Café du Cycliste – Fleurette Jersey

€115.00 available from www.cafeducycliste.com/fleurette

The Fleurette is a superlight jersey for those super scorching days, when it's fun out there, you need to look and keep cool.

Fleurette Jersey

Café du Cycliste’s Fleurette Jersey is touted as a superlight. They say this; “designed to handle ‘la fournaise’ – the furnace of French Riviera summers. It’s semi-mesh structured fabric with consistent stretch ensures excellent freedom of movement, breathability and ventilation.” I pushed it way beyond that in the heat at least.

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There are a few brands out there pushing what cycling should look like and how it should perform. Café du Cycliste is in that group, their products have unique features and look incredibly stylish. It would be fair to say that all the brands in this category of pushing the standards, are not near the cheap end of cycling apparel but, at least you get what you pay for. That out the way, lets focus on the jersey.

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So can it handle the heat? Yes. Can it wick sweat away at 38ºC with humidity above 80%? No. Those conditions don’t actually happen in the French Riviera, or mid-summer UK (not with the high humidity of the tropics). So be rest assured I pushed it way above what it can take. No jersey would have coped this steamy humid environment without being soaked (riding in Southern Taiwan). What I liked is how comfy it was when I was sweating. Given it’s incredibly thin material when I was soaked with sweat it actually felt remarkably cool. I tested it with a base layer to see how it wicked and even though that ride hit over 36ºC (again, with high humidity) it managed to push a reasonable amount of sweat away from the base layer and out through the jersey before reaching saturation point. At 25ºC to 35ºC in normal to low humidity this jersey is going to be super nice and hard to beat on performance.

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The construction is really good. The fabric initially concerned me and I thought it would snag and be too delicate. I always wash these garments a dozen times before I conclude my opinion for a review. I think it’s an important factor as some garments get trashed in the wash far too easily. I’m happy to say it handled being thrown in the wash with no issues. Again, given the fabric, it being really light, it has a lush soft feel and is great next to the skin, even when wet. It’s a ‘clingy’ fabric so beware it’s going to show off that gorgeous dad-bod in all it’s glory, so get ready for the attention.

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Features I really liked were the sleeves that folded-up to reveal a contrasted colour inner sleeve, or you could leave them long to protect you from the sun but, you would look so stylish, hard choices my friends, hard choices. It also allowed me to tailor the fit a bit better (dad-bod issues). Overall the pocket layout is nice. The zipped pocket was a little annoying as it would pull out easily if you had things stowed in the main pocket behind it . If it was sewn in at the bottom it would avoid this. Very minor thing for me though. A great touch, is the headphone port, which starts at the inside of the middle pocket and routes up out of the jersey shoulder. Great if you want to be able to answer your phone hands free, etc. Another thought-out element is the rear pockets have a re-enforced hem to keep things in shape, ideal on this light fabric.

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Verdict

My overall opinion of this jersey is that is really well styled, the subtle dot pattern is really rather nice, as is the contrasted roll-up sleeve. It's technically really good too, the quality is superb, all the hems, zippers and stitching being top-notch. It can really handle the heat. At only about 130 grams it is so light, I would love the opportunity to wear this up some Cols in the French summer. Only one very small niggle with the zipped small security pocket, otherwise a top-score of 5. It can be easily fixed with some thread and a needle though. I know of no other jersey that is so technically minded but so nice looking. It's what Café du Cycliste do best, stylish and technical. I love it and I love the fleurette!

Rating

Review date: 29 June 2015

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