by: Clifford Lee
Cyclocross takes place in the autumn and winter when temperatures fall and wet weather arrives. We love racing in ’cross weather, but being completely uncomfortable is still not ideal. Our bodies operate best within a certain temperature range, so staying warm and dry while not overheating is always a challenge.
Castelli offers several pieces of cycling clothing that help take the edge off cyclocross weather and make riding, training and racing during the cyclocross season more efficient and comfortable. In this post, we take a look at a jersey, thermal bib shorts and race pants from Castelli that will help you conquer the weather this autumn.
Gabba Jersey is Race-Ready for Cyclocross Conditions
The Gabba Jersey has been around for a decade for good reason. Now in version three, it offers the right balance of warmth and breathability in windy and wet conditions. When a jacket is too warm to race in, this snug fitting jersey fills the bill.
The Gore Windstopper® X-Lite Plus fabric is not specifically waterproof, which is why it breathes well enough to keep you comfortable during hard efforts. With its DWR, water initially rolls off, but as water accumulates on the jersey, the wind-arresting fabric continues to keep you from chilling.
The Gabba 3 has a high collar with a nylon-toothed zipper that rides behind a storm flap and does not snag, aiding temperature control. There are three back pockets, each has laser cut drain holes so it does not fill with water. The fit is for a trim individual in a race bike position. If you are big in the shoulders or around the middle, you should try this on and size up. The Gabba 3 retails for $179.
Omloop Thermal Bib Shorts Mix Warmth with Function
Thermal bib shorts have become popular in recent years, but the Castelli Omloop thermal bib shorts are a bit different. When racing and training in the cold, it is important to stay warm, but thermals such as knickers or knee warmers can feel overly constrictive. The Omloop thermal bib shorts combine warmth with functionality. They come down to the middle of the knee - exactly the midpoint between shorts and knickers.
You would think this might bother the back of your knee, but the Omloop has an unfinished edge at the bottom, and with the soft Nanoflex® fleeced fabric it is really not bothersome. Our tester observed the length of the Omloop shorts adds warmth compared to a standard length thermal short. The Omloop uses Castelli’s Progetto X2 Air multi-layer pad and retails for $150.
The Gabba 3 jersey and the Omloop thermal bib shorts are both constructed with the Castelli Rosso Corsa designation reserved for Castelli's flagship garments. The quality of the fit and finish shows.
Tempesta Race Pants Provide Breathable Rain Pants
Anyone who has ridden extensively in the rain, say in Belgium in December, knows that rain pants, while a necessity, can be hot and restrictive. The Castelli Tempesta FM (Full Monty) race pants are the answer to the need for breathable rain pants when putting out race-pace efforts. The Tempesta FM race pants are a rain knicker constructed of waterproof but breathable EVent® fabric.
The Tempesta FM race pant takes that one further with a rip-off design for quick removal - according to Castelli even while riding. The appeal of quick removal is one big draw to this pair of pants, and it could provide a leg up during changing conditions on long rides. If it is a wet warm up, or if you are on that long event that starts wet, but ends dry, you can easily remove the Tempesta FM race pants and stash them.
The lateral seams are snapped together with 17 plastic snaps along each leg, which we found a bit tedious to set up but handy when ripping them off. The waistband has nylon buckles to add security and elastic to hold the pants up. When donned, the pants have a trim fit but with enough stretch to feel unrestrictive, aided by the loose leg opening. We did cyclocross drills with dismounts and remounts with these on and had no hang-ups. The Tempesta FM race pants retail for $230.
For more information, see Castelli's website: castelli-cycling.com
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