We gave you an overview of the Chapeau clothing range when we first saw the collection at Bespoked Bristol. Now we’ve received a bundle of kit to review.
Chapeau started life producing cycling-specific skincare products before branching out into clothing. The Devon-based firm’s debut clothing range is made in Portugal and consists of nearly 20 items, covering both performance kit and casual cycle clothing.
Here’s an overview of the clothing we’ll be testing in the weeks ahead.
Chapeau Etape short sleeve jersey (£69.99)
The Chapeau Etape jersey is made from a lightweight, synthetic fabric, comprising of an 80 per cent polyamide, 20 per cent elastane mix. A lighter mesh fabric is used under the arms to improve ventilation.
The full-zip jersey has a multi-panel construction and Chapeau describe the fit as “slim but not too slim”. Having slipped on our size medium sample, the cut is more generous than most, particularly around the arms and rear pockets.
Speaking of which, the jersey has three well-sized rear pockets, with an additional water resistant, zipped pocket. There’s also a small mesh pocket on the left side of the jersey, designed for carrying a gel or energy bar – a well-thought out touch which could make grabbing a bite to eat a little easier when on the move.
Other details include headphone routing from the zipped pocket to shoulder, and a reflective Chapeau badge on the breast and right-hand pocket. The rear of the jersey has an elasticated, Chapeau-branded hem with silicone print on the inside.
The Chapeau Etape jersey is available in two colours: black with white detail and black with red detail.
Chapeau Pave bib shorts (£119.99)
The Chapeau range includes three bib shorts: the entry-level Classic bib short (£59.99) comes with a TMF pad, while, interestingly, the premium Pave bib short (£119.99) is available with a choice of two Carbonium pads.
“If you are a rider who feels comfortable for extended periods of time holding a race position, then you would choose the Red Carbonium pad,” say Chapeau. “On the other hand, if you prefer a more upright riding stance, then you would choose to wear the Green Carbonium pad.
We’ve got both the Red and Green Pave bib shorts to try. Otherwise, the shorts are made from what Chapeau describe as a “lightweight, hardwearing and supportive” lycra fabric, which they say offers maximum muscle support, comfort, breathability and durability. We’ll find out.
The shorts have an elasticated, Chapeau-branded leg gripper which, like the hem of the jersey, is lined with silicone print. At the other end, the mesh bib straps are more than two inches wide and should offer plenty of support.
Chapeau Merino short sleeve base layer (£34.99)
Three Merino base layers feature in the Chapeau range: one with long sleeves (£39.99), one with short sleeves (£34.99) and one with no sleeves (£29.99). We’ve got the short sleeve version in to test.
All three are made from the same 100 per cent ultrafine Merino wool which is super-soft to touch. A polyester base layer would be our preference on warm summer rides but Merino still has its place in the UK, when the weather rarely plays ball, and we rarely wear anything else in winter (and much of spring and autumn, for that matter). It’s also lighter than many Merino base layers we’ve previously worn.
Our short sleeve base layer has a crew neck and a slim fit, while there are no internal labels which should avoid irritation next to the skin.
Chapeau Echelon gilet (£94.99)
The Echelon gilet is a piece which, on the face of it, should get plenty of use through the dank British summer. It’s made from a multi-stretch fabric which Chapeau say is both waterproof and breathable. We can imagine pairing it with arm warmers when there’s a morning chill in the air, or rain showers on the horizon.
Unlike most gilets, this one has a single, zipped pocket; useful when riding but also because the gilet folds away into the pocket, although it’s not as compact as a lightweight summer jersey intended just to take the edge off the wind.
Both the pocket and full-length zip have taped seams, while the front zip itself is covered by a reflective cover. There’s also reflective details on the shoulders, back and Chapeau logo.
Chapeau rain jacket (£149.99)
The Chapeau rain jacket is made from the same fabric as the Echelon gilet. Like the gilet, it can also be folded down into the single zipped pocket.
The jacket has an asymmetric front zip which Chapeau say results in the optimum fit when riding. Features intended to keep the rain out and the rider dry include snug cuffs, a high collar, taped seams and a generous dropped tail.
Chapeau arm and knee warmers (£24.99)
Arm and knee warmers are typically made from a lycra fabric, sometimes fleece-lined, sometimes not, but Chapeau’s are made from a polyester material (with 10 per cent elastane to add a bit of stretch).
As a result, they’re significantly lighter than most arm and knee warmers, which should make them suitable for the British summer, when you often just want something to take the edge off the cool air.
Otherwise, both the arm and knee warmers have a single seam design, with silicone grippers to help keep them in place. Both cost £24.99.
Chapeau City shorts (£69.99)
Moving away from performance road wear and into Chapeau’s casual clothing range, the City shorts are cycle-specific shorts designed for riding around town or to the pub. “Sometimes it’s nice to get out for a more relaxed pedal and going ‘just lycra’ isn’t needed, but you still want a pair of shorts that are designed with a bike in mind,” say Chapeau.
On the face of it they’re a regular pair of casual shorts but there are a few cycle-specific features built in, including added stretch in the crotch and back panel, reflective belt loops and a reflective Chapeau logo. There are also four pockets and Chapeau describe the shorts as having a “straight leg cut”.
The City shorts are available in two colours: our subtle pinstripe sample and all black.
Chapeau Cafe jersey (£49.99)
Finally, the Cafe jersey is also intended for casual riding but has more obvious cycle-specific features than the City shorts, most notably the three rear pockets (there’s also an additional water resistant zipped pocket).
There are also silicone grippers on the inside of the hem, while the jersey itself has a more relaxed cut than a regular cycling jersey. It’s made from a 90 per cent polyester, 10 per cent cotton mix (the cotton is in the high collar and cuffs).
The Cafe jersey is available in grey as pictured, as well as black, blue/white and red/white.
Website: Chapeau Cycling