The Foundation Bib Tights are top-quality, a delight to wear and have a genuinely manageable, irritation-free, bio-break system. The chamois isn't the most breathable, but it's comfortable enough for mid-length rides. 100% recycled fabrics and a full range of sizes to cater for everyone are the cherry on the top. Don't be put off by the price; these are a great example of 'you get what you pay for'.
Great comfort-break system
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Velocio’s Foundation Range is intended for those wanting to kit themselves without breaking the bank, while not compromising on quality or performance. The Foundation Winter Bib certainly performs as well as some of the very best cycling bib tights, and I can’t fault the quality. Whether £163/$169 is ‘affordable’ might be debatable. On the plus side, in line with Velocio’s philosophy, the tights are made from 100% recycled fabrics.
Sizing and Construction
Velocio’s size chart is more helpful than many. I used it to select the medium that I’ve been testing. The fit is great; leg length is spot on and, up top, the straps sit snugly in place without pulling on on the shoulders. The range of sizes on offer is refreshing- XXS to XXXL. It’s great to see a company catering for all shapes and sizes.
Since the material is quite giving, the tights are accommodating of lumps and bumps. The 100% recycled, fleece-backed fabric feels luxurious against the skin, though don’t expect lots of compression. It flows with your movements on the bike. There was minimal gathering behind my knee which I didn’t really notice; there are no seams here and the fabric’s softness means no pinching.
The straps form part of Velocio’s Fly Free system. They are wide, seam-free, micro-fibre bands that don’t dig-in or irritate. They have plenty of give for those with longer torsos. As with so many quick-pee systems, there’s a knack to doing it efficiently, and without causing stress to the fabrics. Partially unzipping your jersey to pull the straps up at the front helps create slack at the rear. Squatting and pulling the tights down and under with your thumbs is then a breeze. It really does take the hassle out of pee-stops. Velocio has done well to come up with a system that doesn’t use a zip, magnet or clasp, all of which add weight, cost and potential irritation. The coverage at the front is also not excessive- some systems, such as Van Rysel’s or Gore’s require ‘supporting’ panels that fully cover the chest, these can become overbearingly warm.
The Proprietary Foundation HD Chamois, developed with Cytech [EIT] is, in my opinion, the only ‘inferior’ element of the tights. I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just not what I would consider a performance one. You’ll need to fork out significantly more to get one of Velocio’s better pads; their Thermal Bib features the Signature Chamois, it costs £212/$269.
The HD Foundation pad is not so breathable. It doesn’t have any channels or perforations, which is likely not helping. If you enjoy steady rides and don’t exert yourself, you'll probably be happy with it; it’s otherwise very comfy- no rough edges and a smooth surface. I found it perfectly supportive for 2-3 hours in the saddle, anything over this and I was beginning to want a little more cushioning.
I’d say that the tights are perfect for riding in temperatures ranging from 5 to 12 degrees. In these conditions, I felt warm enough without overheating. The main fabric is breathable enough for tempo efforts, though the chamois can get a bit sweaty if you are really pressing on. The fabric is in no way water resistant, but it isn’t too weighty if it does happen to get wet, and it does dry out very quickly too.
Value and Conclusion
Velocio's Foundation Bib Tights cost £163/$169 Most winter bibs offering some kind of quick-pee system are going to set you back a minimum of £100/$146, though Van Rysel break the mould here with theirs. I'd prefer to compare Velocio's with something of a similar quality though, for example Gore's Ability Thermo Bibs are £159.99 (not available in the US) and Assos's similarly specced, most basic Winter Bibs, are £165/$219. Velocio is putting themselves right up there with some of the most expensive brands, but they certainly ensure that you get what you pay for.
The quality of construction and finishing of the Foundation Bibs is impressive; I’d put it up there with a premium pair of tights. Anyone who appreciates comfort, quality and style will most definitely be happy with these tights. My only reservation is with the chamois, but this is clearly what helps to keep the price lower than Velocio’s other bibs; they are designed for a specific market and will work for that target market. On top of the quality, full-sizing range and comfort is the fact that they are 100% recycled, all of this justifies the price in my opinion and I’d have no reservations in recommending them. Indeed, more manufacturers should be looking at the sustainable quality and full range of sizes that Velocio is offering.
- Sizes: XXS-XXXL
- Fabric: 83% Recycled Polyamide / 17% Recycled Elastane
- Made in Albania
- Weight: 230g (MEDIUM)
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