Castelli have a long history of producing fine Italian cycle clothing. The company is arguably on of the most recognised in brands in the business. The company has a large and varied portfolio of cycle clothing and we got our hands on (or into rather) the Castelli Arenberg Gel Gloves.
Arenberg is famously known for being the tough forest section of the Paris-Roubaix Classic race. Castelli have designed these gloves with this tough course in mind. The palm of the gloves are made from AX Suede and features ample gel padded areas. The gel pads are covered with a ‘loud’ silicone print pattern that is designed to improve grip – even on damp and muddy rides.
There is a small ‘pull-tab’ between the middle and ring fingers and a slightly extended wrist cuff – both with the purpose of making the gloves easier to take off.
The back of the hand is made from a combination of Lycra for comfort and micro-mesh to help make the gloves more breathable. At the wrist there is a good size, adjustable Velcro fastening to improve fit and comfort. The Castelli Arenberg Gel gloves feature a micro-suede snot/sweat wipe thumb, instead of the more traditional toweling material. I wouldn’t say this is less absorbent but it is certainly a different feel and does give the gloves a classy look. Finally, there is the unmistakable Scorpion logo. The gloves are available in sizes S-2XL and come in both men’s and women’s – although the styling is different.
Unlike cycling jerseys or shorts, you probably won’t have lots of pairs of gloves in your kit draw. For that reason, it is good to find a pair that do everything you expect of them. We tested the Castelli Arenberg Gel gloves over several rides of varying lengths. On short, pacey rides the gloves provided excellent grip thanks to the the silicone print design. The micro-mesh on the back of the hand keep the gloves well ventilated – although the palms have less ventilation due to the large areas of gel padding.
With regards to the padding, we tested the gloves on a 50 mile ride, around some not-so-even country lanes. The padding was very impressive and did a great job of dampening and road (and pothole) vibrations through the bars. It can be difficult to get this right as everybody has different preferences. I would say that if you want a good level of padding without feeling like you are wearing oven gloves, these are about right.
When it comes to the fit, I tested an XL which translates to 9.5-10″ hand circumference. This proved to be a good fit that was close, but very comfortable. That being said, these gloves a not the easiest to take off. The pull tab between the fingers seems a bit delicate and misplaced and doesn’t really serve its purpose. I felt like if I pulled too hard it might rip off or rip the gloves. This could have been better thought out or just left out altogether. Using the extended cuff seems to work much better.
Castelli Arenberg Gel Gloves Review Conclusion
Your hands are one of the main contact points between you and your bike – it is important that they are comfortable and looked after. The Castelli Arenberg Gel Gloves tick most of the boxes for what you would want from a pair of cycling gloves. They are very comfortable and the combination of Lycra and micro-mesh works very well. The Suede thumb wipe is different but works. It may not suit all riders but then it depends on how much you will use it. The padding has yet to disappoint and I think at anything thicker would be like trying to drive ski boots. The Velcro fastening does it’s job – although as with any Velcro, if you catch it on Lycra, it will snag and pluck the material. :Tip – turn the gloves inside out and to the Velcro up before washing them! The only real disappointment is the removal tab. It is poorly positioned and too flimsy. The fear of ripping the gloves put me off using it. The wrist cuff tab works much better.
The Castelli Aernberg Gel gloves are available in Black/White, Black/Yellow, Red or White/Black. RRP is £30 from Wiggle, Evans Cycles and Pro Bike Kit. They are certainly not the cheap gloves but we think the positives make them worth the money.
Classy looking cycling gloves that are only let down by an inadequate removal tab. Otherwise excelling in comfort, padding and grip.