Fed up of or just don’t want to commute to work in Lycra, lugging a spare set of clothes with you? Then these reasonably priced cycle-specific trousers from new Brit brand Velocity may be the answer.
Out of the bag, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Velocity Women's Trousers are just a regular pair of trousers. They certainly don’t scream ‘cyclist’ and to the untrained eye, it would be easy to miss the subtle reflective pocket trim and various other cycle-specific tricks.
As a curvy size 10, who’s 5’4" tall with troublesome cyclist thighs, I struggle to get trousers to fit at the best of times. Straight off, this didn’t prove to be a problem for Velocity’s trousers, skimming and hugging in all the right places. Yes - they were a tad long in the leg, but nothing a couple of roll-ups at the hem wouldn’t sort.
Admittedly, I was surprised at how many turn-ups I needed, so I contacted Velocity’s founder Carolyn, and I’m so glad I did, as there’s a story behind the leg length.
Velocity design and manufacture all of their clothes in London and as a start-up they work in small runs. Because of this, Carolyn had to make the tough decision to pick between either having two leg length options or going up to a size 16 - she couldn’t have both, as this was creating too many variables for such a small run.
Opting to go for sizing up to a UK 16, to mitigate the leg length issue, Carolyn niftily decided to sew red seams into the trouser leg. So when us short-legged cyclists roll them up the red seams become a feature. Great thinking!
Overall cut is good, the Velocity Women's Trousers are slim-fit but as they’re made of 98% cotton with 2% elastic, there’s a surprising amount of give in them.
It’s when on the bike that the cut really comes into it’s own. Two innocuous darts either side of the knee provided impressive freedom of movement when pedalling, even sitting at a desk, these slim looking trousers felt supremely comfortable when I bent my knee.
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Around the waist, the trousers are cut higher at the back than at the front to help cover your back as you lean over handlebars. For my comfort, I’d prefer a slightly higher back, and on feeding this back to Carolyn she’d already put this suggestion into production in later runs of the trousers.
The main difference in cut compared to typical trousers was found in the gusset. A diamond-shaped piece of material replaced the usual seamed meeting of four pieces of material. Genius.
I’ve cycled over 300 miles (not in one go!) in these trousers and have never suffered any chafing. And, while on the topic of seams, I was also happy to find on the rear of the trousers, two layered pieces of material, from the waist down to below the bottom.
The layering of this fabric meant the seams attaching the pockets to the rear of the trousers were sandwiched in the layers and didn’t touch my skin. A small detail, but something I found made wearing these trousers both more comfortable and durable.
Style-wise, we love the vivid blue piping with reflective detailing around the pocket flaps and slim-fitting but forgiving shaping. The belt loops are sturdy and could no doubt hold a mini-D lock.
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There’s also the nifty chain link looking reflective patch concealed in the right leg. This gets exposed as you roll up the hem and gives you a little extra reflective boost for cycling home in the dark.
After a couple of rides, they still looked fresh, the stain resistant treatment works and if I spilt anything, such as my lunch - a quick wipe down and it was gone. Even going in the machine at 30°, if I shook the trousers and hung them straight on the line I was ok to wear them without ironing (shhh don’t tell my Mum!).
Finally a note on the quality. I was supremely impressed by the level of the manufacturing - they have that feeling of being hand-made with love. As a small, specialist company, Velocity have excelled themselves, taking on board feedback at every stage, we’re excited to see what the future holds for this brand.
Not only has Velocity renewed my love of wearing trousers with their wonderful cut, they’ve firmly replaced my thread-bare thighed jeans as my go to item of casual clothing.
As for how they faired being worn for their intended purpose - cycling in - these are an unrestrictive, comfortable and forgiving pair of cycle-specific trousers, at a reasonable price.
Overall I’d say grab yourself a pair, you will wear these a lot, if anything just as a pair of casual trousers. And, at £85, they’re not too expensive, specially compared to other urban cycle clothing brands out there.
Sizes: UK 8-16
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