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Castelli Entrata Tights No Pad 

215g Men's XL Black £95

The Castelli Entrata Tights No Pad do not have a pad. No surprise there. Castelli suggest that they are great for riders who want extra warmth over or under bib-shorts either during or post ride, or for running. I will not be commenting on the latter, but I’ve found them very comfortable on the bike – and triathletes and other cross-trainers can take it from there. By the way, a padded version is available. "Entrata" translates as "entrance", and there are plenty of options available for those "entering" the world of cycling tights. However, not all tights are equal.


Pros: ankle-zips, adaptable, very well-designed and constructed.


Cons: price.

cycling tights review
cycling tights test review


Thermoflex fabric is designed to offer warmth and flexibility for a comfortable smooth ride. The temperature range runs from 6-12C, so not for the coldest weather, but highly suitable for winter or spring and, with assistance from or as a base-layer, in colder weather. Equally, there are winter specific tights and bib-tights on offer from Castelli.


Hem and waist are elasticated, with the rear of the waist being more strongly elasticated than the front. The cut is quite sporty – more of that below. The panelled design promises comfort on long rides. There are ankle zips to help slip them on. A high degree of stretchiness means that you can pull these up tight.


There is reflective detail.


There’ll be those who will miss a stirrup, but others won’t be bothered by this omission. Whilst the hems are elasticated, there is no gripper strip. Ankle zips are a very helpful feature.

Size and fit 3.5/5

Opening the bag and taking a first look, I was surprised at how small they looked. Was this XL? Check the label, yes, XL. I hoped they were very stretchy. There’s a sizing chart on the Saddleback website which is pretty spot on. The tights are stretchy. I was at the top end of the XL range and the size is spot on. They are certainly tighter than some, but then, they are described as an “aero” fit.


On reflection, preferring a slightly more relaxed fit, I might have gone a size up. Having said that, maybe a little reminder of pre-Christmas calorie awareness did me no harm!


Select from S to XXXL, but remember that Castelli is a pretty sporting brand and that the top of the size range is the max - and try not to be vain and don't blame Castelli for too much cake at the cafe.

tst review castelli cycling tights

Care and durability 4/5

Wash at 30C, no bleach or softener, then line dry in the shade rather than tumble dry and do not dry clean. Quite normal washing instructions for this type of gear. There are no instructions regarding detergents, but I’d use something gentle or technical. On a brisk, breezy day, they’ve dried in an hour or so – having no pad helps – and they’ll dry overnight indoors without hanging on a radiator.

After several washes and use most days for six weeks, they still look pristine, with no signs of wear or tear. They have seen action in combat with a some trail-side undergrowth and have not suffered. Do remember, though, that these are primarily road gear.

test eviw cycling tights
cycling tights test review

Performance 4/5

Not designed as winter specific tights, a pre-dawn commute at 0C brought a bit of a chill, but far from uncomfortable. When the mercury dropped -4C a pair of compression tights, used as a base-layer, made things quite comfortable. Thicker base-layers worked, too, but felt a bit too chunky – maybe I should have gone up that size, but the truth is that these are not designed to keep you toasty at less than 6C, so had really done pretty well.


I’ve found them ideal for those milder English winter days, say around 8C, suggesting they’ll do well in spring and autumn, too. On longer day rides, combined with padded shorts, the articulated nature of the design has encouraged comfortable riding: everything seems to stretch and pull in the right directions. Worth adding that there was good cohesion between the tights and the padded inner shorts – in this case Funkier Seamless Boxer Shorts.


Worn under bib-tights or my older, looser Corinne Dennis longs, they’ve been too warm for me with the temperature at 0C. With a wind chill at -5C, the combination was a very good one. However, I’d usually go for some specialist winter bib-tights, such as the Stolen Goat Climb and Conquer.


I’ve found that the Entrata tights are best combined with longer jerseys and jackets, such as the Castelli Commute Reflex or the Stolen Goat Aarkan Everyday Jersey. Such combinations have prevented chill around the kidneys. That is partly down to the fact that my touring geometry is a more upright than any racing snake of even moderate ambition would use.


These aren’t waterproof or even resistant, but they do dry rapidly on the bike after a short shower. A good soaking and they’ll take time to dry out and they’ll not keep things warm. However, the slim profile and panel design go well under waterproof over-trousers – of you wear such things. Speedier day riders may not think this important: tourers and explorers may well like it.


By the way, despite there being no stirrup or gripper strip, I’ve noticed no riding up around the ankles whilst riding.


Castelli suggest that the Entrata Tights No Pad will double-up for running. I am not going to comment as I am not a runner.


To pad or not to pad, that is the question. Well, without trying the padded version I won’t try to be definitive. I am sure that Castelli would only use high quality pads, so I’ll assume that your answer would depend on whether you wanted to maintain the flexibility of pulling these on under your bib-tights or getting off your bike and going for a run.

Value 3.5/5

£95 for the Entrata No Pads is a good deal to splash out. With a similar temperature range, but described as “thermal”, dhb offer a model at £70. It lacks some of the finer touches e.g. ankle zips and articulating panels.


Likewise, Endura offer a wide-range of tights. For around £100 their Pro-Thermo Waist Tights you’ll get a pad and a DWR coating, too. There are ankle zips on some, too.


Michael regarded the Funkier Aqua Pro Water-Repellent Tights as excellent value and very easy to care for. They are padded, water-repellent (clue in the name), and come in at around £75. Similarly, the Madison Freewheel Bib-Tights are cheaper and padded, not to mention thermal. However, such are moot points if you want the flexibility offered by going pad-less.


Although Corinne Dennis no longer make the model of my go to tights, they do offer models from a little above £50. Mine are no frills, but their longevity speaks volumes.


You may find some of these discounted on-line.


You can get a pad, DWR coating, and so on – or combinations of these features - for less. However, the Entrata No Pad are very well-made, easy to look after, offer excellent elasticity in all the right places for comfortably smooth pedalling. This suggest faster or longer rides where rain-repelling properties are not so important or, where flexibility is required – perhaps longer tours or spring/autumn Audax events.

Verdict 3.75/5 Good all-rounders with some neat additional features.


Steve Dyster





Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH


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