In keeping with Velobici's other gear, the Seamless Couche stands out from the crowd due to its understated looks and heavyweight price tag. Often, form comes at the expense of function, but with the Seamless Couche, Velobici have combined them both.
The first question that springs to mind is just what on earth is a couche (I've yet to find an explanation)? The picture on the Velobici website shows the model wearing it as a tight fitting t-shirt but you've got to have a certain body type (not stick thin cyclist) and lack of inhibitions to be able to pull off this look.
I ended up using it primarily as a base layer on cold days and in this capacity, it performs extremely well. The tight fit and merino wool content traps air close to the body where it can be warmed up. For its weight, the Seamless Couche provides excellent insulation against the cold as long as it isn't exposed to wind of any kind. The slim fit also ensures that you can easily wear it under a tight fitting jersey for racing cyclocross for example, when you don't want to be wearing a bulky jacket but need some extra warmth.
The collar is cut low to prevent any neck chafing from occurying whilst the rear is ever so slightly dropped to suit the cycling position. The weave on the armpits is perforated to help dissipate the heat that can build up in this area.
In terms of wickability, the Couche performs really well and it rarely got damp when worn under many layers. This makes it pretty versatile in terms of the range of conditions in which it can be worn, which goes some way to justifying the price. When wet, it does take a bit longer to dry than a totally synthetic alternative, but this is the price you pay for all that warmth and comfort.
It's gone through the wash a handful of times now and hasn't lost any of the elasticity that makes it fit so well. Base layers aren't usually the most abused pieces of kit, but the Seamless Couche looks as though it will hold up well in the long term.
A warm, great fitting and comfortable base layer that works well over a range of temperatures depending on what you put over the top. Whether it's worth the money is ultimately a personal decision, but you can't fault its performance.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Velobici PBP Seamless Couche
Size tested: Black
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?
The Seamless Couche is part of Velobici's PBP (Paris-Brest-Paris) collection aimed at the "long distance traveller, [and] marrying durability with comfort, practicality and European chic"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Seamless Couche is composed of:
42% Merino wool
51% Polyester Thermo-cool
The seamless construction eliminates any irritating seams whilst also including neat features like the perforated under arms
Excellent warmth and comfort over a range of temperatures. Wick-ability is good whilst the fit is figure hugging as any good base layer should be
It has held up well to the handful of washes it's been subjected to so far. No loose threads to suggest that it will fall apart any time soon
The warmth this layer provides is quite astonishing when you feel how light it actually is.
The lack of seams and good fit make it easy to forget you are wearing it which in this case is a good thing.
You get a lot of bang but you have to shell out an awful lot of bucks too. At this price you could buy a decent winter jacket or the Howies baselayer we tested recently and change
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, once I move to the City
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 20 Height: 190cm Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Giant TCR Advanced 2 My best bike is: Canyon Ultimate CF7
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, sportives, mtb,
For 5 years, racing was my life and I went all the way from a newbie bonking after 40 miles, to a full-timer plying my trade on the Belgian kermesse scene. Unfortunately, the pro dream wasn't meant to be and these days, you're more likely to find me bimbling about country lanes and sleeping in a bush on the side of the road.