When Velocio reached out to us about its new trail kit, I had to do a double-take, as I thought they only dealt in lycra — man, oh man, was I wrong.
A few weeks later, a bag packed full of kit from the New England based outfit landed in my mailbox and to be frank, since then, I haven’t been able to wash it fast enough for my next ride.
Micromodal Trail Tee
According to Velocio the bully of the Micromodal jersey is made from modal, with a bit of spandex and some carbon too. For those who aren’t fabric designers, according to google, Modal is semi-synthetic fabric is made by spinning reconstituted cellulose from beech trees and is becoming increasingly common in technical activewear. The reason it’s gaining steam in this realm is that it’s quick-drying but also spectacularly soft. On the scale of cotton balls, to cashmere of soft things, this fabric is like a combination of puppy fur and uber-high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.
Beyond how the fabric feels on your skin, the material is lightweight and perforated throughout. While it’s winter here at BikePerfect’s Australian HQ, the days can still get pretty hot and sticky. The Micromodal fabric manages moisture and heat just as well if not better than any other lightweight perforated jersey in my kit drawer.
Because the Micromodal Tee is made from mostly natural fibers, it hasn’t picked up the perma-stench that poly-based riding kit often does. Having said that, it doesn’t resist stink the way that merino does, so don’t expect to get multiple rides between washes out of it.
Velocio has opted for a slim cut, which worked well on the bike to limit flapping as the speed increased, and there is also a drop tail to prevent the sun from shining where it shouldn’t. The sleeve stops just above your elbow and doesn’t bunch or ride up. Velocio also has built-in miles of stretch into the fabric, so there is no pinching, binding, or compromises in mobility.
Despite being a technical garment, the Micromodal Tee is styled quite casually. It’s super comfortable on the trails, especially in the Aussie heat, but the fabric is so comfortable on the skin it’s also a shirt I would reach for ahead of a big travel day — when we can do that again.
Delta Long Sleeve
Summer weight long sleeve riding jerseys have always confused me to a degree. While I appreciated the additional sun protection, without fail whenever I would pull one on, halfway up the first climb, I pushed the sleeves up to my elbows, and by the time I reached the top, I was beginning to overheat.
Most of these long sleeve tops were made of some definition of a poly blend and just didn’t breathe the way I wanted them to, so I expected the same out of the Delta Long Sleeve.
Made from Polartec Delta fabric, which is also a poly-blend, the material uses a waffled texture and a mix of hydrophobic and hydrophilic yarns to not only wick and disperse moisture but improve airflow too. The marketing speak is dense surrounding Delta fabric, but in practice, it regulates temperature and humidity surprisingly well.
The Delta has become my preferred jersey for rides that I know there is going to be a sizable temperature gradient — early morning pedals that extend into the middle of the day, or courses with big swings in altitude. The fabric works exceptionally well to keep chills out when there is a nip in the air and dump heat and minimize the big sweaty back patch that comes along with riding with a backpack.
Like the Micromodal Tee, the branding is minimal, and the styling is casual — outside of riding the Delta Long sleeve has become a favorite for fly fishing, for the sun and bug protection.
The Sleeves are slim cut, meaning they don’t flap in the wind or don’t creep up your arm over the course of a descent, Velocio has built-in enough stretch that they stay up when you push them up, and they also will happily be pulled over the top of elbow pads you should be headed for a day in the bike park.
The Mesh Liner bib is essentially the same as Velocio's Ultralight road bibs, except the stretch woven compression fabric is replaced with mesh. They have the same well positioned Cytech chamois, offering the right amount of padding for a full day on the bike, but doesn't feel like you are wearing an adult diaper as your descending or hike-biking.
The majority of the shorts are made using a high-elastic mesh that allows plenty of airflow into your undercarriage — this is a godsend on a hot day. There is not much in the way of compression, and the seamless leg gripper had enough purchase on my skin when I pulled them on I was worried the mesh was going to rip. They have stash pockets on the side though I didn’t find a lot of use for them as these shorts are designed to be worn under baggies exclusively.
As the old saying goes, keep it simple stupid, and the design Velocio uses for its bib straps is so simple; yet they are more comfortable than many European brand's bibs that boast body-mapped mesh this and laser cut that. The thick piece of elastic microfiber keeps the shorts up and stays in place without digging in.
Velocio has redesigned the trail baggies for 2020, adding a new closure and updating the fit.
The closure is actually two-fold, consisting of a Cobrax slide locking button and a built-in webbing belt. The Cobrax button is a bit of a brain exploder at first, and if you do purchase these shorts be aware it’s not a single popper as it looks — I nearly damaged the button because I didn’t read the tags. The sliding button is wholly secure and keeps the shorts closed, which is more than can be said for most other baggies that use snap buttons.
The belt runs the waist band's full circumference and allows you to customize the fit; however, I did have issues with it coming undone. Velocio tells me there was a production mistake with the batch of shorts that this test sample came from, and has since been rectified. A new sample is soon to be on its way and I will update once I’ve got my hands on them.
The shorts themselves are made from a lightweight double woven Italian milled, 4-way stretch fabric, which is DWR treated for splash protection. Like the jerseys, they are slim fit, and the lower hem comes in just above the knee, meaning they are long enough to prevent gaper gaps with most sets of knee pads.
Speaking of pads, the opening is flared slightly to help accommodate knee pads, and even though they are fitted, there is plenty of room for armor.
Each leg has a mesh backed zippered pocket, situated nearly on the bottom of your thigh. While it seems counterintuitive, this is the perfect spot for pockets in shorts because it prevents whatever is in them from swinging around as you pedal. They aren’t massive, but plenty big enough for a modern smartphone, a bar or two, or your car keys.
Velocio is much better known for its road kit than its MTB gear. Having the majority of my trail time in the past few months wearing it, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why.
Everything is made from top quality materials, it’s cut well, and supremely comfortable. Better still it has that simple style that doesn’t keep it handcuffed to the trails, If you were to wear any of this gear on a hike, run or even just around town you would be comfortable, and nobody would look at you funny — well maybe except for the Mesh Bib Liner.
Given how lightweight and soft this gear is, I do fear in a heavy crash, the shorts and jerseys would essentially vaporize. In my test period, I managed to stay upright and can only speculate how any of the Velocio trail kit handles abrasion — now having typed these words, I’ve probably jinxed myself and will find out soon enough.
When it comes to mountain biking gear, you absolutely get what you pay for, and there will definitely be a bit of sticker shock pulling this kit. For the gear's quality, grit your teeth and bear it, because, after five minutes, any buyer's remorse will have well and truly evaporated.