Castelli Perfetto Light SS jersey

The Gabba reimagined

You say Gabba, I say Perfetto.

To say Castelli’s Gabba jersey changed the way we think about race-ready, weather resistant clothing would be an understatement.

The Gabba, inspired by then Cervélo TestTeam pro Gabriel Rasch in 2011, has spawned a whole sub-category of clothing designed to offer wind and water protection from the elements, while maintaining enough breathability to ensure the rider doesn’t drown in their own sweat, and with an aerodynamic fit to boot.

Fast forward to 2017 and almost every clothing brand has a Gabba-style jersey – but still, Castelli continue to innovate.

Enter the Perfetto.

Let’s cut to the chase. The Perfetto is essentially a lighter, short-sleeve version of the Gabba, which featured in last year’s RCUK 100. It’s designed for use in milder conditions by using a lighter version of Gore’s Windstopper fabric on the front, shoulders and sleeves. It may be lighter, but the Perfetto retains the windproof and water resistant qualities key to the original jersey’s success.

Head out into a stiff breeze and that Windstopper fabric does a great job at keeping the chill at bay, while if rain begins to fall the same material has an impressive ability to shed water.

Like the original Gabba, the Perfetto came to fruition after feedback from the pros, this time from the Cannondale team (though Castelli now supply Team Sky with kit). If anything, it demonstrates the importance of top-level sponsorship in product development, and not just getting sponsors’ logos in front of television viewers.

Castelli recommend the Perfetto for use in temperatures between ten and 20 degrees. While we think the very top end of that temperature range is a touch ambitious, unless you really feel the cold or there’s plenty of rain in the air, the Perfetto sits in the goldilocks zone for all-round British riding. After all, for much of the year, it’s not particularly hot or cold, there’s a chance of rain, and the wind is blowing.

RCUK 100 2017 - Castelli Perfetto SS jersey
RCUK 100 2017 - Castelli Perfetto SS jersey
RCUK 100 2017 - Castelli Perfetto SS jersey

Castelli Perfetto

As a versatile piece of kit, the Perfetto has the edge on the Gabba. Sure, you may reach for the Gabba more through winter or when it’s particularly wet, but the Perfetto is otherwise right at home in Britain – through autumn, spring and, depending on where you live and how the weather Gods are feeling, some of summer, too.

Besides the Gore Windstopper 150 fabric, you get Castelli’s Nano Light material on the back of the jersey. It helps repel water while maintaining a level of breathability simply unachievable with a windproof fabric – but don’t mistake it, or the Perfetto on the whole, as a wholly waterproof piece. That’s to miss the point of a jersey which thrives in changeable conditions.

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Selected for The RCUK 100 2017

View the full 100
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