Words: Philippa Friary
Images: Cameron Mackenzie

Put the words café, cycling and French fashion into the same sentence and I’m all ears, especially when the question is ‘do you want to review this kit?’ My response? ‘Oui oui!’ When you have had the utter pleasure to test out kit from brands such as Rapha and Assos you think you have hit the top shelf right? Well I may have just stumbled upon a little something something just for you – Café du Cycliste.

The range I indulged in is aptly named Audax (after the long distance cycling discipline) and they lived up to their name – snug, slick and super ‘stylie’. The Mathilde bib shorts are a matt elastine, long in the leg and high at the back and front. The bib legs are created out of one piece of fabric each which means no seams to cause rubbing or chaffing. Clever. The legs have integrated leg grippers making the bib short suction onto your thighs with no evidence of slippage or sliding to be found anywhere. I loved how the bibs came up high at the back and front and fastened across your chest – keeping out the early morning spring drafts.

The long sleeve jersey I took for a spin was the Arlette in poppy red. Sometimes cycling brands think that women all want to wear hot pink or cerise. This clothing brand has the women’s range spot on, bringing in bold reds and blues, and mixing these with traditional Breton strips and geometric patterns. With three large pockets at the back, a large zip pocket to stash your gilet and then a further two hidden wee zip pockets to hide away a sneaky snack or the all-important lip balm – this jersey has you covered.

I must say I think I have discovered my new fav cycle clothing range. A range that says ‘I can go all day and still look good in the café on my way home!’ Really? How wrong can you go with quality merino wool, intelligent design and a little French je ne sais quoi.

Visit Cafe du Cycliste or contact your local dealer for details.