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Castelli S Tre glove



Grippy and comfy mitts with an unusual palm design

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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These Castelli S Tre gloves don't quite live up to their 'revolutionary' billing but they're grippy, comfy and well made, as well as looking classy.

The revolutionary bit is the new I-Vario™ padding system. What's that? It's a series of rubber ribs of varying depths that are bonded to the leather palm of the mitt that take care of the vibration damping duties. There's raised sections either side of the base of the palm to keep weight off your ulnar nerve and also bumps at each knuckle to help with grip. The rest of the mitt is standard fare, if nicely made; the lightweight upper has a stretchy rubber section rather than Velcro, which is good news for all your other cycling gear, and there's pull tabs between the fingers. You get a microsuede wipe pad for nose incidents.

So, does the I-Vario™ system deliver the "secure grip, effective vibration damping and exceptional heat dissipation" it promises? Well. Coming at these from a quite traditional leather mitt (Giro XL) and comparing them to Castelli's slightly more spendy and traditionally padded Rosso Corsa, I'd say that the grip they afford is undoubtedly better than either. The rubber ribs are very grabby and the knuckle bumps help too, especially on flat bars; the grip pattern works pretty well on both flats and drops.

Vibration damping is on a par with standard padding, and heat dissipation in a mitt is predominantly through the back of the glove anyway; I didn't notice that they ran any cooler than the Rosso Corsas. I was concerned that the rubber wouldn't be as sticky as a standard palm in the wet but a soaking ride in the Peak District put paid to those worries. They dry out quickly too.

I thought that maybe the ribs would break free of the palm but so far so good, and since that so far has included a couple of over-the-bars MTB incidents at Bristol Bikefest, I don't think it's an issue. The fluffy backing on the back of the rubber closures is coming off though - not that the mitts are any less comfy as a result - and one of the pull tabs has a loose thread; minor niggles but they might rankle if you've spent £36 on these gloves. They've been through the wash a few times with no other ill effects.

A revolution then? Well, no. But they're good mitts, and if you like a grip with lots of sticking power then you should check these out. As an aside, you can while away a happy half hour trying to get the ribs on the two palms to intertwine, sticking your hands together. Just sayin'. They're not cheap, these - almost as much as the Rosso Corsas - so you'll need a good reason to shell out. If you suffer from hand slippage then that might be the reason.


Grippy and comfy mitts with an unusual palm design test report

Make and model: Castelli S Tre glove

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?

Lightweight and fully ventilated full finger gloves with the revolutionary new I-vario padding system on the palm for secure grip, effective vibration damping and exceptional heat dissipation.

* I-vario™ padding system on palm

* air mesh fabric on back of hand

* easy-off pull tab

* debossed microsuede sweat wipe

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Nicely made, ribbed grip is well bonded

Rate the product for performance:

Excellent grip, comfort on a par with other quality mitts

Rate the product for durability:

Wearing pretty well, a couple of niggles

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

Super light, you'd barely notice you had them on

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

nice and comfy

Rate the product for value:

Expensive, worth a punt if you need the extra grip

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Grippy palms

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A few niggles with durability

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 190cm  Weight: 98kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track


Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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Fat_Birds | 12 years ago

Ufff... Durability again  2

In any case, I really consider to buy them and test. Quite interesting concept.

They look really nice (but overpriced again).

gazzaputt | 12 years ago

Castelli item with a loose thread? Never!

All the Castelli mitts I have owned have fallen apart.

Coming to the conclusion their lower end shorts aren't much better either.

Good news is their jerseys and sock seem to wear well.

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