Castelli's Estremo gloves are a warm, windproof and very comfortable option for the cold weather.
If you don't know, I'm sure you could guess that 'estremo' is the Italian for 'extreme', and Castelli have certainly made these gloves to stand up to the cold.
The outers are made from Windstopper X-Fast fabric that does exactly what its name promises. That includes the cuffs which are plenty long enough for tucking your jersey sleeves inside to avoid getting cold wrists.
The palms are covered in silicone print so they grip even damp hoods and bar tape, and you get a small amount of gel padding on the heel of you hand to protect the ulnar nerve.
There's a faux suede panel on each thumb for taking care of all your nose wiping needs and the embossed scorpion on the back of the hands looks neat. Inside, the PolarFleece 340G lining is super-comfy.
Castelli reckon that these are suitable for temperatures ranging from -5°C to +5°C and that their Chiro Due gloves take over from 5°C to 14°C.
The Estremos are certainly warmer than the Chiro Dues but I was using these in 7-8°C the other day and they felt comfortable to me. That said, I know people who wear track mitts at that kind of temperature (yes, really), so it all comes down to the individual. For what it's worth, I'd use these in temperatures of about 2-10°C and use liner gloves underneath for anything below that... but I definitely need more insulation than most.
These gloves aren't waterproof but they are water resistant. Get caught in the rain and your hands will eventually get wet, but they put up a surprisingly good fight. Road spray, mist and drizzle won't get through.
With most clothing, if you don't really notice it, that's a good thing. You don't often find yourself 50 miles into a ride thinking, 'Wow, this gilet feels great,' but you might find yourself thinking, 'This base layer feels cold.' I was on the bike for five hours on Saturday and I didn't have to give these gloves much thought. My hands were comfortably warm, they didn't get sweaty on the climbs, and I didn't get achy palms or tingly fingers. All good.
Plus, I've been riding a bike equipped with Shimano's Di2 lately and those electronic shift buttons are pretty small and close together. That can be an issue with some bulky gloves, but I had no problems with the Estremos.
The only aspect of the performance I don't like is that it's quite easy to catch the fabric on the back of the two middle fingers on the Velcro wrist closure. I've done this a few times when adjusting the gloves from the saddle. It wouldn't happen if I was really careful... but I'm not really careful. It's not the biggest deal in the world, admittedly, but if you've just spent £65 on a pair of new gloves you'd rather it didn't happen.
Windproof gloves that provide plenty of warmth and comfort for cold-weather riding
road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Estremo gloves
Size tested: XL
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Castelli say, "Our warmest cold weather glove yet, the Estremo Glove was designed for the coldest conditions- ideal for low tempratures and bad weather. Constructed from a windproof Windstopper X-Fast fabric combined with a fleecy material on the palm, covered with Silicone texture for a better grip and durability. Proof that we take harsh winter riding seriously..."
They list these features:
- Our warmest cold weather glove yet
- Windstopper X-Fast fabric for total wind protection
- Fleece liner for cold protection
- Embossed tone on tone scorpion logo on back
- Silicone print on palm for a better grip
- High Neoprene cuff with Velcro closure
- Pre curved construction
- Microsuede thumb panel
That's all fair enough, but if the wrist is neoprene, it's the skinniest neoprene that I've ever seen.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Windstopper X-Fast fabric is windproof (obviously), highly water resistant and breathable. It's also stretchy to avoid tightness.
I've caught fabric on the hook and loop closure a few times but it's not going to affect the durability.
These are among the most expensive gloves we've tested on road.cc but they do exactly what they promise. The cost is high but so is the performance.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Estremos do exactly what they promise: keep your hands warm and comfortable in cold conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The all-round warmth and comfort, plus the lengthy cuffs mean you can avoid draughts around your wrists.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The Velcro closure can catch on one area of fabric, which is a bit annoying.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.