A wetsuit is made from neoprene for insulation, warmth and protection during water sports and activities. Cycling may not be a water sport per say but when it’s raining hard it sure can feel like one. During heavy rain, it’s often the riders extremities that are the first to suffer from the damp and cold that comes with it. Castelli’s solution are the Deluvio gloves and shoe covers.
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The Deluvio line products are at their most effective in rain during relatively hard rides or races. Most other materials are prone to allowing water to penetrate to your skin despite efforts to make them as water resistant as possible. When this happens, you immediately start to get cold. The Deluvio instead allow that water to penetrate but once isolated in the neoprene, your body will warm it up and the effect is longer lasting warmth. It’s a different approach that for races or hard rides in wet conditions is very effective.
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The Neoprene on the gloves and shoecovers are thermally welded on the inside and sewn on the outside for a tight bond. The gloves don’t have any straps instead just slip on. They offer great mobility for operating the brakes and shifters. The shoe covers feature a zipper on the back in order to get them over your shoes.
On colder days, I found the Deluvio to be very effective as long as I was keeping a lively pace. As long as my body was generating body heat they are very effective. If your hands and feet are prone to get cold quickly even when you are putting in hard efforts, you may need to look for bulkier pieces which offer better insulation.
On cool spring days when it was raining, as long as I kept riding, my hands and feet were happy. On one ride I did stop for a little longer than I should have in hindsight allowing the cold to penetrate what had been perfectly comfortable extremities when I was riding.
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Castelli’s Deluvio products are made from Japanense neoprene which is not the most breathable of materials but offers insulation from a cold wind if you happen to ride in them when it’s dry and nippy out. Neoprene is not the warmest material so on frosty days they don’t quite offer the right protection.
The Deluvio shoe covers retail for $75 and the gloves for $55. For racers or riders who know they are going to be riding hard when it is wet and chilly out, Castelli’s Deluvio line will keep them riding longer and more comfortably. Be it at spring races, in summer rain storms, on fall adventures or during winter thaws, the Deluvio are an interesting solution for wet weather riding.