Comfort breaks can be a pressing issue, so to speak. Cycling kit, historically designed by men, and largely for men, has often overlooked the awkward issue of using the bathroom during a bike ride.
When Velocio launched back in 2014, alongside the pure strength of design it set its sights on sustainability and gender parity – supporting women’s pro cycling teams ahead of men, and unveiling a complete women's collection from the very beginning. As cyclists themselves, the team at Velocio prided itself on the design, ride, repeat process to carefully hone each piece of clothing. The result was some interesting innovation.
In those early days, the brand’s keystone product was a women’s bib-short that had a zipper on the back - called the Signature FLY.
The hook? You could use the bathroom without taking your jersey and bib straps off. A great concept, but a little aesthetically jarring. “Are you kidding me?!” was the initial response from the Velocio-SRAM women’s team when they saw it.
Eventually, they came around to the pee break benefits, but nonetheless Velocio went to great lengths to develop a subtler solution. Enter the FLYfree, which is the technology at play on these Luxe bib shorts, and indeed across all of Velocio's women's bibshorts.
Having scoured the world of elastic strap manufacturers, Velocio discovered a narrow-knit elastic that could stretch by 2.2x its initial length and suffer no elastic fatigue. It’s enough stretch that a flexible rider can get out of the shorts without taking the bibs off at all.
While the FLYfree is an impressive central feature, it’s just one of a host of impressive details on the shorts. The shorts use a smart 3-panel design to minimise material, and reduce the number of potentially uncomfortable seams. That’s coupled really nicely with a compressive lycra material to couple comfort with support.
The seamless microfiber leg grippers and bib straps add to a sense of careful consideration around the overall riding experience for a range of different cyclists, from racers to recreationalists.
Taking a step back, the attention to detail of the design also speaks to a focus on sustainability from Velocio that is all about taking time to slow down the process to make kit that works in the long term. Indeed, the design and the process all seem intricately tied together within Velocio's brand pillars – Design, Responsibility and Community. The design speaks for itself, but the Responsibility and Community side deserves some attention.
Indeed, Velocio’s commitment to sustainability goes way beyond just using a compostable bag.
Velocio clothing is made in facilities that use renewable energy, and the materials themselves are sourced locally to ensure less energy is wasted in travel. The entire collection is underpinned by slow manufacturing principles, with kit designed to last multiple seasons. Even the understated designs are intended to be timeless in contrast to fast fashion disposable in-trend designs.
Velocio backs that up with numerous certifications supporting the sustainability of material production and quality of recycled materials. For US customers, Velocio even offers a repair program to further extend the life of a garment. For those of us in the EU, a repair program is on the way and should be up and running soon.
There’s no doubt there’s a lot hidden beneath the understated exterior of these Luxe bib-shorts beyond the stylish flashes of colour, and even reflective decals. Not least the chance for a little more comfort on a comfort break.
For more information and to shop Velocio, click here.