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I can’t speak for the UK, but today felt like the day summer truly arrived. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the climate of south Germany, which has been quite frankly, lush.
One of the key steps to getting ready for summer, especially if you’ll be cycling frequently, is to get a good pair of shorts. In my eyes, they need to be light, a bit stretchy for the ride, provide sufficient bottom coverage and have a good selection of pockets.
The pair that I’ve kicked off the summer with this year have been Café du Cycliste’s Paulette Shorts, and basically they’re perfect.
Being based on the temperate French Riviera, I guess it’s unsurprising that Café du Cycliste know what’s needed in a good pair of cyclist shorts – without compromising on style.
I opted for the ‘deep green’ version of the Paulette shorts, although they do also come in black. Priced at €110 (£80), there’s no kidding that these are a pretty serious investment. But one thing I can assure you of, if you do decide to take the plunge, is that you won’t be disappointed.
One thing I hadn’t noticed on the pictures of the shorts on the CdC website, was a massive reflective slip on the rear of the pants. Upon first recognising this on the shorts, I was initially disappointed as I thought this was detrimental to the short’s otherwise impeccable style – however, what I didn’t realise is that this reflective patch has its own discreet pocket – so it can be hidden away easily and you can just pop it out as you need it (no pun intended). This is the kind of ‘cycling feature’ I’d love to see more of from other brands. Simply put, it is fantastic cycling functionality that in no way compromises style.
A couple of days after getting the shorts, I thought I’d give them a suitable test run by cycling them back over to France (not as a grandiose expedition as it sounds – it’s only about 10km from where I live). I’m not usually one to go on a ‘bike tour’, instead normally only cycling for more practical, transportation reasons, so this was quite an adventure for me – so much so I documented my mini-expedition on the Discerning Cyclist’s Facebook page. Unfortunately, however, my trip was a failure as I didn’t manage to breach the French border. As I cycled down to the River Rhine as planned, I discovered the ferry was no longer running for the day. Disaster! Definitely need to plan these trips better in future. Fortunatley, my disappointment was stifled with a beer and a beautiful Rhine view. My journey was still an enjoyable one though, clocking up about 20km there-and-back, and it gave me a good feel of the shorts.
So why are Café du Cycliste’s shorts so good? Well, as I mentioned in my pre-requisites of ‘good cycling shorts’ earlier, they tick all the boxes of being light, stretchy, bum coverage and plentiful pockets. So that’s a good start. But as well as being very practical, these shorts look really great. The attention to detail is supreme, particularly the red and white check detailing on the fold of the shorts as well in the pockets innards – this touch really gives the shorts a look of class.
- 68% Cotton / 29% Polyamide / 3% Elastane
- Breathable & Stretchable/li>
- Lightweight Fabric
- Four Pockets
- Belt Loops
- Higher Cycling Waist
- Removable Reflective Panel
- Straight Fit
- Made in Europe
Café du Cycliste modestly say there are four pockets in the description of the Paulette shorts, but really there are five if you also make use of the ‘reflective strip pocket’. The front two pockets are nice and deep, while the right rear pocket (in front of the reflective pocket) can be fastened with a button flap. The left rear pocket is open but again spacious.
The shorts are also highly-breathable, and should keep your legs feeling a bit fresher in the summer warmth, while the higher-cut waistline is comfortable and lowers and fear of unwanted rear exposure. The straight-cut fit just sealed the deal for me.
If the price doesn’t put you off, I couldn’t recommend these shorts highly enough.
You can buy the Café du Cycliste Paulette Shorts here for €110/£80