How to wear that winter-jersey-race-rain-jacket-thingy
While racing for Garmin Sharp, pro rider, Gabriel Rasch, came up with the idea of a jersey that could be paired with rain resistant arm warmers. The kit sponsor, Castelli, thought the concept was worth exploring and produced the now famous jacket, named Gabba after Rasch’s nickname.
With their peloton-worthy cut, insulating characteristics, and low bulk and weight, it is easy to see why these initially niche garments are now available from most manufacturers and come recommended for hard efforts like interval training and racing in 10 degrees.
If you've been resisting such an item, it's time you gave in; this will be the most important item you'll buy this season.
Here's how to pick, buy and wear the best rain-race-jacket-jersey-windproof-gabba-thingys.
The Rain Jersey
In terms of function, the rain jersey is the ultimate outer layer. Light, waterproof and good for keeping the wind out – perfect for the days when the weather doesn't really know what it’s doing. Cutting a sleek profile, the key is a race cut that provides a good range of motion, unlike a full on rain jacket.
How to wear it
Twin it with a short sleeve summer or mid-weight base layer and a pair of rain resistant arm warmers.
Café Du Cycliste’s Josette uses a waterproof stretch fabric to ensure there’s no flapping fabric but instead a full range of motion. An interior membrane provides insulation whilst a storm flap across the front keeps rain from the full zip.
Shop the look: Café Du Cycliste Josette Rain Jersey £133.00 | Kask Mojito Helmet £100.00 | Café Du Cycliste Softshell Gloves £54.00
The Wind-proof Base Layer & Race Jersey Combo
Back in the days of Sean Kelly, riders wore their wafer thin team jerseys in races and got soaked to the bone. If they were lucky they didn’t catch a serious bout of man flu, but if they did, they were full time pros so they just put their feet up.
If you're not like Sean Kelly and his eighties compatriots, your problem is you'll have to drag yourself to work and sit snivelling at your desk for the next week. This is where the wind-proof base layer finds its feet. You’ll still be able to wear your club and sponsor logos whilst transforming your kit.
As outdoor softshell jacket technology has advanced, so has cycling kit, and softshell fabrics can be found in everything from caps to base layers.
How to wear it
Grab your race jersey and sling it over a wind-proof base layer. Base layers are cut to fit snugly to the body and give a great range of movement, and are made from lighter materials under the arms to aid breathability. Grab your race jersey and sling it over a wind-proof base layer.
Mavic’s Wind Ride Base Layer makes any jersey suitable for racing in cold and wet conditions. Featuring a wind-proof front panel that blocks the icy air, the proprietary ultra-soft 37.5™ fabric is proven to dry 5 times faster than merino and synthetic base layers. It also features a short front hem for better comfort on the drops and a silicone gripper keeps the base layer in place in fast-paced sprints and attacks.
The Winter Short Sleeve
Sometimes the clouds blow away and reveal glorious winter sun, whilst the road never quite gets enough daylight to dry out. The winter short sleeve jerseys are for bridging the gap between late winter and spring, when there is usually spray still flicking off riders tyres.
These winter jerseys have water repellent and wind-proof properties without committing to a full-on softshell, and are suited to temperatures between 10-16 degrees.
How to wear it
Choose a long sleeve if you don’t plan to be out of the saddle climbing, or otherwise opt for a short sleeve and pair it with rain resistant arm warmers from Sportful or Café du Cycliste. Add a standard, mid, or lightweight baselayer underneath as the jersey itself is insulating too.
Velobici’s British-manufactured Van-Chilli features tightly woven fibres, making it naturally hydrophobic so it doesn’t need to be treated with water repellent chemicals and you don’t need to re-proof like rain wear.
- Tags: Product Focus