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Castelli Gabba RoS jersey review

12 Mar 2020

Page 2 of 2Castelli launches updated Gabba and Perfetto jersey

Verdict:

The Castelli Gabba RoS jersey is the original weatherproof jersey and it is still the best

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£175
For 
Breathability • Weatherproofing • Insulation • Fit

Castelli launches updated Gabba and Perfetto jersey

For AW19 Castelli has updated its famous Gabba jersey, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The garment was released in 2009 and underwent a lengthy period of development with the Castelli-sponsored Cervélo Test Team, but remained a low profile addition to the Castelli catalogue until the rain-soaked 2013 edition of Milan-San Remo.

Aware of the jersey’s attributes and wary of the weather, pro riders who were not sponsored by Castelli used their own money to buy the jersey in a bid to keep themselves and their teams protected in the torrential conditions.

The jersey offered partial weather protection in a breathable, racey fit - a combination of features that no other kit manufacturer offered at the time.

The Castelli logos were covered over with permanent marker yet the uniform, plain black jerseys were unmistakable, worn as they were over several teams’ comparatively gaudy sponsored kit.

Since then the Gabba has been a perennial best seller for Castelli, and this latest revision sees it gain the ‘Rain or Shine’, or ‘RoS’, moniker to reflect its improved dry weather performance alongside the near-waterproof protection it has offered since its inception.

‘We introduced the RoS concept last season in our Alpha jackets,’ says Rich Mardle, Castelli brand director at its UK distributor Saddleback. ‘A garment with the RoS name means the rider only has to concern themselves with dressing to temperature, because the kit can cope with any weather conditions.’

The RoS has been rolled out across the Perfetto range, in which the Gabba falls.

‘Across the Perfetto family we’ve introduced little updates to every garment, which have added up to big net improvements,’ says Mardle. ‘As well as going through our in-house development team, we've taken the Perfetto garments to the wind tunnel, worked with pros and even the fabric producers themselves.

'Due to our reputation for garment innovation, Castelli tends to get preference from fabric companies - often they’ll approach us to work with them, as opposed to the other way around.’

One such example is the move to Gore-Tex Infinium from Gore Windstopper. Castelli has exclusive use of the updated fabrics outside of Gore itself.

The Perfetto Longsleeve RoS and Gabba RoS are essentially the long- and short-sleeve version of the same garment. They now use Infinium 205 on the front of the garment and shoulders, which is a waterproof and lightly fleeced version of the Gore-Tex variant.

At the rear the garments use Infinium 203, which isn’t insulated, but still water-repellant and crucially very stretchy, so the Perfetto Longsleeve and Gabba still fit closely.

Both garments have contrast seam detailing at the shoulder. Mardle says these seams have been taped just far enough to prevent 90% of water ingress but still keep the garment from becoming rigid and bulky.

The distinctive dropped tail and reflective panel remain from the last iteration, but the back pockets have been changed. The jersey now has two larger pockets, which Castelli says are easier to reach into with gloved hands, but to prevent things from becoming disorganised there is a pump-sleeve stitched into the left side of the right pocket.

The Perfetto Longsleeve Convertible jersey has incorporated all of these changes as well and its detachable arms have undergone a revision. The zips now sit just above the elbow, surrounding three-quarters of the arm, and have neatly integrated overlaps of fabric to add protection and hide the join.

The Perfetto RoS Light garment steps down from full weather protection to partial - it uses the uninsulated, lighter-weight and stretchy Infinium 203 for its front panels and doesn’t have taped seams. It uses Castelli’s own Nanoflex fabric on the back, which Castelli says is even lighter weight the the Infinium 203, providing high levels of breathability with a touch of water repellency.

Castelli’s new Perfetto RoS range is available now.

Page 2 of 2Castelli launches updated Gabba and Perfetto jersey

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