Stylish, versatile and lightweight gilet from Café du Cycliste.
Café du Cycliste is an alternative cycling clothing company on the Côte d’Azur. Founded by André and Rémi – respectively Ironman triathlete and former canoeing world champion. They create beautiful, elegant cycling garments from the highest quality fabrics with retro flair. They are situated near Cycle Côte d’Azur who organise rides and tours in the area, so you can take your new cycling garments on a good ride shortly after purchase.
The Café du Cycliste motto is “Perform on the road, be chic in the city” and the Madeleine is a testament to that statement. It’s very light, windproof and can be packed into any jersey pocket, it can also be used to add extra warmth to a city commute. Trying to stay at the optimum temperature during a ride with varying weather can be difficult and frustrating as I imagine you all know. Gilets are a very useful tool to have in these kind of situations. Wearing multiple layers that can be stored in jersey pockets or rolled down means you’re not going to head out on a brisk morning and be struggling with heat within a few hours, once the sun has risen.
The Madeleine’s technical features include a full zip, Lycra hems at waist and sleeve, reflective logo element, a mesh back insert for releasing increasing body heat and a back opening for jersey pocket access. It’s also water-resistant and with a slim fit that avoids any flapping in the wind.
I have been testing the Madeleine during Spring and Summer in our lovely British weather. I have been mainly wearing the gilet on top of short sleeve jersey with arm warmers for most of the rides and have been shielded from the elements on almost ever ride. The medium, slim fit gilet fits fairly well over every jerseys I own. Living in Britain we get a fair amount of rain and the Madeleine is very good in light showers but will not withstand anything more.
The Madeleine can be folded small enough to fit into any jersey pocket and is simple to take on and off whilst riding. I have reached for it many times prior to descending some long hills or as the sun has gone down for the day on a post work ride to the countryside.
The Madeleine is a high quality product at a great price. It has more features than some of its expensive rivals and would be at home within any cyclists wardrobe. It looks fantastic but is only available in blue, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Luckily it's my favourite colour!
Review date: 1 August 2012