The Castelli Gabba jersey played a key part in changing foul weather cycling kit for the better. The Gabba is now almost a household name for most road cyclists due to its reputation, and the original jersey appeared in the pro peloton ranks back in 2010. You can read about the Gabba’s origins, but to provide a quick overview, it was named after professional rider Gabriel Rasch after feedback from him and other pro riders on the Cervelo Test Team who wanted an aero and lightweight jersey to race in that provided protection and warmth in unpleasant, wet, and cold weather.
The Gabba has remained in the Castelli line ever since, going through several tweaks and updates, and though it has been joined by a range of other competitor offerings it remains the jersey that changed how we dress for certain conditions.
The jersey is currently heavily discounted in the Wiggle January sales, this one is the UK only, sorry US readers! The Gabba ROS (rain or shine) in black currently has 70% off in small, medium and large sizes. Meaning it’s available for just £57. Orange, Red and Blue versions are available for slightly more, but the black has the biggest discount.
Just so we are clear, this is the slightly older Gabba ROS and there is a newer (more expensive) Gabba ROS 2 on the market now, but this is still an excellent piece of kit at a solid price.
Coming into Spring a protective jersey like this can be just the ticket for racing, riding hard, or just a bit less bulk on the bike and we decided this was a deal worth highlighting.
What made and makes the Gabba so useful? Well, Pre Gabba there wasn’t really an aerodynamic, protective jacket or jersey available. Road cyclists wore flappy, waterproof jackets for years that tended to be boil-in-the-bag, or just layered up. I had a huge, see-through, sweaty plastic rain jacket which was just what I wore in the rain or bad weather.
The Gabba’s Gore-Tex Windstopper (now named ‘Infinium’) material offer good thermal protection and water resistance but enough breathability to prevent overheating whilst racing or riding hard which is key. The jacket was used widely at the infamous Milan San Remo in 2013 and it was rumoured Fabian Cancellara went out and brought every teammate of his a Gabba to wear.
Given the Gabba’s fit and USP, it’s best paired with arm warmers. There have been long-sleeved versions of the Gabba on the market in the past and it had detachable arms for a time but for now it’s a short short-sleeved option. For a long-sleeved alternative, you can use our Castelli jacket guide, and the Perfetto jacket enters the conversation straight away when moving into long-sleeve territory.
For arm warmers, Castelli would recommend their own Nano Flex offerings with the jersey which are wind and water-resistant, but there are plenty of other options out there to choose from.