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Velocio Luxe cycling bib shorts review: As close to perfect as you can get

Self-proclaimed as luxury, does the Velocio Luxe bib short deliver on the promise?

Velocio Luxe Bib Short
(Image: © Josh Ross)

Our Verdict

The Velocio Luxe bib shorts match the performance of top brands known for performance but they also have style to match fashion forward brands. Comfortable to wear no matter how long your ride, well built, and a perfect fit. If only they were a bit more modest when standing they would be perfect.

For

  • Leg grips are easy to get into place
  • Comfortable all-day chamois
  • Gorgeous colour options
  • Perfect fit
  • Excellent front height
  • High-quality stitching

Against

  • Low structure at front of chamois isn’t a good look

The Velocio brand story is basically unheard of in the cycling industry. It's a US based, women first, company that's less than ten years old selling clothing that's developed from the ground up. Given the success Velocio has seen during a short time on the market, it seems to be a winning formula. We've also noticed the focus on sustainability, representation, and quality. Our list of the best cycling shorts available today features two different options from Velocio, and we tend to pay attention when something new pops up. 

The Velocio Luxe bib short was well reviewed the first time around but every new piece is a new opportunity for success, or failure. Reputation and past performance have a place but we have been riding with the updated design to assess what it's like. Now that we've covered a lot of distance in the updated bib shorts, we have thoughts about what works and what doesn't. If you are in the market for a new pair of endurance focused bib shorts keep reading to see if we think the Velocio Luxe bib short should continue to be on your list of options. 

Velocio Luxe Bib Short rear view

Excellent colour and a perfect fit make for an outstanding pair of bib shorts (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Design and aesthetics 

One of the things that sets the Velocio Luxe bib shorts apart is the way they intersect performance and fashion. In some ways there will always be an intersection with high-quality products but there are brands with a focus that leans in one direction or the other. The way this tends to play out really comes down to colour. If you want eye-catching designs and colours you'll need to look at fashion forward brands like PAS Normal

With Velocio you've got all the colour you could want with deep rich options. You can decide what matches your style with choices of Dark Olive, Coffee, Navy, Black, Charcoal, and the option we've spent time with, Deep Sea. There are options in there for staying subtle and neutral but there are also a few that let you stand out without being ostentatious. Even something brighter, like the Deep Sea option, doesn't stray far from natural tones and, more importantly, the colours come from rich dyes that permeate all the way through the fabric. As the bibs stretch you won't wash out the colour and it stays just as bold as it looks on your screen while browsing the options. Branding is also just two small reflective logos that won't compete no matter how wild you want to go. 

The fabric continues the same feeling of rich and "luxe." Against your skin there's a velvety feel that will have you smiling the first time you touch it. It's heavier than some and Velocio refers to it as "Ultra-High Gauge Compression Lycra" but it never feels hot. You can feel confident grabbing these on the hottest days but there's a richness to the texture that stands above many of the options out there. 

Holding the fabric together is the job of a minimal series of seams. Much like the Assos butterfly pattern, there's a single piece that spreads across the low back as well as the outer thighs. Velocio breaks with Assos from there and adds another two panels to cover each inner thigh as well as the front panels. Also breaking from Assos is the use of standard, non-flatlock, seams throughout although the velvet smooth 38% elastane content fabric manages to avoid any chafing issues. 

There are also some similarities to Assos in the shoulder strap design. This amounts to a very distinctive upper strap section and a lower shorts section with no transition zone. The unconnected straps cross somewhere on your back but depending on the width of your shoulders, and torso length, the crossover point is free to move around. 

For the chamois, Velocio leans on the considerable expertise of Elastic interface, although with a custom design. Elastic interface makes some of the best chamois options out there and the Luxe builds on the long-distance focused Endurance 2.5 but, with input from Velocio, the padding from the Endurance Anatomic design gets pulled in. 

That means what you'll be experiencing are two long 13mm thick pads. There are no gel inserts, like some Castelli options, but the 200 kg/m3 density is enough to resist compression over time. Velocio has also changed the cup design from the off the shelf Elastic interface design.

Performance

Each summer I spend most of the season searching for the perfect summer cycling kit. A new piece of kit comes in and I start pushing to find weaknesses in the design and performance. Is one piece of kit good for short rides but not long? What if I swap out base layers? Would a particular bib short work better with a different jersey? Can I put together the perfect kit from shoes to helmet that matches my style and has the performance I need for short hour rides but also rides that last from sunset to sunrise? 

