Castelli launches Gabba Pro Edition jersey

The professional element is that the box includes a marker pen to black out the logos!

by Mat Brett   March 28, 2014  

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Castelli has launched a ‘Pro Edition’ of their windproof and water resistant Gabba jersey that’s available exclusively through Wiggle, the professional element being that the box includes a black marker pen. You what? Read on and it'll all make sense...

We must say that the inclusion of the marker pen is a touch of marketing genius, not-so-subtly pointing out that many professionals from teams not sponsored by Castelli have been wearing the Gabba with the logos blacked out in preference to their own team kit. Come on, that's quite funny in a taking the Mickey kind of a way. Well, we thought it was, anyway.

 

Last year’s Milan-San Remo, Ghent-Wevelgem, and Giro d’Italia, for example, were all affected by bad weather and the pelotons were packed with riders wearing Gabbas, lots with the logos covered up so as not to promote a rival brand. If a pro racer is wearing kit from a brand that doesn't sponsor their team, that’s a real coup for the brand involved, and Castelli haven't let the opportunity to publicise it pass.

When Castelli introduced the Gabba jersey – it was first used in the Belgian Cobbled Classics in 2009 – it was one of those ‘why did no one think of that before?’ products.

When we reviewed it on road.cc we said: “Windproof and highly water-resistant jersey for performance riders looking for an advantage in changeable conditions.”

Essentially, it’s a short sleeve, stretchy and close-fitting jersey made from a waterproof and breathable fabric. It’s really designed to be worn with Castelli’s water resistant Nanoflex arm warmers.

A Gabba and Nanoflex arm warmers won’t keep out the rain like a full-on waterproof jacket with taped seams but, on the other hand, they’re very breathable and won’t flap around and slow you down like a jacket can; they’re a more aero option. You can also keep the Gabba on all day, doing away with the faff of getting a jacket on and off while in the saddle, and your body temperature won’t be affected by putting on an extra waterproof layer.

The idea came from Cervélo Test Team (as was) rider Gabriel Rasch, hence the Gabba name.

Since Castelli launched the Gabba, many other brands have released jerseys that have clearly been heavily influenced, let’s say, by the design.

Castelli puts it more bluntly: “Some other brands have tried to copy it.”

The Gabba Pro Edition jersey is exactly the same as the regular Gabba jersey (£150, www.saddleback.co.uk). What’s different is that it comes in a neat box with a marker pen. Underneath the pen it says, "Pros know you can’t race without a real Gabba."

The lid of the box features "Real quotes from real pros," according to Castelli.

One of those quotes is, “Rain/wind/cold. I don’t give a s***. I got my Gabba jersey.”

The Gabba Pro Edition is priced at £150, like the regular version. Only 100 are available, and only from Wiggle.

19 user comments

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Brilliant bit of marketing, but surely you mean '...redact the logos'. Big Grin

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [606 posts]
28th March 2014 - 18:08

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Nice marketing angle Applause

posted by Chuck [368 posts]
28th March 2014 - 18:26

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Quote:
Castelli puts it more bluntly: “Some other brands have tried to copy it.”

seriously, who?

I just don't see any similar jerseys for sale, which surprises me as surely there must be?

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1074 posts]
28th March 2014 - 19:54

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mrmo wrote:
Quote:
Castelli puts it more bluntly: “Some other brands have tried to copy it.”

seriously, who?

I just don't see any similar jerseys for sale, which surprises me as surely there must be?

Gore Bike Wear have done one for years, they actually did a Xenon AS Active gabba-style jersey before Castelli did the Gabba, Castelli are just much better at marketing

Vermarc also do one, and Craft have just launched one, which we feature in Tech Roundup today http://road.cc/content/news/115224-tech-roundup-fizik-van-nicholas-sabba...

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posted by David Arthur [1489 posts]
28th March 2014 - 20:11

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The pro version used by the Garmin Cervelo team has a towel lining to the neck so not totally pro. If you managed to buy this jersey when it first came out, it had the Castelli name in black lettering anyway. The white lettering adorned the jersey from the following year. Which ever version you get it is the best bit of kit I've bought since I took up cycling again.

Bordoi11

posted by bordoi11 [7 posts]
28th March 2014 - 20:14

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You could look at the Capo Lombardia range

http://www.capocycling.com/apparel/mens-apparel/lombardia

Available from Nordic Life

http://www.nordiclifeuk.co.uk/products/cycling

I have the jersey, arm warmers and bibs and cannot fault them. The top fits me better than the Gabba.

I'm not connected with Nordic Life but can highly recommend them; they do some top stuff.

posted by AWP [71 posts]
28th March 2014 - 21:03

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If it's as good as my Cervo Rosso Ibrido http://www.cervorosso.com/index.php?section=shop&cmd=details&productId=124 it's easy to see why the Pros go for it!

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posted by andy_schweiz [10 posts]
28th March 2014 - 21:05

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mrmo wrote:
Quote:
Castelli puts it more bluntly: “Some other brands have tried to copy it.”

seriously, who?

