Chapeau!'s cheapest bib shorts, the Tempos are a classic looking bit of kit with a simple design to suit their 'lazy rides and sunny adventures at the weekend' brief. Are they just a little too simple though to justify a price tag that matches some brands' mid-to-top-end kit?
The thin, shiny regulation black Lycra material has a very old school look and feel to it reminding me of the shorts available from virtually every brand back at the turn of the century., in the days before every fabric became 'technical' and cycling kits weren't sold as outfits.
Their performance is reminiscent of those bygone days too.
That on its own isn't an issue. Not everyone wants an all-dancing, compressive, breathable pair of shorts for riding fast or bumbling around the lanes. But it does become an issue when you bring in the factor of price.
The Tempo shorts cost £79.99, a price where we've the likes of dhb excelling with their Aeron shorts or the Kalf Flux Chevrons; technical shorts that are great for racing but are also perfectly comfortable enough to take on a full day's riding.
The Tempos have quite a thick pad which is okay if you are sitting a bit more upright and taking things steady but if you tuck into the drops and pick the pace up a little all the excess foam just bunches and creates hot spots which ain't pleasant.
There is quite a deep channel between the two main left and right pad sections so I didn't have any issues with numbness but there is too much material there.
The legs are held in place by an elastane gripper which does the job in stopping them riding up but the seam that joins everything together is then covered by another piece of fabric. If you have large thighs then this can tend to dig in and become irritating on a long ride.
Performance aside though the Chapeau's do offer a good fit thanks to plenty of panels making up the finished article. The fabric sits close to the body from the legs up to the bibs without ever feeling restrictive on or off the bike. Sizing is spot on to their website chart too and they range in waist size from 30in (S) through to 38in (XXL).
The mesh bibs give plenty of coverage and offer a good level of stretch which holds them in place and makes them easy to get on and off.
Chapeau have a neat touch of putting all of the labels on the outside of thegarment to avoid irritation The main tag with washing instructions etc is on the bib strap. You also get some Chapeau logos stitched to the outside of the shorts too plus a few token reflective strips.
The overall finish and build quality is pretty good. All the stitching feels tight even when you really pull the panels apart though a few rough edges and stray thread ends slightly cheapen the feel.
All this brings me back to that price and overall value. At eighty quid the Tempo shorts are just too expensive for what you're getting in terms of performance and overall quality. At forty or fifty pounds I'd say yes, they are good enough but against similarly-priced opposition they are a little lacking.
Classic retro-looking shorts but don't quite deliver for the money
road.cc test report
Make and model: Chapeau! Tempo Bibshorts
Size tested: Medium
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?
"The all-purpose Tempo Bibshorts are comfortable, stylish and cut for the perfect snug fit. Designed for commuting, lazy rides with your friends or sunny adventures at the weekend and the ideal partner to our Tempo jersey range."
The Tempo bibshorts are decent enough for most types of riding but just lack a little all round performance for the money.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Much like our higher end bibs, the Classic features a multipanel design and a full mesh back, provides stability and essential ventilation. The wide elasticated cuff with subtle silicone printing gives you all the grip you need without cutting off circulation.
The Fiandre pad uses a perforated, dual density foam to keep you fresh and give you support in the most important of places. Just like the other pads in our range, the Fiandre features a unique channel which guides and supports your pelvis through a full pedal stroke.
Even on this entry level bib-short we've taken care of the finest of details, using zig-zag stitching for the ulitmate flexibility. External labels and a reflective Chapeau! label add up bib short that you'll appreciate on every ride.
Reasonably well put together but quite a few stray ends of thread which cheapens the look.
These are quite a basic pair of shorts for the money.
A bit of bobbling from saddle contact but the stitching feels firm
A close fit throughout without being tight
Low weight due to the thin material
The shorts themselves are comfortable enough although the pad is little on the thick side and can bunch up when you're in a dropped position.
Strong opposition from the likes of dhb, Lusso and many others
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues with washing at all, 40 degree spin cycle and hang to dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Decent enough shorts for short and steady rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Smart design details like the external labels and classic looks.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pad a little on the thick side
Did you enjoy using the product? They were okay
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Depends on their riding style
Use this box to explain your score
The Tempo bibshorts are decent enough all rounders but just don't deliver the comfort, finish or performance for the cost against their rivals.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.