Sign up for our newsletter


Chapeau summer kit review

16 May 2016

As the weather warms up, Chapeau smoothly transitions from longs to shorts with tasteful offerings in its summer range.

Cyclist Rating: 
Outstandingly good value
Underwhelming chamois in the shorts, fit issues with the Tempo jersey

We passed judgement on Chapeau’s winter range a few months ago, so thought ourselves well placed to comment on the Devon-based brand’s summer selection when it arrived in the office recently.

Cafe jersey - £49.99

Our attention was especially piqued by Chapeau’s redesign of its distinctive Café jersey: it's now £10 cheaper and is made predominantly from bamboo. In theory, this gives it good breathability and odour resistance, which proved to be the case.

The jersey feels like a light cotton t-shirt on, so there is a distinct sense of freedom when you ride that you don’t find in polyester-based race jerseys, which rather aptly makes it ideal for bumbling down to a café on a balmy summer’s day. The sizing is on the relaxed side, further cementing its cafe aspirations. And as a cafe ride often suggests, we don't recommend riding too hard in it – it did somewhat emphasise the sweat patches that other jerseys can be more forgiving of.

Tempo jersey - £49.99

With the Café jersey for casual riding and the racy Etape jersey for competitive cyclists, the Tempo jersey is the versatile heart of the summer collection. Apart from Chapeau’s characteristic understated styling, there aren’t many features that are particularly revelatory. In no way do we mean to sound negative - it is a solid all-round jersey that is great for general riding but it doesn't stand head and shoulders above its peers. That said, we found the fit slightly constrictive under our arms and baggy at the waist.

The individual grippers found on both jerseys are a nice idea as they allow plenty of flex in the hem, ensuring the jersey doesn’t cut in, although they could be a bit more tenacious in their hold – both jerseys did have a tendency to migrate up the back slightly.

Club bibshorts - £99.98

The cut of the bibshorts is long in the leg, which is great as far as we're concerned, and the shorts’ astutely shaped panels kept them feeling stable and evenly distributed around our thighs. The asymmetric detailing is a cool, modern touch and wide hem grippers are a sensible move – they make sure the shorts stay in place without the unsightly ‘sausaging’ effect caused sometimes by thin hem grips. The shorts are slightly let down by the chamois, despite it being made by Elastic Interface it does feel lightweight - fine for rides that last less than a couple of hours but there are more comfortable options out there. If your budget allows it, we'd say it's worth trading up to Chapeau’s Pave bibshorts that for £20 more are a truly solid option. 

Overall Chapeau has assembled another refined line-up of garments to see you through the summer. For a relatively young brand its unassuming style, bold ideas and decent value makes for a range that should suit most shapes, sizes and budgets.

Read more about: