Eurobike tech: Three new pieces from Castelli

A look at three unusual new clothing items from Castelli

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FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (VN) — Castelli clothing has come a long way from the days when it provided maillot jaunes to the Tour de France in the 1980s. Three new items for 2012 illustrate the point perfectly: a rain jersey, a waterproof jacket and a road skin suit.

The $140 Gabba jersey was made after a request from Garmin-Cervélo rider Gabriel (Gabba) Rasch for a short sleeve jersey that was waterproof. In many cases, a full rain jacket flaps around, slows you down and leads to overheating. A waterproof jersey was the solution.

The Gabba uses GORE Windstopper on the whole jersey. A drop tail keeps your backside a bit dryer. After testing Castelli added small holes at the bottom of the back pockets to help them drain. They had previously filled with water! Used with Castelli’s Nano Flex water resistance arm warmers, you may not need a rain jacket at all. It might also have great potential as a cyclocross jersey.

The Pocket Liner jacket uses a material usually used on, you guessed it, the inside of pockets. Castelli designers liked the material and wanted to use it to make a jacket. GORE wouldn’t consent to the use of its material for the project, so Castelli went with eVent fabric, a GORE competitor.

The jacket was two years in the making, costs an astronomical $500 and features adjustable cuffs and a clever front vent. Both a full zipper and a Velcro-closure flap keep the wet weather out. The jacket has a certain Michael Jackson look with its silver color and plissé sections (the wrinkled look). But it is fairly packable and the fit is quite good for slimmer figures.

The San Remo suit was debuted at the start line of Milan-San Remo earlier this year. After Heinrich Haussler lost by a tire’s width to Mark Cavendish, Cervélo asked Castelli if there was anything they could do to help the riders go faster and conserve energy. The result is something unique in the industry — a road race skinsuit.

Using Castelli’s Body Paint techniques, the suit has three back pockets made stable by their attachment to the shorts but also by the patented one-way stretch of the material on the back of the suit. It will expand horizontally across your body as you fill the pockets, but it won’t sag vertically.

The full zip front allows for good ventilation and for less wrestling at nature breaks than with most skin suits. The consumer version is now available for $350 and Castelli also offers the San Remo suit in its custom program.

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