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The Chapeau Etape jersey abounds with thoughtful details that support its claim to be designed by cyclists.
Chapeau clothing is to use the firm's own words, 'is a brand conceived and developed by cyclists who yearned for great quality products that came complete with a touch of class.'
That sounds like a great basis from which to start. Not that cycling clothing is complicated but get it wrong and it can make a huge difference. Also if you are forking out wads of your hard earned cash then you want value for it.
The Etape cycling jersey from Chapeau is simple and understated in its design and looks. You have multi-panel construction, predominantly black with a white trim on the end of the sleeves. The light mesh material is cut for a slim fit but nothing to worry about if you feel you're in the racing whippet mould.
The material is a mix of 80 percent Nylon and 20 percent Lycra. The combination works well in keeping you ventilated and able to ride without overheating, and there's a full length zip to help when things do seriously warm up.
When you don a jersey it's nice to be surprised by some of the features that you notice. That's a clear indication that a cyclist or group of have sat down, decided what's missing, and done something about it.
The Etape has not three but four pockets. Three are where you'd expect to find them, on the rear, they are deep enough to stow your essentials. The fourth is to the side of them, so more on the hip and is designed to be easily accessible for food without interrupting your ride.
There is a water resistant, security zip sealed pocket too. The next nice touch is this pocket has eyelets to feed your headphone cable from here to the shoulder where a second eyelet acts as an outlet to keep your cables out of the way. Finally on the rear of these pockets is the brand logo but this is reflective to add a simple but useful bit of styling.
When you're out pedalling there is a silicone gripper on the back of the jersey to keep everything in place. When you see the jersey advertised on the Chapeau website there is one detail that catches your eye: designed and tested in the UK by real cyclists. Chapeau!
A simple design has been taken and improved to provide a jersey that is more than the sum of its parts. Together these innovative touches create a top that is simple a pleasure to wear. Oh did I mention it looks great too?
Good quality jersey for a decent price with lots of great details.
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Make and model: Chapeau Etape Jersey
Size tested: Medium, Black/White
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 jersey from Chapeau is aimed at the cyclist who wants a top that provides everything you'd expect plus a few neat additions that perhaps you wouldn't. They say it's designed and tested in the UK by real cyclists - you can't say fairer than that.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
A lightweight mesh material ensures you keep cool and dry, as does the full length zip. Besides the three rear pockets you get a hip pocket for easy access to your food, a waterproof security pocket with eyelets to run your headphones to the top of the jersey without trailing them on the outside.
The mesh material is lightweight but robust enough to withstand heavy usage. The seams are flat-locked and unobtrusive leaving free to ride. There is no weakness in the pockets either allowing you to carry all your necessary essentials. The zip is well made and easy to use.
The Etape jersey fits well, it has a slim cut but nothing drastic that makes it prohibitive for anyone who isn't a racer.
Given the jersey's construction it has shown no signs of wear and tear, only performing at the highest level.
It is light and this makes it versatile in that it is cool enough for the warmer days but offers a little extra warmth when the temperature dips.
The biggest compliment is nothing disturbs you about this jersey when you're riding. It doesn't ride up, feel tight or obtrusive. Basically this is a joy to wear.
At £69.99 the Etape jersey represents a lot of jersey for the money given the additional features you get above and beyond what is a classic jersey with a twist.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, it did everything you expect from jersey and then surprises you further.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The simple things matter, a pocket on the side for food and easy access or the waterproof security pocket with eyelets for running your headphones out of the way.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Putting it in the wash.
Did you enjoy using the product? I did
Would you consider buying the product? Certainly would
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Great value for a jersey full of top features.
Age: 44 Height: 178cm Weight: 80kg
I usually ride: Currently riding a Pinnacle Evaporite Three My best bike is: As above
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, sportives, mtb, Not yet but looking to dip my toe in the world of TT