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Product Review: – Gabba 2 Jersey

Castelli’s Gabba waterproof jersey needs little introduction. Since it came out in 2010, it has taken the pro peloton, and non-fairweather cyclists by storm. And that’s fair enough really, who wouldn’t want to make their bad weather riding a bit more comfortable?

A quick recap: The Gabba is made from Gore X-lite plus, a lightweight windproof fabric with water-repellent properties. It’s designed by and for pros, so the fit is tight and racy. It has a storm-flap at the rear to protect the rider from wheel spray.

We’re on the new and improved version now, imaginatively called Gabba 2. The biggest difference, and improvement, is the introduction of a wind flap for the full-length zip, keeping more wind and rain out than the previous version. The eyelets in the rear pockets have been replaced with mesh fabric at the bottom of the pockets for better drainage.

Other features have remained the same: the aero fit, reflective piping on the three pockets, full-length zip, high collar and gripper hem.

I guess by now it’ll be clear that pros like this one for racing in foul conditions, but where does it fit in for those not racing? I like wearing it in any weather that doesn’t involve sunshine: any combination of cloudy, windy and rainy. Even though it won’t keep you dry in anything more than a shower, it will still keep you warm by virtue of it keeping the wind out. That collar is great at keeping you snug, and the storm flap keeps off the worst of the grime thrown at you from your rear wheel.

For me, it’s best worn with a baselayer – the windproof material isn’t the nicest next to skin. When it’s a bit colder, it works well with windproof armwarmers, like Castelli’s Nano Flex ones. Temperature range is a tricky one as it depends on wind and rain, but I’d say from about 8 degrees up.

Last time we reviewed the Gabba, in 2011, there was nothing like it on the market. Mat predicted that other manufacturers would be trying to copy it. That they have, in droves: Nalini, Gore, Endura and stolen Goat are among the brands that have a windproof jersey in their range.

Of these, I’ve only used (and reviewed) the Nalini, which is more towards the waterproof jacket end. Of the two, I prefer the Gabba. Jez has both a Gabba and a Stolen Goat Orkaan (which he reviewed), and reckons the latter out-Gabbas the former.

All I can say is that the Gabba 2 is a cracking all weather jersey, and I recommend to anyone riding in bad weather, even if it costs a fair bit.

The Gabba’s claimed weight is 260 grams, though the size Large I tested weighs 304 grams on my scales. It’s available in sizes Small to Triple XL, in black, red, yellow, green and blue, and is also available in a women’s version.


Still a cracker, even if it’s not cheap.
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