How do you improve on perfection? It’s a tough one, given the clear potential to totally balls things up.
It’s a question Vèlobici must ponder on a regular basis, having created a proprietary fabric known as VB/Pro-VR-1 at the very beginning of their story. The clothing collection they constructed from it was remarkable in its function as well as its quality. VB/Pro-VR-1 is light, comfortable, breathable, windproof and also showerproof.
It’s no wonder they’ve made this summer’s kit, named Verne, from a lighter version of that very same fabric. All the same the Leicester brand is sticking its neck out a bit with Verne. It has design tweaks that lend themselves to a more aggressive style of riding but you would probably never want to race in it.
This is a race fit jersey that is far too high quality to be worn in a racing environment. You can imagine the beautifully embroidered logo and stitched-in jacquard pattern to the side panels to be lost on someone who goes in for high-speed, wheel-to-wheel dualling. Besides, you just wouldn’t want to risk ruining such a thing of beauty.
This could be an issue if it wasn’t for the fact that Verne kit is just as ideal for dashing around on a group ride.
If you’re new to the brand you will be blown away by the quality of manufacture. From the embroidered logo stitching to the branded zip pulls and even the way the fabric hangs, you will be noticing new design elements for weeks after you receive your garment.
There are other design alterations with Verne, such as a slightly longer sleeve length but the big thing you’ll notice is the colourways.
Vèlobici played it safe for a while, limiting their colour palette to navy and black and finishing the garments off with orange embroidery and reflective piping.
With Verne all that has changed. Vèlobici has widened its spectrum to grey and yellow, with the jersey being available in either grey with yellow detailing or vice versa. It’s not the colours, however, but the shades that make these garments so desirable. The yellow is gold in tone - bright and visible but not dayglow and garish. The grey is mid-tone, not so dark as to appear a washed-out black and not so light that it looks like a white top that got put in the dark wash.
This stuff is completely designed and made in England, from fabric to final stitching and is testament to the craftsmanship that still exists in UK garment manufacturing. There is not a thread out of place and the longevity is phenomenal. There are thousands of miles in this kit.
On the bike the race cut comes into its own. That high hemline at the front doesn’t mean you bought the wrong size, it prevents any unwanted fabric bunching up when you’re on the drops. The pockets are positioned with one at the side of the body which allows easy access to items you might need mid-ride such as food. You also get a zip pocket and a waterproof pocket.
The shorts are forgiving, especially around the front where all but the most devoted of riders will be sporting a modest comfort belly. Maybe too forgiving for those who prefer their bibs to deliver a compression sensation. The padding is high-end Airmesh bacterial and with Foam Carving Technology, which is not a new type of downhill ski discipline but a method of removing unnecessary foam from the sides and getting rid of any noticeable difference between densities. Put in layman’s terms, it makes everything feel a lot more cosy down there, and that has to be a good thing.
Just so you know which shorts go with which jersey, Vèlobici have embroidered Verne on the backside for you.
Should you buy it? Not for racing, really, no. It’s just too good for that. But for every other type of road riding Verne works a treat. You’ll appreciate the windproofing and light showerproofing qualities of the fabric - which thanks to ventilation from the side panels is also comfy in warmer temperatures. You will absolutely appreciate the way this kit washes up like new time after time.
It’s a cliché to say you get what you pay for but in the case of Vèlobici that is precisely the case so you’re better off spending more on less. And when it comes to this level of comfort you’re not going to want to wear anything else anyway.
Summary: Vèlobici’s incredible levels of manufacture continue in the Verne collection which is cut with a more aggressive rider in mind, although the last thing you’re going to want to do is actually race in it. Probably.
4.5 / 5