We all know they’re just trying to be awkward but there’s no getting away from the fact that they drive on the wrong side of the road on the continent. Plays havoc with your co-ordination when you first set off in Majorca.
But one person’s torment is another’s inspiration and Velobici has taken this quirk of European transport infrastructure and turned it into a jersey. The continental jersey is comfortingly similar to the Leicester brand’s other jerseys save for a reverse pocket configuration on the rear.
Exactly how this benefits riding on the other side of the road we have no idea and we certainly weren’t about to chunnel it over to France to find out, but it is reassuring how similar in manufacture the jersey is in most other ways.
Velobici has preferred to take the quality over quantity approach to its collection and offers a capsule lineup of garments which are manufactured to a very high standard. So you get the incredible embroidered logo across the back in gold, no less, as well as an embroidered VB on the chest stitched onto Velobici’s tried and tested VB/Pro-VR1 fabric which offers a fair amount of water repellency and windproofing.
This jersey is more for spring temperatures than the single-digit levels we’ve been riding in the UK recently, although if you layer up it is perfectly adequate.
Once the spring arrives you’ll appreciate the level of comfort the continental jersey offers, as well as natty little details such as thumb loops and that five-pocket configuration (two of which are zipped and waterproof), which as well as swooping down across the back also curls around to the kidney, offering up easy access to a pocket that you could maybe stick a gel in. You wouldn’t necessarily want to pack this pocket out too much because it begins to give you the sensation that the jersey has twisted around your torso.
As with similar Velobici jerseys such as the guilder, the reverse of the fabric has a “thermal loop” which helps to retain warmth and the jersey is fitted with a silicone gripper around the hem to keep it in place. There’s plenty of stretch in the fabric too, allowing for a race fit without you feeling as if you’ve been squeezed into a pig’s bladder.
Velobici still proudly bases its manufacturing operation in the UK - from design and fabric development to final production. This, along with the obsessive attention to detail, does put the brand in a higher price bracket.
But then these are garments to covet, to fawn over and then to wear again and again and again. You can wear this stuff for years and it will still look as good as the day you bought it.
Another bonus, although perhaps not so much to Velobici themselves, is that this is a brand that has managed to remain relatively under the radar. It has become the little style secret of the cultured cyclist and essential for those who seek to retain a degree of individuality among their riding group.
Summary: Essentially a re-issue of previous styles but without a doubt the best colourway to date. Exceptional comfort thanks to high stretch technical fabric which keeps out the worst of the wind and rain, however for really chilly weather you should enlist the services of an additional top layer. Jaw-dropping attention to detail of the sort you would expect from UK manufacturing at its best.
5 / 5