Cafe du Cycliste's Floriane will particularly appeal to those wanting a functional, well-made jersey for endurance and casual riding. The attention to detail is impressive and construction is flawless. Add recycled fabrics to the mix and Cafe du Cycliste has produced a great jersey with a fresh and striking look that should serve you well for several years. At £141, you'll want it to...
Reinforced pocket structure
Floral theme won't be to everyone's taste
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The Floriane Begonia cycling jersey comes from Cafe du Cycliste’s Centifolia collection. In addition to eco credentials, there’s a lot to like - a considered cut, roomy pockets, decent reflective detailing and a professional construction.
The floral theme is fresh and visually striking, an acquired taste perhaps. However, Cafe du Cycliste deserves credit for its provision here; Centifolia is a featured collection for the men too.
Testing warm weather kit early in the season isn’t always easy in the UK; it can feel like an interminable wait for for the mercury to rise. Thankfully, unlike many summer jerseys, Cafe du Cycliste’s Floriane isn’t a wholly transparent mesh affair (their Ultralight ticks this box), making it more versatile than some that are. It’s had plenty of use over the last couple of months as we’ve had spells of milder weather. This versatility certainly goes in its favour, though not sufficiently to push it into the ‘value-for-money’ bracket.
Construction and fit
There’s a distinct hint of ‘traditional and practical’ to the Floriane. In a quest to save grams, many summer jerseys become stripped-back affairs, omitting detail and construction that's actually valued by those less focused on marginal gains: well-finished hems (over raw-cut edges); decent collar height; a zip guard and garage at the neck; a reinforced pocket structure to increase durability; generous reflective trims at the sleeve ends.
Rather less traditionally for Cafe du Cycliste, 85% of the fabric is made from recycled bottles. This sustainable polyester is combined with elastane (15%) to give a sense of form and fit over something like Velocio’s Foundation Jersey, which is 100% recycled. The finished product is a partial mesh affair, with side panels having a slightly more open weave to help with breathability. Encouragingly, it has a UPF 30 rating.
I’ve been testing a medium, sizes range from SX-XL (men's, XS-XXL). By following the chart, I got a fit between casual and race - perfect for those who don’t like the skin-tight tailoring of a pro-style jersey but equally don’t want a top that flails and flutters about in the wind. There’s plenty of length in the body and arm, certainly sufficient for arm warmer combination.
Silicone tape runs right round the lower hem, adding stability to the jersey.
I'm invariably impressed by how good recycled fabrics actually feel and perform, which makes me wonder why more manufacturers haven’t jumped on the board.
To the touch, the Floriane is no different from many others in terms of softness; it might not be silk-like against bare skin but there’s certainly no prickliness to note.
The jersey's obviously not in the ‘aero-gains’ category, it's been a favourite for longer, steadier rides though, when I’ve been focusing on endurance.
These kinds of rides tend to start off in cool conditions and end up being pretty warm affairs. They require plenty of snacks to keep you going and a minimal shell in case of a change in conditions. The Floriane has all of this covered…
I’ve found it versatile enough for temperatures ranging from 12 to 20 degrees, using a supporting base layer and arm warmers at the lower end. The partial mesh fabric, in combination with a little airiness from the looser fit, provides excellent breathability. If you happen to get sweaty, the fabric dries out relatively quickly. The design at the collar lends itself to being fully zipped up, as well as being partially open; the garage and guard guarantee zero irritation.
The reinforced pockets are reassuringly capable of weightier loads than many without compromising the fabric, they aren’t stingy where volume is concerned either. If you’ve yet to succumb to on-the-bike bags, peeling off a base layer and stuffing it into a pocket previously used for snacks is a genuine possibility. A useful zipped pocket for valuables has a decent sized opening, easily big enough to retrieve small objects.
The Begonia version I've been testing certainly got me noticed on the road. Indeed, all five Floriane designs score highly on the visibility stakes and the reflective detailing on the sleeves competently supports bike lights if you happen to be riding in the dark.
Cafe du Cycliste has a reputation as a premium brand, at £141/$184 the Floriane reinforces this. The quality of construction and reinforced pocket structure certainly go in its favour; you should get more than just a few summers out of the jersey. The recycled fabrics are encouraging too, taking Cafe du Cycliste a small step closer to the premium eco-brand, Velocio. In short, there’s a lot to like about the Floriane, but I’d still say that there are more affordable options. Velocio’s Foundation Jersey (which I’ve already referenced) is £74/$99 and CHPT3’s Most Days Women’s Jersey, also made from 100% recycled fabric, is £89/$125.
- RRP: £141 / $184
- SIZES: SX-XL
- COLOURS: Begonia, Petunia, Anemone, Sakura, Muguet
- WEIGHT (M): 138g
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