When the seams split on both my orange Castelli jersey and Castelli winter bib tights, I descended into a small spiral of anger from which only hateful correspondence emerges.
“Dearest Castelli, My first pair of bike shorts were a pair of hand-me-down Castellis, and I loved them. Still do. This pair of shorts I own has thousands of miles on them. Still holding up ok. The chamois is basically shot, but otherwise, they’re serviceable. Well made. I’m thinking, OK…Castelli – I can’t go wrong. So I buy a couple of garments. I bought a jersey I had been eyeing for a while – an orange Cambio jersey, as well as a pair of NIK bib tights. Both from legit bicycle retailers – Indie Bike and BikeTiresDirect. I had no concerns or reservations. Within months, both garments had come apart. And I’m hardly abusive on clothing. One of the side seams on the Cambio came apart, and one of the seams along the ankle of the bib tight came apart. Now well outside of my retailers’ 30-day return window, I’m just pissed. This stuff was a lot of money, and it in no way met my expectations. It’s disappointing, and I’ve let it stew inside long enough. I’m pissed off at you guys! I want to buy your stuff, but why would I even bother now? My Nike and my PI stuff has seemed to hold up just fine, why not yours? Was $80 not enough to spend on a jersey? I got the tights on sale, but new they were almost $200 – are you kidding me? Now I’m left to cobble together some kind of amateur sewing job, or just pitch them altogether. I shouldn’t have to do this. This stuff should just work, like it’s supposed to. Do you stand behind your product? If you do, lets work something out. I’m obviously a little upset.”
To which Castelli responded:
“Thank you for contacting us. We’re very sorry to hear about your troubles with Castelli apparel, and yes, we stand behind our product. We also appreciate your feedback, as we are continually working to address quality issues, improve design, and technology for our customers. If you would like to send them back to us, we will repair or replace them under our warranty policy as soon as possible. I’m happy to help sort this out.”
Well no sh*t. That rules.
A few weeks passed, and after polite follow-on conversation, a brand new jersey and a brand new pair of bibs arrived. Wow. After learning that the black jersey that was sent also came in pink, I worked out an exchange with Indie Bike, who was happy to oblige. Knowing there was a semi-obnoxious alternative color made it impossible to resist. So Castelli and Indie Bike. Good people.