The weather isn't always predictable. We have, against our better judgment, left the house under threatening skies without a proper rain jacket and had a lot of time to think about our decision as we waited for a ride at the gas station shivering and wet. If you fancy riding in these conditions, you can either bring a jacket and risk toting it around taking up precious space and maybe not even using it, or you can start the ride off with the Gabba 3 Jersey and be covered if the skies open up.
Pro riders demand this luxury. Even during a race with a team car in the caravan, domestiques dropping back to get clothing for the team leaders and variable weather conditions make grabbing jackets a burden. Castelli's Gabba 3 is an update to the wildly successful Gabba jersey that is often imitated but never duplicated precisely because it eliminates the need for those trips.
Castelli crafts the Gabba 3 using soft, 4-way stretch Windstopper X-Lite fabric, a lightweight, breathable membrane engineered to keep early morning chills at bay while maintaining excellent breathability and allowing your sweat to evaporate. Windstopper X-Lite has 1.4 billion pores per square-inch and has the nearly impossible tasks of keeping wind chill out, heat in, and breathing. The Gabba 3 does all three. The jersey also receives a water-repellent finish so the inevitable surprise rain showers don't leave you saturated. Nano Flex inserts along the underarms add ventilation and breathability, keeping you comfortable during the last ronde of a rain soaked, early spring circuit race.
Fit is crucial to function with this jersey and Castelli hasn't faltered here with the Gabba 3. The chest features an abbreviated fit compared to similar offerings from other manufacturers. This will likely make the Gabba 3 feel tight across the chest and appear that the length is from the next size down, but once in the saddle, the fit is perfect for the miles ahead. It's a race jersey, through-and-through.
A taller collar provides extra protection from the elements and keeps our necks warmer, generating happiness while we're generating watts. A storm-flap construction with a reflective logo on the rear protects against wheel spray, and the silicone gripper at the waist prevents the hem from riding up. Full-length YKK Vislon zipper is easy to open and close to regulate temperature and the wind flap keeps the jersey aero and eliminates the risk of the zipper selling your core out to the gusty chill. Three rear pockets allow plenty of room for storage and the pockets have laser-cut holes at the bottom for drainage.
Castelli recommends the Gabba 3 in temperatures ranging from 50 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Your comfort will ultimately depend on the pace and how you choose to layer, but many of us also treat it as winter jacket. If your engine runs warm, you may find the high end of Castelli's range unbearably warm in the Gabba, but—when paired with sufficient arm warmers—you'll wear it comfortably into the low 40s.
- Rain- and wind-resistant jersey replaces jackets
- Gore Windstopper fabric ideal for cold, wet conditions
- Form-fitting cut keeps an ideal microclimate in a race fit
- Rear storm-flap keeps you dry from wheel spray
- Silicone gripper at waist keeps jersey from riding up
- 3 rear pockets offer storage and allow rain to drain
- Pair with Nano Flex arm warmers when temps and rain are falling
- Castelli's original Gabba jersey revolutionized foul weather racing kit
- Q & A
Essential kit for shoulder season work
In August 2009, Castelli held a series of meetings with Cervélo TestTeam riders to ask them what their desires were for improvements to their pro cycling wardrobe.
Cervélo rider Gabriel Rasch (nickname "Gabba"), the '03 National Road Champion of Norway, asked for something that did not exist at the time.
A short-sleeve jersey for Winter/Spring training that could: (a) provide thermal protection for use in cold weather; (b) a fabric that did not flap in the wind and thus slow the rider down; (c) and a jersey that provided good fog/mist/drizzle protection; and yet... (d) a textile that actually/effectively vented-away the kind of sweat production generated during high-output riding.
In sum, Gabba (and his teammates) wanted a jersey that could protect them against the nasty, cold, wet, yet variable weather conditions encountered during training and racing in late Winter and early Spring in Northern Europe.
So, Castelli (in collaboration with textile leader W.L. Gore) developed a new kind of garment - one that would satisfy Gabriel Rasch and Team Cervélo. The rest is history.
The "Gabba" jersey quickly became such a favorite in the pro peloton that even non-Castelli sponsored riders would personally buy Gabba jerseys, blackout the lables, and race/train in them -including guys like Cancellara.
The Gabba short-sleeve jersey is designed -to match- with Castelli's water-resistant Nano Flex arm-warmers. Start your cold morning ride with arm-warmers (and knee warmers) on and remove later if/when the sun peaks out.
I wear the Gabba jersey over a mesh or light polypro vest baselayer for maximum performance. Castelli and Craft make great ones.
Sizing: Size up +1 from your usual street size, per usual with Castelli. Even then it will be snug -as it should be.
**The Gabba is part of Castelli's Rosso Corsa (race) line. This jersey is definitely tailored slim for the target rider: slim/fit/athletic riders.