Chapeau! focus their attention on cycling clothing that's classic in style, contemporary in design and comfortable for the long rides, and short. They're renowned for their subtle, soft colours and largely understated cycling apparel, perfect for riders who aren't a fan of high-vis and bright colours.
Earlier this year we were excited to see the women's summer range from Chapeau! looked bigger than ever with numerous of designs, colours and styles to choose from, which actually made it really hard to just pick one!
From their extensive collection, I've been riding in and reviewing one of the latest Madeleine jerseys and black pave bib-shorts.
Chapeau!'s Madeleine jersey
The Madeleine jersey comes in nine different design and colours options, perhaps one of the largest selections I've seen for one particular model. A running theme throughout the Madeleine collection is a wonderful blend of soft pastel colours and geometric patterns which certainly invoke the light, bright feeling of summer.
A slim fit cut has the jersey fitting closely to the body but it doesn't have the aero racer fit which can often feel somewhat restrictive. Having a little extra wiggle room in the cut means you can easily get away with a comfortable base-layer underneath without having any embarrassing crinkles, wrinkles and bulges. The jersey is constructed from an ultra-wicking polyester which helps regulate body temperature and coupled with the slim cut, the Madeleine jersey is ideal for sportive riding and more leisurely bimbles.
There are two reasonably sized cargo pockets in the rear of the jersey with one smaller zipped pocket for keys, coins and cards. The reflective Chapeau! cycling badge is clearly visible on the bottom of the right pocket.
Chapeau!'s Madeleine jersey is extremely comfortable alone, and with layers underneath. It's breathable and non-restrictive to ride in, and even after a number of washes, the shape and colours remain unblemished or warped.
Chapeau!'s Pave bib-shorts
Bib-shorts are notoriously difficult to get right what with the shoulder straps, the chamois pad and the ease - or lack thereof - of going to the loo and having to throw a hip from wiggling out of them.
The Pave bib-shorts are simply designed to put comfort above all else. Flat black with small tabs on the thigh cuff gives these bib-shorts an understated look. The shoulder straps are wide and designed to rest in line with the breast, however, we know once you're on the bike, these straps slip into the nether-region of the armpit. Fortunately, the soft wide straps of the Pave bib-shorts prevents irritation.
The multi-panel construction of these bib-shorts allow for a close fit and the seams have been carefully placed as not to cause chaffing in uncomfortable areas. Where Chapeau! have understated the design by keeping them a flat black colour, they've really worked hard to develop the chamois pad inside.
The chamois pad inside the Pave bib-shorts has been carefully designed between Chapeau! and Elastic Interface. The female specific cut of the pad has triple density padding to provide comfort for the longest of rides, and the placement of the chamois makes these shorts perfect for more upright and long-distance rider. High-density padding offers super support in areas of increased pressure.
Having pedalled many miles in the Pave bib-shorts, I was surprised at just how comfortable they were. The fact I didn't really think about the shorts whilst riding just proves their comfort and how well they work with the body when cycling.
The high waist finish and compression fabric provides support around the stomach, which I personally prefer, and prevents drafts from finding their way in to goose the flesh.
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