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Some of the best offerings from Italy's most iconic clothing brand

If there’s one clothing brand in the RCUK100 that needs no introduction, it’s probably Castelli. They’ve been making quality bike kit for longer than almost anybody in the game and some of the pieces they’ve brought out over the last few years have paved the way for whole new categories of gear. 

The first and most obvious example of that is the Gabba. We have the Gabba 2 Long Sleeve Jersey here, and ever since then Cervélo test team rider Gabby Rasch had a brainwave he shared with the Castelli development team, the Gabba has been a benchmark for quality when it comes to race-ready, weather resistant jerseys.

It was the apocalyptic 2012 edition of Milan-San Remo that really solidified the Gabba’s place in cycling folklore. If you check out the footage of the peloton in that race, you’ll see a suspiciously high number of riders appear to be wearing black rain jackets. A closer inspection of that shows that at least half the peloton have Gabbas on, even those on non-Castelli sponsored teams. Ever wondered why almost every brand has a Gabba-alike bit of kit now? That’s the reason.

If you’ve ever wondered why every brand has a Gabba-alike bit of kit now, watch the 2012 Milan-San Remo and look at how many riders were wearing the Gabba

Despite all that, if you’re still not familiar with the Gabba it’s made from a windproof and water-resistant fabric, ideal for variable weather, but without sacrificing breathability and while retaining an aero cut. Stormproof details include drainage holes on the rear pockets.

If you’re after something to wear under the Gabba, the long sleeved Flanders Base Layer is a probably a good place to start. There’s a short sleeve version too, if you don’t fancy pairing long sleeve with long sleeves, or just don’t need quite as much protection from the cold. It’s a 100 per cent polyester construction, with mesh areas under the arms to help with cooling, and the turtle-neck design means you won’t suffer from an uncomfortably cold patch between sternum and chin.

It’s also designed to be longer than your average t-shirt, always a good idea on the bike because when you’re bent over chewing the stem, it won’t come untucked at the back.

  • Pricing:
    Gabba 2 Long Sleeve – £165
    Flanders LS Base Layer – £55
    Nanoflex 2 Bib Shorts – £100
    Diverso Socks – £17
    Tempesta Overshoes – £85
  • Website: Castelli
  • UK distributor: Saddleback

Lower body choices are always tricky, but the Nanoflex 2 Bib Shorts offer a very good option for days when the temperature’s a little higher, but the weather’s still looking iffy. They’re lined with a Roubaix-style fleece fabric to keep you warm, but pair that with a high level of water resistance on the outside to stop road spray and light rain seeping through, making them a good companion to the Gabba. Minimal seams also help with keeping the water out, while up top the mesh bibs are breathable to keep you comfortable.

For your feet, the Diverso Socks are a merino blend that’ll definitely help for a little more insulation. They also have a 12cm cuff which makes them fashionably long, if you like that sort of thing. More importantly, though, are the Tempesta Overshoes. Where most overshoes are water resistant, Castelli say the OutDry technology in these make them totally waterproof. Think about that, it’s pretty amazing. Waterproof overshoes, it’s like cycling nirvana, but even if the fabric’s waterproof, remember there’s also an entry point for water through the top of the overshoe or through the clear holes


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