It looks great, it's supremely soft, it fits well and it remains comfortable over hot rides. There's not much else you can ask for from a casual cycling jersey
Modal fabric is extraordinarily soft
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Gravel bikes are chock full of design elements borrowed from mountain bikes. So, it should not come as a surprise that this new-ish segment of riding has also seen some of the clothing permeate through its ranks — Velocio's Micromodal Jersey is the perfect example.
It's definitely not what we are used to seeing from a drop-bar jersey but does a form-fitting cut, ultra-soft materials, and pockets, but no zipper still measure up in terms of functionality against the best cycling jerseys?
Design and aesthetics
Modal is a natural fibre made by spinning reconstituted cellulose from beech trees, and when you mix with a bit of spandex and some carbon threads, you have a surprisingly technical fabric. It breathes, wicks, and drys to the same level of poly-based materials but doesn't retain any smells as some high-tech fabrics often do. When the fabric does get moist, it doesn't cling to your skin or chafe.
The performance, wicking and moisture management of the fabric itself are essential; the real headline here is how soft modal is on your skin. It is not an understatement to say this is the softest fabric I have ever laid my hands-on — seriously if you were to cross pashmina, Pima cotton, and the fluffy hair on top of a troll doll's head, you would only be 9/10 of the way to the plush feel of this jersey.
The t-shirt-style neckline and lack of zipper give it a decidedly casual aesthetic from the front, however, the three pockets on the rear and silicone gripper around the lower hem reveal its real purpose as a riding specific garment.
Even though it looks like a t-shirt or a mountain bike jersey, it's still a fitted top and it hugs your silhouette so that it doesn't flap in the wind. Velocio says the Micromodal top is based around the fit of its other road jerseys; however, I would contend it is slightly more relaxed from the other offerings I've worn from the brand. There is also plenty of built-in stretch to prevent pinching or binding.
There is hardly any branding on the Micromodal jersey, so if you're the type who hates being a rolling billboard, this Velocio top should definitely be on your radar. The logos that do exist are reflective, and the brand has added some reflective tape to the back of the sleeve and pockets to improve lowlight visibility.
When I first received the Micromodal jersey, it came in a box with a few of the things Velocio had sent out for a test, including some of its trail kit. I initially thought it was a mountain bike jersey until I pulled it over my head.
It's slim cut and doesn't flap in the wind, but it also doesn't feel like you're trying to slip into a sausage casing. The fit falls somewhere between those baggy fit jerseys and what I would consider being more of a performance fit.
With the low-cut collar, the aesthetic looks a bit like a soccer/football jersey until your turn around and see the rear pockets. On the lower back, you'll find three pockets, just as you would expect on a standard cycling jersey. They are plenty large enough for a full assortment of snacks, tools, and spares and are backed by a 'stability panel' — two-way stretch fabric on the interior of the pockets, with the rigid axis oriented vertically to provide structure.
The stability panel offers enough support for lighter loads but once you start adding your phone, multi-tool, and whatever else, the weight begins to pull on the back of the jersey causing the pockets to bounce a bit. Of course, this depends on what you're carrying, but on rough gravel rides, the load moves around more so than you'd expect with the best road jerseys.
While utilising a more rigid fabric to provide some structure to the back panel would support the pockets, I also think it would come at the cost of comfort.
It's worth reiterating how pleasant this jersey is to wear. Everything from the fabric, to the cut and length of the sleeves, is hard to fault. However, there is no substitute for unzipping a jersey to do a bit of flapping to cool yourself down and the Velocio Micromodal jersey is lacking in this respect.
The Velico Micromodal jersey has found its way into the regular rotation when I've suited up for gravel rides; it's soft, comfortable, and doesn't garner near as many side-eyes when you walk into a coffee shop or burger place for a post-ride calorie or caffeine fix.
It's not perfect, but no cycling jersey claims is if you ask me. Ultimately, none of the Micro Modal's shortcomings outweighs the comfort that is on offer - and when it comes to riding in it, comfort is king and this Velocio jersey offers it in spades.
Priced at $139 / €119 /AU$150 directly from Velocio.cc, the Velocio Micromodal jersey is not cheap but is definitely worth adding to your cycling wardrobe if you favour comfort over race-fit performance.
Tech Specs: Velocio Micromodal jersey
- Sizes: XS-XXXL
- Colors: Navy, Lava, Dark Olive
- Price: $139 / €119 / AU$150
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