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Velocio's Women's Ultralight Bib Shorts are very breathable and – thanks to a comfortable pad, effective comfort-break design and totally opaque finish – they transfer well from indoor turbo sessions to long days on hot roads.
Light and breathable bibs are always handy. Even if you're not treated to gorgeous hot weather all the time, they help keep you cool during turbo sweatfests, and these – which have no see-through mesh panels – are versatile across indoor and outdoor rides.
Made in Italy, these summer-weight Ultralight bibs use a new 140g/m2 stretch woven fabric for a compressive feel.
The tight weave provides a pleasing squeeze that's supportive, but not restrictive – Velocio says it's on par with its more expensive (£213) Concept bibs. It's rather impressive given the Ultralight's low weight. They're just 126g in size small.
Comfort is delivered by the excellent cut and minimal seam design, rather than the fabric itself. The texture is not as smooth as other shorts, but the slight roughness isn't so noticeable when riding.
The Ultralights stay cool without resorting to mesh sections, as found on many turbo offerings (such as Lusso's Turbo Bibshorts V2, for instance). The Velocios are impressively breathable, and moisture evaporates very quickly – these kept me happily cool during indoor sweatfests.
Impressively, despite being so thin and breathable there are no transparency issues. Velocio promises a 'deep black high opacity finish,' and delivers just that.
They also offer Velocio's latest generation 'FlyFree' bib upper. The straps are 4.5cm wide and distribute pressure evenly, and easily pull down to let you pee without having to take all of your top layers off.
With jerseys packed full of snacks and tools, this feature honestly makes such a difference – it's simple, effective and great for all-day outings.
Wearing the correct size, the material feels robust so I don't have any concerns about longevity when dragging on the straps, but if you're between sizes then going up may be a good idea.
Even pared down (they've lost the mesh front panel of old) these shorts still rise a decent amount above your hips. You're still protected from any jerseys that stubbornly ride up.
Tucked inside is an Elastic Interface chamois developed for Velocio. The dual-density foam is perforated for breathability, and apparently there's an anti-vibration layer with supportive high-density perineal inserts.
The result is effective. Rides of up to four hours stayed comfortable, and I never experienced chafing or overheating.
The leg grippers are also effective, while avoiding any pinching or bulging.
Finishing these off are small reflective logos down each side and at the rear, while the simple black looks are stylish and easy to match with any jersey.
At £168 these are joint second cheapest in Velocio's range, and about right for a premium pair of shorts. Rapha's top-performance Souplesse Detachable bib shorts are more expensive at £195, for instance, and also have an easy-pee design (they clip at the back).
Then again, the Pearl Izumi's Women's Attack Bib Capri shorts also allow for easy comfort breaks, and are fundamentally the same as the Attack Bib Shorts at £99.
With the straps crossing at the back and much thinner material, the Attacks take patience to arrange and make comfy, but on the upside they're recycled nylon. The Ultralight is one of the few in Velocio's range that isn't eco-friendly.
The Velocio Women's Ultralight Bib offers a high quality build. They're comfortable and breathable, even when the effort or temperature ramps up, and good for long days in the saddle thanks to a very decent pad. The performance and versatility makes them a worthwhile investment.
Fantastic breathability and a comfy pad for long rides – hot or not. These are top notch
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Velocio Women's Ultralight Bib Short
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
Velocio says: "Updated for 2021 with new generation FlyFree bib upper eliminates the front mesh panel resulting in our lightest bib short ever. Featuring high performance 140gsm stretch woven fabric for the lightest possible weight and higher compression than the previous generation, and on par with our Signature bib short, to keep you comfortable and supported even on the longest rides when it's hot and humid. (Roughly 30% lighter than our Signature Bib Short).
"The innovative fabric provides enhanced breathability and wicking/drying as well as a deep black high opacity finish. A true summer-weight bib short that offers up an antidote to the heated seats of summer riding."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Ultra-High Gauge Stretch Woven compression fabric: only 140 grams per meter, yet totally opaque
Deep black high opacity finish
5-Panel design: anatomically cut, supportive, with medium compression
Seamless Microfiber bib straps & leg gripper
Reflective logos for added visibility
Proprietary Signature Chamois developed with Cytech [EIT]"
It's good, but note the pull-down easy pee function puts more strain on the fabric, so if you're on the cusp I'd recommend sizing up.
Not the sofest fabric around the legs, but the straps and pad are super comfy.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Machine washed at 30°C and all fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They're very good, and versatile too. A go-to for both indoor sweatfests and longer days in the saddle.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Light yet not see-through fabric, comfy pad and easy-pee design.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Fabric not eco-friendly, not the cosiest feel.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's just below other premium offerings, such as Rapha's Souplesse Detachable bib shorts, but some much cheaper alternatives stand up against these well – such as Pearl Izumi's Women's Attack Bibs at £99.
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
The Ultralight really impresses. These shorts are light, very breathable without turning see-through and have a comfy pad. The pull down easy-pee design is also incredibly handy. There are cheaper options out there, but these work incredibly well for both indoor sweatfests and endurance rides – they're absolutely a worthwhile investment.
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