Clothing for riding off-road comes in all shapes, sizes and colours. Chances are you haven';t heard of Cafe du Cycliste, but the French clothing brand from Nice has a very thorough and very stylish range of road cycling clothing - but they have also branched out into some more casual wear aimed at gravel riders.

Here at AMB gravel riding comes under the wing of riding offroad and it's something we see as part of the greater dirt experience. And like mountain biking has it's own culture, and had to fight for it in the 90s, gravel riding is carving out a place in the cycling world.

Gravel riding might be the home of hipsters, jaded mountain bikers and road cyclists who want to take the pressure off. But it's also the kind of riding that embodies escapism and fun. And that's where the Cafe du Cycliste clothing fits. It's fun, quirky and French - but also really top end stuff.

We were sent a Renée gravel shorts and a Barbara short sleeve jersey.

The shorts, which sell for an eye wateringh $249, are featherweight and a shorter cut than trail shorts. With most fashion shorts being short of leg and minimal of pocket, that's exactlyu where the Renée shorts fit. The material is light, with some stretch, and there are no pockets on the legs to foul the lines or to restrict pedalling.

Instead, there are two press stud secured pockets on the back, with a discreet zippered pocket on the raised hem. Rest assured that these shorts still sit high enough to prevent a plumbers crack.

The hem is lined with comfortable material and the seams are well-stitched. The material is very fast drying and it is as if the shorts are designed to accompany you straight to the Med after a gravel jaunt. As such, they would be near ideal as a set of travel shorts as their off-bike style does not leave you looking like you just stepped off a motocross bike or jetski. They're light, comfortable and wear well. Bring your own chamois of choice. Do note that their sizing is quite true to size - that is it's European - so check the measurements on the fit guide.

Living in Queensland I'm a sucker for a light weight jersey, and the Cafe du Cycliste Barbara is quite light, and it's also half white, which I don't have a great track record with.

 
The jersey is also slim fit - so check whether you are.

The material has a bit of stretch and the raglan cut shoulders sit comfortably. The cut is part slim-fit tee, and part jersey. With three pockets on the back for utility purposes, the jersey needs to be short and well fited so anything you put in there doesn't sag and cramp your style.

Normally I don't likie pockets on riding tops that aren't a traditional jersey, as they don't really work. But with the cut of the Barbara being pretty purposeful I found they managed the basics, such as a phone and a snack.

The styling is still French, and that's no bad thing, but overall this combination is more for your stylish gravel or XC rider than your average trail shredder.

Both items wear well and are really comfortable. At $155 the Barbara is a high end piece of kit, but paired with the Renée shorts they do make a stylish offering for gravel adventures and taking the less-beaten path,

From: Cafe du Cycliste