Friday, November 30, 2012

The Trend for Hybrid Cycling Clothes: a Look at Vulpine and Velobici

Vulpine and Velobici are two fairly new apparel manufacturers out of the UK whose refined, hybrid approach to cycling clothing has been getting attention over the past year. The concept is appealing: technical cycling attire that can also pass as street clothes. But does it work? Some months ago, each company sent me samples of their lines to review, but I found myself inappropriately shaped for modeling these menswear garments. So I searched far and wide for a suitably sized male model and finally found the handsome and willing Vorpal Chortle - who is not only a lycra-shunning cyclist, but a self-described "xenoarchaeologist, gastronome, luminographer, zymurgist, anachronist, and eldritch pursuivant." In other words, perfect for the job. Read on for his take on the clothing and mine.

Vulpine Merino Button Jersey
Vulpine is a Surrey-based company that launched in March 2012, with the goal of designing garments that "perform a technical task for cycling and life." These garments utilise mostly natural fabrics and are available in subdued, classic colour schemes. The Merino Button Jersey shown here is one of their staple items. 

Vulpine Merino Button Jersey
Cut long and slim, this jersey is made from 180 gram Tasmanian merino wool, manufactured in China. Shown here in black, it is also available in blue. The overall look is subtle, with minimal branding. 

Vulpine Merino Button Jersey
The neckline of the jersey is V-shaped, similar to the neckline of an American baseball jersey. Four small buttons (engraved and featuring V-stitching) take the place of a zipper.

Vulpine Merino Button Jersey
A silicone waist gripper holds the hem in place. There are two side pockets and one middle zippered pocket in the rear. Above the middle picket is a reflective strip and a tail light tab. 

Vulpine Merino Button Jersey
The sleeves are edged with gray trim. An encircled V is subtly embroidered in gray here and elsewhere on the jersey. 

Vulpine Merino Button Jersey
Model's feedback: VC has been wearing the Vulpine merino jersey for a couple of months for commuting now. He also wore it on the Vermont Fall Classic brevet earlier this season. The men's jersey fits his slender masculine build very nicely. The fabric feels comfortable and light to him. He finds the temperature regulation and moisture wicking properties excellent. The weight of the fabric makes it best suitable as a warm weather jersey, or a layering piece. The design of the jersey suits VC's riding style as well as his personal style. He is happy to continue wearing it for commuting and recreational rides.

My feedback: I wore this jersey once. I liked the soft, feather-light fabric, and felt that the amount of stretch was just right. While the cut of the men's jersey was a bit too long and narrow in the hips for me, there is now a women's version that should work fine. However, the style in general is not really for me: It is too sporty to blend in with my everyday attire, but not sporty enough to work as a roadcycling jersey for my needs. As far as commuting and casual riding, Vulpine's new long sleeve polo might be more up my alley. And as far as roadcycling, I hope they consider manufacturing a more traditional cycling jersey using the same great fabric. 

Vulpine Cotton Rain Jacket
The Vulpine Cotton Rain Jacket is one of the more unique pieces of outerwear I have seen. The aesthetic is at once minimal and eye-catching. The structured look is extremely flattering on a man's body: subtly broadening the shoulders while elongating and slimming the torso. Vulpine's description as "influenced by British and military tailoring" is spot on. The unexpected colourschemes (available in charcoal and indigo, with bits of neon green and red peeking out) add a modern, urban twist.

Vulpine Cotton Rain Jacket
The Vulpine Rain Jacket is handmade (in South Korea) from "microscopically treated Epic Cotton™- a fabric created by applying a microscopic silicon coating to cotton before weaving." The fabric is advertised as wind, water and stain resistant. 

Vulpine Cotton Rain Jacket
The jacket's features include exterior side pockets and sleeve pocket with zip and magnetic closures, magnetic closures at the collar, rear vents, waterproof reflective zippers and sleeve cuffs, roomy interior pocketsdrawcords at the hem, waist and neck.

Vulpine Cotton Rain Jacket
The purpose of the sleeve pocket is to hold a set of keys, and a built in attachment is provided for this.

Vulpine Cotton Rain Jacket
The rear features a magnetic pull-down splash guard with reflective features, and a tail light loop.

