By Jason Miles
In cold or wet (or cold AND wet) weather, go for a bike ride and it’s likely that you’ll see someone wearing a Castelli Gabba jersey, jacket, pair of armwarmers, something-or-other.
The snug-fitting, non-flappy, warm, breathable, windproof and water-resistant garments often favoured by road cyclists with deep pockets are perfect for our climate in all but a handful of months of the year – you’ll remain comfortable, you won’t overheat and you won’t look like a commuter with an anorak on.
It’s not just the posh Italian brand making this sort of stuff though – in fact the Castelli products use Gore Windstopper fabric so it comes as no surprise that Gore Bike Wear have a range of similar garments.
The Gore Power Windstopper Short Sleeve Jersey is unsurprisingly made of Windstopper Softshell fabric so that it’s windproof and highly water resistant. It’s not waterproof, but it’ll shrug off a shower. If it really bangs it down you’re going to get wet but the windstopper will keep on stopping the wind so you’ll stay warmish.
Even before you put it on, it’s obvious that this jersey is incredibly well-made and the fit it just as good. There’s a high collar to keep most of your neck warm.
There’s a full zip for ease of doffing and donning and for ‘ultimate ventilation of one’s belly’. This does create a small, unexpected problem though – I’ll come to that soon.
The sleeves are short but not in the usual sense – they extend all the way to the elbow which I think looks good and works well, especially with a pair of armwarmers as you’re unlikely to suffer the common and annoying gap between sleeve and ‘warmer.
The back of the jersey is nice and long and has a strip of grippy material to prevent any accidental Builder’s Bum situations.
The jersey has got three pockets on the rear (none on the front), they’re deep but they’re not too high up the back to make them tricky to use.
This one is black but you can also get red or blue. There’s a very large, highly-reflective WINDSTOPPER logo on the back, which you really can’t miss.
In use it does exactly what it should do – it blocks out pretty much all wind, so no matter how windy it is or how fast you’re going you probably won’t need to put on an extra layer on top. I would however recommend a lightweight base layer if you’re planning to do some sweating – even though the material is breathable the jersey can quickly feel quite damp and clammy against your skin if you’re climbing or rushing home for your dinner. I wore a fairly minimal mesh base layer (a bit like Rab C Nesbitt’s vest) and the problem was solved without adding too much insulation.
As I mentioned, there’s a small side-effect if you unzip the jersey a bit though. As this is a windproof garment, the fabric actually works as a parachute – the air enters the jersey at the front and gets trapped inside, causing the back of the jersey to inflate slightly. The quicker you’re moving, the greater the inflation and the drag. Under normal circumstances this probably isn’t a problem, however if you’re still rushing home for your dinner…..
Overall: Pricey for a jersey, but this isn’t just any jersey. Somewhere in between a jersey and a jacket, if you mainly ride early mornings, late evenings or in anything other than lovely weather it’ll probably be your most-worn garment. It looks good, it’s incredibly effective at keeping out chilly air and won’t fall apart in a hurry. If you’re a sweaty lad or lass you’ll probably need something underneath to mop up excess moisture though.
|Product:||Power Windstopper Soft Shell Jersey|
|Tested:||by Jason Miles for Two months|