We have always had a tenuous like with Cafe Du Cycliste through Herne Hill local Stuart. I was fortunate enough recently to have the opportunity to test out their Josette, ‘Waterproof Jersey’.
Often cited as the Rapha of the French south coast I think this is an injustice on Cafe Du Cycliste. As a brand I feel it has its own very unique identity freed from the shadow of Rapha often applied to cycling companies that go some way to marrying quality, performance and style. In the case of the Josette this begins in the amazing Gingham slip case the piece arrives in.
The Josette itself is a very unique piece, being essentially a short sleeve soft shell. Despite what I deem as a pretty thorough cycling wardrobe the Josette somehow fills a gap I didn’t know was there. On the days where you are weighing up whether a softshell is too much, whether a winter jersey with outer shell stuffed in the rear pocket too cumbersome and whether a s/s jersey with arm-warmers tempting fate, reach for the Josette.
As we make transition from winter to spring, the Josette has been my most worn piece, coupled with a merino base and arm warmers this has filled me with confidence when stepping into a chilly pre-clock change morning ride where your mind convinces you you should be trying to retain the duvet warmth you just left.
The race fit of the Jersey allows you the sort of feeling of freedom normal bulky winter layers wouldn’t allow, its waterproofing repels brief showers from your core or standing water from pocket ingress through its clever flap construction. And when the sun does breakthrough, unzip the venting and roll down the arm-warmers pro-style and you are set.
The full technical details of the Josette can be analysed here, the focus of this review is to communicate the benefit of what on initial consideration, a short sleeve waterproof Jersey may seem plain wrong but is in actual fact oh so right.