The Castelli Gabba 2 (All Hail The Gabba)

Wow.

That is the verb I would choose to most fully describe the Gabba 2.

At this point I feel it is important to nail my colours to the flag regarding kit and cost. Firstly, having moved to Yorkshire 2 years ago the county has rubbed off on me as I look for value for money from my kit purchases. Secondly, I will look at reviews of multiple similar products to try and ascertain whether or not there is something on the market that does a comparable job at a cheaper price.

Anyway now that is out of the way back to the review.

Having ordered the Gabba 2 for a good price around the Black Friday sales. The perfect time of the year to put it through it’s paces.

When it arrived it was delivered in it’s own separate box (?!).

It is clear that this is not just a jersey.

DSC_0388
Rosso Corsa – Castelli’s Premier Line

When I ordered the Gabba 2 I went up one size from what I normally wear (in cycling terms). This for me meant I was going for a size Large. When I was opening it up the Gabba looked very small so I was a bit apprehensive and thought, for a split second, that I should have gone for an XL.

When I put it on those worries were allayed as it was the perfect fit. The Gabba 2 is cut in a performance fit and is the best fitting jersey/jacket I have. There is absolutely no excess material on the arms, shoulders or body that flaps about in the wind which makes for a reduction in drag. In terms of fit I cannot fault this jersey at all.

For the first real test of this jersey I waited for it to rain and be windy. In other words, foul weather. That wait did not prove to be a long one being based in Yorkshire. In November.

DSC_0385
Rosso Corsa – Castelli’s Premier Line

As I left the house and got on to the bike my first thought was “wow, this is cosy”. As a result of the windproofing absolutely nothing was getting through. I only had a long sleeve base layer on underneath and it was the perfect temperature. The ambient temperature outside was around 7-8 degrees C to put that in some context.

My main concerns on the first ride were A) not being warm enough but as I was rolling down the hill that was never going to be an issue. And B) getting far too warm to the point where I would boil.

The first ride, and subsequent rides that I have used this on, have been undertaken at a good tempo as they have been training rides. As the first ride went on the idea of taking off the long arms never crossed my mind as I was at a very comfortable temperature and during any efforts the Gabba 2 was breathable enough for me not to overheat.

The rain repellency  was very good during the intermittent showers and hail that I encountered. These were not for prolonged periods (only around 30 – 40 mins) and it coped admirably with the water hitting the material and beading dripping off, or staying stationary, but not absorbing.

Obviously, this is not a fully waterproof garment and as such will not keep you dry in heavy persistent rain. When this has been the case I have worn a rain cape over the top of it. Even in 2.5 hours of heavy persistent rain, when the rain cape was breached, the Gabba 2 kept me dry and warm.

The storm flap on the back of the jersey would be very useful if I did not have full mudguards on my winter bike as it fully covers the behind when on the bike.

Having been on subsequent rides, particularly, in changeable conditions and unseasonably warm conditions (14 degrees C in December?!) this jersey is immense with the breathability and ability to remove the arms. It really does give it an excellent window of usability in terms of both temperature and also weather conditions.

In conclusion then:

The Gabba 2 convertible is an excellent jersey that really is (almost) do it all. It feels like excellent value for money as it can be used in many conditions and may just be the only jersey that is required during the winter.

The only word I can use to describe it is wow.

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