Launched in June 2011, French cycle clothing brand, Café du Cycliste is based in Nice. Founded by André and Rémi - respectively an Ironman triathlete and former canoeing world champion.

Café du Cycliste's women's range expanded with the Colette waterproof and Madeleine gilet

From what we’ve seen of their women’s range, the essence of Café du Cycliste is to produce luxurious, retro-styled cycle clothing with thoughtful feminine features and boy, do their jacket and gilet scream elegance!

Distributed in the UK though online women’s cycle clothing retailers VeloVixen, you can also find the range in store at Mosquito Bikes and the recently re-branded Kinoko Cycles, London.

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Although there are no bib shorts or leggings in the Café du Cycliste women’s range, lagging behind in terms of breadth of choice compared to the men's, we’ll let them off due to their current selection being so sophisticated, while still packing a punch in the technical department.

Check out the next couple of pages where we showcase all the details and features of Colette and Madeleine from the Café du Cycliste range before we put them out to test.

Like the French style? Check these jerseys out by Café du Cycliste here.

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[part title="Madeleine Women’s Windproof Gilet"]

The Madeleine gilet is so wonderfully chic with its glen plaid design we can’t wait to cycle in it, but before we do, it’s time to tell you a little about its features.

At just 100g, not only is this gilet incredibly lightweight, the material is thin and packs down easily enough to fit into your jersey pocket.

As the material is shell-like, it feels like wind won’t be able to penetrate and water from a light shower should hopefully bead on the surface.

To help retain body heat, the sleeveless arm holes, collar and hem are all finished with a black elasticated strip. On the back, a mesh insert allows heat to be released as you ride, so you don't turn into a boil in the bag.

There are no pockets on the gilet, however there are openings found just below the mesh panel to help you reach into your jersey pockets, so you can store your belongings in there.

Sizes available: XS - XL

Colour: Glen Plaid

Price: £76

More information: Café du Cycliste

[part title="Colette Women's Rain Jacket"]

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The Colette jacket, is unbelievably light and soft. My first thought, pulling it from the post bag, was that it’s surely a windproof jacket. Not so! It is in fact a high-tech waterproof number. I can’t wait to put it through its paces in a deluge to test its water-resistant qualities!

Even though the Colette jacket is light, the fabric feels strong and if you look closely you can see the features that will help keep you dry. From taped seams, to a waterproof sealed zip, and a two-layer fabric (not that you can feel them!) there’s no way water is sneaking through this jacket.

I wasn’t sure about the colour, but, now I’ve seen it in the flesh, the deep purple has a certain je ne sais quoi about it, and definitely a welcome change to the usual shades on the market!

Other features include, a single water protective zipped pocket with side entry on the rear, two ‘vents’ designed to allow air to escape and for you to reach inside your jersey pockets and contrasting black lycra cuffs that are water repellant as well.

Sizes available: XS - XL

Colour: Deep purple

Price: £175

More information: Café du Cycliste

Like the French style of Café du Cycliste? Why not check out our thoughts on their incredibly chic jerseys?