The Madison Telegraphe doesn't really look like a cycling jacket at all, but as soon as you put it on, you know it'll work on a bike too: a high collar to keep the wind out, sleeves that are long enough to keep your wrists covered when you're stretched out on your bike and pit zips and mesh lining to keep everything well ventilated.
I've tested a Madison gilet before, made from the same M:Tec 5000 waterproof fabric; as then I've found it to be as good as gore-tex but without the price premium that comes with it. All seams are taped and any exposed zips are waterproof, this all helps to stop any unwelcome water ingress.
The cut is snug and comfortable, rather than racing tight, and the medium I tested comes down to just below the hips. Because it keeps out the elements so well it has a really cosy feel to it, and it works as well on as off the bike. You wouldn't want to use it for performance oriented riding, it would be too warm, too flappy and the hip pockets would get in the way, but for leisure riding, touring or commuting it is absolutely perfect. And for hiking and snowboarding too, I'd imagine.
The Madison Telegraphe punches well above its weight in terms of features. I've already mentioned taped seams and waterproof zips where it counts, the mesh lining and the pit zips.
It's got a removable hood, attached with four hidden poppers and a hidden zip. If it's in your way but you don't want to take it off, you can stow it away in the collar too, although I've found this a bit fiddly (you have to do undo the poppers) and it makes the collar balloon a bit - you might as well take it off. Nice to have the option though. The hood is adjustable in 2 dimensions via a hem and a velcro tab which means you can get it just so if your head's going to be in it for a while.
It's got a (non-waterproof) two way main zip with a velcro storm flap. There's a little flap at the top of the zip that keeps your chin away from the zip, which is a nice little detail. You get plenty of pockets too - all with waterproof zips. There are two hip pockets which are the perfect size to warm your hands in, or to fit wallet and keys. There's a chest pocket which will take your phone, iPod or shades (or your goggles!). There's a also a pocket on the left sleeve, which is plenty big enough for your phone or iPod if you wanted to put it there.
It's also got one hand adjustable draw cords on the collar and the hem around your hips, velcro adjustable cuffs and reflective detailing.
As you'd expect from a jacket of this type with these features, packing down small is not one its qualities. You definitely wouldn't get it in a jersey pocket.
If you're looking for a decent waterproof to use both on and off your bike, this one is a really good option at a very modest price - they can now be had at a scratch under £60 if you shop around online.
A decent urban waterproof that punches well above its weight.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Madison Telegraphe jacket
Size tested: Olive - 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?
This is the official blurb: "The Telegraphe is suitable for a wide range of outdoor applications; especially mountain biking with a technical cut for unbeatable fit, ensuring optimum comfort, this is a dependable jacket for harsh conditions.
It's light on weight, big on build quality and capable of keeping you warm, dry and comfortable no matter what activity you are engaged in
The M:Tec 5000 waterproof, breathable, micro rip-stop fabric is tough enough to withstand the daily rigours of active sports, and is fully seam taped to ensure the water never gets in
A mesh lining aids breathability
The sleeves are extended and articulated for added comfort on the bike and the collar is high to keep the wind and rain from being a pain in the neck
With killer looks this jacket will keep you looking cool on or off the bike
Features include: detachable / stowaway hood with hidden zip attachment on collar (hood has adjustable hem, and Velcro volume adjuster), 2-way main zip with Velcro storm flap, chest pocket with WP zip, 2 front hip pockets with WP zips and zip garages, pit zips, pocket on left sleeve with WP zip, one hand draw cords at the hem and collar, reflective piping / detailing and Velcro adjusters on the cuffs"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The jacket is made from M:Tec 5000, which works really well. It's got taped seams and waterproof zips where it counts. Mesh lining and pit zips keep you well ventilated.
It seems to be really well made.
I'm judging performance in terms of waterproofness and fit here. As I made clear in the review, this is a not a jacket performance riding.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's been my go to jacket since I've had it for anything that doesn't involve a racing bike.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Cervelo Dual
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, Audax