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First look: Chapeau 2016 spring/summer clothing range highlights

We check out the latest cycle clothing from Devon-based brand Chapeau

The sun is out so it’s time to break out the warm weather clothing, and right on cue, we’ve just been sent some of the latest spring and summer clobber from UK clothing brand Chapeau. 

The brand has come a long way since it first launched with a range of skincare products a few years ago. Since it dived into the clothing business in 2013, the Devon-based company, where it designs and extensively tests its products, has been making serious inroads into the crowded clothing market.

And we've been impressed with the Chapeau clothing we’ve tested in that time, blending as it does a nice balance of performance, features and value for money. Classic styling still underpins much of the range, but there are some bolder designs this year, pointing to a brand that is growing in confidence and finding its customer base.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights of the new range. 

Club bib shorts £99

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Good bib shorts are the foundation of any cycling outfit, and coming in at just under a hundred notes are these Club shorts. They’re made from a Topazio fabric with wide elastic hems and silicone gripper tape, to stop the shorts riding up your legs. Zig-zag, not flatlock, stitching is used throughout, because Chapeau reckons allows this allows the fabric to stretch better. A multi-panel design enhances the fit, which the company describes as “snug” to “provide stability”. 

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Seated comfort is the biggest reason for buying padded bib shorts, and Chapeau uses a padded insert manufactured by one of the leaders in the industry, Elastic Interface. The Bastogne HP pad comes straight out of the company’s long distance range, and uses high-density inserts with various densities of perforated foam, with a smooth and flat surface (no steps or ridges) to provide the cushioning that the company says is good for 4-plus hour rides.

Tempo Jersey £49.99

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Chapeau offers two jerseys priced at £50, the Tempo pictured here and the Cafe below. The Tempo has a performance cut with a fabric that is intended to provide good breathability on warmer days, and the lightweight construction is intended to provide good moisture management when you’re working up a sweat.

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You get three rear pockets and there are some reflective details to provide a visibility boost on long summer evening rides.

Cafe Jersey  £49.99

Compared to the Tempo jersey, the Cafe jersey has a more relaxed fit and is the top to choose for casual cycling that might include a coffee or pub stop as it looks less like a cycling jersey than the others. 

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Here’s the design brief for this jersey:

“In the golden age of the Campionissimi cycling jerseys were beautiful things, heavyweight wool, casual tailoring and limited, if any, sponsor logos. Coppi, Bartali, and Anquetil looked like film stars with their sunglasses and Brylcreemed hair and the sun always seemed to shine.Sometimes we want to ride our bikes without worrying about being aero, going deep or – frankly – being seen in figure-hugging lycra. Our answer is the Café Jersey, technical enough to be practical and stylish enough to be proud of off the bike and in public,” says the company.

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It gets the office approval, that's for sure. What do you think? Chapeau has created its own bamboo-based fabric as well. Bamboo offers good breathability, odour resistance, and good moisture management, so it should be ideal for the type of riding this jersey is intended for.

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You still get three pockets, plus a zipped pocket, hidden gripper tape, and reflective details, so it has the functionality if you venture out into the countryside for longer rides. If the stripes aren’t to your taste, other colours are available, including a traditional style with twin chest bands. 

Etape Jersey £69.99

Stepping up in price is the Etape, the company’s most expensive cycling jersey. It has a performance fit and cut, that means it’s designed to be a close-fitting jersey for optimum comfort and aerodynamics. With regard to sizing, the company says an XL fits like a traditional size large.

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The styling is very simple and classy, with a range of designs available to suit different tastes. It’s fully featured with three large pockets for all your food and tools, and space for extra layers you need on a typical spring ride.

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There’s an extra zipped pocket which with its water-resistant lining is ideal for safely storing a mobile phone. As with all Chapeau clothing, the jersey is finished with subtle reflective details.

Track Mitts £34.99

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Time to ditch the thick winter gloves and unleash the mitts, and these Track Mitts, made from Pittards leather and sheepskin, look the part. The leather palm has a textured pattern to increase grip and the top of the hand has a mesh material to provide ventilation.

You can see the full Chapeau clothing range here. We’re going to test the products pictured above and we’ll be interested to see how it performs, so keep an eye on the site for those reviews soon. 

David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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