Good Morning Merino

mens_merino_short_sleeve_petrol_blue_hot_pink_front_angle_1It’s that little bit darker in the morning and that little bit colder  there are some decisions to be made! Brave just the jersey? Wear a Gilet or go for a jacket?

We’ve have been reaching into our drawer this week and picking out a favorite garment, the merino base layer, I am sad to say the temperatures have been low enough to warrant its use.

In true to form Autumnal weather  it’s either breezy, showery or both. Last thing you want is a chill and wearing a jacket is overkill, this is where merino comes into play. We’ve been stocking Merino for a couple of years but our 2015 offering really raises the game.

It’s performance is second to none, comfort is guaranteed. Of course it’s primary use is on the bike, that’s where it excels but it also works when lounging around at home. Comfortable, temperature regulating, perfect for a lounge on the sofa.

What makes merino so special?

It was the Spanish who developed the merino breed back in the 13th and 14th centuries, crossbreeding from imported English breeds. So highly prized was the resulting wool that exporting merino sheep from Spain was punishable by death until the 18th century.

Woven into a fabric as soft as silk and barely thicker, it seems extraordinary that something so thin can be so warm. The secret is that merino fibres are incredibly fine, barely a quarter the thickness of a human hair, so they trap air much more effectively. Not only that, merino fibres also wick sweat away without feeling clammy against the skin. That’s important, because the chilling effect of air over damp fabric can be a real problem in cold conditions. Merino retains warmth even when wet, which makes it perfect for winter rides. Finally, merino has natural anti-microbial properties which prevents unpleasant odours from building up. We don’t recommend never washing your merino kit, but it’s nice to know that you won’t be turned away from cafes while on tour! None of these properties rely on artifical treatments, it’s all down to nature.

Don’t be cold on your morning and evening rides and don’t feel the need to wear a Gilet quite yet then you must give this a try its my most used item of cycling clothing year round. Men’s short and long sleeve merino



Classic or Pave, what short is right for me?

Blue PadFor every stick-thin, head-down, shaven legged racer speeding across the tarmac there is a sandal-wearing, bearded randonneur. For every cafe run pootler, there is a mountain biker heading for the trails.

Contrary to Thomas Jefferson’s famous quote, all men are not created equal. Young or old, male or female, we are as individual as our fingerprints.

However, each person reading this does have one thing in common: our love of life on two-wheels. Continue reading

Chapeau! Classics Challenge

The road season has been in full swing since the sun drenched Tour Down under in January but it’s the spring classics that really seem to capture the imagination.

Out goes the long game where it’s all about building your win over days and days. It’s all about a small team getting the main man over the line in first, that’s all that counts, no first, no glory.

Whether it’s the pave of Paris-Roubaix, the forest lined climbs of La Doyenne (Liege-Bastogne-Liege) or pave littered bergs of the Tour of Flanders one thing unites them all, they are a tough days ride where anything can happen.

The classics are distinct favourites of the Chapeau! team with the Flanders and Liege sportives under our belts in recent years we wanted to give our Chapeau! friends the chance to experience elements of the classics on home soil.

The process is simple:

  • Join the Chapeau Strava group
  • Log a ride that has elements of a Spring Classic, it doesn’t have to be on the day of the classic and can be on any day until the 26th April. It can be anywhere you like but has to have a Classics theme, could be a cobbled climb, a finish at a Velodrome or even better how’s about a Milan Road to San Remo Close it must be out there….?The more imaginative the better!
  • Before the last big Classic on the 26th April submit a link to your ride with an explanation and/or pictures to our Facebook or Twitter page.

The best/most imaginative ride will win the following from the Spring Summer 2015 range: jersey, bibs, a cap and socks to the value of £200.

We can’t enter of course but that’s not a bad thing as we are being unimaginative anyway and doing the Liege-Bastogne-Liege sportive on the 25th April and we’ll pick the winner soon after that.

To give you a bit of help the classics in question are:

Milan – San Remo
Tour of Flanders

Good luck and we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Riding Vietnam, The Final Day

Lan had decided not to join us at the start of day 3 and was missing at breakfast. We ate all we could and headed out on the road with our driver. We cleared the edge of town and found a long straight road with regular small bridges Geting out of the saddle provided some welcome relief to the pressure on our hands and backside. After two days we had gained a total elevation of around 300m, all of which came from going over the bridges.  Continue reading

Riding Vietnam, Day 2

The earliest breakfast at the hotel is 6am and by the time we have eaten our eggs and bread it’s nearly 7am before we roll out of town behind our drivers. It is not long before the pace settles down and we are pulling turns on the front. As a group we are pretty strong. Joshua is riding an old steel frame with down-tube shifters. The weight isn’t an issue but the gears are more difficult, although as the road is so flat he seldom needs to change. Lan tends to sit at the back, apart from the last 5km to our destination. He is definitely the sprinter of the group! Cosimo has a strong style. He keeps up a good pace and takes long pulls on the front. After a recent crash he is less confident in the wheels and tends to leave a gap, meaning he doesn’t get the full benefit from our slipstream.  Continue reading