Castelli Diluvio Gloves
We are at the point of the year when you're in between wearing a baselayer in the morning to wearing a short sleeve jersey in the afternoon. Your fingers though will still appreciate a bit of warmth. Crew at Westbrook Cycles kindly sent over a pair of Castelli's Diluvio gloves to keep toasty through the fresh mornings and evenings...
We will be honest and it's mostly a funding issue, but we rarely buy premium brands. It's also due to us commuting everyday that we would rather cheap out a little and wear stuff we don't mind wearing down. It's similar to having your Porsche for the weekend, you want something nice to wear on your longer rides so we have a few pieces of kit we try to keep to the side for those occasions.
When it comes to Castelli, you are paying a premium price but most people will agree you will receive a quality piece of kit for it. A S/S glove is probably a difficult compromise to achieve when designing a pair of cycling gloves. Yes you want it to be thermal for those fresh starts but not bulky because the weather will eventually warm up so you want a glove that can do both.
First feel of the neoprene material used to construct these gloves led me to believe heating wouldn't be an issue. It's a snug racing feel once you put them on which is fine by us, who wants a loose glove?! The grip print is stylish, we were interested in how well the finger tips would get on when we would want to access our phone (we like an Instragram or two!).
Winter was still lingering about but temperature wasn't at Artic level so I decided it would be a good test for the Castellis. I hadn't touched any hills all year so the climbs of Beech Avenue and Box Hill was on the cards. I found out pretty soon that even a couple of hundred metres above sea level, the temperature drops. But the gloves thermal insulation thanks to the neoprene material kept the feel in my fingers. The racing feel of the gloves also gave me a bit more confidence in the bends especially in the mucky descent of Ranmore. The grip from these gloves is decent, I'd be more wary if there wasn't a enhanced padded area inside the palms.
A little stop at the National Trust Cafe on top of Box followed and it was here we found our first issue with the gloves. We must of stopped for about 15 minutes or so and when we would put the gloves back on, they were soaked with our sweat. The neoprene material doesn't do a fantastic job of drying out. We had to put them back on obviously and for the next few miles, it didn't feel great to be honest. A little tip and something we do now often especially in the mornings is stick your gloves underneath your armpits as you're getting stuff ready, you'll thank us for the mini radiator your pits' create!
A little weekend tour to the Mendips was organised by some of the guys I ride with (well attempt to ride with if I can stick on their wheel long enough!) and it was another opportunity to test out the gloves especially when the weather outlook was a little unpredictable. The Saturday turned out to be a little chilly and definitely mucky. The ride itself turned out to be a 90 mile slog which included 3 big climbs so getting out of the seat was a probability. One thing I noticed on this ride was the seaming inside the gloves. It started to rub a little on the knuckles and inside the thumb. Irritating but not at a level where it stopped us from riding. A more smoother seaming would be appreciated though.
On the final climb of day one in the Mendips, Ebbor Gorge forced us out of the saddle. Could be a 'moo' point (see Joey in Friends for reference!) but we rock a little when climbing standing up so you do need gloves which won't slip (not many will) but handling the bike and focusing on your cadence is what you want to be doing rather than feeling any uncomfortable feeling from your hands.
Question you need to ask is do these gloves cover the requirements of S/S riding? In essence, yes. We do like the feel, it's snug for not too tight that your fingers will go blue from the lack of blood flow. They kept the fingers warm in fresh temperatures. The design itself is subtle but the Castelli print over the palm compliments this with some boldness. Is it a premium priced glove? Not really, we've come across gloves even more expensive than these and for what?! It is let down slightly by the drenching once you take them off so for short explosive rides, these are ideal. They feel tough as well so I'd expect these gloves to be around next year too. The seaming inside could do with improvement, last thing we want is to be scarred from excessive use on our skin but think Castelli has reinforced their core value here, you pay for what you get.