The Chapeau Club 2 bib shorts offer plenty of comfort and perform well both on the road and on the turbo, though I did find the pad a little thin on some of my longer training rides.
Good quality, high-functioning bib shorts are a staple for any keen cyclist. The Club 2s are the new generation of do-it-all shorts from Chapeau, building upon the previous well-liked iteration which Jim tested a couple of years ago.
All good bib shorts require a well-fitting and comfortable pad; as this is such a critical interface with the bike, getting this wrong can be disastrous. Pad comfort tends to be subjective, influenced not just by your shape but your riding style. I thought the pad here performed well overall, especially with the incorporation of Chapeau's ECO carbonium flash material, designed to wick away sweat more effectively. During my rides there was no build-up of salts, which could lead to irritation around the saddle region.
I do have quite an aggressive riding style, though, and found the pad on the thin side compared others, such as that in the Pearl Izumi Pro bib shorts, which was noticeable towards the end of a longer five or six-hour ride. Overall, though, it does a good job.
Chapeau has incorporated its own Topazio material into the shorts. This, it says, has less elasticity than regular Lycra, and is designed to offer more support to the legs in order to reduce overall levels of fatigue. While I couldn't initially tell the difference, I did find that the Topazio holds up very well in the wet, and during consecutive washes.
Chapeau also claims to have made improvements to the breathability of the shorts, and I had no issues riding around in the heat.
The legs in the Club 2s are longer than the previous version, which I think gives a nice premium feel to the shorts, and the grippers are deeper too, at 45mm. They offer good holding power and still work well after several washes. However, other clothing brands have started incorporating longer grippers, which do not necessarily perform better but do blend more effectively into the leg material in my opinion.
The straps, too, have been improved to be more breathable. The mesh-like material the straps are made from have a nice light touch on the skin and are very comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
Other key features include the addition of reflective logos and tabs on the rear of the shorts. This helps massively in low light and still means the shorts retain their classy look.
With an RRP of £139.99, these shorts cost the same as the Santini Tono Puro bib shorts, which Simon really liked. They're also the same as Rapha Men's Pro Team Training bib shorts, though Nick thought they were a little pricey for 'training' shorts. They're a lot less than the Pearl Izumi Pros that I mentioned above, though, which have an rrp of £189.99.
Overall, I think the Chapeau Club 2s are very good for the money – well made, classy looking and comfortable.
High-performing, comfortable shorts with good breathability for hotter rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Chapeau Club II Bib Shorts
Size tested: M
Tell us what the product is for
Chapeau says: 'The Club 2 bib-shorts are...an all-rounder, built for comfort and quality on everything from club-runs to sportives to those big coast-to-coast challenges.
'Club 2 is the natural evolution of our much-loved Club bibs, with deeper leg grippers and improved details throughout.
'They're designed for the weekend club run, the next big race or your summer trip to the mountains.
'We took our classic Club bibs and built-in your feedback to make them even better.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Club 2 bibs are built with a comfortable multi-panel design and a full mesh back with a snug fit for stay-cool ventilation and stability.
Designed and tested on our famously rough British roads, the Topazio fabric has less elasticity than regular lycra to hold tired leg muscles more firmly and reduce fatigue.
They also now have a new and deeper-than-ever 45mm gripper to keep them locked in place without cutting off your circulation.
Our acclaimed pad (described as 'excellent' by road.cc) has been upgraded to ECO Carbonium Flash material. This shift moisture quicker than ever for a very quick drying pad. The Carbonium thread provides anti-static and anti-bacteriostatic properties and makes for a very soft, comfortable and breathable fabric.
Last but not least, the Club 2 bib has new-and-improved reflective logos. These are now harder wearing than ever to guarantee they stay bright and safe. These, combined with our reflective rear logo, will help keep you seen on the roads.
Well put together with no out-of-place stitching or poor placement of the pad.
Performed very well over short and medium distanced rides, though I felt that the chamois pad was a little thin for some of my longer rides.
No issues with any stitching or fabric over the testing period.
Medium fitted well. I'm 6 ft 2 in and 75kg.
At 196g for a size medium, there are no issues with the weight of the shorts.
Good levels of comfort from both the Topazio fabric and the pad with the ECO carbonium flash material for wicking away sweat, though the pad is on the thinner side.
They cost around the same as others with similar high-end features, but a lot less than some.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The shorts did not pick up any marks or blemishes during the testing period, and I found that the Topazio fabric responded well to washing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They performed well both on the road and on the turbo.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I really liked the styling of these shorts and found them very easy to pair with other pieces of cycling apparel, and I was glad to see plenty of reflective logos and stripes for safety.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The pad wicks away sweat and moisture well, but I found it to be on the thin side for longer rides.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're the same price as the Santini Tono Puro bib shorts and Rapha Men's Pro Team Training bib shorts which were well reviewed here at road.cc, and compare well with more expensive options such as the Pearl Izumi Pro bib shorts.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Overall, the Chapeau Club 2s are very good bib shorts, both on the road and on the turbo. They're comfortable and stylish, and the Topazio material performs really well, though I found the pad a little thin on longer rides.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR My best bike is: Giant Trinty
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, club rides, the occasional bit of track