Late in the summer, cycling apparel brand Velocio re-launched its mountain bike apparel with a clearer vision and identity than it’s ever had before. If you’re familiar with the New England-based brand, you likely already know they have some of the best bike wear on the market. Their bibs are second-to-none, the jerseys and fabrics they use have always had a great fit and feel, and the mountain bike shorts with a light, tailored cut have been a personal go-to on my trail rides for the past several years.
But a lot of folks, including myself, wondered what would happen after SRAM acquired Velocio, and then again when the MTB section was removed from their site for much of 2023 as they honed the Velocio Off-Road Equipment identity going forward.
Say hello to the new Velocio
At the end of August, Velocio launched the Off-Road Equipment line. The marketing felt distinctly more SRAMmy and voicey, as if the brand had taken offense to how they had been interpreted in the past, with quotes like “I thought you were a women’s road brand,” and writing an “open letter to the Pinkbike comments section,” addressing the cost of their products.
Velocio has always been a top-shelf apparel brand and I’ve seen a lot of mountain bikers wearing their gear, but it did lack the spirit of a core mountain bike brand, which is where they seemed to lean into with the launch. On their website, Velocio touts an investment into trail advocacy with sizable donations to organizations across the country and model names like the Trail Access Pant and Short.
Previously, Velocio may have just offered earth-toned, understated designs with excellent fit and fabrics, and it still does, but it sharpens its brand edge slightly with new tie dye patterns and premium bike pants, which is a first. Finally, it seems like Rapha has a direct competitor in mountain bike apparel.
The Velocio Delta Trail Jersey
When I started mountain biking, I went after the loud, vibrant and racey jerseys that screamed “I mountain bike!” I can’t stand them anymore. Jerseys like the Velocio Delta Trail jersey are my ideal top for hot days during the summer. It’s made from a lightweight Polartec Delta material which ensures a large amount of airflow on you as you’re moving.
The jersey has a great fit, is very breathable, and dries quickly. It is a light and soft material though so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it develop some snags over time.
But again, it’s everything I like to see in a summertime jersey: nice colors, a good fit, and a light and cool fabric.
Velocio also makes a merino wool version of the Trail jersey for ten dollars more for those who want a tough and stink-free top.
Velocio Trail Access Short
Velocio’s new identity is visible in the Trail Access short.
Previously the brand felt more like a road and gravel apparel brand than a mountain bike one, and its baggy shorts selection had a shorter, knee height inseam and lightweight fabric. These made for a great XC and trail riding short, and Velocio says the Ultralight short is now the closest model to their old Trail shorts. The Ultralights still uses the same fabric, however the shorts are now longer and baggier.
The updated Trail Access shorts kick the fabric, inseam length, and roominess up another notch. They have a 14-inch inseam and a stretch woven Cordura fabric which is still a light fabric, considering how tough it feels. Velocio says they used minimal seams to reduce failure points in the shorts, which is appreciated.
There are two zippered hip pockets, good for phones, keys, snacks, or whatever, and two traditionally placed pockets in the front. Velocio calls them “Extra deep” pockets, which almost feels like an understatement.
Another big departure on Velocio’s new shorts is that they ditch a built-in belt for an included Arcade belt. I suppose this helps dial in the waist on the shorts and keep them from bunching.
Overall, I had a tough time getting along with the Trail Access shorts. They are longer and baggier than what I like to wear on trail rides and I was pulling them up often to get the waist and inseam back to where I prefer. It usually doesn’t matter how great the fit and cut is on a pair of shorts that is too long for my style–they always catch my saddle and require too much adjustment. The pockets were also confusingly deep. For movement’s sake, I don’t like to have anything in my pockets while riding except for a phone and car keys, and I just don’t know why I’d need so much room.
But the fabric is a win: it’s obviously durable and feels light and breathable for such a tough material. The fit is also nice for a longer enduro short, but in my opinion they are just a little too long and too baggy.
Velocio Trail Access Pants
Velocio’s Trail Access pants are the longer version of the shorts, which feels like an obvious statement. The pants use the same Cordura material and double up on hip pockets and front pockets, but there are some differences between the two.
The Trail Access pants have a pre-shaped fit and are made to conform to rider movements and can accept a lighter knee pad underneath. Velocio keeps the colors simple on both men’s and women’s pants, with just a green and a black version.
Our tester thought the pants were great for the fall season. The Trail Access pants have a nice stretch to them and feel natural during climbing and descending movements. They felt best in temps between 60°-75°.
The Trail Acccess pants have just two zippered hip pockets on both sides, good for holding a phone and a set of keys.
It’s great to see Velocio back in business when it comes to mountain bike apparel. Their new tops and bottoms are top notch and can go toe to toe with the best.