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Castelli Gabba, Fit and Function Questions

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Castelli Gabba, Fit and Function Questions

Old 09-17-23, 02:49 AM
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Garthr
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Castelli Gabba, Fit and Function Questions

I'm looking at buying a Castelli Gabba. I'm 188cm tall, 100cm chest and 75kg. I have no experience with Castelli, but do with Sportful Fiandre Pro Medium and the Light No Rain short sleeve jackets in XL. I'm not impressed with the fit of either. The Light rides up in the back which makes for the pockets being literally up to my rib cage unless stuffed to hold the jacket down in place. The Pro Medium was the most disappointing in that the shoulders/upper arms bind horribly, so much so it's inhibiting and this leaves the sleeves comically short. Yet the chest feels too big, so going to larger size wouldn't help. I love me some form fitting clothing, but it must have stretch and freedom of movement. I wear Sportful LTD Bodyfit Pro bibs in large and love them, I have 10 pair. I often hear people complain about the right fit, well yeah, that's the point ! In regards to jackets though, I've not found a proper race fit jacket that not only conforms to my shape, but also has freedom of movement in the shoulders. Any binding in the shoulders is a deal breaker. I've resorted to wearing flappy oversized jackets not meant for cycling, but really had enough of that. I do wear vests often as the ones I have don't bind. I've always wanted a short sleeve vest/wind breaking jersey, if you will.

So I thought a Gabba could possibly be a better option as I don't have to worry about sleeve length, but do wonder about the freedom of movement in the shoulders, and if the body rides up. For anyone that owns a Gabba, do the shoulders/upper arms bind while on the bike, when in the deep drops and body/arms stretched out ? Does the body ride up ? It uses the same Infinium windstopper fabrics as the Sportful Pro Medium, which is why I give pause the the idea of this jacket. Even Infinium stretch fabric doesn't have much stretch. So I take it these jackets rely on design for their freedom movement. I seem to be talking myself out of buying one even before buying it as after my experience with the Sportful Pro jacket I have to wonder about objectivity of riders who say they love these jackets. Do their jackets bind in the shoulders/upper arms and they overlook it ? I don't know, but I wonder. I've found many instances of rave reviews of things, only to try them and wonder, what on earth are they thinking ?

I would love the wear a large if they jackets were actually a non-binding painted on fit like a body forming jersey, baselayer or bib short, but given the nature of the not so stretchy fabric involved, Gore Infinium, that's not happening.

I've thought about the Sportful Fiandre Pro with Polartec Neoshell that is supposed to be highly stretchy, so that may be a better option, given that it doesn't ride up in the back.

Does anyone make a such wind blocking SS jersey/jacket that does actually conform to the rider, supple and stretchy ? I have a feeling that despite all the so-called advancements textiles and design, it's a lot of smoke and mirrors and nothing much has changed.

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Old 09-17-23, 12:01 PM
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brian416
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I would say the Gabba is awkward off the bike ins shoulders and is very comfortable in road position and drops, I think it was sewn in a way to fit better while in a biking position. It is not a stretchy jacket though.

I will say that I rarely use my Gabba, its nice to have but would not buy it again because it has a very narrow range in which you feel comfortable vs overheating or getting too cold wearing it. It works great for rides where its slightly wet in 47-55 range.
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Old 09-17-23, 03:59 PM
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Background: I only wear Castelli tops, in size XXL. I was also shopping for a Gabba RoS this past winter but ended up buying a Tutto Nano RoS instead, precisely because reviews indicate that the latter has more stretchability.

Castelli Tutto Nano ROS Jersey review | Cyclingnews
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Old 09-20-23, 02:59 AM
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Thank you for your inputs brian and SoSmellyAir. I think I'll pass on getting a Gabba. I did find a screaming deal on the Sportful Fiandre Pro short sleeve jacket. This one uses Polartec Neoshell rather than Gore Infinium that Castelli uses on the Gabba and Perfettos. Neoshell is supposed to be very stretchy and breathable, and I'll be own test dummy to see the reality of the claims. I plan on using this the No Rain arm warmers. While I have other Sportful No Rain clothing, I do understand it's limitations as a water repelling treatment of the fibers as opposed to a barrier/laminate of some sort. I mostly use it for thermal properties anyways. I also understand the given temperature ranges of such garments, and that's acceptable as I have to wear something course, in those temps ! I used to be much more adaptable to wind and cold wearing just various jerseys but of late not so much. I do like the premise of the Tutto Nano jersey as I always thought since the thermal/water repelling Nano warmers were so good why haven't they just made a jersey out of a similar fabric ? Well done !

I've ridden in the Sportful Fiandre No Rain Lite short sleeve jacket since I posted this and did find having a rear pocket stuffed with something helped to keep the back from rolling up. I really like it overall as I really see it as an extension of a wind vest, one with short sleeves, if you will. It will be very versatile and stuffable. The Lite version fabric is very stretchy and conforms to the body well. I've not ridden in the Fiandre Medium jacket with it's No Rain fleece back panel yet, but trying it on and riding it around my yard I found my initial reaction was a bit rash. Speaking with Sportful it is supposed to cling to your body and may feel awkward as first in the shoulders. After riding with it on, with a Craft Extreme long sleeve baselayer underneath, I think it will be alright. I'm used to having wearing loose fitting jackets that slide(and flop) against the skin, and this doesn't, by design. So it's a matter of throwing out past expectations.

Wearing form fitting jackets is all new to me, believe it or not, and I have to say I really like them.
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Old 09-27-23, 03:53 AM
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So I've ridden in the Fiandre Pro short sleeve jacket a few times now. The Polartec Neoshell fabric is indeed very stretchy in all directions giving it a very soft and supple feeling while wearing it. In other words, it feels more like a jersey than a jacket. I sweat easily, even if I'm cold, so I was wondering how I'd feel wearing this with a light short sleeve Craft baselayer and arm warmers. So far the temps have been from the low 50's and drizzly to the low 60's with a cool easterly wind of modest speed. So far I'm darn impressed. When I build up heat the fabric lets out enough vapor to still remain comfortably dry. Conversely, when I'm cold it retains enough body heat to remain comfortable. I won't go so far as to say it's some magical fabric or anything like that, but the fabric is the best I've used for it's ability to handle the inevitable fluctuations in both the outside climate and the "microclimate" inside the jacket. I've had plenty of tight weave windproof jackets with vents that I get quite wet in from sweat inside. I'm really digging the short sleeves and their extended length which go far enough to cover the biceps just above the bend of the arm. It's all so supple though, there's nowhere I feel any restriction or binding. The neck felt initially tight but soon after wearing it that went away. The zipper, while being a robust large tooth waterproof one that requires a conscious effort to get started, is never noticed after that.

With a warmer baselayer and arm warmers I can see wearing this from the mid 40's and on up to the upper 60's with a light short sleeve baselayer. I'm so glad I bought this over the Castelli Gabba, mainly for the Polartec fabric and design that doesn't restrict anywhere. If I had a Pro long sleeve jacket I'd certainly try that out too, but the whole point of the SS versions is their versatility and ability to be worn in warmer temps than a full sleeve version. Pretty much every long sleeve jacket I've owned and worn for cycling there has a come a time where I wished I could have removed the sleeves just above the elbow. Having zips there though has it's own issues, namely inflexibility due to the zipper. With a SS jacket I can if called for double up on arm insulation if need be which I've found is quite resistant to cold wind. I've also found by layering shells/vests over shells/vests that can dramatically increase the heat retention, without the bulk of thermal fabrics.

Don't you wish you could visit a company brand store which had all their stuff to try out in person ? That'd be awesome !
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