The versatile Jersey for wet days, cold days and for all those days when the weather can’t make up its mind.
This is our second review (and we have more to come) of Cafe du Cycliste products and all I can say is, they produce quality cycling garments. Well, I can say a bit more… This jersey the Josette is one of very few on the market, you could call it a niche product, certainly a seasonal one. For the Josette is a waterproof and windproof jersey. That’s right a jersey, not a jacket.
A little back story, Café du Cycliste was founded by André and Rémi – respectively Ironman triathlete and former canoeing world champion. They have a shared passion for cycling which brought them to opening a cycling community café on the French Riviera and very quickly to the launching of an alternative cycling wear brand. Café du Cycliste is a French brand settled on the French Riviera surrounded by countless beautiful rides.
When it came to designing the Josette jersey they looked at other sports, particularly skiing, this led them to using a unique fabric developed in Italy to offer waterproof, windproof and breathing properties. I was very intrigued by this fabric and it’s claim. Testing it in Taiwan was going to put it’s breathability to the upmost test. Fortunately in northern Taiwan winter can get cool and temperatures can be below 15°C, which is the top range recommended for this jersey, but the conditions are always humid. I ended up wearing the jersey to 20°C just to see what happened. It’s claim is not an empty one and it does a pretty good job of ‘breathing’. Even up to 20°C, beyond that things get a little clammy to say the least, but this jersey is designed for cold horrid weather, so no marks lost there.
The fabric feels a little odd to touch [for a jersey], I kept thinking wetsuit, the reality is that you hardly notice when wearing it, the inside is brushed and very comfy with under arm panels and jersey pocket internals made from roubiax fleeced lycra. The jersey pocket inner being made from roubiax fleeced lycra is inspired and helps to keep the lower back toasty. The overall fit is ace and the fabric has enough stretch to not leave the jersey flapping about. This just makes it awesome for cold weather allowing you to ride with much less clothing bulk, it’s something I really appreciate. Sizing is good too and large is just right for me, and i’m real world large (as you can see from the pictures, I could easily be a Mitchell brother, but harmless).
When riding the first thing you notice is the lack is wind biting through your jersey. This had a great psychological effect, you know you’re wearing a jersey, you know it’s cold, but you can’t feel it! Kind of makes you happy to push along in the bad weather. The Josette has a full length zip which is also waterproof and lets no wind through either. Obviously this jersey isn’t going to keep you completely dry, but neither will a jacket it does keep the worst off and I’m fine with that. Given it’s stated temperature range as 5° to 15°C and it’a windproof quality, if you did get wet inside, it would still be pretty cosy.
I can't fault this jersey, it's great product with some good details, such as the reflective strip above the storm flap for the jersey pockets. The pockets themselves are a good size and given the nature of the material, they don't sag too much when loaded. I really got to test it's breathability in humid conditions, and I know for sure in Europe or the UK it would excel even further as the temps get lower. Sure the price is high for a jersey, but not out of the realms of top-end kit, which this is. It should make a very handy edition to any cyclists wardrobe and be very versatile in it's use – adding arm warmers – and thermal base layer – alone turns it into a jersey capable of extreme use where all other jerseys would fail. I personally feel very lucky to have tried this product it honestly blew me away, I just think the concept is awesome. It will be interesting to see how the competition compare against this amazing jersey.
Review date: 23 April 2013