Velocio Utility cargo bib short review – unmatched in performance

Velocio’s Utility cargo shorts are the best gravel bib shorts I have ever used

Velocio Utility bibs with 5 star Bike Perfect review badge
(Image: © Graham Cottingham)

Bike Perfect Verdict

Velocio’s Utility bib shorts combine supreme comfort and a premium finish to create the best bib shorts I have ever used.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent fit and wide range of sizes

  • +

    Very comfortable chamois

  • +

    Well designed pockets

  • +

    Premium materials, construction, and finish

Cons

  • -

    Pricey

  • -

    Leg panels can be slightly see-through in certain light

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Since the first ride in bib shorts graved with cargo pockets, I have been a convert and downright refuse to go on a ride without the convenience of pockets to stash all my gravel paraphernalia in. Velocio is one of my favorite bib short brands and luckily it didn’t take long for a cargo-compatible pair of bib shorts to be added to its range.

Considering my excellent past experiences with Velocio’s non-pocketed bib shorts I had high hopes for Velocio’s Utility bib shorts, but can they meet my lofty expectations and take the best gravel bike bib short top spot? 

Velocio Utility bibs being worn standing face on to the camera

High quality material and excellent tailoring give the Utility bibs a premium fit and finish (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Design and specifications

The Utility bib shorts use a recycled lightweight woven fabric finished with a microfiber bib upper. The stitching isn’t flat locked, but is exceptionally well finished giving the minimal number of seams a very subtle finish. On the inside of the thick leg grippers is a fine silicone hatching pattern to keep the legs in place. Up top consists of two wide shoulder straps that cross at the rear and are sewn into the slightly raised rear section which houses the rear cargo pocket. 

A good sized rear-positioned pocket supplements the cargo pocket on each thigh. The pockets use the same material as the shorts and are lazer-cut and bonded to the shorts. The finish almost seamlessly blends into the shorts, giving a super clean finish.

A hand reaching into the leg pocket on the Velocio Utility bibs

The pockets have are large, secure, and subtly integrated into the shorts (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Inside the shorts, there is Velocio’s proprietary Signature Chamois developed with Elastic Interface which is anatomically specific for the men's and women’s shorts. The pad is the same one used in Velocio’s LUXE, Signature, and Ultralight bib shorts. It uses a dual layer design featuring a high-density layer for comfort and support with a second layer designed to dampen vibrations.

Both the men's and women's shorts come in the same Black or Navy color options with very minimal reflective logo branding on the rear and left leg. When it comes to sizing Velocio is one of the leaders in cycling clothing and offers the Utility in eight sizes for both men and women.

Velocio Utility bibs pictured with a back drop of trees

The RK2's feature a number of panels to achieve their fit (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Performance

I had high expectations for the Utility bib and from the moment I put them on I found the Utility bib shorts extremely comfortable. The compressive feel may be a bit odd if you aren’t used to it but on the bike, the Utility bibs have a faultless fit with a clean finish. The fabric has a luxurious feel and although it's pegged as lightweight, it doesn’t feel thin or delicate.

It is worth noting that in certain lights, the lightweight material on the side panels can be slightly sheer – although this doesn’t happen on the more salacious areas. Leg length is just right for me and the grippers ensure they are locked in place no matter how far I was riding. The straps sit comfortably across the shoulders and because they aren’t sewn together or attached to an extended back panel, the straps can freely move depending on how broad your shoulders are. Sizing is also really well-considered and I have found Velocio’s sizing very consistent throughout its range, so if you are a medium in your current Velocio bib shorts you will also be a medium in these.

Elastic Interface makes chamois for a lot of big brands, so it knows a thing or two about comfort on the bike. The Velocio Signature chamois used in the Utility has a medium thickness and when squished by hand the different density layers are quite obvious. The high-quality materials and structure of the shorts keep the pad locked in place eliminating potential irritation and requiring zero readjustments when riding. I have put a load on miles in these shorts and other shorts fitted with the Velocio Signature chamois and experienced zero discomfort with this pad shape and design. If I’m planning on tackling big gravel miles, these are the first shorts I reach for.

Velocio hasn’t just nailed the fit, design, and pad in the Utility shorts but also the utility bit. The leg pockets are spacious yet the stretchy compressive material ensures items are held in place securely. The entrance to the leg pockets are at the side but the pocket itself twists towards the front of the thigh so there is no interference with pedaling when the pockets are loaded up. When the pockets are empty, they are almost completely invisible too. I don’t use rear pockets that often but the single rear one here is well positioned, it sits a little lower than most other cargo shorts I have tried so it's easier to access and less likely to interfere with your jersey pockets.

Velocio Utility bibs legs pictured with a back drop of trees

The material has a thick compressive feel although it can be a touch see-through in direct sunlight (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Verdict

Supremely comfortable fit, high-quality compressive fabrics and great chamois paired with seamless pocket integration resulted in Velocio’s Utility bib shorts becoming my go-to for any gravel, road, or XC ride, regardless of intensity or distance. Not only do they perform well but they look great too thanks to the super-clean construction and close-to-skin fit, plus the minimal branding will pair perfectly with any jersey.

To put it bluntly, the Utility bib shorts are the best bib shorts I have ever used but this performance comes at a cost, the princely sum of $300 / £235. That's quite the investment, although compared to its peers I found the Velocio Utility shorts outperform the likes of the Rapha Cargo, MAAP Alt_Road, and 7Mesh RK2. On top of that in my experience, Velocio’s bib short durability has been excellent. If they do need to be fixed there is a repair program (for US, EU, and Canadian customers) and if you take a tumble leaving them unrepairable, Velocio offers a crash replacement discount too. 

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The lowdown: Velocio Utility bib shorts
AttributesNotesRating
FitPerfectly tailored for a comfortable and compressive fit★★★★★
ComfortPremium materials and comfortable chamois★★★★★
PerformanceSuper fit, great chamois, and perfect pockets are unmatched★★★★★
Value for moneyQuite expensive although quality and durability are there. Plus Velocio offers free repairs and crash replacement discounts★★★★★

Tech specs: Velocio Utility bib shorts

  • Price: $299 / £235
  • Materials: 71% Polyamide,29% Elastane
  • Colors: Black, Navy
  • Size availability: XS to 4XL
  • Weight: 182g (small)
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham Cottingham is the senior tech writer at Bikeperfect.com and is all about riding bikes off-road. With over 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg