A lot has been written about the Castelli Gabba Jersey – there is a write up on the first version from March 2013 here on CycleTechReview – so I won’t go into detail about how it came to be a must have bit of kit. Instead let’s go straight to look at the Castelli Gabba 2…
There is a great video that explains the characteristics of the x-lite fabric below, and there are a number of other brands that have a similar jersey, but the Gabba is really the father of rain jerseys.
The 2.0 version has some improvements: the pockets now have mesh at the bottom to drain water, and there’s some slight changes to the chest venting. The sizing/cut has also been tweaked a little, supposedly to make you more aerodynamic, and there is a slightly different waistband.
The jacket has a rear flap – or a bum flap in real speak – that, unless it’s hammering it down, can be a bit of a pain, as unlike some other jerseys/jackets that have a form of fixing the flap in place with either press studs or Velcro, if it’s warm it can end up making your lower back a tad hot and possibly moist. Other changes are more subtle graphics, so less use of black permanent marker for those who race…
The jersey really works well, and can be used in a fairly wide range of temperatures, combined with the correct inner layer, and not only in the wet. I’ve found it also works well when it’s overcast, but it’s not a jersey for long café stops; it seems to work best when you are riding fairly hard. Early season training camp rides and wet races spring to mind. I’ve used the jersey in between 5C and 18C, if you add an extra water/wind resistant outer layer the jacket can be used for long mountain rides; I’ve done up to 6hrs, without ending up frozen.
The redesigned fit seems to have added a little length to the jersey sleeves, as they are long enough to go under/over gloves. One thing that I have found that I seem to end up putting my gloves in the deep rear pockets as opposed to having them on all day when I’m wearing the jersey.
Unlike some other jerseys there is no extra zipped pocket for your phone/change, but they are quite deep and one pocket can hold a gilet, phone and a Powerbar easily. There is a reflective strip around the pockets, and around the bottom of the flap. On the subject of zips, the Gabba 2’s is full length, has a red Castelli logo scorpion zip toggle that allows it to be easily pulled up or down whilst wearing gloves or with cold/ wet hands.
As with most Castelli you have to go up a size, I’m usually a small in Craft and Pearl Izumi but a Medium in Castelli. Unlike some Castelli clothing, the cut is fantastic, if you’re more of a Flarindran or a MAMIL (I tick both of those boxes) than a skinny mountain goat, you won’t feel like out of place with this cut.
It’s available in 3 different colours in long sleeve in both men’s and women’s, a short sleeved mens fit as well as a convertible sleeved version, available in blue and black. For possibly the ultimate combo add a Fawsome Gilet.
I can really recommend the Gabba, it’s worth it’s weight in gold if you ever get caught out in the middle of nowhere. If you can afford one it’s worth the premium price, and the black one, whilst not being traffic visible, is quite flattering. I’m hoping that Santa Claus (i.e. the Mrs) will drop me a short sleeve one down the chimney for Xmas…
Castelli Gabba Jersey RRP £180
Castelli UK (Saddleback)
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