To English ears a ‘Grimpeur’ sounds for all the world like the job title of a Yorkshireman, wearing greasy overalls, and fettling around with steam engines or farm equipment (“aye…’ee were a right good Grimpeur that fella”).
But in the lexicon of euro cycling language a ‘Grimpeur’ is a climber. A balletic, graceful, feather-light conqueror of gradient.
That variety is almost certainly the one that This Is Cambridge (tic) have in mind with their jersey.
The example I tested is a kind of zebra pattern – if the animal was the coolest damn zebra in all of Africa! The little flecks and flashes of light blue, the technical fabric, and the lovely long crook-of-the-elbow sleeves make this zebra+.
Or zebra-max, perhaps.
A race cut jersey called ‘Grimpeur’ suggests a tiny little item designed for a tiny little climber, which I’m not, but this fits me to an absolute T. It’s a size Large, and on my frame (just under 6ft, just under 80 kilos), I cannot fault it.
It’s very comfortable.
It’s ever so slightly skimpy but without causing any passing eyebrows to be raised, and it has those lovely long-short sleeves that I rattle on about in just about every jersey review I write.
The slightly mesh-y quality to the fabric makes it very much a warm weather jersey.
I was lucky enough to put it through it’s paces in Mallorca recently, and it felt very much designed for the job; airy, not constrictive, and able to cope with the amount of sweat produced by an English cyclist on a sunny day.
I also (dare I say) thought I looked pretty good.
That’s largely down to the tailored fit, and the details – the rounded blue collar and those sleeves, in particular. I may have mentioned them already,
They’re lovely, and I’m slightly fixated on them.
And as we all know: if you look good, you feel good, and you ride good.
I’ve talked before about my appreciation for tic kit. For my taste they seem to get the balance between bold and garish, practical and stylish, slickly professional and friendly, just right.
And this all applies to the Grimpeur.
If these ever catch on in the Yorkshire steam engine community, they’ll really be on to a winner.
(Images: via This is Cambridge (top) | and ragtimecyclist (below))