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Castelli Updates Iconic Wet-Weather Gabba R 6th Gen On Eve of Potentially Muddy Roubaix

Castelli Gabba R all-new 6th gen of iconic foul wet weather racing jersey and jacket
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Castelli’s short-sleeve wet weather jacket is one of the most well-known, category-defining pieces of kit in cycling; and now it’s got a Gabba R 6th generation overhaul on the eve of Paris-Roubaix. The unpredictable Spring Classics have set the stage for the iconic Gabba jersey for 14 years, since it debuted at 2010’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Unpredictable weather, sometimes cold, often wet, but always changing necessitated a piece of riding kit that protected riders from the worst weather. yet the Gabba was still performance-focused so riders could push big efforts without overheating at the end of those 200+km long races.

Now the 6th generation reimagines the Castelli Gabba R with a new fabric that “sets a new standard for aerodynamics, waterproofing, and breathability“.

Castelli Gabba R 6th gen wet weather jersey & jacket

Castelli Gabba R all-new 6th gen of iconic foul wet weather racing jersey and jacket, training
(Photos/Castelli)

Castelli says their 6th gen Gabba R “takes foul weather race protection to a new level“. Its rubberized gray secret is a brand new fabric exclusive to Castelli that means the latest Gabba R is still effectively waterproof and breathable, yet fits closer to the body than ever making it their most aerodynamic jacket yet.

“The fit and aerodynamics of a speedsuit and the water protection of a rain cape.”

What’s new?

Castelli Gabba R all-new 6th gen of iconic foul wet weather racing jersey and jacket, up close

The new R in the Castelli Gabba R stands for Race. While it was always about racing in the worst conditions, Castelli says this latest version takes that to a new extreme.

Castelli Gabba R all-new 6th gen of iconic foul wet weather racing jersey and jacket, back detail

The jacket features a new stretch-fit using an “electro-spun external membrane” made of hydrophilic polyurethane to essentially keep all rain out and instantly shed water. The fabric has a just-enough hydrostatic head rating of over 5000mm. But that membrane still has a “microporous air-permeable structure” that allows for improved breathability so racers can keep it on, long after the rain lets up. It’s waterproof, but not actually totally windproof. And it does not feature fully-taped seams. Just a minimized number of seams, effectively out of the way of driving rain, and taping only where especially exposed.

Castelli Gabba R all-new 6th gen of iconic foul wet weather racing jersey and jacket, details

It’s also apparently lighter and thinner than ever. And packable into one of its own jersey pockets. Just 125g/m2 and able to stretch 2x its length in every direction. Racers can now better layer it under a warmer layer for protected racing in “the widest possible temperature range“. The jacket features a new polyester/lycra blend liner that helps give the membrane structure, but also improves wicking and breathability.

The complete fabric – membrane and backing – is also PFAS-free. That’s a big deal since all previous electro-spun PU membranes had used PFAS additives in production. In the end, it’s also a relatively fragile outer membrane material, so requires a bit of handling with care.

Improved Aerodynamics according to Castelli

All-new more aero Castelli Gabba R wet weather racing jersey, in wind tunnel

Clearly, aerodynamics are paramount in creating a better race Gabba. Wind tunnel tests have demonstrated remarkable aerodynamic gains. Through two separate wind tunnel tests, augmented with tests on the road, we’ve seen that in some positions and speeds the Gabba R will actually be faster than a Sanremo BTW Speed Suit as used by the Soudal Quick-Step team. In a “normal” road position, the Gabba R tests about 1% faster at speeds from 37 to 50 km/h, while in an extremely aggressive low position, the Gabba R is merely about 1% slower than the Sanremo BTW suit.

Comparing new and old Gabbas, the short-sleeve Gabba R tests 2.5% faster than the Gabba RoS 2, meaning that you’re saving 2 to 2.5 seconds per kilometer at 40 km/h. The long-sleeve Gabba R surpasses the Perfetto RoS 2 Jacket by 3.5% and the Slicker Pro rain jacket by 4.5%. The tests were conducted at speeds of 40 km/h and 50 km/h, as these jackets were specifically designed for aerodynamics at peak racing speeds.

All-new more aero Castelli Gabba R wet weather racing jersey, aerodynamic

Read Castelli’s full aerodynamic wind tunnel testing study in the White Paper they share on their Gabba site, here.

Super Tight Aero Fit

All-new more aero Castelli Gabba R wet weather racing jersey, handle with care

The result of the stretchy aero fit is that the new Gabba R is tight. Riders in colder climates would be best to size up to layer insulating baselayers underneath. And it’s not especially easy to pull it on when fit like a second skin.

Castelli says don’t even think of trying to pull a long-sleeve Gabba R jacket on while riding. Better to opt for just a short-sleeve. Or better yet, to have had it on from the start of the ride or race. Peeling it off while riding is more possible. The long-sleeve even has an extra slippery outer liner on its sleeves to make it easier to pull off.

Into the details

The rubbery PU membrane is very sticky, so the lower back of the Gabba R gets an extra outer fabric liner so you can actually get your hand in and out of the three standard rear pockets. A 2-way waterproof YKK Vislon Aquaguard zipper seals you into the jersey or jacket. The sleeves feature raw-cut edges. And a reflective tab over the extended tail helps drivers spot you in the dark-colored kit.

Castelli Gabba R – Short- or Long-Sleeve Options & Pricing

While the old Gabba was short-sleeve-only, now Castelli gives the Gabba R short or long options. It comes in men’s & women’s cuts, in 7 sizes (XS-3XL). But only in the natural rubbery gray of the visible outer membrane. Stick with the 260€ short-sleeve Gabba R jersey for cool, high-intensity racing in the rain. Or go for the all-new 300€ long-sleeve Gabba R jacket as a rain jacket replacement, and the go-to for training and racing in cold weather with any threat of rain.

Castelli Gabba R all-new 6th gen of iconic foul wet weather racing jersey and jacket, into the storm

It looks like this weekend’s Cobbled Classic could be wet, but most likely the weather will be quite warm. But if a cold front pushes through northern France, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some new Castelli Gabba R jerseys on racers’ backs.

Castelli-cycling.com

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nooner
nooner
1 month ago

This is a great piece of kit. It’s pissing down again today and I will be wearing mine. I like the vest version with zip off sleeves like the GCN guys rock. Italian sizing so it runs small.

Rim Brake enjoyer
Rim Brake enjoyer
1 month ago

Glad I live in the desert so don’t have to ride around looking like I’ve got some weird fetish.

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