Better used at temperatures lower than Castelli quotes but the Perfetto RoS gloves truly shine when the sun doesn't
Lack of bulk
Long cuffs mean no gaps with any jacket
Fingers a few millimetres too long
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The Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves form one part of the Italian brand's latest range of high-performance winter-tackling gear that integrates the best material technologies available.
The Perfetto moniker translates to 'perfect' from the brand's home language of Italian, while RoS stands for Rain or Shine. It's a bold name to call a product range, but in my mind, Castelli has every right as these are the best winter cycling gloves I've ever used.
Finding the right gloves for winter riding is something I've toiled with for years. Finding the holy trinity of all-weather protection, maximum comfort, but without any loss in dexterity or control is an arduous task. Rarely does a single pair of gloves excel at all three, and given you need to use the gloves in the worst conditions before you learn their true capabilities, it's not often simple to return a pair that didn't make the grade.
I've found varying levels of success in different styles. The big, bulky styles are generally great for sub-zero temperatures, but dexterity is compromised and the last sort of conditions you want to deal with reduced bike control is when the roads are icy. Neoprene gloves have typically been my preference because, for me, wet hands aren't too bad when they're warm, however, in my experiences, the trade off becomes apparent as soon as the temperatures get to around -5C/23F, but luckily that's a rare occurrence here in the south of the UK.
Design and specification
Instead of a bulk or neoprene approach, the Castelli Perfetto RoS goes for a slightly more technical approach, integrating GoreTex Infinium Windstopper fabric, backed with fleece for warmth, and a stretchy neoprene cuff for a stretchy compressive closure to keep the wind out.
The palm features silicone dots throughout to aid grip but the key feature here is the CDS (Castelli Damping System) pad, which exists to offer increased padding at a strategically placed position in order to reduce hand fatigue. It's positioned a little south of the main contact point between hands and the bars, but it perfectly covers the median nerve and becomes most apparent when riding on the hoods.
The entire glove, save for the inner face of the wrist cuff, is made using GoreTex Infinium fabric, which means wind resistance is unparalleled with anything else I've tested. The index finger is given a touchscreen compatible fingertip, and the first two fingers are given single lines of silicone for brake lever grip.
The backs of the hands are plain in design, featuring just the Perfetto moniker on the wrist, and the Castelli scorpion logo over the second metacarpal.
Castelli rates the gloves for use between 6C/43F and 10C/50F, however, I've pushed them down to around -2C/28F while remaining perfectly comfortable, I actually found my hands began to sweat at around 10C/50F.
I've been using the Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves in all sorts of conditions, including days where the entire ride is below freezing with sideways rain and days where a chilly early start becomes a stunning Spring afternoon. The Perfetto RoS gloves have performed admirably throughout. While they will eventually wet-out in persistant rain, they do a great job of retaining warmth such that your hands remain comfortable. In fact, the only time they've been imperfect is when the temperatures rose to the point that best choice of gloves was no gloves at all.
Thanks to their minimal bulk, the gloves weigh just 28 grams each, and their on-bike dexterity is excellent. The CDS does a great job of reducing the pressure and road-buzz through the median nerve, but most impressively, it does so without numbing the connection between me, the bike, and the road beneath.
Finger length is ever so slightly on the long side - we're talking no more than five millimetres - for my hands.This is only an issue when trying to use a phone or computer's touchscreen though and can result in a few mistyped messages. Though that's sort of a given for winter cycling gloves, and it's far from a reason not to buy them. More importantly, the control of the bike's brake and shift levers remains unaffected.
The Perfetto ROS gloves are my new favourite winter cycling gloves. For my needs, they manage to hit that sweet spot of comfort, weather protection and dexterity in a way that truly earns the Perfetto moniker.
What's more, they're long enough at the cuff to pair with every winter jacket in my wardrobe, they fold up small enough to fit unobtrusively into a pocket when not needed, and even after a soaking wet ride, they were dry by morning.
Tech Specs: Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves
- RRP: $69.99 / £65.00 / AU$129.00
- Sizes: XS - XXL
- Colours: Black
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