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Gear

Winter Perfection: Castelli Perfetto ROS jacket and gloves

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We’ve been fans of the Castelli Gabba jersey since it made waves across the spring classics a decade ago. Designed as a water- and wind-resistant short-sleeve top, it’s the perfect choice for racing on colder days, providing the option to start with arm warmers and remove them as the action heats up. We’re far from alone in our affection for the Gabba. Over the past decade, it has become an oft-mimicked but never quite equaled garment. But no matter how good it is, it’s a specialized piece of equipment and definitely not the first piece of winter clothing we would buy. We’d start with something with long sleeves. That’s where Castelli’s Perfetto ROS Convertible Jacket comes in.

PELOTON

A decade since the Gabba came out, we have found something even better, if only because it’s almost the same thing. Castelli delivers two winter pieces in one with the Perfetto ROS, having essentially taken the Gabba and added zip-off sleeves. And it costs just $60 more than the Gabba alone—though that brings the total to $260. Luckily, this jacket earns its asking price by hitting almost everything out of the park.

jordan clark haggard
Image: Jordan Clark Haggard.

Made with Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper fabric, this jacket has become our new go-to on days from just above freezing to the 50-degree Fahrenheit range. If rain looms, we don’t worry; precipitation beads right off. And taped seams and a 92 drop tail provide extra protection. It won’t hold off torrential downpours forever but it makes the difference between a good day and a bad one.

With a close cut, this jacket leaves room for little more than a base layer or jersey beneath. But just adjusting the weight of the base layer extends its range to match most of our winter riding. If things heat up in the middle of the ride, two vents on the chest zip open to dump excess heat. If the day warms up even more, you can also remove the sleeves. On chilly race days in early season, substituting the sleeves for arm warmers will have you rolling up to the start line with confidence, and have everyone else on alert.

The Perfetto ROS gloves are the perfect complement to the jacket, providing protection from the elements when rain starts to become slushy. Made from the same Gore-Tex Windstopper material as the jacket, these comfortable gloves provide just enough grip and padding in the palms, while remaining thin enough to reach into jersey pockets. Material on the pointer fingers and thumbs allow you to keep using your touchscreen GPS and phone without having to remove the gloves and lose that oh-so-precious pocket of warm air. $260 (jacket), $70 (gloves); castelli-cycling.com

From issue 92, get your copy here.