Velocio's Concept bibs are the pinnacle of the brand's garments for your lower half, and are some of the most comfortable bibs I've ridden in today. I just wish they were cheaper.
Heat and moisture management
Velocio's aim with the Concept bib shorts is bold and ambitious: to make bibs that a pro rider would wear if they weren't contractually obligated to pull on shorts from their team sponsor.
After testing them out and accompanying me as I clocked up the miles, I can say with confidence that the New England-based company has not just met its objective, but surpassed it. These bib shorts are quite simply fantastic.
The foundation in any pair of bib shorts is the chamois, and Velocio have gone back to the drawing board to create a chamois that is designed to 'float' so that it can move with you as you pedal; it's along the same lines as the goldenGate concept that Assos uses in its high-end shorts.
The pad is only sewn to the shorts at the front and the back so that each side can move independently of the other. The foam is multi-density, and it's contoured to match your family jewels; there are men's and women's versions.
When you hang the shorts from bib straps, the chamois appears pancake flat, but this allows it to fully conform to your body when you pull the bibs on.
Speaking of the straps, they are 4.5mm wide and very elastic. With raw edges, they are lightweight and sit comfortably over your shoulders. The back section of the bib straps is perforated lycra, which is an interesting departure from the usual open back used by the brand, and thus doesn't breathe quite as well.
The women's version does have an open back however to facilitate Fly Free design which allows for bathroom breaks without the need to disrobe in the process.
Using a highly compressive material on the front three-quarters of the short, the back section is a lighter, more breathable lycra. The seams are also offset, specifically the one that runs up the inner thigh, which is the usual culprit of chafing - not that I witnessed any with these pair of bibs.
The leg bands, meanwhile, are made from microfiber and backed in silicon to prevent them from going anywhere.
When you first pull the Concept bibs, they feel quite a bit different from just about any bibs I've previously worn, specifically the chamois conforming around you. It's quite thick but it doesn't feel like you're wearing a diaper off the bike.
When you get on the bike, it's supremely comfortable for many hours at a time. I'm not convinced that you can necessarily feel the 'float' in the chamois, but I can say that I never felt it shift. That's largely due to the material underneath that stretches it to its limit.
The ample padding does well to take the sting out of square edges and vibration that can accumulate over a big day in the saddle, and it does well to manage moisture. I never experience the dreaded swampy sensation.
The thicker fabric that makes up the bulk of the bib creates a surprising amount of compression and muscle support. They are one of the more compressive shorts I've worn to date, and the fabric makes an unexpected level of structure for its weight. It's not to the level of recovery thighs or similar, but enough to keep the deadness out of your legs.
While there is no doubt that the leg grippers will help to keep knee and leg warmers in place during the cooler months, I would bet that you could remove them, and the lower hem on each leg would stay put through the duration of a ride, still allowing for sharp tan lines.
Due to my home base being in the Southern Hemisphere, I haven't had the chance to test them out in cooler temps, but I can say with certainty they handle the heat and humidity of the Australian summer without missing a step. They don't offer quite the wicking and breathability of the Ultralight bibs, but they aren't far off.
As good as the Velocio Concept bibs are, the price is jarring: they cost $289 / £249 / $359. That puts them in an upper echelon of bib shorts in regards to the damage it does to your bank account, only topped by a select few things from Assos, Rapha, Santini, and Giordana.
If you're looking at bib shorts in this range, I do think Velocio's Concept bibs provide some of the best comfort and performance of any bibs I've worn to date. However, I have a hard time paying this much for bibs, full stop.
But, for some, only the best will do, and if this is you, Velocio's Concept Bibs won't disappoint.
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