Boutique brand Chapeau have created a fairly standard short sleeved jersey here in the Etape – but that's all part of the charm, and could very well become a staple of your summer cycling wardrobe.
Do you miss the days of simple, slim-cut jerseys? One wicking fabric used throughout, simple flat-stitched seams? Maybe a silicone gripper at the hem and classic, yet distinctive styling? I do, and it's because of this that I like the Chapeau Etape jersey.
Perhaps never before has the phrase 'nothing to see here' been more suitable (to be fair, it probably has, but stick with me on this one). Chapeau haven't tried to re-invent the wheel with some new-fangled carbon-lined breathable aero fabric that'll shave milliseconds off your personal best up l'Alpe d'Huez. They've stuck with a classic recipe, and pulled it off very successfully.
So, what do you get? From the top-down, a generous but not baggy neckline, a full length zip, tapered sleeves that fit well to both thin and thicker arms, four main pockets – plus a zipped fifth for valuables – a taped, elasticated waistband with silicone bobbles for extra retention, and a stylish blue Chapeau-branded design with stripes dotted about for extra zing.
It's a lovely, simple piece of design that harks back to the late nineties/early noughties, before the aero trends started really hitting their stride. I still own a Discovery Channel pro team jersey from 2005 (don't judge me) and it's pretty much the same.
As you've expect with such a tried-and-tested approach, everything works as it should. No fuss, no problems. The internal seams are comfortable, while the cut will suit slim whippets like me, but is long and generous enough at the waist and back to allow those with extra girth to fit in.
You can find the pockets with ease (having four is a novelty I like), and venting through the polyamide-elastane blend fabric is ideal for sporty riders. The slight downside to this old-school fabric is it has a tendency to snag on unpolished wooden surfaces, but this is the only criticism I can aim at it. Be careful (as no doubt most normally are), and you'll be absolutely fine.
The price comes in at £69.99, which, ok, isn't super-cheap, but then you are getting the boutique Chapeau name thrown in too, and it performs solidly and reliably. It's a great option as a staple jersey for spring, summer and autumn riding.
Simple but excellent summer jersey
road.cc test report
Make and model: Chapeau Mens Etape Jersey
Size tested: Large, Indigo
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Chapeau say: "When it's time to start shedding the winter layers and shredding the sportives and hill climbs you need a jersey that will work as hard as you do. Featuring classic stripe detailing the Etape is quintessentially Chapeau, a classic cycling jersey tailored for the contemporary cyclist.
"Whether you are going for the win, beating your previous best or enjoying new challenges our ultralight Etape jersey is the ideal selection. With a performance cut and the Etape will be your second skin, wicking away moisture and keeping you cool. Open your full-length zip to show off your merino base layer as you climb and zip up for a triumphant selfie or rehearsed victory salute.
"The Etape jersey has three full-sized pockets, ideal for essential tools and food with enough room to store your arm warmers and gilet as rides hot up. When it's time to search for the nearest café or check up on a dropped rider, pull your phone out of the zipped pocket with water-resistant lining.
"When all's said and done this is a short sleeve jersey, wear it when it's warm and add arm warmers when it's a bit chillier. Simple as that."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Moisture wicking
- Slim fitting
- Water resistant security pocket
Seams are made well, with a tried-and-tested fabric. All good.
No complaints all - does exactly as it claims expertly.
The fabric used does lend itself to snagging. Just take care on unpolished wood.
Excellent for everyone, from whippets up to larger riders.
Comes up slightly large, but there's nothing wrong with a slightly more relaxed slim cut.
Feels light to wear at 190g for a large.
Throw in the brand recognition, and £69.99 looks a fair deal.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washes fine on a delicate setting.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Classic design, no fuss and efficient use of space at the rear for four pockets.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing stands out.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
A do-it-all summer short sleeve staple. Enough said.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,