Vulpine Cotton Rain Jacket
Model's feedback: VC has been wearing the Vulpine Cotton Rain Jacket for a couple of months now for commuting. He also wore it on the Vermont Fall Classic brevet - which included many miles of heavy rain. So far, he has found the jacket to be entirely waterproof and wind resistant. It fits him well and allows for easy movement on the bike. The sleeves are sufficiently long and do not pull. He finds the multitude of pockets and features useful. One critical piece of feedback, is that the pull-down flap in the rear does not always stay up when he wants it stowed away. Perhaps there is a way to address this in the garment's next iteration.

My feedback: As of now, there is no women's version of this jacket, and the men's does not fit my body well (too big in the shoulders and too long in the torso). I was therefore unable to form a personal impression of this garment. It looks great on VC.

Overall impressions of Vulpine apparel: If you prefer natural fabrics, classic design and are looking for a style that combines cycling clothes and casual wear, they are worth looking into. Mostly menswear for now, but a women's line is forthcoming.

Velobici San-Remo Turtle Neck
The Leicester-based Velobici was launched in 2011, manufacturing UK-made apparel "for riding, socialising or working." Their signature Seamless Knitwear line features classically cut merino wool tops and accessories. The San Remo Classic Turtleneck is a lightweight long-sleeve pullover cut slender and long. The garment pictured on the model is actually one that I've been wearing myself, but I asked VC to model it for the camera because the fit works so much better on his body than on mine. More on this topic later.

Velobici San-Remo Turtle Neck
The distinguishing feature of the San Remo is that it's literally knitted as one piece. There is not a single seam on the entire garment, yet cleverly placed darts shape the garment and add interesting textures. 

Velobici San-Remo Turtle Neck
Velobici does not provide information about the weight of the wool, but it is versatile enough to be worn on its own or over a base layer.

Velobici San-Remo Turtle Neck
The sleeves are quite long, with generously sized thumb loops.

Velobici San-Remo Turtle Neck
The knit is reinforced at the long hem, for increased durability. 

Velobici San-Remo Turtle Neck
Model's feedback: VC wore the pullover in the course of the photo-shoot. He liked the texture and feel of the San Remo and found that it fit him well, including the thumb loops. 

My feedback: I have worn the San Remo through all of last Spring and this Fall. I have found it most useful for long distance rides on an upright bike. I have never owned another "normal looking" wool sweater that works quite this well at regulating my body temperature. On my unseasonably cold trip to Ireland last May, I ended up wearing the San Remo nearly every day for 3 weeks straight, while cycling for 20-50 miles a day, simply because nothing else worked as well. When the pullover gets wet in the rain, it dries surprisingly quickly. It does not require much washing. And it has suffered hardly any pilling despite heavy use. The seamless construction eliminates chafing. The extra long hem at the rear provides full coverage even with low-rise trousers, whereas my other sweaters tend to ride up. The sleeves are long enough to use the thumb-loops. This sweater is in fact perfect, with my only complaint being that it is designed for men and looks awkward on me. Namely, my upper arms are not big enough to fill out the sleeves up top, and when I wear this sweater it looks like I have bat wings. It is also a bit too long in the torso. I strongly encourage Velobici to design a women's version of the San Remo. Functuonality-wise, this is the best sweater I have ever owned, and so I bought it from them for personal use despite the ill fit.

Velobici Bob Maitland Jersey, Seamless Arm Warmers
The Velobici Bob Maitland jersey, named after a 1948 Olimpic road cyclist, is a short sleeve two-tone jersey made from organic South African merino wool. It is seamless in construction. Sshown here with a pair of arm warmers.

Velobici Bob Maitland Jersey
The jersey features a 3/4 zip with a fairly high collar.

Velobici Bob Maitland Jersey
The tone-on-tone branding across the chest is subtle and textural. The zipper-pull is engraved with the Velobici logo.

Velobici Bob Maitland Jersey
The sleeves are quite long, extending neatly to the elbows. 

Velobici Bob Maitland Jersey
The single rear button pocket is knitted with a textural, tone-on-tone Union Jack pattern. The hem is subtly elongated in the rear.

Velobici Bob Maitland Jersey
Bob Maitland's name is embroiderd in cream in the front. 

Velobici Bob Maitland Jersey
Model's feedback: VC found the Bob Maitland jersey soft, comfortable, warm and itch-free. Aesthetically, he finds it quite attractive. The size XS fit him snugly, but works both as a base layer and as a mid layer. In the summer, this jersey might be too warm to wear, he feels, but it works perfectly in the early Fall New England temperatures on its own, or layered later in the season. About the rear pocket, he reports: "It is basically unreachable and appears to be mostly decorative. My hand just can't practically reach that pocket, it's too high." However, for his style of riding, jersey pockets are not an especially important feature. This jersey suits his personal style and he is happy to continue wearing it for commuting and recreational rides.

