On Test: Castelli Gabba and Perfetto
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A few years ago at Eurobike we were chatting with Steve Smith, Castelli’s european brand manager, and as trade show conventions inevitably do, conversation turned to what’s next. Steve looked at us and said, ‘Convergence’. We initially thought this was some marketing speak like ‘synergy’ or ‘verticals’, but now, five years later, we see just how prescient he was. At the time, Castelli’s Gabba line was still a novelty. A jersey with water and wind resistance? Isn’t that what a rain cape is for?
One look at the innumerable copy cats, and we can see the concept of convergence – one garment that does the job of two, three or even four different garments – had legs. Castelli has continued to lead the way, further developing Gabba, which is now in its third iteration and launching Perfetto, a Gabba inspired line for warmer temperatures. Both of these lines allow riders to roll out with confidence in less than perfect weather, without multiple layers or pockets stuffed with extra apparel. It’s impressive protection for hours on the road without extra weight or bulk.
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Gabba 3.0 Jersey
The line that changed everything, Gabba 3.0 is made of Gore Windstopper X-Lite Plus fabric. It puts both wind protection and significant water resistance in a light weight fabric. Castelli takes this fabric and cuts it into a form fitting jersey inspired by the pros, with Nano Flex fabric under the arms for comfort in an aggressive riding position. With this cut, Gabba 3.0 is likely the most aerodynamic foul weather gear in the peloton. And when we say foul weather we aren’t kidding, Gabba has a stowable flap at the back for added protection from road spray as well as laser cut drain holes in the back pockets in case the weather gets apocalyptic.
When weather treads the line between fully Belgian and totally South of France Perfetto is perfect, which happens to be what ‘perfetto’ means in Italian. It’s sort of like Gabba’s little brother, with Gore Windstopper X-Lite Plus fabric on the front, but at the back Castelli uses Nano Flex Light fabric. Without a membrane, Nano Flex Light provides increased breathability, with a bit of water resistant ability. Castelli uses the Perfetto template for a host of garments – short sleeve jerseys, long sleeve jerseys vests and convertible jackets.
Here at the PELOTON Service Course we’ll be riding in the new Gabba 3.0 jersey and a few garments from the Perfetto line this winter. Stay tuned for a more detailed look at the latest from Castelli in the pages of PELOTON Magazine soon. For more from Castelli head to castelli-cycling.com.