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Castelli's Mortirolo gloves are a mid-weight design for milder days when deep winter gloves can get a bit sweaty. They're pricey, but they work very well, and do so for the majority of our British winter days and well into spring.
Castelli says the Mortirolo gloves are designed to offer decent protection in mild weather, and I'd agree that the gloves are best suited to those late winter and early spring days where it isn't freezing, but isn't warm either.
The Mortirolos are perfect for those days when it's hovering below 10°C. Castelli gives them a temperature range of 7-15°C, but I'd go a little lower: I found their effective temperature range to be between 5°C if I was on a harder ride – therefore keeping myself a bit warmer – and about 14°C on easier days and especially, for that upper range, the roll down the hill to the office. The exact range the gloves are best in will depend on your own personal thermometer, but to give you a guide, my hands suffer from the cold in anything below about 5°C.
Castelli has gone with a Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper fabric for the body of the gloves. That's a great choice in my opinion as the windproofing is excellent and means your hands stay warm. You just need to be a bit careful about taking these out on really cold days as the lack of insulation can bite you.
That material also means the breathability is impressive and this combination gives the Mortirolo a decent temperature range that will cover the majority of a British winter, from late autumn to spring. Throw in a little bit of water-resistance and you're protected for most rideable days.
The YKK zipper is also given the water-resistant treatment to prevent water seeping in here. While it is a nice idea, which allows you to get the gloves easily over a liner or wrap the cuff over a jacket, in use I wasn't overly impressed.
For me there is a bit too much space around the wrist (my wrists are very skinny) and that meant the zip would simply fold if I tried to unzip. The only workaround I found was to remove the glove, unzip it, and then pop it back on.
How much will this trouble you when riding? That depends on how much you like to take your gloves off. If you do this a lot, especially while on the move, it can be a bit of a pain and, personally, I'd have preferred a simple elasticated cuff.
A lack of padding might be an issue for some, but I prefer a natural feel of the bar, and with the silicone grippers, I had both good dexterity and plenty of control.
The sting in the Castelli scorpion's tail is the price. For £75, at least they offer a decent range of temperature coverage, so you'll be able to use them a lot. But you can spend less to get a similar fabric. The Gore C3 Gore-Tex Infinium Stretch Mid Gloves, now £54.99, are just as thin, and are lighter at 51g to the Mortirolo's 72g, though I'd say Castelli has done a better job of the sizing and finish on the Mortirolo gloves.
Not that it'd be like me to encourage you to spend more money on bike stuff, but I still find myself coming back to Dissent 133's glove pack at £95 as the best value solution if you want all bases covered. That kit will see you through absolutely everything from early autumn to late spring.
With these Castellis, the question will be whether you have the cash to throw at them. They're great gloves, minus a few frustrations with the zip, and the temperature range means you'll get a lot of use out of them.
Great temperature range and material works perfectly, but oh the price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Mortirolo Gloves
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Castelli says, 'Gloves that offer decent protection in mild to cool weather should feature in any cyclist's wardrobe. The Mortirolo Glove is a mid-weight glove ideal for those days where the weather can't make up its mind, but you're set on riding.
'The Mortirolo is windproof and splash proof thanks to its GORE–TEX™ body. The membrane on the fabric keeps the elements out, but allows any excessive heat and moisture to escape, preventing hands from feeling clammy when the temperature does rise or the ride intensifies and your body is working harder. A silicone print on the palms makes for an excellent grip. A YKK® water-repellent zipper across the back of the hand makes for easy on and off, and a secure fit."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Castelli lists these 'key features':
GORE-TEX™ WINDSTOPPER® fabric keeps wind out and heat in while providing best-in-class breathability
YKK® water-repellent zipper for easy on and off
Silicone print on palm for optimal grip
Reflective detailing for low light visibility
7˚ – 15˚C / 45˚ – 59˚F
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I washed them at 30 and then just air-dried.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great for a lot of the British winter. They allow the hands to keep themselves warm and they breathe well too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Castelli has used the Gore Windstopper fabric brilliantly, maximising the breathability and low bulk of the material.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The zip is really difficult to open with one hand, and I'm not sure how much functionality it adds.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's high. Gore has a similar fabric in its C3 Gore-Tex Infinium Stretch Mid Gloves at £54.99. They're nice to use, but Castelli has done a better job with the finish and fit.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? I'd struggle to justify the price.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Brilliant performance from the fabric and these are well made too. But the zip design isn't that functional on the bike and the price means you'll want to wear these a lot to get your money's worth.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.