Chapeau Club Thermal bib tights - review
Well-constructed tights with a great fit, but lacking real cold weather clout
The Chapeau Club Thermal bib tights are a well-constructed, all-purpose, mid-weight winter tight. Featuring the brand’s distinctive styling and detailing, coupled with a great chamois and fit, they performed well - though a few tweaks could make them even better.
The full-length Thermal tights cost £139.99 and boast slim-fitting Roubaix fabric, a Cytech HP Bastogne pad and an anatomic cut.
And the fit is great - bang on in length and width (we tested a size M), and not too tight or too baggy either, including behind and around the knee. On and off the bike, the tights are comfortable, and the shoulder straps - with a mesh style material to aid moisture wicking and lessen the overall weight - also sit nicely.
- Price: £139.99
- Sizes: S-XXL
- Size tested: M
- Colours: Black
- Website: Chapeau!
The tights are well made, though my only surprise was the seams weren’t flat-locked - it’s no massive easier, but they do tend to pull out easier and leave an imprint.
Down to the ankles, and they are looped and feature one side in white graphics - there’s no obvious reason, other than aesthetics, for that and it did get grubby over time.
That said, it adds protection to your feet, and they also presented no issues with bunching under the foot arch. One slight criticism would be the angle the stirrup joins to the lower leg, however - it twists, and seems odd when putting them on.
As mentioned, there is no bunching behind the knee, which is owed to a circular panel which sits on the calf and knee. It allows good stretch and definitely helps with the racing fit. Also on the back are two reflective stripes, which are prominent in appearance.
Alongside thigh logos and a rear badge, there are plenty of reflective details. There are also two sewn-in darts of fabric that offer some reflective visibility.
Elsewhere, there’s a handy short zip on the stomach, which helps for calls of nature and, by not being too long, keeps more warmth in. Talking of warmth, the Roubaix fabric is a well-renowned one, and performs admirably in wet and mild conditions.
As for cold-weather performance, down to around four or five degrees the thermal properties did their job, but any colder or on longer, damper rides and you can feel the chill.
I found the tights lacked real cold weather clout, and if you are after some deep winter clothing these may not be quite the ticket. This obviously depends on how fast you move and retain heat, but weight wise, and with no wind proofing, there isn’t the real cold weather protection.
Finally, the Cytech HP Bastogne pad is comfy from the go, and provides comfort for the time you’d spend out in these tights.
The Chapeau Thermal bib tights are a solid Roubaix fabric tight, but I can’t help feel they need to do a little more for the price point. The white leg graphics had cracked after a few washes, and the white lycra leg loops look tired pretty quickly.
I’d like to see more finishing quality and maybe thicker weight fabric in areas to aid some more thermal properties.
- Great anatomic fit, with no bunching
- Roubaix fabric performs well in wet and mild conditions
- Prominent reflective details
- Lacks true cold weather clout despite 'Thermal' name
- Graphics cracked after a few short washes