My feedback: I wore the Bob Maitland jersey once. As with my pullover, I was impressed with the comfort of the seamless construction. It is attractive and the feel is luxurious. However, I felt that the fabric was too warm for a short sleeve jersey (I was not able to wear it in temperatures above 70°F). Long sleeves might have made more sense here.

Overall impressions of Velobici: The seamless construction of the merino knitwear line is impressive and might spoil you from traditionally constructed garments. The softness of the merino wool is almost cashmere-quality, and seems best suited for colder temperatures. While these garments are designed for casual more than performance cycling, there is now also a roadie line. The women's line is sparse and focuses on urban fashions.

Both Velobici and Vulpine seem focused on high quality, on classic looks, and on hybrid designs to accommodate both roadcycling and commuting. I am on board with all of this in theory, but remain skeptical that the last bit can be accomplished. I think that these brands have a future. But I predict their offerings will polarise into more performance-specific and commuter-specific lines over time - both of which could be interesting and useful. 

57 comments:

  1. The jerseys really suit him! Looking forward to some female versions along the lines of Alchemist (love their old school jersey) here in the UK. Another blog (Velo-city-girl) published a review of the female version of the Vulpine button jersey in October (http://velo-city-girl.blogspot.co.uk/; however I agree with V, it's not my style or colour either.

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    1. Thank you, Mary.
      I, too, have a Team Alchemist jersey which I wore on the previously mentioned Vermont Fall Classic ride.
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/lovely_bicycle/8048505870/in/set-72157631678180092
      A very nice garment.

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  2. I like the clothing but it doesn't have enough visibility for me. They blend too much with the background. A little bright strip here and a little flap there in a world of people on cell phones just isn't enough for my piece of mind. When taking a transportation cycling course, white at night and yellow in dim light were the colors recommended. I don't see much of this out of the lycra range.

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    1. The VB products reviewed at least are designed for people who use their bikes for transit, not recreation. I do not think I am unusual in that I feel somewhat awkward going into restaurants, stores, movie theatres, etc. wearing SEE ME clothes.

      Fortunately there are very inexpensive workarounds. ASCII vests are inexpensive and have very bright colors and materials rigoursly tested for visibility. Many come with stripes that glow at night. They are easy to put on and take off over your clothes. Wear while riding, pack in your bag at your destination.

      There are also many pant leg straps that serve both to keep your pant cuffs out of the chainring reflect light night and day to make you more visible.

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  3. I am increasingly interested in wool garments for cycling, so I thank you for this review. The Velobici long wool sweater is quite interesting with it's thumb openings, but so is the Vulpine rain jacket with it's sleeve zip and fold-out tail and light loop.

    Hats off to your model. Would you consider showcasing his bike? I was intrigued with his take on a commuter bike, if that's what he considers it.

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    1. Thanks, Annie.
      I ride a few different bikes depending upon weather, purpose, and/or whim. They all continually morph and meld as I learn more, acquire parts, and ceaselessly tinker.
      The one seen here is a late 80s Bianchi Strada LX 12-speed with 40x650b wheels, vintage second-hand racks (front and rear) and fenders, VO portuer handlebars, and a Brooks B17 saddle. I sometimes use up-cycled military surplus packs for panniers and handlebar bags. Whatever works, it's all evolving.
      If I can answer any specifics: vorpalchortle at gmail dot com.
      http://www.vorpalchortle.com/post/32625500920/lazzurro-my-bianchi-strada-somewhere-in-vermont

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  4. Good review.

    I have a pair of Velobici knickers (apparently no longer available) and can attest to the high quality.

    Until reading this I failed to comprehend what Velobici meant by seamless knitwear. Will definitely have to try one now.

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    1. I thought it was a gimmick until I started wearing it. It makes a difference; now I want everything seamless!

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  5. Buttons on a cycling jersey? Yeah, I can see myself fumbling with buttons on a 40-50 mph descent. Seems like a pretty item for hanging around in cafes, though. I'm pretty skeptical about this whole idea of combing clothing functions. Most "ordinary" clothing functions reasonably well for most cycling - for competitive cycling, you really want technical clothing. And why stop at technical cycling/casual combinations- I mean why not shoes that also function as a hat?

