Velobici Cyclewear REVIEW
by Mark Tearle
There are two things I look for when buying clothes, which because I am a man is a rare occurrence – something about the smell of the town centre mall, harks back to being dragged around Marks and Spencer as a kid - those two things are: style and comfort. I don’t much like internet shopping either to be honest with you.
Vélobici make cycling specific apparel of distinction that according to their rather handsome website “…was born out of a passion for style and comfort, on and off your bike” – on paper at least we look like we will get on.
Vélobici from where I stand seem to be unique in the market place, 1, because their apparel is made in the UK from the finest of performance material, Italian/South African Merino wool and technical Suplex Lycra and cotton (amongst others) and 2, because I haven’t seen cycling apparel designed with quite the same style and chic!
100% Merino Wool
I was sent the San-Remo Classic Turtle Neck in grey and the PBP Seamless Hat, delivered just in time for this, the cruelest of Aprils. Our esteemed editor makes many remarks about my own personal style, with a wink and a nod because I live a bit near Brighton…though to be honest my clothing is generally fairly simple, though I must admit I never cheap out on jeans…
Receiving Vélobici apparel feels like you are buying into a lifestyle; my Tom Ripley to the richer Dickie Greenleaf…except Tom Ripley didn’t buy his way in did he…
The packaging is exquisite. Carefully wrapped and packed in a delightful card envelope – detail is everything at this price point – you might say that packaging doesn’t matter, but for the whole experience in my view it really does – the San-Remo Classic Turtle neck, wrapped in plastic with a tissue paper backing – haaaahhh, that new wool smell.
Curved drop back
This is knitwear at its finest – fitted “body mapping design”, seamless, breathable, insulating and anti-bacterial, not like the chunky, itchy knits like what your Nan used to make…though to be honest I’d quite like my Nan to knit me a nice cardi to cope with the weather we are currently enjoying.
Probably wouldn’t wear a chunky knit on a bike though, whereas the San-Remo Turtle Neck is designed for just that – the additional detail, such as the reinforced thumbhole sleeve cuffs (which on first sight I was like “pffft”, but honestly now I couldn’t live without them) and the curved drop on the back hem, which you really appreciate when you realise the cold breeze isn’t shooting up your back!
Thumbholes on the cuffs
Wearing it I feel both comfortable and stylish, look at that they ticked both of my boxes - I have managed to get away with wearing it on the bike, puffing and sweating to the Train station and a full day in the office, all without giving off that “just got off the bike” waft of bodily odour as the garment wicks away the moisture and retains that delicious woolly smell mixed with the “Spring Fresh” aroma of my current fabric conditioner.
In the last few weeks I have worn that pull-over incessantly, mainly because it is extremely comfortable and well, quite frankly it has been horribly cold and because I take my reviewing duties really quite seriously…the jumper has been washed 3, maybe 4 times and it has retained its shape, there’s been no bobbling and it still smells delicious.
Velobici in action
What I find most remarkable about this garment is that it is completely seamless…meaning it has been knitted and constructed as a single piece – I can’t even imagine the machine that makes it.
I am a big fan of hats. The PBP wool beanie hat is ideal for a bike ride down to the pub, or the mad dash to the station and it fits under your helmet. Again it is seamless which makes it very comfortable and again it has been through the wash a number of times – no shrinkage and it has retained its shape and comfort.
These are high end clothing products of distinction and as such attract a high end price – if you think Abercrombie and Fitch or Dunhill of London as a reference point– then you’re in the right ball park for style, quality and price. The current retail price for the San-Remo pullover is £120 which is a fair price in comparison to the Dunhill vee-neck-fine-merino-pullover for example which doesn’t have the added design features constructed into the knit pattern and you really do receive the quality, style and comfort you pay for.
The 12th May sees the launch of the Vélobici ‘Roadwear’ collection and it is certainly something I am keen to look out for – the Classic Jerseys currently displayed on the Vélobici website certainly look very handsome, harking back to a bygone era of cycling apparel, and really wouldn’t look out of place on the torso as you are propped up against the bar in the pub or café.
For a man notoriously difficult to please with clothing as a verdict, the San-Remo Classic Turtle Neck and PBP hat get the thumbs up from me.
San-Remo Turtle Neck (Grey) £120PBP Seamless Hat (Black) £22
For more information visit Velobici.cc
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