By Brandon Bilyeu
LUXE Bib Short: $279
CONCEPT Radiator Jersey: $199
How obtained: review sample from company
Available: online, retail
LUXE Bib Short: Black, Oxide Red, Coffee Brown, Charcoal Gray, Deep Sea Blue, Dark Olive Green, Navy Blue, Army Green
CONCEPT Radiator Jersey: White, Mango Yellow, Sky Blue, Navy Blue
RBR Sponsor: no
Tested: 30+ hours
LUXE Bib Short: XS – 4XL
CONCEPT Radiator Jersey: XS-4XL
Reviewer Measurements and Fit Comments: 5’10” (178cm), 150 lbs (68 kgs), 33″ (84cm) waist, 38” (96.5cm) hips, 33″ (84cm) inseam, 39″ (99cm) chest. I tested size Medium for both pieces and the fit was spot on. For size charts Velocio has both a Height/Weight and Chest/Waist/Hip option. The Height/Weight chart pointed me to size Small and the Chest/Waist/Hip chart pointed me to Size Medium. Talking with Velocio I went with size Medium and it was the right choice.
LUXE Bib Short – Comfort and Durability for the Long Days
- Lots of color options
- Soft fabric with good compression
- Wide bib straps
- All day comfort chamois
- Women’s version available
The LUXE Bib Short is Velocio’s best-selling bottom and this is no surprise given how comfortable they are. A rather extreme portion of my testing involved wearing the LUXE during a 24-hour relay road race. During my 7 intense hours on the bike and 17 off the bike I never took the shorts off and they were nothing but comfortable. They dried quickly so when recovering between relay laps I was not sitting around in a soggy diaper.
The biggest comfort contributor is the medium thickness Signature Chamois built with dense foam. The chamois provides a very supportive and cushioned ride that is great for long days in the saddle. While also perfectly comfortable on short rides, I generally prefer a less bulky chamois with better road feel when only out for a couple of hours. A generous central relief channel provides reduced pressure on the perineum and a silky top layer minimizes friction. Dense chamois’ can feel a bit chucky, but the Signature Chamois is supple enough to conform to your bottom and the saddle for a smooth connection to the bike.
The fabric used for the short is a little heavier than typical, but this is by design to provide a luxurious feel, good compression, and durability for long days in the saddle. The material feels great against the skin and hugs the legs with a very nice level of compression. Even on rides at 97 F (36 C) the shorts did not feel hot from the heavier fabric and dried quickly. The LUXE bib short lives up to its name and really does feel LUXurious.
Rounding out the short design are raw-cut leg openings with gripping dots that keep the short locked in place. The bib straps are wide, soft, and well sized to hold up the shorts without crushing the shoulders. One oddity is that where the two bib straps cross in the back is not sewn together so each strap is completely free. This works fine, just expect to spend an extra 3 seconds putting them on while you figure out the resultant spaghetti bowl of straps.
I do have to note two small quality issues with the test short I received. The raw-cut hem did not line up at one seam with a jog of about 1/16 inch (2mm). This doesn’t seem like much, but the black material right on top of my white thigh was obvious every time I looked down on the bike. The raw-edge seams also popped opened a little when I first put the shorts on but have not worsened since. At this price point the quality needs to be high and certainly Velocio would exchange for a new pair under their 30 day guarantee. I brought up these issues with Velocio and after checking their stock they confirmed this was an isolated issue to my short.
Bottom line – the LUXE Bib Short is an excellent choice for long days in the saddle. Everything about the short is supremely comfortable.
CONCEPT Radiator Jersey – Designed for the Hot Days
- Color options, including bright colors
- UPF 30+ on back panel
- Open mesh on front panel
- Form fit with good stretch
- Full zip and 3 rear pockets + 1 zippered pocket
- Women’s version available
- Long torso bunches up
The CONCEPT Radiator Jersey is a summer weight top designed specifically for hot weather. The front panel is made from Polartec’s Delta Mesh and leaves little to the imagination as your bib straps and chest are quite visible through the fabric. What you give up in modesty you gain in cooling performance. The mesh wicks and evaporates sweat quickly to help cool you off, essentially taking the place of a baselayer. The cooling is effective, though I still found unzipping was best to maximize cooling.
With the back of the jersey fully exposed to the sun while riding Velocio uses a lightweight fabric that carries a UPF 30+ rating to protect your skin. This cooling front and sun protective back design is a great combo for hot days and avoids the need to put sunscreen on your back as required with some full mesh summer jerseys.
A lightweight jersey risks having saggy pockets, but the Radiator uses heavier fabric here to create a solid base for the standard three rear pockets and one zippered pocket. The pocket connection to the lightweight rear fabric also has reinforcement patches to ensure a heavy load won’t rip out the seams. The pockets are generously sized and have a smart folded lip at the top edge that helps keep items from falling out. All this is supported by a sturdy waist band with a gripper.
The fit is second skin without feeling tight or restrictive. I like the modern long cut sleeves and they stay in place well without grippers. The waist is cut higher than the tail for a better fit in an aggressive position on the bike, but I still found a lot of material bunched up in the front. I was comfortable wearing the jersey in temperatures as low as 60 F (15C) and survived in temperatures up to 97 F (36 C). During the 24-hour relay I wore our standard team jersey, but for the last lap at 92 F (33 C) I switched to the Radiator and the improved cooling was noticeable.
Bottom line – a well thought out design for warm and hot weather riding. Comfortable in a wide range of temperatures and includes protection from the sun. A great jersey for hot days.
Brandon Bilyeu is an avid recreational roadie who lives in Regensburg, Germany. He’s a year-round bike commuter and is a mechanical design engineer by trade. Click to read Brandon’s full bio.