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Verdict: 
A nicely understated race-fit jersey that will keep you cool, but it is on the pricey side
Weight: 
144g
Chapeau! Etape jersey
7 10

Chapeau! might have an exclamation mark in its name, but the Etape jersey metaphorically removes it by virtue of its understated, minimal design. Some might want more interesting looks for their £100, but if you appreciate subtlety then the Etape is a very comfortable race-fit jersey for more serious (and even non-serious) riders.

> Buy this online here

As a ghostly pale and profusely sweaty reviewer, I'm always on the lookout for dark yet breathable materials in my bike jerseys... and this one ticks both boxes. In temperatures of up to 27°C on a three-hour ride I didn't burn and I was kept pretty cool thanks to the mesh underarm panels and moisture-wicking properties in the fabric.

Chapeau! Etape jersey - riding.jpg

Chapeau! Etape jersey - riding.jpg

If you've taken a liking to the Etape jersey then it's worth mentioning that it sizes up a little small – not Castelli small, but I'd advise going up a size if you're in between. Chapeau's size guide says the medium is for a 38-41in chest, but I'd beg to differ being dead on a 38-inch chest usually, and feeling like the Etape fitted me very snugly (it's not me in the pics). Sizes go from small to double XL so most of us are covered.

Chapeau! Etape jersey - back.jpg

Chapeau! Etape jersey - back.jpg

As well as the three usual rear pockets, there's a fourth zipped one with a waterproof liner which did its job and kept my phone dry. The main three are a little on the small side because they’re tight to the back of the jersey, but otherwise perfectly functional.

Chapeau! Etape jersey - pocket.jpg

Chapeau! Etape jersey - pocket.jpg

At £99.99 the Etape is £30 more than the previous version Ash reviewed last year, and for that you get slimmer pocket seams and a lighter jersey overall, plus smaller details like a housing over the zipper for extra comfort. It's less than premium offerings from the likes of Rapha and Assos, but in my opinion it's more comfortable than dhb's Aeron Speed jersey at £55, as an example of a lower-priced race jersey I've tested recently.

Chapeau! Etape jersey - collar.jpg

Chapeau! Etape jersey - collar.jpg

Chapeau! does operate a free crash replacement policy – which could make the £100 price tag a little more palatable...

> Buyer's Guide: 15 of the best summer cycling jerseys

Overall, the Etape didn't absolutely wow me but I'd happily wear it all year round either on its own or with a jacket on top in cooler climes. The pockets are a decent size and those who appreciate a clean, simple design and a form fit will like it. Apart from some slight snagging to the logo after a few washes, it seems to be pretty durable too.

Verdict

A nicely understated race-fit jersey that will keep you cool, but it is on the pricey side

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Chapeau! Etape jersey

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 Etape is a jersey aimed at the competitive rider (hence the name) from this usually casual brand, with numerous cooling properties and a slim fit for hard training rides, sportives and racing.

Chapeau! says: "Offering a race fit, the ultralight, quick drying Etape will be your second skin, wicking away moisture and keeping you cool."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Chapeau! lists these features:

- Lightweight, 'Softtouch' fabric

- Moisture-wicking properties

- Slim fit

- Three large open pockets, one small pocket with a zipper and waterproof lining

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

You get what you pay for – this jersey looks and feels fine, and the material is really supersoft and comfy.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

No chafing or discomfort on long rides, and I didn't overheat in hot weather.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Six washes in and the Chapeau logo is starting to peel a little – cool wash only folks!

Rate the product for fit:
 
6/10

It's slim-fitting and comes up a bit short, so not for those who prefer a looser fit.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
6/10

See above – came up a bit small for a medium so size up if you're in between.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

Fits like a second skin, for me it was very comfortable indeed.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

It's a big spend on a jersey with the same features as others I've tried at the same price point. Chapeau! does offer free replacement for crash damage, though, which helps...

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

As mentioned, the logo is coming a bit loose after six washes, but the sleeves are still tight and it hasn't shrunk.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It's a quality performance jersey that's fine for fast training and racing.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The understated looks and weightless feel, and it keeps you nice and cool.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It's a bit short in the body, so fitting might be awkward for those with a longer torso.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Perhaps

Use this box to explain your score

The Etape possibly has a bit of a narrow market, as it's a race jersey from a more casual brand – but if that appeals then yes, it's a fine jersey. It's on the pricey side, though, and the fit isn't for everyone.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 27  Height: 179cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride: Road bike (currently Specialized Tarmac)  My best bike is: Ridley Chronus TT bike

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, triathlon races

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since.  He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.