHING
Francesco Moser wearing the first functional thermal clothing at Paris-Roubaix.
1989 - OFFICIAL SUPPLIER
In the late 80’s and early 90’s Castelli supplied the leader jerseys at the Giro d’italia and Tour de France as well as a dozen of pro teams.
1995 - A SAD MOMENT
Maurizio’s life was cut short at age 47 when he died of a heart attack riding up the Cipressa hill, the legendary ascent on the Milan-San Remo course.
1996 - FIRST WOMAN COLLECTION
Maurizio’s vision to create the most innovative clothing continued being the driving force of the company. In 1996, the first fully aerodynamic skinsuit was introduced for the Atlanta Olympics.Castelli equipped the Italian national cycling team, and Paola Pezzo when she won the olympic gold medal in mountain biking. The same year, Castelli introduced the first womens cycling collecton.
1998 - WICKING FABRIC TREATMENT AND Y-CUT PAD
The Castelli equipped, Team Once with Abraham Olano wore the first jersey with wicking fabric treatment (Prosecco).The same year, Castelli innovates the first modern anatomic seatpad, the Y-cut seatpad.
2007 - REVOLUTIONIZING RACE CLOTHING
Castelli revolutionizes Team Saunier Duval's clothing with the first Aero Race Jersey, the first Aero Bibshort and the lightest jersey ever produced in professional cycling to date. The Giro elastic band was introduced when others used an uncomfortable, tight and thin elastic at the edge of their shorts. In just 4 years the cycling shorts are completely changed.
2008 - RADIATION
The ‘Radiation’ insulation system is introduced offering performance cyclists a new way of dressing for cold winter days. (Radiation)
2009 - REINVENTING THE BIBSHORT
Castelli reinvents the bib short with Body Paint, a single piece of fabric with most of the components integrated into the seamless fabric.
2010 - COLD AND WET
The Gabba WS jersey, the first all-weather aerodynamic jersey, is used by the Cervelo-TestTeam (above) and immediately sets the standard for protection against cold and wet conditions for racers and club cyclists alike.The Nano-Flex water repellent fabrics shed water but are still breathable offering function as well as an aero fit.
2011 - SANREMO SPEED SUIT
The Sanremo Speed Suit, the first ever skinsuit made for road racing, is used by Johan Van Summeren to win Paris-Roubaix (above). This has spawned a host of copies from other manufacturers as riders appreciate the aero factors but with more practicality. Think skinsuit with pockets but more usable.
2012 - BODY PAINT 3.0 SPEED SUIT
Canadian Ryder Hesjedal uses the Body Paint 3.0 speed suit, the most engineered time-trial suit ever made by Castelli, to win the Giro d’Italia by a scant 16 seconds overall.
2013 - BRAND PHILOSOPHY
"I would never have been able to revolutionize cyclist clothing if I hadn't competed on a bicycle. This is the only way to get to know the matter in depth".
THE STORY OF AN ICON
2020 marks the 10th anniversary of our Gabba. To celebrate, we want to showcase some epic Gabba moments and tell the full story from the past decade, talking to the people behind the scenes.
We were all pretty surprised at how excited the riders were about this new weird piece of equipment. It was stealth black, short-sleeved and aero, and when the riders came to the first race everybody was looking at them, with nobody saying anything but probably thinking, “What is this? What is this?”
March 17, 2013: The day everything changed. Snow, rain and freezing conditions hit the 104th edition of Milan–San Remo. It’s also the day that serendipitously showcased the Gabba to a wider audience. Many other riders were spotted that day in the Gabba with the iconic scorpion logo scribbled out. That was the day the Gabba became an icon.
Every rider immediately recognized that this was a game changer for racing in cold and wet weather. The third generation of the Gabba became the pro’s favorite piece of equipment with improved core protection and unmatched breathability even when the sun is shining.
A decade after Castelli launched the Gabba project that changed the way pros race and train in wet conditions, the fall/winter ’19 collection marked the next big leap in innovation and evolution with the fourth generation of the Gabba.
FREE AERO RC BIBSHORT
The perfect mix of comfort and speed. Engineered for top-level racing, which also makes it supremely comfortable for every ride and rider.