Capo is known for their beautiful Italian style cycling apparel and the Padrone is their work of art and engineering.
Capo creates nothing in isolation. Each piece of gear — from bib and jersey to gloves, arm warmers and vest — is not only designed to perform on its own but as part of an entire kit. That kind of tight integration boosts performance, comfort and style points.
The Padrone is in the details. For example, the shoulder straps are wide and super thin laser-cut lycra bonded with mesh. Besides the hot weather breathability and stretch, the straps are invisible underneath your jersey. No raised or bunched fabric — just a clean line down the shoulder. A Giorgio Armani move.
The thigh bands on the Padrone also receive a slightly thicker version of the bonded lycra and mesh — Capo calls it Dual Ply Power V. The fabric gives you a sleek and compressive look. But again, that’s just half the benefit — now your knee and leg warmers fit under the bib short with a tailored look and the transition line barely exists. Think of the Padrone as a suit, not simply pieces and parts.
Certainly, all that attention to detail and fashion and fit are backed up by impressive technical specs. The Anatomic 4G pad is top notch. It’s a dual density design (8mm and 6mm) with carbon threads in the anti-microbial micro-fiber. Our experience in the saddle with the Padrone is that it excels on the longer rides. Padrone means “boss” in Italian and if the boss wants to knock off 75 miles on a Tuesday afternoon then nobody at the office is going to stop him.
Everything about the Padrone feels dialed in. They use an HG (high gauge) Power Lycra that seems to tighten up the 4G pad position. That may also account for why the Padrone seems to get more comfortable the longer you ride. The HG also delivers extra abrasion resistance in case you hit the tarmac one of these days.
Capo is based in California but takes its inspiration and fabrics from Italy. It’s that mix of old and new world that seems to bring out the best. The Padrone is cutting edge in terms of innovation but willfully insistent on craftsmanship.
When you integrate style and function across an entire collection, the benefits multiply. The Padrone bib is designed to enhance the performance of the Padrone jersey which is designed to enhance the performance of the Padrone vest. Generally, we throw our bibs and jerseys in a drawer or cubby, but we actually place our Padrone bib and long sleeve jersey on a hanger to be enjoyed even when we’re off the bike.
Part of Capo’s “collection” approach to design is that what you buy is a cohesive and comprehensive look. All the elements fit together and that also enhances and simplifies the shopping experience. Other brands are just now catching onto the Capo idea of design unity and visual language. The Padrone, like all the Capo lines, is a complete four season cycling wardrobe.
Some final thoughts: we found the Padrone to be one of the best fitting bibs of the nearly dozen we’ve tested this year. In particular the slim, wide straps seem less prone to sliding. The bib front comes up higher on the stomach than most and again, that gives you that extra measure of tailored support. There’s even a subtle dark pinstripe to the Capo Wave fabric. It’s a subliminal cue from the Padrone that says power just like a corporate lawyers’ suit. The 4G Anatomical pad encourages you to tack on an extra 45 minutes to your ride.
Verdict: The Padrone is an impressive and well-crafted bib short that will take you far down the road in style. The boss has aggressive expansion plans –beware Assos, Capo is headed your way.
Icebreaker Commute Zip jacket, Giro Aeon helmet, Sugoi Zap vest, Pearl Izumi P.R.O RD II road shoes, Ritchey Pro Carbon Evo handlebars, Pearl Izumi Barrier Lite vest, Keo Blade pedals, Mavic Infinity Bib short, Icebreaker Circuit bib short, Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset