Tested: CHPT3 Biarritz Collection – VeloNews.com

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The The CHPT3 x Garmin kit combines cycling with vintage high fashion. This Chanel-inspired kit is as comfortable and classic as the original navy suit dress. That’s the magic that can happen when the right professional cyclist sets out to design a kit. CHPT3 is the creative product of David Millar, the professional cyclist and, according to his interview on Cycling Fashion Weekself-proclaimed fashion enthusiast.

“To be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” – Coco Chanel

Women’s Lightweight Jersey Biarritz – $209

Advantages: Classic fashion style, responsible materials

The inconvenients: Chanel may not be for everyone

Even for someone who doesn’t understand the reference in the jersey’s name – Chanel’s first fashion house was in Biarritz, France – this jersey is so clearly inspired by Chanel’s classic navy suit dresses with cream piping. iconic, I expected it to smell like the fashion house’s iconic No. 5. I looked twice at the label to make sure it was not a partnership with the famous brand. Inside you’ll find a quote from Coco herself telling cyclists the secret to being irreplaceable.

That said, I wonder who will have the audacity to wear a swimsuit with lines that look like corset whales. It’s meant to create a cinching effect at the waist, but I think the outline of the bustier has become too literal and draws the eye to the waist, rather than creating an optical illusion to make the waist appear smaller. Also, with more simplistic or differently designed piping, the Chanel reference would have worn without the swimsuit looking like vintage women’s underwear or an outrageously tight women’s swimsuit from the early 1900s. Of course, this is just my opinion – the jersey is sold out so it looks like the target market is satisfied.


Design aside, the jersey is excellent in all the areas that matter: the The 85% recycled polyester and 15% spandex material is smooth to the touch (it’s called Silkis Forever, to give an indication of the texture), it has a fourth zipped pocket, the sleeve length is reasonable for the Chanel-inspired fit (not elbow-length, but not casual cap/ club fit), and the white (cream) raw cut bottom hem is reinforced with silicone dots to hold the jersey in place. All in all a nice jersey, but really made to be worn with the accompanying shorts.

Biarritz Women’s 9 Inch Shorts – $239

Advantages: silicone inside the belt

The inconvenients: missing inner elastic band at the waist

Personally, I prefer bibs to shorts because my shorts tend to fall off during a ride, moving the chamois out of place and causing chafing. That said, I understand that some female cyclists don’t like bibs because they’re difficult to remove for bathroom breaks, among other reasons. In this case, the shorts are perfect for the Chanel tailored look.

They have all the features I look for in good shorts: a triangular front panel to relieve pressure on the stomach, especially in the riding position; generous multi-density foam chamois (as opposed to less dense or larger chamois intended for short rides or alternative uses like triathlon); and wide leg darts. These even have silicone dots inside the waist to hold them in place. The only thing I missed was an inner elastic strap at the back of the waist to hold them a bit more securely – they ended up sagging on me. But, if you like shorts, this is a great pair – an internal elastic band at the back would have made them great, but I’m still looking for a plain cream jersey to be the alternative top to these unique shorts.

Biarritz SL Women’s Underwear – $69

Advantages: Houndstooth print, good weight/warmth ratio

The inconvenients: price, can be visible under thin swimsuits

I love this base layer. The herringbone print is a nice addition to the cycling ethos. This particular piece can work for any quick-drying basecoat situation. It’s the kind of clothing the younger me might have worn for a semi-casual night out.

Overall this kit backs up the good things I’ve heard about CHPT3 quality, although the styling borrowed straight from the golden age of luxury fashion was an unexpected surprise. If Meghan Markle chose an off-the-shelf kit, I could see her choosing this one. The houndstooth base coat is going to be strong in my rotation. For people who love the look, the jersey and shorts would be among the top five picks for brunch, where being streamlined is less important than looking and feeling fantastic.

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