Devon-based Chapeau have launched their debut winter clothing range and the Thermal Jersey and Thermal Bib Tight are the first pieces off the production line.
We’ve been sent both to review, and will see how they stand up to the British winter in the weeks ahead, but first let’s take a closer look at the tech spec before we head out on the road.
Chapeau Thermal Jersey – £79.99
The fleece-lined jersey is a key component in any rider’s winter wardrobe and this is Chapeau’s take. It’s available in two colours: red/white and burgundy cream. Our sample is the latter but we’d describe it more as dark red/coffee cream. It’s a stylish piece, understated with a retro flavour.
The jersey is made from 85 per cent polyamide and 15 per cent elastane and is lined with a very soft Super Roubaix fabric. The jersey feels a little thicker than most so we’ll see what effect this has on warmth and breathability. Chapeau say the fabric is “highly resistant to pilling and abrasion”.
The jersey has a three-quarter zip; a feature common on a short sleeve jersey but less so on a long sleeve jersey, which will normally have a full-length zip. Still, it should provide ample means to let cool air into the jersey if things get a bit toasty.
Out back there’s the usual arrangement of three rear pockets, plus an additional zipped and water resistant valuables pocket in the middle. A large, reflective Chapeau logo is stitched to the right-hand pocket. The rear half of the hem is elasticated and lined with silicone dots.
Reflective badge aside, styling is limited to the Chapeau logo printed on the left-hand side of the contrast band which runs around the jersey in its entirety, other than under the arms. The zip is also colour co-ordinated to match the band, which is a nice touch.
The Thermal Jersey is available in five sizes, from small to extra-extra-large, for £79.99.
Chapeau Thermal Bib Tight – £89.99
“Winter has arrived and the focus has switched from getting a sharp tan line across the thighs to retaining feeling and function within the thighs,” say Chapeau. Time for bib tights, then.
Like the jersey, the bib tights are fleece-lined with a brushed Super Roubaix fabric, other than on the back panel and bib straps, which are made from a mesh fabric to improve breathability in an area hidden beneath a jersey and thus not facing the wind. Chapeau say the stretchy mesh upper also improves pad stability.
Speaking of which, Chapeau have chosen to use the Fiandre pad from respected chamois manufacturers Elastic Interface. It’s described as an endurance pad for rides of three hours or more. The multi-density pad varies from 3mm thick on its ‘wings’ to 12mm thick under the sit bones. The pad’s exterior is made from Elastic Interface’s X-Tract anti-bacterial fabric, said to enhance breathability and sweat absorption.
Back to the tights and they have a multi-panel construction, including a panel directly behind the knee to stop the material bunching through the pedal stroke. There’s a laser-cut, ‘flat fit’ foot loop at the end of either leg, designed to keep the tights in position in the absence of silicone grippers but without irritating the sole of the foot.
A short zip at the front of the tights, 11cm long on our medium sample, is designed to make comfort breaks, well, more comfortable. A rubber Chapeau logo sits at the bottom of the zip though this is likely to be hidden from view most of the time. Otherwise branding is limited to a small, reflective Chapeau logo on the right-hand side of the lower back. There’s also a reflective tab on either leg.
The tights are available in six sizes, from extra-small to extra-extra-large, for £89.99.