Anyone who sees me for more than a day at a time realizes something pretty quick: 95 percent of my wardrobe is BLACK. Maybe some gray and white (and occasional burgundy) mixed in, but for the most part, I wear a lot of black. Maybe it’s a throwback to my punk rock days, maybe it’s because when you travel a ton, it’s nice when everything matches. And maybe it’s because I like it, and I think it looks good. It all adds up to being a major proponent of the hilarious #HealthGoth trend, where punk kids like me are now much more into fitness in our older-and-wiser years.
OK, all that to say, it is A TRIAL sometimes to find good cycling kit in black, for women. Shorts, that’s easy (though shorts that fit right and look good are still tough to come by). Jerseys? Almost every single jersey that is most black has ‘accents’ of blue or pink or whatever. And that’s fine, most of the time. But sometimes, I just want a damn black jersey.
Enter Velocio. Their latest collection includes my old favorite, the Signature Bib Short with a zipper fly in the back (AMAZING for mid-ride pee breaks) and OMG YES FINALLY THANK YOU the women’s ES Long Sleeve in just. plain. black. It’s from their newest Fall/Winter collection and it has quickly become my favorite new addition to my riding wardrobe—it’s pretty much displaced may favorite graphite-colored long sleeve jersey I got from them three years ago!
Now, I know if you’re new to cycling and just clicked on that, the sticker price can be a little shocking ($179 for the jersey and $229 for the shorts). But… I got my first Velocio long sleeve jersey four years ago, and ditto my bib shorts. They were STILL going strong, although after Ironman training, I did finally retire the shorts (they’d racked up thousands and thousands of miles over the years and the chamois was starting to finally wear down… but the fabric itself was still perfect and they still look great!).
The shorts are simply the best. The chamois is super comfortable, the legs are just compressive enough, and I can’t say enough good things about how useful that back zipper is. Plus, I really dig the mesh panel in the front for avoiding the boobs-and-suspenders issue some shorts have.
It’s not the most exciting color palette in the world, but personally, I just love how clean it looks… And I can add any vest or jacket or whatever and know that it will match. Plus, like I said, #healthgoth. (The Aspire Team doesn’t call me the emo one for nothing!)
I know cycling kit is expensive, and I do believe there are some great inexpensive options out there (and I want to share a couple of my favorites in an upcoming post as well), but I do think if you’re planning on riding a lot and really loooooove having a totally neutral wardrobe, these are two pieces that work amazingly well and will last for-freaking-ever. Whenever we’re on the road and I’m riding, I pack two pairs of the bib shorts, and a couple of seasonally appropriate jerseys and various warmers/jackets, but the shorts are the piece that come with me every trip. (And, I’ll add, the matte black helmet and black and white shoes are both from Giro and are an excellent match.)