Riding in the rain isn’t my favorite. It’s not exactly my second favorite, either, if I’m honest. However, I no longer despair of riding in the rain the way I used to. The advent of jerseys using Gore Windstopper has made all the difference. It’s funny to me that the development of a single fabric gave rise to an entire category of garment, but Castelli’s creation of the Gabba and now the Perfetto. So dominant has Castelli been in this regard that any other company’s effort to create a similar piece that I rather unavoidably end up comparing that piece to the Gabba.
The 7 Mesh Corsa Softshell is cut from Gore Windstopper but lacks the insulation incorporated into some similar pieces. As a result, it weighs a scant 265 grams (+/- depending on the size). I don’t get worked up about how much my clothing weighs, but the fact that this is so lightweight does contribute to how supple the piece is, making it especially comfortable.
I won’t ride off-road after heavy rain; I don’t want to tear up fire roads or trails. However I will ride in light or scattered showers. I’ve worn this while mountain biking and find it to be ideal for the dynamic movement required to descend. If a garment is too heavy or stiff it will bind in the shoulders and make moving around, especially moving back on the bike to get your butt over the rear wheel, more difficult.
With a short-sleeve base layer the Corsa is comfortable right up to 70 degrees. With a long-sleeve base layer, it’s good to the mid-50s and if you increase the weight of the base layer it’ll keep you comfortable into the upper 40s. I know I tend to run colder than some RKP readers, so feel free to revise those numbers down by five degrees or so if you don’t put arm warmers on until temperatures are below 60.
All the seams on the Corsa are fully taped, just the sort of step you take when you want to make sure a garment is waterproof. That said, Windstopper isn’t completely waterproof, and this is where we have to get into a somewhat philosophical consideration of the utility of waterproof garments during high-intensity rides. You’re going to sweat plenty if the ride is hard, right? No amount of breathability will allow the garment to shed all the moisture you produce during a hard ride or race. So you’re going to end up wet. Rather than worry about whether I’m dry or not, I just focus on whether or not I’m warm. And this thing does the trick.
One of my favorite features of the Corsa is the fact that the spray skirt is cut with enough room for my considerable trunk. There’s not much point in having a spray skirt if the first thing it does is ride up the moment you reach for the bar. A silicone gripper helps it stay in place.
Each of the jerseys from 7 Mesh that I’ve tried feature two large pockets in the rear with angled openings. It makes the contents easier to reach. The pockets also include drain holes, but I’ve yet to find myself in a situation where they would fulfill their purpose.
The Corsa comes in six sizes (XS-XXL). I wear the small, making the sizing run more in keeping with other North American brands, like Pearl Izumi or Voler. It comes in four colors, blue ox, carmine red, hi-lite yellow and black. The logos front and rear are reflective.
Final thought: With pieces like this, I actually look forward to rain when I line up for a race.
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