I just don't see any similar jerseys for sale, which surprises me as surely there must be?

i have the Capo Lombardia, i bought it as i had a gabba but everyman and their dog ended up buying them (understandably), and i wanted to have something different so sold the gabba and got the capo

its just as good as the gabba and when on sale a decent price (think i paid £110)

a seriously decent alternative

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
28th March 2014 - 21:20

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I've worn mine solidly since October half term when I bought it, and it's been superb with a merino base layer in all weathers. Wouldn't be without it now.

posted by Stratman [36 posts]
28th March 2014 - 21:36

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David Arthur wrote:
mrmo wrote:
Quote:
Castelli puts it more bluntly: “Some other brands have tried to copy it.”

seriously, who?

I just don't see any similar jerseys for sale, which surprises me as surely there must be?

Gore Bike Wear have done one for years, they actually did a Xenon AS Active gabba-style jersey before Castelli did the Gabba, Castelli are just much better at marketing

Vermarc also do one, and Craft have just launched one, which we feature in Tech Roundup today http://road.cc/content/news/115224-tech-roundup-fizik-van-nicholas-sabbath-craft-stitch-mi-lane-mytask-brodco

Quick Step, Lotto and a few other teams either wear black Vermarc or Giordana Aquatex jerseys. The former introduced, as far as I'm aware, their jersey at the same time as the Gabba but Castelli marketed theirs better.

posted by iamelectron [108 posts]
28th March 2014 - 21:59

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And of course Sporful No Rain, although I believe Sportful are owned by Castelli so not sure that it really counts (cut is squarer though).

Don't Craft also do one these days?

All in all though, I love my Gabba, very handy kit and while others have also done it Castelli just got everything right.

posted by racingcondor [109 posts]
28th March 2014 - 23:04

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As has been said by David Arthur above, Gore Bike Wear did the N2S short sleeve jersey YEARS before Castelli, i have 2 of them (one royal blue and one grey).
They were so far ahead of their time that no-one got it, a great jersey for early spring/late autumn which with arm warmers is a very versatile piece of kit.
They're also nigh on indestructible - they look as good now as they did when they were new.
Just goes to show how marketing can twist the facts!

posted by PRINCIPIA PHIL [51 posts]
29th March 2014 - 0:12

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PRINCIPIA PHIL wrote:
As has been said by David Arthur above, Gore Bike Wear did the N2S short sleeve jersey YEARS before Castelli

Stretchy? That's one of the key features of the Gabba.

posted by Mr Turning [33 posts]
29th March 2014 - 9:48

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Mr Turning wrote:

Stretchy? That's one of the key features of the Gabba.

.

Ahem thank f*** for that as I'm built for downhill Wink

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posted by cidermart [460 posts]
29th March 2014 - 12:58

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iamelectron wrote:
David Arthur wrote:
mrmo wrote:
Quote:
Castelli puts it more bluntly: “Some other brands have tried to copy it.”

seriously, who?

I just don't see any similar jerseys for sale, which surprises me as surely there must be?

Gore Bike Wear have done one for years, they actually did a Xenon AS Active gabba-style jersey before Castelli did the Gabba, Castelli are just much better at marketing

Vermarc also do one, and Craft have just launched one, which we feature in Tech Roundup today http://road.cc/content/news/115224-tech-roundup-fizik-van-nicholas-sabbath-craft-stitch-mi-lane-mytask-brodco

Quick Step, Lotto and a few other teams either wear black Vermarc or Giordana Aquatex jerseys. The former introduced, as far as I'm aware, their jersey at the same time as the Gabba but Castelli marketed theirs better.

...and Cafe du Cycliste http://road.cc/content/review/86091-caf%C3%A9-du-cycliste-marie-josette-....

Also noticed that Rapha are working on something http://pages.rapha.cc/team/classic-stannard "Stannard wore: ... Prototype jersey for wet conditions (for release in AW14)".

As above, I suspect that the Gabba isn't so revolutionary as the Castelli marketing team would have you believe but they do seem to have conceived something that has equalled or bettered most things that came before it.

posted by duncbell [6 posts]
29th March 2014 - 13:57

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Campagnolo's Textran jerseys like their Gironde work just like the Gabba (well except a black marker wouldn't get rid of that iconic logo). I also have their Atlantis light jacket that's wind & waterproof from the Textran--steady rain for 6 hours and I was completely dry underneath it with just a baselayer. It's also breathable so you don't stew in your own juices on climbs or with heavy exertion. Too bad they stopped making kit. RIP Campy.

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

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posted by movingtarget [134 posts]
29th March 2014 - 16:07

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My wife bought me a Gabba, I'm constantly torn between taking something she spent good money on and wanting to keep it as new for as long as possible and the fact that it can do and almost seems to want to do the job in any condition and keep you going in the filthiest of conditions.

Fucking mega piece of gear, I also get nods of acknowledgement from, ahem, "serious roadies", when I ride in on my mountain bike.

posted by farrell [1404 posts]
30th March 2014 - 2:56

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And yes, other companies have other garments that are similar, however, those companies garments aren't the garments that pro-cyclists reach to when they need a garment that does a better job than the garments their teams garment supplier does.

Garments.

Garments.

Deliberate overuse of the word...

Garments.

posted by farrell [1404 posts]
30th March 2014 - 3:13

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Also, Sharpies are far, far, far superior to anything Staedler do.

posted by farrell [1404 posts]
30th March 2014 - 3:15

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