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Chapeau Club Thermal bibshorts review

2 Nov 2020

A versatile option to take you into winter

Cyclist Rating: 
Thicker fleece, high front and longer legs for warmth
Leg grippers are a bit tight, imperfect stitching

When it gets to that time of year when a pair of summer shorts, which are designed to keep you cool, becomes a bit draughty but it’s still too warm to don tights, a pair of thermal bibshorts is a useful option.

The Chapeau Club Thermal bibshorts happily fill that gap in the weather before wet and cold force you to cover up completely.

Whereas a pair of summer bibshorts might typically come in at around 180g, the Chapeau Club Thermal bibshorts weigh 230g. That hints at the extra thermal insulation provided, thanks to the dense, fleecy fabric. It’s a bit thicker than many 'Roubaix'-style materials, probably classing as 'super-Roubaix' in cycling marketing-speak.

Buy the Chapeau Club Thermal bibshorts from Chapeau now for £129.99

That makes the Chapeau Club Thermal bibshorts very comfortable on chillier days out, adding extra warmth, without completely blocking airflow.


Chapeau has gone further than just adding extra insulation though, also making the Club Thermal shorts’ legs that much longer than most shorts, so that for me the legs finished just above my knees. There’s a wide, raw hemmed gripper with silicone printed inner surface to keep them in place.

This is a bit tighter than the gripper on many shorts and I found it slightly uncomfortable over the sensitive tendons at the back of the leg. It needed a bit of adjusting to sit comfortably, but that done I stopped noticing it as I rode.

It’s not just the legs that Chapeau has paid attention to, with a longer body to the Club Thermal bibshorts too, which finishes well above the belly button. That adds overlap with top half kit, so there’s a bit more warmth there too. To make getting the shorts on and off a bit easier, there’s a short reversed zip.


The stitching at the top front wasn’t perfect though, with a hem missing the fabric. That’s slightly disappointing, although it’s not going to affect performance or longevity. Chapeau has free returns for faulty goods and a crash replacement programme, so it's easy to remedy a problem if you do have one.

Having got that far up, Chapeau reverts to mesh bibs. Again, it’s a sensible choice as the upper back in particular can quickly get sweaty as you ride, even in cold weather. The bibs have wide hems, but these lay flat and are unobtrusive.


To add to the cooler weather mile-munching potential, Chapeau has used a quality pad from seatpad supremos Elastic Interface. It’s dense, soft-surfaced and comfortable.

Another sensible winter feature is the pair of reflective tabs sewn into each leg, although that on the front inside seam isn’t likely to show up much when you’re in the saddle.

Buy the Chapeau Club Thermal bibshorts from Chapeau now for £129.99

I like the versatility of thermal bibshorts. They’ll see you through cooler days in the summer as well as autumn rides. Pair them with kneewarmers and you’re good for cooler rides still, plus the double layer of fabric over the thighs keeps these hard working muscles better insulated.

Dig out your legwarmers, and you’re good for the coldest winter rides, without need of a pair of tights.

So although they’re not a cheap option, you’ll probably find that you’re getting to use your Chapeau Club Thermal bibshorts across 3 seasons, whereas a pair of cycling tights might only see the light of day in the depths of winter.


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