Cold weather is nipping at our fingers & toes and we keep seeing new & updated riding kit to keep comfy on the bike through winter. One of my favorite pieces of riding kit – thermal bib shorts – come for the first time from Podia’s Club line, matched with a new set of leg warmers. Then Castelli is back with a third generation of their popular Gabba jersey, plus a whole Perfetto range for when the weather isn’t quite so cold. Lastly Rapha revamped their Pro Team Thermal bibs and jersey for a close racy fit with a fuzzy warm inside to keep you training outdoors through the winter.
Podia Thermal Club Bibs & leg warmers
Polish clothing maker (and Roadventure tour leaders) Podia have taken their popular Club Bib shorts and given them a winter weight sibling by way of a Super Roubaix fleece reworking and even a DWR treatment to keep wind & road spray at bay. The 180€ shorts get the same cut as the summer shorts, but with a longer leg gripper to better hold onto knee & leg warmers.
And on the subject of leg warmers, they get those too. At 60€ for the pair, they use an anatomic cut and the same popular Italian Super Roubaix fabric and DWR coating for comfort down below freezing temps. Like the bibs, they stick with all black, but add in both reflective Podia logos, and extra hi-vis reflective tape details.
And while it isn’t ready just yet, so will possibly be an early spring item, Podia seems to be working on their own take on a long sleeve Sportwool merino long sleeve jersey. Details are limited for now, but it looks like they are including a touch of their Club colors, plus reflective detailing and plenty of pockets.
Castelli Gabba 3, third generation rain jersey
Without a doubt Castelli created a new category – the rain jersey – with the introduction of their original Gabba. Renowned for its performance in cold & wet race conditions, it was often worn by pros with logos blacked out not to anger opposing sponsors who couldn’t match it at the time. Well, many other companies have their own short sleeve, water-resistant, warm, breathable race jerseys now and Castelli has updated the original.
The new aero Gabba 3 sticks with a completely water-resistant and fully windproof construction based around Gore Windstopper X-Lite Plus fabric. It updates a more flexible fabric under the arms for a closer fit and an extended storm flap at the back to keep your butt protected from wheel spray. The 170€ Gabba 3 comes in 8 color versions now and a wide S-XXXL size range. At 291g it gets a storm flapped waterproof zip and stadard 3 rear pockets with laser cut drain holes.
Castelli Perfetto Light 2 rain jersey
For all the warmth, sometime a Gabba is too much, so that’s where the newest Perfetto Light jersey comes in. It gets the same cut as the Gabba but only the front uses Windstopper (and a 20% lighter version than the X-Lite Plus). The rest is a lighter Nano Light Pro fabric that is still stretchy and water-repellent, but drops the integrated membrane to be more breathable. At 243g overall, the 150€ Perfetto Light 2 is suited for warmer, wet weather racing or for those who overheat easily.
There are also now plenty of other Perfetto options using Gabba tech, like the long sleeve jersey, a convertible jacket that essentially is a Gabba with zip off sleeves, and a vest from the X-Lite Plus fabric.
Rapha Pro Team Thermal Bib Shorts II & Jersey
Continuing the update trend, Rapha’s 230€ Pro Team fleece Thermal Bib shorts get a v2.0 update as well. The new shorts make some good improvements to a pair of winter riding shorts that we already loved in a review back in early 2015.
The biggest new change is the addition of a windproof & waterproof fabric for the front & rear panels with an integrated membrane borrowed from Rapha’s Pro Team Winter Tights. The new shorts also get a new wide flat gripper to better hold up warmers or just keep their extended legs in place over your thighs. Their compressive fit even feels slightly more supportive, without feeling tight, and there is an updated dual-density to improve on the already comfortable original.
The new Pro Team Long Sleeve Thermal Jersey pairs with the bibs for a race-cut, aero long sleeve jersey for cooler weather. It also gets a fleece-backed fabric for insulation and drops some seams and goes bonded on some that remain for an aero feel and no flapping in the wind. It gets reflective elements for visibility, plus a new lay-flat, mesh internal pocket design borrowed from other Pro Team updates that mean a more aero fit and less heat build up on your lower back.
Rapha also has a new Pro Team Thermal Base layer too, which gets a super high collar to keep you warm even up to your ears and mouth, a race cut fit, and a heavier front to keep you warm even during intense cold weather training efforts. They’ve also updated their guide to staying warm on the bike, which essentially offers some nice snowy imagery and some basic suggestions for layering up.