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    1. Similar clothes from Outlier and Sweve have worked real well for me on multi-day tours.

      They are comfortable and perform well on all day rides but look normal enough that you can walk into a rural Midwest convenience store, restaurant or motel lobby without everyone going quiet and staring at you.

      Delete
    2. Buttons are easier than zippers! I agree, though, about special mixed-use clothing; usually you can ride in decent "street" clothes and, for faster or longer rides, you want clothing that fits and wicks and insulates.

      A plug for Wabi Woolens: very nice jerseys.

      http://wabiwoolens.com/

      Question: what do y'all use to keep your necks warm at modestly low temps? I am prone to sore throat, and most jerseys have necks that are too low, so I need something to augment neck coverage at modestly cold temps where a second layer with upstanding collar isn't needed. Fleece neck gaiters are too bulky, thin scarves are fussy to use and, well, twee. Anything thin that will cover the neck ad fit under the snug collar of a jersey?

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    3. I second the Wabi Woolens plug. I would review my very attractive jersey, except it is an older discontinued model and they'd rather I wait and review a current model. They will have women-specific versions out soon, too.

      Keeping neck warm: "gaiters." I like Rapha's best (hint: last year there was a decent Xmas sale), but also Ibex and Velobici.

      Delete
    4. For neck warmth:

      1) balaclavas often extend that far.

      2) Rivendell triple tube: http://www.rivbike.com/product-p/ac21.htm . It's kinda pink.

      3) Scarf. But I'm pretty darn far from "twee", especially in the winter.

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    5. bertin 753, if you didn't think thin scarves were twee, I'd suggest something silk. I was giggling over the Rapha neck gaiters the other day, didn't see their point before. Could be easily made with a donor merino sweater or silk even. I personally like my scarves. Silk is best!

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    6. Thanks -- have thought of that, and silk would be both compact (fit inside standard jersey collar) and smooth on the skin -- wool neck gaiters chafe when I sweat. But I would like something I can just slip over my head, or else wrap and snap/velcro. Current thought is to hem a 5" section of leg from the lower leg of old tights. Or, I might section a merino wool scarf into quarters (divide lengthwise, then section into halves again) and install snaps. The Clan Boyd will look odd with my Cycles Wolf bienne jersey, but comfort before looks.

      How do you secure the scarf? Over or under the jersey? Paisley peeking out over the collar just won't complement my image.

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    7. Update on the neck: found these:

      http://wintersilks.blair.com/product/Mid-Weight-Mock-Neck-Dickey/9628.uts

      As to street-cum-cycling wear: to liturgy yesterday, a nice, retro Bianchi jersey in white and blue wool with black Ibex arm warmers and covered by red Ibex wool-cum-lycra vest; plus black Nashbar knickers over black Sock Guy knicker socks from Bicycle Fixations, over Euxstart black leather spd shoes, all topped off by custom yellow cycling cap by Little Package dot com. Quite stylish, if I may say so myself. One little boy came up to me and said, "You look like your are wearing tights." But our congregation, being Orthodox, is probably more flexible in their ideas of Sunday dress. (Better than the neon yallery-greenery jersey I once wore; priest said, "They won't hit you by accident, but they might do it on purpose."

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  6. Bring on some decent womens cycling clothing so I can do the school run and not have to wear cycling kit!!

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    1. It is true that too many of these companies gear to the guys, and Swerve even cut their ladies line. They said lack of interest!
      Ibex is good, icebreaker too. I also type merino wool in the ebay search and start hunting.

      Delete
    2. Swerve is great stuff - while I am a man, my wife is a woman, and she has made off with their jeans, shorts, and 2 jackets, and they fit her extremely well (I had ordered too small...their sizing is a bit random; sometimes a 32 fits me, sometimes it was way too slim but fine for her (and she's got a sprinters build).

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  7. Thanks for the review! With regard to the Vulpine, I myself found the transverse cross-stitching of the fiberweave construction to be somewhat counter-active to external moisture elements, but it did tend to seal in perspiration on rides longer than 25 kilometers in relative humidity at or above 40% (with slight fluctuations owing to barometric pressure)—so slight chafing did result periodically. A dose of medicated baby powder before dressing seemed to do the trick in most instances. In addition, I found that this garment performed best in average-to-shady tree cover, so it may not be the best for post-autumnal rides or desolate, post-apocalyptic environs. It never snagged on my shifters, bell, basket, or brake handles, which is a big plus for me, and its non-reflexive properties made me feel like some sorta super secret agent spy on a mission to shuttle stolen documents from the office of the Soviet prime minister to a secret location which I would not be so foolish as to disclose in an internet comment. Also, I really wish I had a girlfriend.

