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The Velocio Women's Concept Bib Short is the company's top-of-the-range product, with a price to match. The shorts are extraordinarily comfortable, with a 'floating' pad giving a relaxed and happy ride without unnecessary bulk, but the straps and tricky 'fly free' system make it hard to justify the considerable outlay.
Looking at the price of these bib shorts, aimed at demanding riders, it's worth bearing in mind that there is a premium to be paid for a US designed/Italian manufactured product, but they nonetheless remain expensive by anyone's reckoning. However, you do get a lot of bang for your buck with these.
The first (and arguably most important) stand-out feature is the chamois pad. Velocio refers to it as 'floating', and in wear, the accuracy of the term becomes clear. The pad is constructed almost seamlessly, and fixes to the body of the shorts in as minimalist a fashion as possible, reducing the chance of chafing to near zero.
The centre area is supportive and cushioned, while the edges blend smoothly with the legs to give one of the most comfortable rides I've experienced from any shorts in my 30-odd years of cycling.
The second most impressive feature is the fabric of the shorts themselves. Nicely opaque, it offers a good level of compression. This does result in the fit being somewhat on the small side of the stated measurements in the company's comprehensive sizing chart, but once on, the shorts fit like a second skin. They don't feel tight or constrictive, yet give support and move with you. Whether it was the comfort of the pad or the supportive nature of the fabric, my on-bike performance felt better than in many other shorts.
The compression properties of the fabric do lead to a problem with the 'fly free' system to facilitate comfort breaks, though. The idea is that the rear panel stretches enough that you can pull the shorts down and forward to allow for pee stops without having to take off your jersey and dismantle the whole shebang. In use, the super-supportive fabric makes this very tricky, as the area just does not want to stretch that far. It's a great concept, but unfortunately the fabric just didn't want to play ball.
The lightweight and stretchy straps were comfortable and should easily accommodate most bust shapes and sizes without any issue. However, they did have a tendency to curl up and twisted easily at the shoulder and back, requiring some fiddling to ensure they were sitting flat for maximum comfort. The straps on the less expensive Velocio Women's Foundation Bib Short were much less inclined towards this problem.
The leg gripper areas are broad and non-aggressive, and gave a comfortable secure fit without pulling or compressing the flesh.
Temperature variations caused no trouble, as the shorts were comfortable in a wide variety of conditions, with the fabric moving moisture swiftly away from the skin.
As high-end shorts, these are competing with the likes of the Assos Dyora RS Bib Shorts – excellent according to Emma, and 'only' £175 – and the Ashmei Women's Cycle Bib Shorts at £176, but with the extra cost of the Velocio shorts, and the slight issues with the 'fly free' design and the straps, they just don't seem to justify such a high price, even when money is no issue. That said, the chamois pad almost makes them worth the money all on its own...
Superbly comfortable shorts with an exceptional pad, but some minor issues that make that price just too high
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Velocio Women's Concept Bib Shorts
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Aimed at pro riders and demanding female cyclists.
Velocio says, 'The CONCEPT Bib Short is the evolution of our now much-beloved bib shorts, a race-ready design aimed at the highest levels of performance. This is what a pro rider would wear if they could buy their own bibs. With a new chamois developed exclusively for the CONCEPT bib shorts using several techniques, this pad is designed to 'float' as its totally integrated into the patterning of the short, meaning fewer seams and chafe points, and a more fluid pedaling motion.
'Additionally this new design means the chamois stays in place while you pedal, conforming to your body and matching your every move. It also means that our FlyFree technology was added to make pee breaks easy, even on the days you aren't driving a break or smashing a QOM. From the outside, it's the cleanest and most streamlined bib short available on the market today and sets a new standard for what's possible for high performance cycling apparel.
'Finally, adding to the proprietary pad, we employed new straps, leg grippers and an aero construction mixing fabrics with complimentary compression for the ultimate performing bib short. The result is more than a pinnacle product, it's a concept: there is a better way.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Two fabrics carefully positioned to maximize breathability and balance compression.
Minimal seams and laser cut ventilation
Microfiber leg gripper and aerated bib straps
Proprietary invisible chamois design to provide unmatched performance and friction-free comfort
New race-fit patterning for an articulated fit
Large team-inspired reflective logos
FlyFree: the latest generation of Velocio's pee-break functionality without removing jersey, helmet or glasses. No more zipper, no compromises.
70% Polyamide / 30% Elastane
Available in sizes XXS-XXL
Made in Italy
Machine washable at 30
Very well made from extremely high quality fabrics and components.
Performed very well in terms of comfort, but let down slightly by the straps and "fly free" seat being tricky.
Excellent quality, though "fly free" could prove a point of concern.
Second-skin-like fit with great comfort.
Compressive fabric means that these fit on the neat side for the stated measurements on Velocio's comprehensive sizing chart. Once on, they are comfortable and supportive though.
Light and yet good rugged fabric.
Extremely comfortable, possibly the most comfortable chamois pad I've ever used.
The fabric and pad are exceptional but it's hard to get past that price when the shorts aren't quite perfect.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy. Washed well at 30 and dried quickly.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well apart from the "fly free" being tricky to navigate.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The incredibly comfortable but unobtrusive pad, and the supportive opaque fabric.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The straps twisted easily, the "fly free" was too tricky and stressful to use.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Expensive even compared with high-end shorts we've tested: the Assos Dyora RS Bib Shorts are £175, and Ashmei's Women's Cycle Bib Shorts are £176.
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Only ones with lots of money.
Use this box to explain your overall score
An exceptional chamois pad and excellent compression fabric result in these shorts being very comfortable, but the issues with the straps and the "fly free" combined with the price keeps them at 8 rather than 9 overall.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.