While I’m a huge fan of Merino fabrics for shirts and base layers, I have had mixed experiences with Merino wool bike jerseys. Would that change with the new Velocio Concept Merino Long Sleeve Jersey, or would it be a slam-dunk?
Velocio Concept Merino Long Sleeve Jersey Features:
- Italian milled ultrafine merino wool with nylon & elastane for fit and durability
- Excellent thermoregulation and breathability
- UPF30 sun protection
- Anti-sag pocket design keeps cargo in place
- Reflective logos and trim details for visibility
- Ultra soft hand feel, stretchy for excellent mobility
- Lightweight YKK CamLock zipper with full-length internal zipper garage
- Zippered pocket to store valuables
- MSRP: $219
Love me some Merino
While wool is the OG fabric, modern Merino wool blends are anything but OG. While they do still deliver the best qualities of what sheep make, the secret sauce is in how it’s blended. For added durability, Merino yarn is always blended with nylon, or other fabrics to optimize stretch, fit and performance. In the case of the Velocio Concept Merino Long Sleeve, that recipe is 75% Merino wool, 18% polyamide and 7% elastane. That blend delivers a lightweight, stretchy and comfortable jersey for mixed weather.
One of the challenges of using Merino for bike jerseys is that it stretches out when saturated. To combat this, a jersey must have reinforced areas to support the contents of the pockets. Velocio has done an admirable job making sure the pockets don’t sag completely, but in practice, they still sag. After a long ride, the pockets are saturated and a little loose, which makes it hard to pull something out or place an item in there. It’s good, but not great.
I do appreciate the size of the pockets — they can swallow a lot of stuff and do hold their shape reasonably well. Just be cautious if you’re placing too much in there as items will bounce a bit. One design element that may contribute to this is the folded-over tops of the pockets. The intent is to further encapsulate items within the pockets so they stay in place, but a definitive edge is hard to find when damp from perspiration and that only gets exacerbated with full-finger gloves on.
Where Merino shines is in moisture management. The Concept Merino Long Sleeve does work well with outer layers to distribute your sweat and allow it to evaporate. The fit is superb as it fits perfectly atop a sleeveless base layer or alone. Merino is always cozy, stretchy and comfortable next-to-skin and I love how this one feels.
I’ve worn the jersey alone and under a couple of different jackets (Santini Alpha Trail Jacket and Pearl Izumi PRO Barrier Jacket). With either jacket, I remained comfortable in temperatures ranging from 40-50 degrees. The short collar doesn’t interfere with jacket collars, which is a good thing. Double-collar thickness can sometimes feel restricting — not so with the Concept Merino.
The hem length is spot-on for coverage and the sleeve length is just about right too. I’m always an advocate for a little longer sleeve length, but these will do. To keep the hem in place, there is a simple silicone grip, and it does a great job interfacing with the Santini Gravel Bib Tights and Velocio Thermal Bib Knickers.
When it comes to dumping heat, you’ll want to grab that front zipper. But, try as I may, I couldn’t reliably unzip it one-handed. There’s too much resistance in the zipper and fabric stretch, so it’s a two-hander for me (bummer). Merino items are supposed to be laid flat to dry, but I’ve tumble dried mine on medium heat and it has fared just fine so far. For maximum longevity, lay flat, and be careful what you wash it with as Merino always tends to attract lint and hair galore.
Fit: I’m 5’11” and 175 lbs., wearing the size medium.
- Merino wool always feels amazing next-to-skin
- Efficiently disperses moisture for evaporation
- Just right hem and sleeve lengths
- Low-rise collar stays out of the way when worn with a jacket
- Very stretchy
- Superb odor control
- Those reinforced pockets still get saggy when wet
- Front zip is a two-handed affair
The Bottom Line: Velocio Concept Merino Long Sleeve Jersey
Alone on cool days or as a mid layer on cold days, the Velocio Concept Merino Long Sleeve Jersey offers quite the fit and performance — however you choose to wear it. In spite of Velocio’s best efforts, the “anti-sag pockets” still sag. I’m not freaking out too much about it because I still appreciate the rest of the package and understand that some of the design elements (folded-over pocket lids) do provide value. It also remains stink-free for multiple uses, which is always a bonus of Merino.
Buy Now: Visit Velocio.cc