Velocio diversified into mountain biking last year, launching a new rebranded Off-Road Equipment range. The brand had previously dabbled in mountain biking but the new Off-Road Equipment range groups the existing MTB items with some new pieces too.
Alongside some new jazzy-looking jerseys and a lightweight jacket are the new Trail Access pants. Velocio makes some of my favorite gravel kit so when they released the Trail Access pants I had to give them a go to see how they compare to the best MTB pants.
Design and specifications
The pants have a multi-panel construction combining 170gsm Cordura fabric with high-wear areas like the seat, knee, and lower leg reinforced using a lightweight ripstop weave. The material is CO DWR treated to hold out against a light drizzle or deflect a small puddle splash. DWR treatment is only going to do so much but the pants material is light and dries quickly should they get wet. The CO DWR treatment is PFC or PFA free so they are kinder to the environment as well.
Closure is handled by a sliding popper and a zipped fly. On the inside of the waistband, there is a silicone pattern to help keep the pants in place. Rather than use a ratchet or internal adjuster, Velocio has specced an Arcade Ridge. This adventure-orientated belt features a lightweight slim buckle and stretchy 85 percent post-consumer recycled Repreve polyester. It's also machine washable so you don’t need to remove it when washing your kit. The pants feature two good-sized zipped pockets on the thigh which have a rearward positioning.
As you would rightly expect from a women-led brand like Velocio, there are of course women's and men's versions of the Trail Access pants. Both versions come in the same Black (tested) or Dark Olive colorways. There are loads of sizes available with a whopping eight different size options for both men and women. I have a 30-inch waist and opted for a small which was perfect.
The fit on the Trail Access pants is about as good as it gets, the tapered shaping on the legs is well-measured giving a very close fit with absolutely zero bunching or restriction to movement. There is enough knee room for a set of pads, without the pants looking odd if you decide to go without knee protection. The sizing was spot on for me too and I would be able to comfortably wear these without the included belt, although the belt certainly takes the fit to the next level.
A belt is an unusual accessory for a set of riding pants, most pants opt for built-in Velcro adjusters and I don't usually have a problem with them unless the sizing is particularly off the mark. That said, the Arcade Ridge belt gives way more scope for fine-tuning adjustment than any built-in system and the stretch in the material means it's very comfortable to wear. The buckle is low profile and slightly curved so it doesn't dig in when hunched over on a climb or risk giving you a gut punch in the event of a crash.
I'm not usually a fan of using pockets on riding pants, but the position and orientation of the pockets securely hold items so they don't move around while riding. The rearward position should also help keep your phone, keys, or tools out of the firing line should you tumble on the trail.
I like that logos are kept to a minimum too, with just a few small branding details on the legs keeping the overall aesthetic subtle.
My black test samples have developed some discoloration after some gritty rides although this is something I experience with almost every pair of riding pants I have used. I am yet to subject the Trail Access pants to a crash so until then I can’t comment on how well they will hold up after some rough and tumble.
In comparison to some of my other high-rotation riding pants, the Trail Access pants have a less aggressive fit than the likes of IXS Trigger and Specialized Trail pants. They are about on par with Rapha’s Lightweight pants in terms of breathability but the tailoring feels more refined.
The Velocio Trail pants have quickly risen to the top of the pile when it comes to my favorite riding pants and unless the weather is particularly unpleasant, these are some of the first pants I reach for. They look great, the fit is superb, and they have absolutely zero restriction or bunching no matter how hard you are riding.
Velocio has always demanded a more premium price point and the Trail Access is no different. That said, they aren't unreasonably expensive considering how comfortable they are and that Velocio includes the Arcade Ridge belt with the pants. On top of that Velocio offers a repair service, so if you do get a wee rip or tear you can send them back to get patched up.
For more details, head over to Velocio.com.
Tech specs: Velocio Trail Access Pants
- Price: $199 / £159
- Fabric: Pants - 90% Polyamide, 10% Elastane / Belt - Repreve polyester
- Colors: Black, Dark Olive
- Weight: Pants - 271g (Small) / Belt - 71g
- Sizes: Men - XS to 4XL, Women - XXS to 3XL