Café du Cycliste Adèle winter bib shorts review

The Café du Cycliste Adèle winter bib shorts are luxuriously soft with thermal properties, perfect for cold days but less so in the rain

Café du Cycliste Adèle winter bib shorts
Cycling Weekly Verdict

With classy styling, luxuriously soft fabric and a comfortable pad, it's just a shame the Café du Cycliste Adèle winter bib shorts aren't waterproof as £169 is a lot of money to spend on shorts you'll only use on dry days.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Luxuriously soft brushed fabric

  • +

    Comfortable with no frustrating seams

  • +

    Good pad

  • +

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not waterproof

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Hailing from the Cote d'Azur close to the southern French Alps, you'd expect Café du Cycliste to know a thing or two about changeable weather – warm and sunny at sea level, bitingly cold and snowy on the climbs. The Café du Cycliste Adèle winter bib shorts are born out of these experiences – a thermal piece of kit for winter riding.

They retain that classic café styling: understated yet seriously classy, these are a fine looking pair of shorts. The Café du Cycliste Adèle winter bib shorts feel good on, too. The material is soft to touch, far softer than the £30 more expensive Rapha Pro Team thermal shorts, and its brushed fabric sits more comfortably on the skin as a result. There are minimal seams to cause a nuisance and the shorts never bunched or rubbed uncomfortably.

However, while comfortable, the softer fabric doesn't keep out the wet weather as well as other thermal shorts I've tested. In the rain, the water wouldn't bead off the legs but rather was absorbed, and it's a real shame considering these are claimed to be rain resistant.

Happily, the Café du Cycliste Adèle winter bib shorts' premium, multi-density Cytech pad is comfortable, and I was quite happy to sit on it over the course of five hours, forgetting it was there – in my opinion, the highest accolade a chamois can receive. In addition, the soft brushed fabric is luxuriously soft and, once pedalling, nice and warm.

Watch: Buyer's guide to bib shorts

I'm also pleased to see a strapping pair of grippers employed on the end of each leg to hold the shorts in place on my leg warmers. Reflective detailing is kept to a minimum, with just a sliver of material added above the grippers.

The bib itself is made of a fine mesh material which sits comfortably on the shoulders and also lets your back breathe.

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