When you put on a pair of gloves that were obviously optimized for cycling, it’s a thing of beauty. With a form and fit that’s made for on-bike performance, the Castelli Mortirolo Gloves check all the boxes for me in an ideal cold-weather glove.
Castelli Mortirolo Gloves Features:
- Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper body
- Brushed palm with outstitched fingers
- Ergonomic fit specifically for on-bike performance
- Silicone grip on palm and two fingers
- Zippered closure
- Optimized for 45-60 degrees
- MSRP: $79.99
Mortirolo’s fit “like a glove”
Upon arrival, the Castelli Mortirolo Gloves made an immediate impression. “A zippered cuff huh? That’s interesting,” I thought. My initial questions were answered when I put them on because, for me, these are absolutely the best-fitting cold-weather gloves I’ve worn, hands down. With that zippered cuff, Castelli has achieved a streamlined fit that covers lighter jackets or jerseys while being snug enough to fit underneath others. To me, it’s the best of both worlds.
Using a Gore-Tex Infinium shell, the Mortirolo’s are built to shed cold winds and light rain or snow. No, this material is not “guaranteed to keep you dry” but instead it prioritizes breathability and just the right amount of warmth. Everyone has different cold tolerances, but I’ve been comfortable between 38-55 degrees in them. On the lower end, you’ll start to feel the chill, but they remain suitable. Honestly, the sweet spot is in the 40’s. I’d say they are the Goldilocks choice for that temperature range. And, that just so happens to my own personal temperature range. Unless I’m testing cold-weather gear, 40-degrees is my threshold and the Mortirolo’s have been excellent partners.
More on the cuff… as I’ve read other reviews, there seems to be a fair bit of disagreement with my zippered cuff love affair. A vocal minority? Perhaps. For me, I find no fault at all with the zippered cuff. It opens for easy on/off, zipps closed with ease and simply stays put. With it, Castelli has achieved a near-custom fit for my hand and wrist size. I’m sold.
While Castelli chose not to include touchscreen sensitivity, that zipper does open all the way down to the back of the thumb and allows for easy thumb access, as you can see. It doesn’t replace touchscreen functionality, but it does the job. And, in talking with other manufacturers, adding touchscreen sensitivity is a mixed bag and results in returns from unsatisfied technophiles who aren’t satisfied with how well it works. And, those touchscreen pads can sometimes interfere with finger sensitivity. So, while it’s worth mentioning that the Mortirolo’s lack touchscreen sensitivity, I’m not getting bent out of shape about it. If that’s a “must-have” then you’re going to miss out on a great pair of gloves and you should seriously remind yourself why you have gloves — for riding your bike or manipulating your phone?
In the past, I’ve appreciated gloves with outstitched finger seams. This often results in a less bulky seam and better tactility. Castelli hasn’t quite gone that route, but they do stitch the palm padding to the fingers on the outside edge. This method does result in thinner seams and markedly improved cockpit feel and sensitivity. In fact, braking and shifting are superb with these gloves and are aided by a strip of silicone down the middle of your first two fingers. Lever feel is outstanding and far and away better than other similar gloves.
The palms are not padded, but do offer excellent fit and grip. If you prefer padding, the Pearl Izumi Cyclone Gel Gloves might be a good alternative. I found the snug fit and bar feel to far outweigh any additional padding needs. Instead of insulation, the Mortirolo’s are fleece-backed for warmth. It’s a thicker pile on the back of the hand and a thin layer on the palms. That thin layer does add palm comfort.
While some gloves feature a flat shape, Castelli has obviously made the Mortirolo Gloves for on-bike performance. I have used them for dog walking and trail running as well, but prefer the cut and fit for cycling first. Ergonomics matter and the Mortirolo Gloves have the perfect amount.
On the high-abrasion area between the thumb and forefinger, Castelli has added a wishbone piece. That is a great example of Castelli’s overall attention to detail and product longevity. I haven’t noticed any signs of wear at this point and would expect these to last a long time.
During cold rides, my nose does tend to run and I often look for something to wipe it on. Sadly, there’s no snot wipe panel on these gloves. My nose would have really appreciated that. Breathability is top-notch as I never felt swampy in them. And, getting them on or off is the easiest of any glove I’ve tested.
Fit: I’m a solid size large with just about every glove on the market and the large Mortirolo’s are a perfect fit.
- Zippered cuff makes for a near-custom fit
- Super-easy on/off
- The Goldilocks of gloves for rideable winter temperatures
- Shifting and braking feel is outstanding with SRAM Rival AXS
- Curved shape is perfect for on-bike performance
- Impeccable construction
- Very breathable
- No snot wipe panel
- A little DWR treatment would extend weatherproofness
The Bottom Line: Castelli Mortirolo Gloves
Throughout the years, I’ve found Castelli’s cold-weather gear to be the benchmark of performance and the Mortirolo Gloves certainly meet those high expectations. I have found the fit to be bonkers and on-bike performance is equally outstanding. For the right temperatures, these gloves are now my absolute favorites.
Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com
Very helpful review. I am now using Gore C3 Infinium gloves. They are not bulky and it is easy to operate shifters, etc while riding. They are warmer than I was expecting and I can wear them comfortably to around 32 degrees. To say the least, they are not easy on/off so the Castellis clearly get the nod on that. They are available in high viz yellow color, which is a good option for commuters.