If there were any lingering doubts that road cycling has not yet become a fully fashionable pursuit, the new capsule collection from chic French cycling brand Café du Cycliste for renowned online menswear retailer Mr Porter will surely lay them to rest.
The capsule collection features a concise and impeccably stylish wardrobe for the discerning road cyclist: three monochrome jerseys, a pair of bib shorts, a cycling cap and a bidon. Les essentiels, you might say.
The Francine jersey, pictured above, is a chic black and white striped affair for those looking to indulge their Rive Gauche side on the bike. A versatile midweight performance jersey for road cycling, the Francine is a race fit which is suited to spring and summer riding. The super soft proprietary fabric is high wicking and fast drying to keep you cool and dry on hot days while open mesh panels on the back and under the arms work together to increase air flow. Ventilation is further improved by the unique use of netting on the rear pocket backs to alleviate the need for two layers of fabric.
In cooler climes the midweight construction provides additional protection against the wind and Francine can be worn as a base, mid or top layer depending on the conditions.
The monochrome design includes a full zip with guard, three back cargo pockets and a zipped key pocket, an audio cable system and reflective elements to improve safety when light conditions are less than ideal. It costs £120.
Not into stripes? Maybe the zigzags of the Micheline jersey, above, will be more your bag.
The Micheline jersey has been designed to provide performance and comfort on hot days. The high wicking fabric is fast drying and the dual mesh combination maximises airflow, providing moisture transfer to allow evaporation as you perspire and ventilation to aid core temperature control.
The jersey features a reinforced pocket structure and three cargo pockets, one of which is zipped. Weighing in at less than 120g, Micheline is a super lightweight jersey to wear in the heat. (Perhaps not in the UK.) It costs £115.
If you’ve spent the summer working on your tan and you’re looking to show it off, then you could do worse than the Fleurette jersey in snowy white with black edging. Like the Micheline, this is a jersey designed for hot weather riding. Cut slightly longer than usual for when you need extra protection from the sun, the sleeves can be worn down or rolled up. We’re big on sun safety at Vamper, so please, if you’re rolling up, get the SPF on… At 130g, the Fleurette is another super lightweight option for summer riding.
We haven’t tested Café du Cycliste bib shorts, but we have heard good things. If you splash out, let us know in the comments how you rate them. The Marinette bib shorts for Mr Porter apparently feature a top-of-the-range Cytech chamois pad with premium fabrics for a short which strikes the right balance between stretch and support. The bib section is constructed from two types of mesh, open and closed, to provide a stable fit and exceptional comfort. Laser cut leg grippers feature silicon beads to keep things firmly in place, at any speed. Reflective elements add visibility in low light conditions. The Marinette bib shorts are priced at £161.
No kit is complete without a cycling cap. It’s the icing on the cake (if your head is the cake). It will keep the sweat from trickling into your eyes, it will help stop you being blinded by the sun – and, of course, it will hide a multitude of hair sins. Plus, they just look cool. This one’s £25.
The final flourish? New bidons, obvs. These have a dash of Gallic charm and they’re bound to make your energy drinks taste better, non? Or, you could fill them with du vin. Wine not. They cost £12 each.
View the full Café du Cycliste for Mr Porter capsule collection here.