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The Velocio Women's Foundation Bib Shorts are comfortable, very well made and feature the brand's easy pee design that's practical and effective – it doesn't compromise the riding performance. If you're doing road rides around the two hour mark and turbo sessions under an hour these are spot on.
The Foundation Bib Shorts are Velocio's entry-level option, but they include many top-quality features that have trickled down (so to speak) from the premium offerings. Updated for 2021, the front mesh panel has been removed since Lara tested these last year, and the straps no longer cross over at the back.
Made in Italy from 77% recycled polyamide and 22% elastane, the lightweight fabric provides gentle compression, although it's not quite as reassuringly supportive as that of the Ultralight version (the next model up at £168 – review coming soon).
Wide straps hold them up without any digging in or restriction, and the length can accommodate riders with longer torsos too.
These straps form part of Velocio's latest FlyFree design for easy pee-breaks – it means you can go without removing all your gear on your top half, which can be a massive hassle if you've got pockets full of tools and nutrition. Velocio has a helpful cartoon video on its site showing how this pull-down system works.
These straps are stretchy enough to snap back into place time and time again after pulling the bibs down for mid-ride pee stops – I have no concerns about durability. It's great to see this practical feature on a more affordable pair of bibs, too.
The leg gripper bands keep the shorts precisely aligned – they're 4cm wide to spread pressure evenly, so there's no pinching of the skin.
The Foundation chamois, developed with Elastic Interface, promises mid-distance comfort and support. Density-wise it's a bit lacking, but it provides ample support for shorter distances – up to around two hours on the road, in my experience.
It's less for sweatfest sessions indoors. There are no perforations on the chamois and it's not the quickest wicking, and I found these became uncomfortable after about an hour in. With turbo riding you tend not to get out of the saddle as much, which doesn't help.
For shorter durations and easier intensities, the chamois is just what you need. Do you always ride long distances? During the week I don't, and in these situations the Foundation shorts are a go-to option.
There's a slight shine to the fabric that doesn't look so smart, in my opinion, but they maintain their opaque finish and there's absolutely no issue with transparency.
At £101 these may not sound cheap for entry level shorts, but they feel reasonably priced for the quality you get.
Bioracer's Vesper Bibshort Soft is £99 and also has a comfort break system (BibZip), for instance, but the rear zip's strengthening can get sweaty, whereas the Foundations' FlyFree does not compromise performance at all.
The Altura Women's Firestorm Bib Shorts are a good quality, comfortable option for less money – £79.99 – and Emma found the pad supportive up to three hours on the road, but they lack any kind of easy pee system.
If you're typically doing two-hour road rides and up to hour turbo sessions – which a lot of us are doing most of the time – these a great value choice, as they are very well made throughout.
It's also great having the easy-pee feature on a more affordable pair of shorts. That said, for the distances I found the chamois comfortable over, I don't often need one... yet as Velocio's FlyFree system doesn't compromise the performance otherwise, it's handy having it anyway.
Good quality shorts with an effective easy pee system, though the pad could be better for long rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Velocio Women's Foundation Bib Short
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
Velocio says: "Updated for 2021, featuring our new generation FlyFree bib upper, eliminating the front mesh panel resulting in our lightest Foundation Bib Short to date. Our lightweight, recycled fabric Foundation Bib Short balances compression and a unique opaque finish while maximizing value. We used the same bib straps, leg gripper and trims as found on the Signature but incorporated a simpler high-density chamois for excellent support in a slightly thinner form - ideal for shorter stints in the saddle. A perfect pick for beginners and professionals alike."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"78% Recycled nylon fabric with Extra Life Lycra: balanced compression & breathability, comfort and longevity
High Gauge for excellent recovery and second skin fit
5-Panel design: anatomically cut, compressive and supportive to enhance performance
Foundation chamois, developed with Elastic Interface for excellent mid-distance comfort & support
FlyFree: the latest generation of our pee-break functionality without removing jersey, helmet or glasses. No more zipper, no compromises."
Comfortable for short to mid-length rides.
The straps you pull on for the FlyFree easy pee system are holding up well. I have no concerns about the durability of these.
Decent chamois for shorter to mid-distance rides, while the rest is incredibly comfy – particularly the wide straps.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
All good when machine washing at 30°C, as instructed.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very comfortable for road rides up to two hours, and indoors around an hour.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Wide, comfortable bib straps.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Shiny finish and the slightly slow-wicking pad.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Similar options around the £100 mark (and offering an easy-pee system) include Bioracer's Vesper Bibshorts Soft. There are cheaper shorts with comfier pads, though, such as Altura's Women's Firestorm Bib Shorts at £79.99 – though these are missing an easy pee system.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Overall, these are very well made. The pad comfort is a bit lacking given the £100 price tag, but Velocio's FlyFree comfort break system is very effective, practical and doesn't compromise the riding quality of the shorts. The system's broad straps are very comfortable, too. With a better pad they could score a nine.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.