The Chapeau! Classic bib shorts are designed to be everyday shorts. A little less technical than the Pave offering which comes in at a higher price point, these are created to live up to daily use – commuting, coffee shop rides and the such.
If these are the ‘everyday’ shorts, I can’t imagine the comfort of the Pave version. These shorts slipped straight on and felt like a second skin on the bike.
Chapeau! have used a multi-panel design, which means that the material fits to the contours of your body better than a single panel, stretched around each thigh (one can only imagine…). They’ve also listened to women’s concerns and used a wide, elasticated cuff with light silicone printing to keep sausage legs at bay.
In keeping with traditional style, the legs are long, great for those wanting to fit in with the road nuances of the road cycling crowd, but less ideal for those trying to avoid tan lines.
The pad is fairly thin, banishing nappy-itis when you get off the bike, but I felt perfectly protected during rides. Chapeau! have opted for the Fiandre pad, which features a “unique channel which guides and supports your pelvis through a full pedal stroke”. I didn’t feel unsupported at any point in the stroke, but I can’t say I’ve ever had a problem with this.
These bibs feature a standard ‘y’ shaped body, with stretchy mesh straps. I certainly didn’t feel any overheating around the back when testing these, and the straps sat comfortably on my chest without any irritation. If course, there’s no pee-mechanism but that’s fairly standard on entry level bibs.
A few sweet added features mean these bibs seem to really punch above their price tag. For example, these’s a carefully sewn in care label on the bib shoulder and a cute little ‘Chapeau!’ logo on the right hip providing a tip of the hat for wheel suckers.
My only slight reservation with these bibs is the very fetching polka-dot design.
[PSST: See the edit below for an update on this!]
I have absolutely nothing against the design itself, in fact I think it’s really fetching – but without a matching jersey on offer, those of us who like to co-ordinate might feel a little at a loss. Especially when there is an oh-so-tempting matching cap on offer…
There is a Chapeau! Cafe Jersey with larger polka dots, but actually the mismatched sizes might grate more than a simple, plain option. Or tweed, which was what I chose to go with in the end…
[EDIT: Chapeau! got in touch with us via Twitter to show us their NEW Madeleine Jersey. The Madeleine will be available soon – and the prototype suggests we won’t be worrying about what to wear these bibs with for long… See, ask, and it will be delivered!]
Chapeau! Classic Bib Shots – £69.99 here
Sizes available: XS – XL, Size reviewed: Small
Colours available: Black and White 0r Black and Mint