This summer, that search has brought me to the Velocio Luxe bib short. I've put these through almost 700 miles of riding and they feel closer to perfection than anything I've tested yet. A big part of that is the style; I spend a lot of time in cycling kit and there's nothing I love more than finding those pieces that look as good as they feel. The Luxe bib starts with a beautiful rainbow of colours but it's also the fit and the cut on the stomach that I love. 

Velocio goes out of their way to say over and over again that their products feature a highly compressive fit. Despite that, the fit is right where it should be. There's no doubt it's tight but I can swap between Castelli, Specialized, Assos, and Velocio and I never have to adjust sizing. I know that the size I normally wear is going to fit in exactly the way I expect it to fit. I can also swap between different Velocio pieces, such as the Concept bibs which we have also covered, and I never have to worry about needing a different size. 

Nailing the right fit isn't something you can always count on from brands but when they do, the job isn't done. Castelli and their redesigned Aero RC bib shorts pointed a spotlight on the importance of getting the leg grips right. The Luxe bib shorts haven't done away with them entirely but what's there doesn't cause a struggle getting dressed. The leg length is just right and you can get dressed without a struggle. Once in place, nothing moves around and tan lines are perfectly crisp. 

The other part of the fit that Velocio nails is the lower stomach. When a brand misses this you end up with a tight line of compression that runs right where you bend forward on a bike. It's not a good look no matter your body shape but going too far the other way introduces other issues. The luxe bibs sit just high enough to be above the fold line but not so high you can't go to the bathroom or breathe. When you pull the Luxe bibs on, they look good and they continue to look good as you bend forward. 

The Velocio Luxe bibs also feel good. The fabric choice might be the best you can find in any bib short. Velocio hasn't used flatlock seams and yet no matter how long I've ridden in these, I've never experienced chafing. The fit is part of that but so is the fabric. It's heavy enough to have the structure that keeps it from folding and moving in unpleasant ways and I can't rave enough about how soft and pleasant it is to the touch. It's really a joy. 

Along with the excellent fabric choice, the Elastic interface contribution is another high point. What I ask of a chamois design is that no matter how long I spend on a saddle, there should be no sit bone bruising. I've tested the Luxe bibs up to about 7 hours without issue and, as I got off the bike, I never felt like the chamois was starting to waiver. 

The one place where the Luxe bib shorts need some refinement is in the cup area. There are only three panels and by extension a limited number of seams. One of the few seams that does exist runs from the back of the chamois up to the top edge on the front of the bibs. Then at the front of the chamois there's very little structure. Although it's perfectly comfortable on the bike, I'd prefer a bit more modesty when standing. It's not a comfort issue but it is the one note on the finished product that I don't love and maybe the only thing that holds the Luxe bib back from being perfect. 

Velocio Luxe Bib Short seam in front

This seam down the front is the one mis-step in the whole design (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Verdict

As I mentioned I've tested countless bibs this summer. Some of them I've covered here and even raved about how good they are. What I can say about the Velocio Luxe bib shorts is that if I was planning to ride from sunrise to sunset, or beyond, these are the bibs I would choose. The fabric is perfect and the patterning is very close to perfect. The partnership with Elastic Interface means one of the best chamois designs on the market and the straps completely disappear once on. There's no loss of style either. The Deep Blue colour is rich and bright while being easy to match. It's a complete joy to wear these bib shorts and there's no doubt that we will continue to feature them in our list of the best cycling shorts available

Testing scorecard and notes
Lower abdomen fitIf only the cup was more modest these might be perfect.7/10
Fabric qualityAs good as it gets10/10
Chamois QualityExcellent10/10
SizingConsistent throughout the brand and compared to other brands.10/10
Fashion appeal Great colours, the right cut on the stomach, and the outer seams add movement. Held back by the seam through the centre. 9/10
StrapsExcellent10/10
ValueYou get a lot of performance but you do pay for it. There’s no bargain here. 7/10
Overall90%

Tech Specs: Velocio Luxe Bib Short

  • Price: $279
  • Weight: 183g size small
  • Colour Options: Dark Olive, Coffee, Navy, Black, Charcoal, Deep Sea
  • Main Fabric Content: 62% Polyamide / 38% Elastane

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