Made and designed in London, Velocity's new city cycling trews for girls hit the spot for flexibility.
The lack of trousers for women to cycle in has been bemoaned for quite a while, and it's the small new companies that are stepping up to the mark. Velocity launched just a couple of months ago with a small range of commuter/leisure clothing including these cotton drill trousers. They also had shorts but I was not hardy enough to trial them over December.
The cut of the trousers is cycle specific. They are cut long (32 inches) which leaves significant room for leg extension when on the bike. They fit tight enough at the ankles not to catch in my chain. Working up the trousers, they have articulated knees which is achieved with just two small darts so they are not too obvious when off the bike. When riding, this feature comes into its own and provides excellent freedom of movement even at speed.
The back is cut higher than the front, to provide some cover up when bending onto the bars, but I didn't feel that this was pronounced enough. The trousers are designed to sit low on the waist, just above the hips and a higher rise was needed to make me feel confident I wouldn't be showing my bum off when in the saddle.
The design of the trousers ensures that there aren't any seams sitting directly below your crotch as the gusset is a diamond shape. The other seams aren't laid flat though, which could cause chafing with continued use.
The material of the trousers is a cotton drill with 2% Lycra which produces a remarkable amount of stretch in a fabric that looks at first glance to be fairly inflexible. I was very impressed with the overall stretchiness of the trousers and this greatly helped with comfort as the fabric has a lot of 'give'.
The fabric itself is water and dirt resistant, as a result of the Schoeller technology which is basically non-stick for fabrics. Water droplets sit on the fabric rather than soak through and that makes the trousers lightly shower-proof. Certainly I didn't have the 'heavy jeans' feeling when riding in the rain as I would have with pure street clothes.
The fabric certainly didn't feel like it had been treated with anything, so I checked if it lived up to its claim that substances would run off or be rinsed off easily. Tomato sauce didn't 'run off' as promised by Schoeller but it washed off easily enough. Oil soaked straight through, as might be expected. The trousers are washable at 30 degrees and no issues were found with them after they had been laundered.
Velocity claims 'phone sized-pockets' and my iPhone 5 did just about fit in, but only just, and only when I took off its case. The pockets have a bright turquoise lining, as does the waistband, and a thin reflective piping along the flaps. They do up with a single red button each. One button snapped when I tried to close it over the phone, but Velocity have changed their supplier so this shouldn't be a problem with new purchases.
Another reflective element is found when you roll up the right leg of the trousers. A large, reflective Velocity logo leaves you more visible on the road, but with a chilly calf. I found that the logo was positioned slightly too far up the leg for comfort, but this was a minor niggle.
Velocity say on their website: 'It's great to look good when you cycle, and it's even better to get off your bike and not look like you've been cycling.' These trousers certainly live up to this aim; I wore them to work and no one batted an eyelid. They work very well as commuting trousers with no need to change for work or for the pub. The cut is a little hipster but not so much that I felt too old to wear them.
I reviewed a pair of the trousers in black, in a size 16 which I found a good, even generous, fit, with just one problem: the waistband could be higher at the back in this size. You can see from the photo above that they fit well in smaller sizes, but a bit more coverage above the bum would be nice for those of us with ample behinds.
They also come in grey and in sizes 8-16.
Simple, slightly 'mod' trousers, capable of commuter/city cycling and the bit in between where you get paid to do stuff that's not cycling.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Velocity Women's Cycling Trousers
Size tested: 16
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
When cycling is a part of your life, you've got to love what you're wearing.
After years of either arriving at work in scruffy cycling clothes, or ruining my nice clothes by cycling in them, I decided to come up with a solution.
Velocity: Great British Urban Cycle Wear aims to create stylish, yet functional clothes that women can wear on and off their bikes. It's great to look good when you cycle, and it's even better to get off your bike and not look like you've been cycling.
Our clothing includes plenty of well thought through cycling specific features, but not too many that other people will notice them. You can cycle around, smug in the knowledge that you are more comfortable than people would ever know!
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
NanoSphere® treated fabric, for water and stain resistant cycling
98% cotton and 2% elastine, for just enough stretch
Reinforced diamond seat, for comfort and durability
Articulated knees, for ease of movement
High back, for modesty and low waist, for comfort
Heavy duty belt loops, for carrying things
Phone sized pockets, to stay connected
Reflective pocket trim and reflective logo, for a high-viz eyeful.
Everything seemed well-made and built to last, except the button which was replaced.
The articulated knees really make a difference from cycling in street clothes.
The price reflects the cost of manufacturer in the UK and is cheaper than other current market offerings.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The cut of the trouser.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not keen on red/black/turquoise as a colour combo.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, Leisure