The four-season cyclist can never have too many gloves, each pair covering a certain makeup of conditions. The Chiro 3 from Italian brand Castelli are perfect for this autumnal time of year thanks to their small bulk and windproofing properties keeping the mid-morning chills at bay. They are pricey, though.
They cost 60 quid! That's a lot of money for a pair of gloves, so they need to be pretty special to justify the price. Admittedly, there is a lot to like.
Holding them up, you can see they have a definite cut, shaped for your hands. All the fingers have a gentle curve to them and the thumb points directly down in front of the index finger in the same way as your own does naturally. All this makes a difference once you put them on, because all the material is in the right place so you don't get any bunching or creasing under the knuckles for example.
The cuff runs nicely up the wrist and it's a snug fit, though it could be tighter with a bit more elastane added to the mix. This would make them a little easier to get on as well as you do hear the odd seam being stretched past its comfort point at times. The hardwearing palm does extend up the wrist into a small tab to aid pulling the gloves on.
There isn't a whole lot of padding but it was never an issue for me as I tend to ride most of the summer bare handed anyway, but if you suffer from pressure on your ulnar nerve, for example, it might be worth thinking about whether the Chiros are for you.
You get some reinforcing around the thumb and index finger, positioned perfectly for those long, steady miles resting on the hoods. You also get a towelling snot/sweat wipe on the rear of the thumb panel.
Castelli claims a temperature range of 5-14°C and I'd say that was about right for me. Thanks to the Gore Windstopper fabric your hands certainly stay warm.
The only issue I had was with the liner which sits inside the glove. If your hands are sweaty, no matter how hard you try not to you will always drag it out with your hand when taking the Chiros off. Mid-ride this is irritating as it's a nightmare to get it back in position – not ideal if the temperature is low and your damp hands are getting cold quickly. And the fact that the Castellis wouldn't work with my smartphone screen meant taking them on and off was quite a common thing.
I was testing the large size (they come in XS-2XL) and the fit was pretty spot on all-round. My fingers are on the short and chunky side, though, so if you have long, slender digits you'll probably need to go up a size for length.
The finishing looks tidy and pretty robust, though I'll be interested to see how long the stitching in the high wear areas lasts throughout the winter – there is a lot of it running across the palm.
Overall, I like the Chiro 3s for their looks and fit, plus the fact that they are still quite slender in their design, so you maintain most of the dexterity you have sans gloves. Warmth levels are good for mild winter and early/late season days, so you should get a good deal of wear out of them. At rrp they are a bit pricey, though I have found them online at a couple of places for 40 quid (in limited sizes), which I think is a bit more on the money.
Smart looking, warm and comfortable gloves but they can't quite justify their price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Chiro 3 Glove
Size tested: Large, Black/Red
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?
The Chiro 3 gloves are designed to keep the windchill out on those high single figure temperature days, early spring, late autumn or when things are mild in the winter. Minimal padding to keep the bulk may be a comfort issue for some though.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Windstopper X-Fast fabric for wind protection
SmartHeat lining manages moisture and adds warmth
Wind-resistant fabric on palm
Microsuede thumb panel
Temperature Range: +5° - +14°C
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:
At full rrp I think they are on the expensive side.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Chiro 3s offer a decent fit and certainly keep you warm if the temperatures are above freezing.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The amount of dexterity allowed by the material.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lining coming out when you remove your hand.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? At around 2/3 of the rrp
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The Chiro 3s offer a good compromise of warmth while keeping the bulk down to allow a decent amount of dexterity when on the bike. The reinforced thumb area is good to see, though having the lining pull out when you remove a sweaty hand makes taking them on and off mid-ride a pain.
Age: 37 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Kinesis T2 My best bike is: Mason Definition
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
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