When it comes to designing women’s cycling kit, Velocio is a brand that gets it. In fact, it's setting such a high standard that if some other brands don’t keep an eye on their game, they’re going to get well and truly left behind.
Velocio’s special edition Zinnia Kit uses the company’s signature women’s bib shorts and popular summer jersey designs as the template for a collaboration with New York based fashion designer Lela Rose. The collection also includes a brightly coloured Velocio wind vest.
Velocio is the brainchild of Kristy Scrymgeour and Brad Sheehan. The duo sought to design better fitting, high performing clothing for female cyclists after being frustrated with what was on offer in the professional ranks.
They have since extended the brand to include a men’s range and recently launched the first of what we hope is a series of special edition kits, the Lela Rose Zinnia Collection. This collaboration came about in response to Scrymgeour’s desire to step outside traditional cycling industry partnerships in terms of design and reach.
Rose’s design comes at a time when women’s cycling has moved beyond regrettably condescending pastels and flowers. A cyclist herself, she shows that, done with class, a design like this is refreshing, feminine, flattering and fun. The collection draws inspiration from the Zinnia flower, a brightly coloured relative of the sunflower that thrives in the heat.
Zinnia bib shorts
The Zinnia kit uses the Signature bib shorts
Velocio’s signature women’s bib shorts and jersey range has undergone welcome refinement since the brand launched its initial collection in 2014. Seams are stronger, the front zip is flat rather than hidden, jersey pockets are wider and the sizing has been fine tuned.
The XS bib shorts and jersey used to feel a little generous, whereas the fit and feel is now on par with what I'd expect for this size. The reflective print on the legs of the bib shorts is also far more durable than that used in the original range.
Small tweaks on an already superior range point to the company’s ethos to keep pushing into new territory, raising expectations for performance, function and fit. Velocio’s innovative Superfly bibs were ranked highest in our recent 'best women’s bib shorts' group test.
The Signature bibs don’t feature the zipper on the back for bathroom access, but they're still among the most comfortable I've worn. Like the Superflies, they’re tight in all the right spots, they don’t produce an unsightly bulge at the thighs and they stay perfectly in place when you're putting the power down. The design of the bib is light, practical and elegant, but it would be good if it were a little wider across the chest area to accommodate larger busts.
The Zinnia jersey
The Zinnia jersey is luxuriously soft, snug fitting and meets the practical demands of all-day rides. Dark grey side panels on the jersey make it appear slimming, while the bright hues and the textured looking background hides any of the body’s lumps and bumps.
The light material breathes well, aided by mesh panels down the sides, and stretches evenly around the body. While the jersey feels beautiful to wear, we found the silicone gripper on the waist wasn’t enough to prevent it from sliding upward while riding.
In addition to it’s summery appeal, the jersey also gains points for practicality. The pockets are roomy, stable and easy to access. A fourth, zippered pocket has a water resistant lining if you want to separate any valuables from sweat. Strategically placed reflective details on the sleeves and pockets increase your visibility at night.
The cut of sleeves is something we really like
The sleeves stay comfortably in place while riding, it's a small thing that makes a big difference. There are a lot of poorly designed ‘women’s’ jerseys around that bunch terribly in this area.
Given the fresh design and unique appeal of the Zinnia collection, it won’t last long, despite the boutique price. The company’s attention to fit and function shows in the exceptional, high performance fit. Rose’s design is refreshingly feminine and flattering, enhancing safety and practicality rather than compromising it.
The company’s investment in professional cycling shows in the designs, the price point, and the feedback it receives through the Velocio-SRAM pro team. But the fast-growing Velocio range has jumped to the top of many everyday riders' wish lists who are seeking similar performance and comfort benefits from their kit.
With so many bases covered, and designs that simply make sense, Velocio is a company to keep an eye on. We look forward to seeing what it comes up with next.
If you like the bib shorts and jersey and want to complete the look, or fancy a functional garment with a hint of the Zinnia floral design, have a look at the Velocio Zinnia women's cycle vest.