Velocio Women's Foundation Bib Short review - a lower priced option with an easy-pee system

Compression bib shorts with a fuss-free easy-pee design

Female cyclist wearing the Velocio Women's Foundation Bib Shorts
(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Foundation bib shorts are an affordable bib short designed with a compression-fit. They're really comfortable and the five-panel design easily contours all your lumps and bumps, although the straps and grippers may come up a bit tight for some. The FlyFree easy-pee design is beautifully simple and effective without any obtrusive panels or fastenings. There's a huge range of sizes too.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Recycled materials (78%)

  • +

    Simple and effective easy-pee system

  • +

    Comprehensive size range

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Bib straps easily overstretched

  • -

    Thigh gripper elastic could be more generous diameter

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We’ve reviewed a few sets of Velocio women’s shorts and tights recently including the Signature bibs, the warm weather Ultralight bibs and the Foundation bib tights. This time it’s the turn of the short-legged bibbed version of the Foundation as part of our testing in the hunt for the best women’s bib shorts.

Female cyclist wearing the Velocio Women's Foundation Bib Shorts

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

Velocio Women's Foundation: Construction

The Foundation bib short is designed to be a more affordable version of the high-end Signature bibs, designed for shorter rides. They have a five-panel compression fit design for comfort and "to promote performance and recovery" (the science behind these claims is less certain).

The main fabric is 78 per cent recycled Lycra which is quite a high proportion in comparison to other manufacturers (many of which don’t include any recycled fabrics). I was quite surprised by the thickness of the material which could make them a bit warm for summer days.

The FlyFree easy-pee design appears very simple. There’s an elasticated band at bra-level across the straps at the back and a slightly gathered seam at the rear of the shorts to provide enough material to pull down and over your bum.

Sizes range from XXS to 3XL (from 90 lbs / 41kg to 240 lbs /110 kg; 4'11" / 147 cm to 6'+ / 183 cm+).

Pad of the Velocio Women's Foundation Bib Shorts

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

Velocio Women's Foundation Bib Shorts: the ride

In the past we’ve found the fit of Velocio shorts to be a bit on the small side. This was also my experience, partly in the shorts overall and definitely in the tightness of the leg gripper elastic. Although the band wasn’t uncomfortable, the resultant thigh bulges were certainly ungainly and undesirable. They’re also a little shorter in the leg than my preferred style which didn’t help the bulges.

Despite looking a little on the small side, the Foundation shorts were really comfortable. Velocio do state the apparent small sizing is part of the compression design of the shorts, this was certainly my experience (although I’d still have preferred a little more give in the thigh gripper).  

Leg gripper of the Velocio women;s Foundation bib shorts

Tight gripper elastic

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

Once on the bike and riding there was nothing that was noticeable about the Foundation bib shorts. This may sound a little damning but is exactly what I want from bibs; they just fit and do their job. The ‘balanced compression’ was exactly that, everything just felt good and fitted nicely.  

As it’s designed to be I found the chamois great on rides of around a couple of hours and even longer on rides that I wasn’t stuck in one position. I have slight reservations about the stitching used on the chamois, with just a single row of zig-zag stitches it is much more prone to coming adrift than in some other shorts.  

Chamois stitching on the Velocio Foundation bib shorts

Chamois stitching may not hold up so well over time

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

On the subject of wear and tear, I also noted some early wear to the bib strap elastic which has lost some of its elastic properties and appears overstretched. I fall mid-way in the height recommendation for the size and the straps didn’t feel overly tight so I wouldn’t expect to be seeing signs of fatigue at this stage.

FlyFree easy-pee design of the Velocio women's Foundation bib shorts

The FlyFree easy-pee design

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

The FlyFree design for a quick wee stop is simple and effective, probably the best of all the designs I’ve tried. I really liked that there wasn’t any apparent compromise to the fit and feel of the bib shorts as a whole, there was just enough leeway in the material where and when you needed it.

Pulling the shorts down is straight forward although wiggling back in was a bit trickier. I think this was mainly due to the ‘compression’ fit of the material which made them a bit awkward to pull back up, a bit like if you were trying to put on a pair of tights by hauling them up from the top rather than working your way up from the bottom. Simply unzipping my top and working them up a bit made life a lot easier.

Velocio Women's Foundation Bib Shorts: value and conclusion

At $129 / £105 the Foundation Bib Shorts are Velocio’s most affordable option, closely matching the price of the Sportful Women's Classics ($140 / £105) and Rapha Women's Core Bib Shorts ($134 / £110).

Of these three sets of shorts, the Velocio are the only ones which feature an easy-pee design. It’s simple and effective design is useful when you want it and completely unobtrusive when you don’t. The other major pro of the Foundation bib shorts is that they’re made from a high proportion of recycled materials which puts them way ahead of other shorts and manufacturers.

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Rachel has been writing about and reviewing bike tech for the last 10 years. Cynical by nature, Rachel never really trusts the marketing hype and prefers to give products a mighty good testing before deciding whether they're worth buying or not. 

Rachel's first riding love is mountain biking where she's been European and UK 24hr Champion on more than one occasion. She's not just confined to the trails though and regularly rides - and occasionally races - on gravel and road too.