An alternative guide to spring style

Friend of CHPT3, café citizen and self-confessed 'narcissistic sports pimp' Stuart Clapp is the Desire Editor of Rouleur Magazine. Somehow finding more time to ride his bike and frequent cafes than many (professional cyclists and cafe employees included), Stu's opinions on cycling kit and keeping stylish on and off the bike are unrivalled. So, here he is to explain why his wardrobe contains more of our kit than any other, to offer some tips for Spring layering and explain how you can increase your FTP with new kit.

Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in this feature do not necessarily reflect those of CHPT3 and we cannot be held accountable for your FTP not rising in line with your purchase of our products.

My sister used to take me clothes shopping. She was a fashion student. I was barely out of nappies. She used to hang out with Depeche Mode. I used to dress up as Adam Ant. Daily. Prince Charming. The dandy highwayman from the Stand and Deliver video. Strong looks. Formative years.

I’ve been editing the Desire section of Rouleur for about two years. I don’t know if you’ve seen the magazine but to give you the gist, Desire is the product/clothing section. We try to elevate it above the regular cycling magazine’s gear pages, by making interesting shoots in inspiring locations, with real cyclists and dream bikes.

Since I started, I’ve had a lot of people ask me about cycling kit. “Which is the best?”...“Which colour is in for next season?”. It’s true to say that magazines still have a big impact on the formation of trends in cycling.

I knew David Millar when he was racing. I was at his last Paris-Roubaix, the inspiration behind CHPT3’s ONEMORELAP collection. Maybe it’s why I’ve always had a thing for that design. Or maybe it’s because it tells a story linking the pro cyclist David Millar to the CHPT3 one, the cyclist with ardour for fashion and art. Jobs come and go.

Passions remain and CHPT3 is driven by that passion. It’s an extension of David’s personality. And when a new kit drops, there's always a story to go with it, hence the ONEMORELAP collection or the new Girona stuff. Did you know that the pattern on the Girona jersey is inspired by the Eiffel Bridge in Girona? There’s always a story.

The new Girona kit has flashes of their punchy “Fire Red” colour, as seen through the range. It’s such a rich colour that photographers rarely do justice. It’s a colour that runs through and ties a lot of the collections together.

In spring, we layer. We start rides wearing more kit than we finish in. The other day I was wearing a K61 jacket over a J/J and MONZAMILANO base layer (the K61 ended up in the back pocket of the J/J). Today I was wearing a Rocka Jacket, fancy collar and all, over the VUELTADATA jersey and new MSR base layer. They’re from very different CHPT3 collections, yet everything works together. Remember what I said about the Fire Red colour? Exactly.

CHPT3 fits with where I am as a cyclist. I looked at a ride from the other day on Garmin Connect to back up this point. Ride time: 2hrs 56minutes. Elapsed time: 4hrs 43. I spent nearly as much time at the café as I did riding. I don’t want to be sat around in aero kit that is only suitable for riding. Proprietors won’t be impressed when you explain its aerodynamic advantage while their customers are watching your cake being ingested like a boa constrictor eating a rat.

I remember going on one of my sister’s shopping trips (I doubt she does; it was the 80s and she used to party with Dave Gahan, remember?). We went to a clothes shop in Southend High Street. I remember seeing how this little girl reacted when she burst out of the changing room dancing. It’s weird how I still remember this. OK, kids do stuff like this all the time, but what a reaction! I’d still do that now if it was socially acceptable. But that's just it - nice clothes make you feel good. They lift your mood. The same can be said for nice cycling kit. New kit lifts your FTP. Probably.