It's that time of the year where getting dressed for a ride seems to take 5 times as long and as you leave the house you stand motionless looking at the sky hoping to miracualsly determine the exact weather conditions you'll face.
Enter Cafe du Cycliste with the Josette waterproof cycling jersey with claims that this piece of kit can handle 'wet days, cold days and days when the weather simply won't decide what to do next'.
IMAGES JARROD MCSHANE
So, a quick word on Cafe du Cyclist... 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.
Onto the Josette. I tested the acire colour, it's a blue/grey mix with flashes of off white and dark maroon that can pair nicely with any pair of black Knicks you already have. It's short sleeved and constructed of a thicker, predominately polyester fabric that has a light weight neoprene like feel to it. It does not feel plastic-like in any way... that encourages me to think the breathable claims will stand up.
Thanks to Melbourne's decline into Winter I have had the opportunity to test the Josette on 2 degree mornings, through light rain and nasty winds. Overall I'm impressed. It's much warmer than I expected it to be and matches some of the heavy weight jerseys I own for warmth.
It just about handled a 2 degree start when paired with arm warmers and a base layer. I should have gone for the merino base layer that morning though. It's not a jersey that I would choose for an extended ride in freezing conditions, I'd be going for something a little warmer. But when you've got a cool start, the temperature is going to come up a bit, say to less than 10 degrees, and you're thinking you might get a bit of rain this thing is fantastic.
One of the mornings I tested the Josette, I did find that once the temperature went over 10 degrees I was getting pretty warm, and while there's definitely a level of beathability, it's not going to deal with higher temps and a high tempo effort.
High tempo riding in the cold and getting some body temperature up did not result in me being boiled alive, the wind and rain flap is great at keeping the weather out of the zip and the rear pocket flap provides protection to your cargo, while adding a flash of visability.
The jersey is cut nice and long at the back... don't worry it's no ridiculous looking whale tail... but just provides that little extra coverage you'll be glad to have if things get wet.
It's a really strong take on a jersey that can be worn all the way from Autumn to Spring and with short sleeves (that are actually a really nice length) get away with a super wide useful temperature range.
I landed a Medium for my 188cm/79kg frame. I did find there was a little room, but thats great for going a heavier base layer when things get cold. The arms are mid length and overall I'd think that this is a jersey that will work well for most riders... i.e. you don't need to be rocking a pro body to wear® it.
Cafe du Cycliste are looking for a slightly French look. I was not sure what this meant, but when the photos from our shoot landed I suddenly thought... I do look a bit French in that. I can't put my finger in exactly what it is that makes me think that but there you go.
The colouring is understated and classy. But for something that's designed for rubbish conditions, I would have like to see a bit more reflective detail on this colour.
Overall I like it. Classy, a bit of French. Winning.
The Josette will set you back just under A$200. Not a cheap option for a short sleeve jersey, but I would go as far as to say that this jersey could do the job of three or four jerseys and jackets.
This is a quality product from Cafe du Cycliste. In my role at La Velocita a lot of kit passes across my desk and the Josette is a definite standout for finish quality, materials and technical ability as well las its ability to work in a massively wide range of conditions. Oh, and did I mention that the packaging it comes in is just about the best in the business?
Check out the Josete Jersey at www.cafeducyclist.com
Disclosure - this is not a paid review, Cafe du Cycliste sent us a full kit for review.