Castelli may have created the original short-sleeve, foul-weather jersey with the Gabba, but other brands are in on the game now, and Gore's latest Oxygen Classics Windstopper Jersey is a fantastic jersey for cool days, eliminating the need for a vest and potentially a jacket, too.
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Gore is first and foremost a fabric company. Castelli and many other brands use its various technologies to build much of their technical clothing, and, frankly, other companies often do a more stylish job than Gore, which seems to focus more on the practical elements.
But with the Oxygen Classics Windstopper Jersey, Gore really nailed it. The fit is modern race fit, meaning snug but pliable, with mesh inserts running the lengths of the inner arm, providing movement and more breathability. The jersey is thinner than a Gabba and it doesn't feel heavy or stiff.
There are three standard yet sizeable pockets in the rear and an additional lined compartment to keeps things dry. The zipped pocket shape means you have to put smartphones sideways.
The cut for the top is tailored to match the weather, with a slightly taller neck cuff than usual and a slightly dropped rear.
The arm length comes quite close to the elbows. To some riders this is long; to others, the new normal. We both appreciated the length.
Technical stitching around the zipper indicates attention to detail and provides protection to the skin when opened up.
It stops the wind, but won’t slow you down
The typical piece of wind apparel is pretty cumbersome. Construction of wind barriers is usually a result of combining multiple layers of fabric or utilizing a non-breathable barrier, both of which add bulk and drag. But the beauty of the Classics Windstopper system is very little bulk is added to a traditional kit to achieve an impressive performance.
In fact, had it not been for the distinctive feel of the fabric, it would have been difficult to discern the difference.
Ideal temps seem to be in the 40–60°F (4–15°C) range. Delaney choose this jersey for his birthday ride, starting at 5,200ft and climbing to 9,200ft. It was just over freezing when setting out, followed by sustained climbing. He brought a Castelli rain jacket as insurance, but the Windstopper fabric rendered it unnecessary.
For temperature regulation on a day that ranged from 35 to 65°F, arm warmers and the jersey's zipper were all that were needed.
For riders with the other apparel bases covered, the Classic Windstopper Jersey is an excellent and purposeful addition to the collection.