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The name Alpha denotes the first in a series. With these products, Castelli are introducing several new techniques and fabrics to construct cool- and cold-weather jackets.
They’ve focused on two perennial problems with cycling jackets and wind jerseys. First is ventilation. With their latest fabrics they can essentially build a winter jacket that will keep you warm in all but the most extreme conditions with just a base layer underneath. Usually when you open the front zipper you get a blast of cold air at the top of your chest, while the rest of your body remains too hot. With Alpha they’ve detached the insulation layer from the windproof layer so that you can open the windproof layer to let air in to ventilate and help evaporate moisture. Riding in these pieces shows how effective they are at regulating temperature and comfort while helping to keep you drier.
The second focus area is all the openings. At the waist Castelli have a new fabric and construction that lies completely flat and is streamlined for aerodynamics, yet when you drop into the riding position it follows your body without binding or billowing. At the wrists they have a new flat raw-edge construction that interfaces perfectly with our gloves to keep drafts out and improve comfort. At the collar they have a new articulated construction that follows the angle of your neck whether you’re standing or riding in the lowest aero position.