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  8. I have invested a lot in wool garments in the last few years, and treasure each one. But the rural area in which we live is quite subject to moths, and if I leave a garment around -- even on a hanger -- after wearing it once, it's at great risk. I find myself spending less for merino products that keep me just as warm.

    The garments above are beautiful works of fashion-art, and are priced accordingly. I'd love to own one, but probably wouldn't wear it as much as, say, my Minus 33 medium-weight, zip-neck base layer, which, to my memory, cost me less than $50, stands up to just as much abuse as the $100+ base layers, and is almost as presentable around town.

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    1. same here, I may resort to storing in plastic if the natural methods don't work.

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    2. Rural area does not make a difference. The issue is foodstains / sweatstains / dirt etc. If you wash your wool very thoroughly before you put them away for the season, you will not get moths as there will be nothing for the larvae to eat. End of story. It's not what you store them in, it's that they get put away impeccably clean.

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    3. One of the many beauties of wool is that you can wear it various times before having to wash it (which, at these prices, is great, because who could own enough to wear one-per-ride?). This means it sits on a hanger (at best) between rides. That means risk of moths.

      The only alternative is to wash it the very day I wear it. This will never happen, nice as it would be.

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  9. Important thing first: I see you are an ADVOCATE for infra now, don't think I didn't notice.

    Trivial, possibly acerbic things to follow...

    Let's see, where's my thesaurus...

    Thanks for featuring dude clothing, though what the manufacturers might call subtle I'd call, "Hey look at me I'm a cyclist!"

    Rain jacket -- does it breathe? I don't care as I won't buy pseudo-military unis but it's def a deal breaker if it doesn't.

    Buttons, vestigial non-functioning pockets = fashion piece.

    "This style of riding..." sort of necessitates an aesthetic of anachronism/classicism. Roadie culture does exactly the same, only dif is garments tend to work and the rider generally doesn't care too much how it looks if it does the job. Either way I can't see someone wearing either getup the entire day at an office. At a cafe who cares?

    That sweater you like I'd wear on a tour/off the bike because it looks like a normal sweater, except for the cerulean logo which screams THIS IS NOT REALLY A NORMAL SWEATER.

    Key thing is a carabiner btw.

    God forbid you're 5lbs. overweight in this clothing - can you say maternity wear?

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    1. Male model says the Vulpine jacket breathes.

      The Velobici pullover/sweater is actually slimming, just looks weird on me - 80's dolman sleeve sort of thing going on. And I don't have skinny arms, so not sure how that is happening. Either way, I thought it would be doing them a disservice for me to model these things; VC makes it look the way it was designed to look.

      The logo on the sweater is black on black; it't the light hitting it + me upping the contrast to make it visible that's making it look blue. It looks like a normal sweater 100% in real life.

      Buttons & non-functional pockets are dealbreakers for me as far as "performance" type cycling jerseys. Unless it can be worn as a midlayer under a cycling jacket which does have pockets.

      Delete
    2. True, though if it warms up during the day you need to put the jacket somewhere, which kind of goes to my point - need an
      aitchbar bag or big saddle bag or...a regular jersey pocket.

      Two regular jersies = 6 pockets! The only trouble is the pockets aren't deep enough for a bottle of wine. Someone, get on that.

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    3. Isn't the VSalon Wabi jersey supposed to have a reinforcer in the middle pocket for wine bottles?

      Delete
    4. Missed that. It remains to be seen what can be stuffed in there. The wine bottle sticking points are strength/depth. No long sleeves for me.

      The earwig logo is just so fugly, creeptastic in a juvenile way and connotes too much clubiness for it to grace me but hey, it's for a good cause.

      While I'm fantasizing ideally I'd like a four pocket design: one very deep reinforced center one inside the regular 3. For wine. And a stalk of brussel sprouts. And some sort of pump pocket, but not against the body. Ok get to work Harth.

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    5. Cerulean logo? Looks embroidered. Get out your stitchripper.

      I will agree that all proper team jerseys should take not only fifth bottles but full liter bottles of either mineral water or cheap red. Glass bottles. At least one per pocket.

