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Winter cycling clothes: A look at Chapeau!’s Winter 2019 Collection

3 Dec 2019

As the temperature drops through the autumn, the short sleeve rides of the summer steadily fade into memory and your chaingangs shift from evening sprints to weekend early starts.

Your rides home from work become faster and more efficient, with staying warm and dry becoming as important as looking sharp.

The trick to riding through the winter is layering – choosing kit that will keep you cool on the climbs but warm and dry when the wind is howling.

And it’s exactly these conditions that the Etape Merino LS thermal jersey from Chapeau! has been designed for. Having been developed and tested to withstand the UK’s specific mix of wet and windy conditions over the winter months, it will keep you riding at full efficiency whilst also ensuring you look great in the process.

Or as Will Miles of Velobrands puts it, ‘The Etape is for anyone that wants to look sharp and ride fast. It’s as at home on a club run as it is on a solo weekend ride or your day-in-day-out commute.’

Dress to impress

The Etape Merino LS takes its cues from the award-winning Club Thermal jersey, a firm favourite of Chapeau! customers, and is lightweight, quick to dry, very breathable and made with natural fabric.

A slim ‘performance’ cut leaves room for a base layer but equally guarantees the Etape will easily fit under a jacket while keeping you fast and aero. The quick-drying, breathable and natural merino fabric ensures a comfortable ride whatever the weather, with the jersey having been rigorously tested on Britain’s harshest roads.

Chapeau! has listened to consumer feedback with the inclusion of a silicone gripper to keep the jersey perfectly in place while a zippered and water-resistant fourth pocket will keep your valuables safely stowed away.

Yet as much as Chapeau! has focussed on creating a garment that is technically proficient, garment, it has done so without compromising on looks.

‘We’re not going to try and sell the marginal gains story as a reason to wear this jersey, since the truth is getting your elbows in or your head down will give you a bigger real-world benefit.

However, we absolutely do believe that if you look good then you'll feel good, and if you feel good, you'll feel faster. So, we aim to make all of our kit look as sharp as we possibly can,’ says Miles.

The Etape Merino LS comes in a range of subtly understated colours, such as Deep Ocean and Carbon Grey, but Chapeau! has also catered for those who prefer their kit a little louder with its Club Thermal jerseys, including the new Sunset Pattern design.

And regardless of your choice, you won’t be caught having to make do with mismatched kit – Chapeau! offers matching base layers and caps to make sure your look is on point at all times.

The Italian kite mesh fabric of the base layer does the technical work of wicking sweat away from the skin and preventing irritation but also earns you style points in that it matches or contrasts beautifully with the jersey patterns. These are available with simple chest logos, subtle-and-stylish chest stripes or full-print, show-off patterns.

Completing the Chapeau! winter look is the Club Thermal bibtights, which are a full-length winter essential. The bibs are made from quick-drying, breathable fabric that is said to be versatile enough to work across all three of the cooler seasons. They also have a foot stirrup to do away with fiddly zips and a pad that Chapeau! describes as a ‘work of art’.

As well as the stock-standard black, Chapeau! also produces the Club Thermal bibtights in ‘en-vogue’ navy and elegant grey colour ways, a modest yet distinctive variation on the norm that is still in keeping with winter’s more muted colour palette.

Style and performance

It’s a similar story on the women’s side with the new Madeleine Thermal Jersey collection, which places its focus on elegant style and technical performance. The Soulor thermal bibtights, meanwhile, have been designed specifically for women – akin to a second skin designed to be comfortable on any ride, regardless of distance.

Prices are also competitive considering the balance Chapeau! has struck between complicated jersey patterns, technical fabrics and real-life home testing. On top of that, Chapeau! offers a free lifetime crash replacement service, ensuring the customer experience begins, not ends, with the purchase.

‘We want to offer our customers something more than just a jersey. It’s about giving them a great experience and reassuring them that we're part of their whole cycling journey rather than just selling them a piece of kit,’ said Miles.

‘The crash replacement is a big one for us. We understand that things go wrong and how frustrating it is when your favourite jersey gets damaged... So if our customers do snag it on a bush, tear it in a crash or even just damage it in the wash we’ll make sure they're looked after.’

And to top it all off, Chapeau! will even deliver your fresh new kit to your door free of charge and – in the event that it’s not quite right – you can return it without cost too.

For information on Chapeau!’s full Autumn/Winter range, click here.