We're new to Cafe du Cycliste, so when working out which knicks to test we thought we'd start at the beginning, their Classic Bib Shorts. They are also their entry level knicks and should give us a good flavour of what he guys are setting out to do.
Images - JARROD McSHANE
So, a quick word on Cafe du Cycliste. The team is based in Nice, surrounded by some of the best roads on the planet. They've set out on a journey to produce top end cycling kit that is high quality and technically excellent with a twist of classic French style. Cruising around their website, they have got some typically classic designs mixed with some that are right out there.
To give you a point of reference, the Cafe du Cycliste Classic Bib Shorts are priced at AUD$250 (USD$190) which puts them just $35 less expensive than Rapha's mighty Classic Bib Shorts II. A bit of a yard stick in our opinion. At this price point we're expecting good things.
Out of the very nice packaging my first impression of the Classic Bib Shorts is good. They are beautifully constructed, have a premium and somewhat lightweight feel about them and have a great looking Cytech chamois that ticks the boxes as far as quality goes.
The shorts section has a good stretch and there's a gripper that's just under 4cm wide and predominately elastic with silicon grippers at intervals. The bib section is cut pretty low and made of a light weight mesh that again feels premium.
To finish, there are reflective details, a very understated 'Cafe du Cycliste' logo in black (on black) logo and some red and checked details inside the bib section (not visible when being worn).
Now, I'm pretty tall at 188cm and getting knicks long enough in the body/leg can be a bit of a mission for me. With this in mind, I found the Classic Bib Shorts pretty short in leg length. A couple of years ago I'd accept this but with the trend, and most riders preference moving to a longer leg length these just felt like they needed a few more centimetres.
On the good side, the chamois and comfort it provides are top notch. The bib is comfortable and there's a great mix of compression and stretch making these guys a option that is capable of long distance adventures.
Testing on a Melbourne 2 degree morning was pretty unpleasant, so I'd reserve these when the temps come up and the sun is out. Ventilation is really great, that I'm sure will aid comfort on those long hot days.
The grippers performed well, they held in place and managed to get a nice balance of holding everything in place without strangling my legs.
Black on black is awesome. A super versatile and ever classic bib short that can be used with all your other jerseys.
At AUD$250 (USD$190) These are far from a budget option and there's plenty of options out there. If you are in the market for a euro style summer bib short that is high spec, understated, capable of being worn with just about any jersey, these are worth having a look at. I'd just go elsewhere if your long legged or shy about showing too much quad.
Check out the range at www.cafeducycliste.com
Disclosue - The guys at Cafe du Cycliste kindly sent us this kit for review. La Velocita does not receive any commissions etc from the sale of these products and this is not a paid review. Our thoughts our ours and ours alone.