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    6. Sometimes when stitchripping one is left with a finished result resembling a dessicated spider. Here placed roughly where a high nipple might be located.

      A great conversation piece, to be sure.

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  10. As my 80 year old mother is fond of saying: When I was a little girl I had one pair of shoes and they did everything.

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  11. Timely posting. There was also a nice article in bicitoro today. http://www.bicitoro.com/guest-post-on-knitting-winter-activewear/

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  12. *WARNING - possibly snarky comment*

    While I like the idea of stylish AND functional clothes, the aesthetics of the featured clothes fairly scream "HIPSTER".

    This is fine if you are in fact a hipster/trendster/20-something, but I just can't see anybody outside that demographic actually wearing this stuff.

    The look of these clothes are still pretty deep into bike culture, just not roadie culture per se.

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    1. I don't know. I'm pushing 40. No one would ever mistake me for hip. But I find similar stuff from Outlier and Swerve works on and off the bike even in casual work situations.

      The worse I ever got was someone telling me I looked like Rob Petrie - himself young enough he must have picked up the reference via Nickelodian.

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    2. Oh that's pretty lame...the hipster / non-hipster tripe. If you're a hipster, then you'll look like a hipster no matter what...and if you're NOT a hipster, ya won't look like one. IE the obsession with self-image or not - that's the determinant. I've already pushed 40 out of the way 10 years ago, and not caring then what I wore, so long as it functioned, I STILL don't care what I wear, so long as it functions. And while I toil for a low wage usually , I am glad to spend my money on stuff from Swerve, as it's made in LA and you can call and speak to the the owners I think, or email requests for slight customizations, and they do them. The stuff looks great, and it's just as practical as anything else. It's more Prada than twee looking; understated. I often ride 20 - 60 miles to meet my wife & friends etc for dinner, and I can walk into a place and not look out of place, except for being maybe a little naturally delicious smelling. And though I've mentioned swerve elsewhere, i'm a customer not anything else.

      I didn't love the idea that the clothes reviewed here are made in China, not because of the Chinese wage / labor / environmental issues, because as anyone will tell you, it varies a lot from factory to factory, and certainly in the garment sector, they're aware of this for PR reasons if nothing else - but rather that the arbitrage is not shared.

      If it costs $40 to make a jacket in the UK, and you sell it for $110 in the UK, and then you move production to China and make it for $20, and sell it for $105 in the UK...sure great for the profit margins, but a sad commentary on ethics in the OTHER direction as well. Which is why I like to support companies like Swerve and Chrome who make stuff in the US, pay a living wage within the US, and support their customers by keeping prices somewhat less than astronomical.

      Delete
    3. Anon 1:45's comment confirms my feeling that the "hipster" concept has been overused. I do not think there is anything hipsteresque about either brand. And to me the looks pictured here seem most suitable for the 30s-40s demographic. They would look odd on 20-somethings and younger.

      Delete
    4. just some data about Swrve... not all their clothes are produced in the US anymore. They do clearly state that information on their site.

      ... and when can we expect a test of some similar items for us 50's semi-hip cyclists?

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  13. I didn't know this was a trend, these types of clothes have been popping up for as long as I can remember by various manufactures with not so much success. Perhaps the demand is greater today but most people seem to head to the local outdoor store and buy items on sale for their commutes. The problem with cycle specific clothing like this is they seem to only be available in boutique stores or online and not many will bother with those options, either for price reasons or inconvenience. Jackets are different. Something for this time of year with good visibility and breathability are something I'd go out of my way to find.

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  14. What size are you wearing in the long-sleeve turtleneck pullover? Would like to try it but as a women, I need a little hint as far as sizing goes.

    Thanks!

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    1. The Velobici San Remo is XS.
      I am a US women's size 4/ UK 12.

      Delete
  15. Velouria, your kind words make me blush.
    Thank you for the grand opportunity to play a model with such great garments.
    Cheers!

