First Look: Velocio sets high bar for women’s cycling apparel

Velocio, founded by Specialized-lululemon's Kristry Scrymgeour, debuts a new line of women's clothing

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DENVER (VN) — Women’s cycling apparel needs a facelift, and Kristy Scrymgeour, founder and director of the Specialized-lululemon professional women’s team, has paired up with designer Brad Sheehan to tackle the issue.

“In recent years we’ve seen big changes in cycling apparel,” Scrymgeour told VeloNews. “There is some beautifully designed clothing on the market and there is a plethora of new innovative fabrics to work with, but we still saw a need for apparel that focused primarily on women. That’s what we do.”

The goal was simple: create a clothing line that feels great when a rider puts it on, makes her look good when she rides, and makes her want to get back on the bike again and again. Velocio is distinctive because it’s not simply a duplication of the high-quality, pro-level men’s clothing already on the market, but rather a line that utilizes innovative fabrics and design specifically for women.

As head designer Sheehan pointed out, many companies develop a women’s line after having an established men’s line — the kit, understandably, ends up being an adaptation from that men’s line. Velocio started entirely from scratch with women’s gear in mind, noting that a large percentage of female cyclists are looking for something high quality, high performance, cut for them, and beautiful.

Velocio’s first lineup

Velocio launched its online store Jan. 27 and is currently offering the summer-weight Signature Bib Short and Signature Jersey for purchase. A number of shoulder-season pieces, including wool longsleeve jerseys, wind vests, and wool arm/knee warmers will be available for purchase in March.

Every item is made with BioCeramic fabric paired with polyester; the BioCeramic fabric provides thermo-regulation and comfort.

While women are running the show for this clothing line, men won’t be entirely deprived. Much like Rapha, Capo, or Assos, Velocio will be offering a few chic basics for the men — bib shorts, a jersey, and a longsleeve jersey. Unlike those brands, though, Velocio will be focused “90 percent on women, 10 percent on men” and not the other way around, said PR manager Andrew Gardner.

Our take

Without a solid test period, we can’t attest to the fit and durability, but the looks are aesthetically flawless, and the line seems to have enormous potential based purely on fabric quality and the Scrymgeour pedigree.

The jersey features mesh side panels, providing additional ventilation, as well as reflective logos and trim for increased visibility. What really sticks out about the jersey is the incredible feel of the fabric; it’s about as soft and sheer as a jersey can get without being transparent. (See Sky’s latest skinsuit as a horrifying example of what most women would like to avoid.)

The pocket design is excellent as well — the jersey features four pockets total: three big, easily-accessed rear pockets and one water-resistant valuables pocket.

The bib shorts use the same fabric as the jersey and fit true to form, specifically cut for women in the cycling position. There are plenty of females who resist bib shorts, but Velocio has a solution for the potentially awkward strap placement — there is a mesh front panel made to stabilize the straps and add extra comfort.

Another excellent feature is a custom, wide leg gripper on the shorts — that’s right, no more pinched legs, and it just so happens to be incredibly soft, with a flattering fit. Last, but certainly not least, the chamois is designed by chamois specialist Cytech, which provides pads for clothing brands from Assos to Rapha. Cytech is known for its Elastic Interface Technology, and Velocio’s chamois is anatomically designed and extensively tested.

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.