High quality materials and well thought out design makes these bibs a treat over the long haul
- Quality of the fabrics
- Simple yet effective design
- Minimal logos
- Black cherry colour not to my personal taste
- Price may be hard to swallow for some
Hailing from New England, Velocio was co-founded by former Aussie pro, Kristy Scrymgeour, and initially only produced women’s riding kit, but as the brand grew began offering a wide range of men’s kit — it’s rare to find a cycling clothing brand today that has its roots firmly planted in women’s specific kit.
Full disclosure, Scrymgeour was a Cyclingnews contributor from 2004-2006.
From the way it chooses brand ambassadors to the considerable amount of money the brand donates to cycling and community causes, to some nifty innovations, like the nature-break-friendly Fly Free Women's bibs; Velocio is a brand that does things a little differently. But does this unique take mean that they can make high-end bib shorts that measure up with the behemoths of knicks? In this Velocio Luxe bib shorts review, we'll take a look to see how this specific pair stack up against the best cycling shorts on today's market.
Design and ride experience
The Velocio Luxe bib shorts reviewed here are one of Velocio’s upper-end pairs of bib shorts and are designed for big days in the saddle.
The bulk of the shorts are made from what Velocio calls high-gauge Luxe fabric, which it describes as 'highly compressive and opaque' — the latter to prevent the dreaded ‘I can see your butt crack through your bibs conversation.’
The fabric itself is a 67 per cent polyamide and 33 per cent elastane mix and is one of the softest on the skin I've ever experienced. On the scale of high thread count sheets to puppy fur, it errs towards the softness of ultrafine polar fleece — without the insulation, of course. The fabric wicks and breathes with the best, and even though we are just coming out of winter here on the coast of Southeast Queensland, the Luxe bibs have done battle with temps ranging from 10-32C / 50-90F and left me sitting pretty each time.
The shorts are made from three fabric panels with the seams directed well away from common chafe zones, and everything is double stitched to prevent blowouts.
The bibs are a slim cut, and the fabric is pleasantly compressive, offering excellent support for your muscles over hours on the saddle. The fit is definitely of the second skin variety; however, there is enough stretch in the fabric that you don’t feel like you're wearing a sausage casing.
Up top, the bib straps are simply a single-ply 4.5mm piece of lycra which have plenty of stretch and don’t dig into your shoulders, nor do they chafe at the front. The simplicity of the braces on the Luxe bibs allows for the Fly Free rear on the women’s version, which Velocio say allows for nature breaks without the need to remove jerseys and helmets or glasses. This feature is not present on these men's bib shorts for obvious reasons and I am unable to comment as to the effectiveness, but a review of the Velocio women's Luxe bib shorts is inbound.
Back to the men’s bibs, at the front, the waistline comes up quite a bit higher than on a lot of competitors, which prevents your belly button from playing peekaboo if you’re standing around in a short - or race fit - jersey. However, for those with external plumbing, it does make watering a tree mid-ride a bit more awkward than with some lower-cut bibs.
The leg bands are made from a similar 4.5mm wide lycra, and see a light silicone treatment on the inside that provides a surprising among of grip. The pattern isn’t aggressive, and doesn't pull or dig in as leg bands on some shorts can, but still prevents the shorts from creeping up over the course of a ride. Velocio has nailed the length of these shorts falling somewhere between Pierre Rolland short and Bradley Wiggins in his latter years long with bibs that almost cover his knees.
Rather than sewing a generic chamois into the Luxe bibs, Velocio tapped up Elastic Interface (CyTech) to help them create proprietary seating arrangements. It shares a similar design to other Elastic Interface chamois pads I’ve come across in the past; however, the face fabric is textured and soft to the touch, and the padding under the sit bones and perineum is considerably denser.
Everyone is engineered slightly differently downstairs, so the chamois that works for me may not suit you for various reasons; however, this pad from Velocio and CyTech is excellent, and I happily sat on it for five-hour rides on the tarmac and unpaved roads without the need for chamois cream. It’s thick enough to dampen shock and vibration from rough roads over extended rides, while also being thin enough that it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing an adult diaper — especially key when it comes time for a hike-a-bike.
I always judge cycling clothing by how often it goes through the laundry because if it’s getting washed on a weekly basis, that means I’m regularly wearing it. Since I first received these bibs back in April, I can confidently say they have found their way into my dirty laundry once a week.
This is even more impressive given that I’m not in love with the black-cherry colourway; it has led to my a few riding buddies and my partner asking if I got dressed in the dark on more than one occasion — luckily, they come in black, charcoal, navy and olive green too. That said, I am a big fan of the minimal branding.
Given these bibs essentially have 'luxury' in the name, it should not come as a surprise; they are priced as such, costing $259 / £228 / AU$329. For comparison sake, this puts them in the same realm as Rapha’s Pro Team Bib Shorts II ($270 / £228 / AU$340), Gore’s C7 Cancellara Race Bibs ($289 /£229 / $TBC), and the Castelli Primero 2 ($279 / £220 / AU$339) bibs.
While Velocio may not have the level of name recognition as a Castelli, Gore or Rapha (yet), the ultra-soft fabric, chamois, bib straps, leg band, and the fit, make the Luxe bibs every bit as good as what's on offer from the big guns.
There is no doubt these bibs cost an arm and part of a leg, but you get what you pay for, and the section of that leg that will be housed inside the Luxe bibs will be happy.
Tech specs: Velocio Luxe bib shorts
- RRP: $259 / £ 228 / $329
- Sizes: XS-XXXL
- Colors: Navy, Black, Charcoal, Black Cherry, Dark Olive
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