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Vel Bib Short



Decent quality and performance, though nothing groundbreaking for the money
Compressive nature feels good on the muscles
Comfortable pad
Up against some tough opposition for the money

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Vel Bib Short is about as classic as a pair of shorts can be: a simple black, multi-panel design with subtle logos. There is nothing flash about them, but they do fit well, and you are getting a decent pad thrown in too.

Elastic Interface is one of the most well-known chamois makers on the planet, so it's no surprise that Vel has chosen one of its pads for these shorts. It's a simple design with a saddle-shaped section of padding just over 10mm thick and a small central channel aimed at reducing pressure and numbness.

2022 Vel Bib Short - chamois.jpg

I found the pad comfortable as it is quite slender, which is my preference, but if you like a pad with a bit more 'squidge' then you might need something thicker. For me, though, as I say, it worked. With little in the way of foam there is nothing to bunch up, so I found it comfortable for rides of two to three hours, and its lack of bulk meant I didn't feel hot and clammy.

2022 Vel Bib Short - back detail.jpg

As for the main shorts section, the Lycra is smooth and shiny, which doesn't interact too well with some saddles as I found I could slide around a fair bit on smoother ones.

Vel says the fabric is UV filtering, and overall it's breathable, too. I found the Vels pleasant enough to wear on warm days up to around 22°C (the warmest temperature I've been able to ride in) and I'm confident that they'll cope with hotter conditions.

2022 Vel Bib Short - back.jpg

The compressive nature of the Lycra feels supportive when you are riding, and the flatlocked seams reduce the chances of any irritation.

2022 Vel Bib Short - cuff.jpg

The fit is close, a combination of the compression and the multi-panel design, which also helps with the comfort. You aren't in for any surprises when it comes to the sizing, either.

The leg grippers are wide and use small silicone dots for purchase on your skin. I found that they worked well, keeping the legs in place without being overly compressive.

2022 Vel Bib Short - cuff gripper.jpg

The strap section is a lightweight mesh which aids breathability, and the straps themselves are wide enough to not place any undue pressure on the top of the shoulders.

2022 Vel Bib Short - straps front.jpg

Other small details include reflective logos, which are actually black in daylight. The overall quality is decent enough, the stitching neat and tidy.

The Vels have a full price of £85, which is a bit more than some good rivals. For example, the Altura Icons that I was testing at the same time as the Vels offer very similar performance along with a slender elastic Interface pad, and are £70.

> Buyer’s Guide: 10 of the best cycling bib shorts

Galibier's Equipe 2 Aero Bib Shorts are very good too, as long as you haven't got massive thighs, and they are just £73.


Overall, the Vel bib shorts offer decent performance and comfort, but at full price there is some very tough competition out there.


Decent quality and performance, though nothing groundbreaking for the money test report

Make and model: Vel Bib Short

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

The Vel shorts are sold through Sigma Sports, and on the website it says, "The Vel Bib Short brings all-day comfort, combining supportive, compressive warp-knit in the legs with an Elastic Interface seat pad, absorbing shock and protecting over even the roughest roads. Elastic leg grippers prevent ride-up without over-squeezing, and up top, lightweight mesh bib straps hold everything in place. UV filtering ensures your skin stays safe in the sun, and when riding after dark or in low light conditions, the reflective details enhance visibility to others."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Sigma Sports lists these features:

Italian fabrics

Recycled, pre-consumer waste fabrics

Compressive warp-knit

Elastic Interface, CyTech approved seat pad with recycled face fabric

Mesh upper

Elastic leg grippers

Flatlock seams

Sun protection

Black reflective details

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for fit:
Rate the product for sizing:
Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:
Rate the product for value:

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

No problems with being washed.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

A decent pair of shorts for short and long rides.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Quality chamois pad.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Shiny material slips around on some saddles.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

For the quality and performance, there are cheaper options on the market.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Not at full price.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

There are no real flaws with the Vel bib shorts, but for the £85 price tag they don't bring anything to the table that shorts 15 or 20 quid cheaper do.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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