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  16. Thanks, I haven't heard of Vulpine, but have been interested in seeing what the Velobici stuff looked like. It's nice! I like their website and their image with all those cute guys riding around on bikes looking serious. But not much for the ladies, must fix that. There is another company in the UK called EDZ that has technical merino for cycling and sports that looks good. There are other companies in the UK as well.
    My husband is in dire need of merino clothing but hates the itch of cheap stuff, so it has to be soft. Being a lithe skinny vegan cyclist makes it hard to find anything that fits as manufacturers insist all men are big wide lumberjacks. It would be interesting to know what size VC is compared to the clothing modelled. As for batwings, this can be fixed with a zip of a sewing machine.
    I like that Velobici makes their stuff in the UK! I know made in China isn't necessarily bad if the workers are paid well and have safe working conditions etc, but the idea of stuff being shipped all over the world is offputting. I can accept that most merino comes from Australia and New Zealand, but somebody in North America should take notice and start some merino herds, make some fine merino wear.
    Plus it's keeping jobs out of a products actual market. With high unemployment I am sure people would be happy to learn how to manufacture again. I also know it's a way to cost cuts and increase production, but that business model isn't going to cut it much longer. As much as I love Icebreaker, their clothing does have a rather high carbon footprint. This is why I like Ibex because so much of their clothing is still US made(close enough to Canada) but their shipping to Canada is scary so I don't buy it. Okay, enough of lecture!
    Now, if only I had piles of money to afford this stuff! I take merino where I can get it, and occasionally a nice sweater pops up in the second hand store. I don't personally need the technical aspect.

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  17. Ciao Bella, elegant details Velobici! without the nancyboy notions.

    P.S. what type of bars is Casanova sporting on his steed?

    Lorenzo the Regalbanana

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  18. So that's the sweater in the Irish trip photos. I would've said the photos portrayed "luxuriously at ease" or "supremely comfortable" or some such that does not normally photograph so very clearly. Imperfections in fit sometimes just mean "lived in". You were radiant in those photos and the sweater helped.

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    1. It is not visible in any of the Irish photos.

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  19. OK, I get the idea, but this only works for a certain type of riding. I like my convenient turtleneck long zippers for heat modulation. I also rely on 3 pockets above my rear. Not everyone is a rando rider. This is a niche market. Cute stuff, but......

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  20. Did I miss what cap he's wearing??? Not sure it would look as sharp on me, but looks classic and charming, great attributes I'd love to sport.

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    Replies
    1. It is his own Waltz cap. They are great and are available in both 3 and 4 panel designs, to suit different head shapes.

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  21. I like the ribbing at the neck; knitting is such an interesting craft.

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  22. i had to laugh at the silicone coated cotton. whats the point of cotton garments if you are going to coat them with silicone - a far more allergenic substance than nylon. moreover, from an environmental perspective wool and cotton are terrible choices (water use and greenhouse gases). nylon, bamboo, or hemp are demonstrably better choices for anyone who cares about the environment.

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  23. Hmmm. More bike clothes that make me look like an old fat dork. It's not the clothes fault, I would have ABSOLUTELY ROCKED that kit back during the Reagan administration, but now the best approach seems to be one of camouflage and denial.

    My riding clothes don't shout "CYCLIST" so much as mumbling "Just found the bike, not cycling really just pedaling around, you know". The only really serious cycling clothes I wear are shorts and shoes. I buy the very best shorts I can afford and the best shoes I can find on closeout. Jerseys, jackets, base layers, gloves etc. tend to be all over the sartorial map. Comfortable but not in any danger of ending up on the cover of Bicycling, Velo News or Bicycle Quarterly. If I don't look like I'm trying than maybe I don't get held to the standard...

    Ideally I need a cloak or some sort of cape. Not one of those plastic rain capes but like a bigass medieval thing with a tall collar, a red velvet lining and hidden pockets for daggers and snuffboxes and secret letters written on vellum with violet ink and rolled up and tied with some duchess's hair ribbon. You come flying down some gravel road wearing that s*it and the Long Haul Truckers and Betty Foys will dive for the ditches to let you through. You see something like that you let me know... Wool would be fine, waxed cotton, suede, PVC, whatever.

    Spindizzy

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  24. What is interesting is the desire to get away from traditional cycling jerseys that scream loud graphics and find something that looks smart on and off of the bike... but several of these jersey retreated into the other directions by looking like period pieced from the 1920's.

    I am more inclined to commute in Road Holland's Den Haag Jersey. It looks like a Polo Shirt, but is made from wool and can perform like a cycling jersey. It also has waist grippers and two storage "flap" pockets in the back.

    http://roadholland.com/shop/products/Den_Haag_Racing_Green-48-2.html

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  25. For the prices they're charging I'm surprised and disappointed they couldn't go with domestic manufacturing. Sad, sad, sad.

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