British brand Velobici touts the Alfred as ‘perfectly suited to life on and off the bike’.
It almost feels too nice to cycle in, especially on mucky winter roads or gravel tracks.
However, if you’re after an urban-ready road cycling jacket, the Velobici Alfred is worth your consideration – if you don’t mind the cost.
Velobici Alfred jacket specs and performance
The summary above is both a compliment and a criticism.
The positives start with just what a lovely jacket this is. It’s designed and manufactured in Leicester, UK using sustainably sourced fabrics, and the quality shines throughout.
The triple-layered fabric sits gracefully on the body – a little looser than many water-resistant jackets – to add commuting and urban riding appeal.
The understated VB logo and olive colourway are certainly stylish (there are black and eye-catching blue options as well). The reflective Velobici piping on the hem is a further commuting boon, boosting visibility in low light.
Even the zipper heads feel high-quality, and they makes this one of the easier rain jackets to zip up and down on the move.
It’s also a double zipper, meaning you can splay the jacket open from the bottom if you want to.
The full-length zipper garage lowers the chances of itching around the neck, although the lack of a loop for hanging on a hook is a minor but easily avoidable disappointment.
Autumn and spring riding feels like the sweet spot for the Alfred, which sits in the space between softshell and hardshell in terms of construction.
It offers decent windproofing, but there are definitely warmer mid-winter options, and lighter picks for summer riding.
The tail only has a minor drop, which lends it further off-the-bike appeal, but you’ll get a wet bottom if you’re riding without mudguards.
The fabric quality and construction feel durable, and there’s nothing here that suggests the Alfred won’t last for many years, which helps justify that £250 price tag.
The lack of taped seams will divide opinion. The idea, says Velobici, is to enhance breathability.
For a triple-layered fabric that adds warmth and windproofing, yet lacks any discernible vents, the breathability is impressive.
However, that lack of seams ensures the jacket can’t be billed as fully waterproof because seams are a classic location for water to intrude.
The arm cuffs aren’t adjustable, meaning chilly drafts and the odd bit of road spray can escape up the sleeves, especially for someone like me with skinny wrists.
That three-layer construction provides added bulk – the Alfred is certainly no stashable jacket to fit in a rear jersey pocket.
On the theme of pockets, the Alfred only has two outer compartments, at the bottom on the front. However, both are zipped, waterproof and are sizeable enough for all but the very biggest of phones.
Two tall internal open compartments have plenty of room for snacks and maps, but I’d want a zipped chest pocket added in any Alfred 2.0.
Velobici Alfred jacket bottom line
The Alfred is stylish, durable and with enough wind- and waterproofing to satisfy commuters in anything but mid-winter riding.
What it lacks is versatility beyond urban riding. I wouldn’t wear it for endurance-riding efforts or on anything approaching dirty winter or gravel roads.
That £250 price is high, but you can see the quality in the materials and fabric, and its urban-bound performance.