Lanched in June 2011, Cafe du Cycliste is a French cycle clothing brand aimed at those who wish to avoid “the full polyester dogma”. Instead, you get, supposing you purchase the Michelle Jersey, 55 per cent Merino wool with your now only 45 per cent polyester content.
Called MOTIF – Merino Origin Tracked Intelligent Fibre – the fabric is designed to keep you cool in warm weather and warm in cool weather… and is very thin. It does not feel much like a wool-based fabric, but then nor does it feel like a synthetic one. Instead, it feels light and natural but without the softness of wool. Which is not to say that it feels rough; just, somehow, not especially woolly.
Fit is excellent, our size L hanging well off the bike without excess length at the rear and sitting nicely when on it. The full-length front zip eases getting it on without bunching at the midriff and is just the right height at the neck. At the rear, three pockets, the centre one with additional pump pouchlet, provide the usual stowage space without sagging under load and there’s a breast pocket with cable hole for MP3 player.
And what’s it like to ride? So good as to go entirely unnoticed. The fabric does not feel overly warm in hot conditions and wicks moisture effectively, the presence of a damp patch on the wearer’s back the result of wearing a small rucksac. It’s a great effort by the fledgling French brand and a welcome addition to the cycle clothing market.
Cafe du Cycliste Michelle Jersey £103; colours light grey and mustard; sizes S – XXL
Café du Cycliste ship worldwide via www.cafeducycliste.com