The Castelli Diluvio neoprene gloves do a good job of keeping your hands warm on wet, chilly days, although it'll be trial-and-error to find out what temperatures you can wear them in.
When the temperature drops and the rain starts to fall, you can find yourself casting around for excuses not to ride. But if you’ve got a pair of Castelli Diluvio gloves in the wardrobe there might be one less reason not to trudge out of the front door.
We recently put together some advice on how to survive cycling in the rain. Gloves are one of the hardest pieces of kit to get right when the heavens open, particularly if it’s also cold. This is where neoprene gloves come in.
The Castelli Diluvio gloves have been around for a few years and the 2015 versions are more of a variation on a theme rather than a design overhaul. Made from neoprene, they are designed to be worn in cold and wet conditions, with the emphasis on keeping your hands warm, if not dry. For those unfamiliar with neoprene gloves, they work in a similar manner to wetsuits, letting in water but making sure your fingers remain warm by trapping body heat.
Out on the road, for the first few miles at least, you might not be convinced. Before you get the blood pumping the cold will bite, but once you begin to warm up there’s no looking back. The 3 millimetre thin neoprene does an excellent job of trapping heat whether the rain is falling or not, and by the time you’ve met up for the Saturday club run your fingers should be nice and toastie.
That said, the level of warmth of the Castelli Diluvio gloves depends a lot on the person wearing them. I was able to use them down to about 5°C without feeling the chill, but if you’re particularly cold-blooded then this might not be the case, and you may even struggle to warm up at all.
For a glove designed to have zero breathability there are of course some issues should the mercury unexpectedly rise. Things are less comfortable at the top Castelli’s claimed 4-15°C temperature range as your hands sweat. A couple of rides with the thermometer reading double figures and the gloves really begin to stink, and sticking them in the washing machine has to be planned in advance as they can take a good few days to dry. This also means that they will still be wet the next day after a rainy ride.
Comfort-wise things are pretty good. The thin construction and close fit provides padding while giving you a good feel of the bars and the silicon grippers on the palm prevent your hands moving around in the wet. In fact the grip and feel on the brake and gear levers is so good that we’d feel confident donning the Castelli Diluvios for a few chilly early-season crits. The stitching is also of good quality, with no loose ends on the inside of the seams to irritate your fingers.
With a price tag of £35.00 RRP you can certainly pay more for neoprene gloves from certain high-end Swiss companies. However there are also cheaper models on the market, and beyond the smaller details such as silicon grippers and stitching there’s really very little difference between brands, so it may be worth keeping an eye out for special offers.
The Castelli Diluvio gloves do a good job of keeping your hands warm in miserable conditions, even if the first few miles might be a bit chilly and the temperature range might be limited if you feel the cold. However there's no doubting their comfort and good feel on the bars.