Chapeau Club bib shorts - review - Road Cycling UK

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Chapeau Club bib shorts – review

Solid (and stylish) bib shorts for club runs, racing, sportives and anything in between

The Chapeau Club bib shorts are a new addition to the Devon-based firm’s range, priced at £99.98 to sit below the Pave shorts (£119.99) and above the Classic shorts (£70), and offering solid performance for everyday riding, with plenty of style.

The shorts have a fairly standard, paneled construction and overall the fit is close but unrestrictive. While the bulk of the shorts are made from a lycra material, the top half and bib straps are made from a lighter, perforated fabric to improve performance in warmer weather and the shorts feel lightweight in hand and when on the bike.

Chapeau say the shorts offer UV protection of 50+ and, after testing, there’s no reason not to believe that, particularly given the fairly dense lycra blend. The panels are stitched together in a zig-zag fashion, rather than typical flatlock stitching, and while this adds a little more range of movement there’s not a significant difference.

The Club bib shorts sit in the middle of the Chapeau range at £99.98
  • Specification

  • Price: £99.98
  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • Size tested: M
  • Website: Chapeau
  • UK distributor: Velobrands

The leg grippers comprise of an elasticated 30mm band with a sticky treatment on the inside to keep them in place and that combination works well. There’s also a nice bit of detail on the inside of the gripper with a piece of fabric which covers the stitching joining the band together, eliminating a possible area of irritation.

Out riding, I was initially a little put off by the chamois. It’s a fairly unconventional shape, and particularly long – to the point where I thought I’d somehow put the shorts on the wrong way round. It’s not that it causes any discomfort, but the front end of the pad extends up at the front way more than usual. Apparently it’s to help when the hips rotate on the bike but I didn’t feel there’s any huge advantage.

More importantly, after a series of long, 3-4 hour rides, the pad proved was absolutely fine. Chapeau provide plenty of detail on the website about the chamois, and they’ve obviously considered the construction and application with plenty of care, though I found performance to be middling. I didn’t suffer adversely with it, but nor did I find it supremely comfortable. That said, pad choice can be quite a personal thing.

The styling is all in the details, with ‘Chapeau!’ in bold down each side, one in black and one white, and then two white stripes and the logo around the thigh gripper. There’s also a reflective dart on outside of each leg. In my experience, Chapeau strike a good balance between unique styling without over working things and that’s the case once again here.

The bib straps are made from a mesh fabric which helps keep things cool

The final thing to mention at this point is that after several rides and washes, the shorts have kept their shape well and not showed any signs of wear on the sit bones.

Conclusion

The Chapeau Club bib shorts are well-suited to everyday use – club runs, commutes, sportives and more – with plenty of attention to detail and an overall finish which is fairly high quality. The price is a touch punchy but if you’re after something with a touch of style while offering solid performance for a multitude of duties, then these are worth a spin.

Pros

  • Unique styling
  • Attention to detail
  • Comfortable fit

Cons

  • Chamois shape is a little odd

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