Castelli's Prima gloves are a grippy option for spring/autumn and you can operate all kinds of touchscreen with them.
The gloves are made from Coolmax polyester with long cuffs to keep your wrists draught-free. They're fairly warm but not windproof. I'd say they're good for temperatures down to about 10°C – although that'll depend on how fast you're riding, how much you feel the cold, and so on.
The Coolmax wicks moisture away from your hands effectively although, of course, if you do start getting sweaty palms you can easily whip the gloves off and put them in your pocket.
The palms, fingers and thumb aren't cushioned but they are patterned with a silicone print that does an excellent job of keeping your hands from slipping on the bars or levers. These are surprisingly grippy, even when rain or mist has made your bar tape wet. That print left its mark on my lovely white handlebar tape during my first ride – I've got dozens of little squares on the tape now – although, to be fair, anyone using white handlebar tape at this time of year is asking for trouble. I'm going back to black.
One other interesting feature is that you get what Castelli call 'Conductive Touch Technology' on the tips of the thumb and forefinger. You know how some some touchscreens don't work when you have gloves on? They will work when you're wearing these.
If you're interested and don't already know, a resistive touchscreen like you find on some Garmin Edge computers will work when you're wearing any gloves. A capacitive touchscreen, like you might well have on your phone, won't work with most gloves, but it will work with these, which is handy if you use your phone for navigation.
The scorpion logo on the back of each hand is embroidered so it's going to last. One final thing: the washing instructions tell you to hand wash these. That might sound a bit of a pain compared to bunging them in the machine but I've just been running them under the tap after every couple of rides and they're doing fine.
Surprisingly grippy gloves for spring and autumn with the added advantage of being compatible with touchscreens.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Prima Glove
Size tested: S/M, Black, 2 sent
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 list these features:
- 100% Coolmax Yarn
- Conductive Touch Technology fingertips
- Silicone grip on palm
These provide warmth and grip but no cushioning
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Castelli have given these gloves 'Conductive Touch Technology' which is a posh way of saying that they'll work with capacitive touchscreens like you might well have on your phone.
They're knitted gloves so there's not really a great deal to get right or wrong here. Embroidered logos usually last much longer than heat transfer logos.
They're fairly basic knitted gloves but the ability to operate touchscreens might be a real bonus to you.
The polyester is pretty tough stuff.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The long cuffs and the ability to use touchscreens.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 43 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: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight 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 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.