After a season racing in a host of different Velotec garments, from insulated and waterproof jackets to an aerodynamic skinsuit, Liam Davies offers his verdict on the Irish brand's Italian-made clothing.
Pro Bib Shorts and Pro Bib Tights
In my previous season, when I raced for a different team, I was supplied with clothing from a very respected brand, so I knew the Velotec kit would have to be of the highest quality to satisfy the demands of training and racing. I'm pleased to say that their Pro RF shorts are the most comfortable I have ever worn, offering an almost weightless sensation.
Once I'd become used to the Pro RF shorts, I found that the pad was by far the most forgiving and supportive, while the grippers at the hems represented another best-in-class, in my experience. The Pro RF shorts are totally different to others I’ve worn before, with no pressure points on the thigh, making them the favourite of any I’ve tried.
The full-length Pro Bib Tights are great for the cold and wet days of winter. The brushed, Super Roubaix lining proved to be a great insulator, and provided serious comfort. The major advantage of the Pro Bib Tights however seemed to be the very small amount of water they absorbed on wet days. I wore them in races at the beginning of the season, and didn’t feel hindered or weighed down.
Pro WorldTour short-sleeve jersey
The Pro WorldTour short-sleeve jersey is very light; so much so that it feels totally weightless. Highly breathable, this jersey offered amazing performance on the scorching hot days of an exceptional summer. Additionally, the jersey has large pockets for all the Tribe nutrition bars and gels I carry for long rides. The jersey collar is soft, preventing abrasion of the skin at the neck and offering a further boost to comfort.
Pro Speed Suit
The highly aerodynamic Velotec Pro Speed Suit is hardcore. The first time I put it on, I struggled to push my arm through the sleeve – it’s that tight! The seat padding is reduced to save weight, while the neck is huge; a deliberate feature to increase aero performance. Back in March, I wore the suit for the first time in the velodrome and immediately felt faster. The Pro Speed Suit was also my garment of choice for every round of the OVO Energy Tour Series. It kept me warm and very comfortable in the late evening races.
The Velotec Pro Mitts have no latches or straps; a minimalist design intended to maximise aero performance, but which also meant that they slid on with ease. They are surprisingly well padded too, despite the aero focus, and able to absorb shock transmitted through the handlebars.
Winter clothing (rain cape, gilet, waterproof jersey, insulated and waterproof winter jacket)
The winter clothing supplied by Velotec was outstanding. The Elite Rain Jacket stopped freezing winter rain from penetrating, which helped me to stay warm even in intense downpours, while the Pro Gilet helped to moderate my core temperature on the cooler days, when a jacket wasn't quite enough. It was well ventilated and durable too. The Pro Short-Sleeve Waterproof Jersey was ideal for those chilly and damp race days, when arm warmers come off as the racing gets serious.