Café du Cycliste are the latest brand to offer cycling gear for the more discerning. Horizontal stripes are probably a fashion no-no for anyone sporting even the slightest of guts, but I went for the stripy Suzanne anyway, because I was attracted by its retro charms. CdC offer a variety of jerseys in different colours, including plain purple and sage green. I thought this looked just the thing for summer rides.
It’s a full zip design, so you can expose your chest to the breeze on a hot day, and zip it up for chilly descents. At the back it has some clever reflective strips, and more than the usual number of pockets, including one with a zip, for your keys.
The fit is snug, but unlike with most French cycling clothing, an XL is an XL, even if you wish your gut was less prominent. If you’re really self-conscious, they go up to XXL, but then you might find it a bit flappy in the wind in other areas, and maybe too long.
Under the arms is an open mesh to keep you cool, and the shirt looks good with a pair of lightweight bib shorts. I like the look and feel of the shirt, though £99 was a bit steep.
You can buy direct from the brand, in €uros, or from Always Riding, in GBP. Some of their other gear looks good, and I wish I’d got one of the caps to wear under my cycle helment (I recently shaved my head down to #2, so I’m vulnerable up there to sunburn). On the other hand, I have an enormous head, and the one-size-fits-all size never fits me.