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Vélobici René jersey review: Craftsmanship and quality in British cyclewear

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It will come as no surprise to avid readers of Vamper.cc that Victoria and I are admirers of craftsmanship and quality in garment manufacturing.

Victoria in particular has had a close relationship with the textiles and garment production industry. From watching her father’s business flourish as a child to her university courses in fashion, manufacturing and business, fashion and textiles have been a common thread throughout her life.

I have never given the role of the pattern cutter as much consideration as I have since I started wearing the Vélobici René. It’s construction has focused my mind on how much I appreciate the craftsmanship of a jersey.

It goes without saying that we have our favourites when it comes to cycling kit design, and we certainly have high expectation when it comes to cycling jersey manufacturer. Leicestershire-based cycle wear brand Vélobici more than meets those expectations; it’s the quintessence of British manufacturing excellence.

From its Market Bosworth manufacturing base to Nottinghamshire, the home of its fabrics, the brand exudes heritage and understated style that make its cycle wear so coveted.

When Vélobici contacted us to see if we wouldn’t mind running the rule over the René jersey, its latest high-performance cycling jersey, we jumped at the chance.

The Vélobici René jersey comes in two colourways, wine and sand. I’ve been testing the wine version in a marked departure from my usual palette of black.

The René is constructed from a super-lightweight honeycomb performance fabric with UVA/UVB protection, specifically developed by Vélobici.

The resulting jersey provides the sleek race-fit we all crave with an incredible capacity to contour to the body – without feeling restrictive. The René feels like a second skin as it moulds to your shape.

Billed as a three-season jersey, the René performs exceptionally under warm conditions thanks to the fabric’s impressive wicking capabilities. On our test rides, which were mostly dry and [reasonably] warm, the René kept my core comfortable with my body temperature remaining securely in the sweet spot. I can’t yet attest to the seasonal range attributes of the René, but I’m looking forward to testing it further once Autumn arrives with base layers and arm warmers. To be honest, I can also see it getting an outing in winter, too, as part of well-planned layering on those crisp, sunny mornings.

The resulting jersey provides the sleek race-fit we all crave with an incredible capacity to contour to the body – without feeling restrictive. The René feels like a second skin as it moulds to your shape.

The René is a four-pocket, full-length zip jersey – one zipped and waterproof – which provides ample storage for every mid-ride incidental (including a lightweight waterproof for this British summer).

The cut is a classical race-fit, featuring a dipped hem. My only minor gripe with the jersey is that, for my 6ft frame, the front is just a little bit on the short side. However, the rear of the René provides ample coverage and the front prevents the bunching you can sometimes find on jerseys with straight-cut hems.

The René features ‘Vélobici’ breathable jacquard detailing to the side panels and underarm providing additional ventilation. Embroidered René and VB logos adorn the chest area and reflective binding to the rear pocket and hem finish the exquisite detailing. (Victoria is thoroughly envious that I get to sport a jersey bearing her initials.)

Both the hem and sleeves feature silicone grippers so that nothing rides up – a particular bugbear of mine – and preserves the sleek silhouette of the jersey throughout a ride.

As a premium, Made in England item, you’d hope that it would launder and wear well. Over the few weeks that I’ve been testing it its been washed several times and hasn’t lost its shape or colour at all.

The verdict? The Vélobici René jersey has been everything I had hoped it would be. It has reaffirmed a love affair with finery and it confirms that craftsmanship and quality in British cycle wear is alive and well. It proves that in this age of materials technology, elegance and performance can walk hand in hand.

I have never given the role of the pattern cutter as much consideration as I have since I started wearing the Vélobici René. It’s construction has focused my mind on how much I appreciate the craftsmanship of a jersey, how much the crafted lines matter and on how difficult it is to pinpoint what cumulatively leads to overall excellence.

What is abundantly clear is that the René is a glorious cycling jersey. It has added more than a splash of colour and style to my cycling wardrobe and has firmly placed Vélobici in my arsenal of revered clothing brands.

The Vélobici René jersey is priced at £175 and is available from Vélobici.cc.

Cycle ClothingFeaturedReviewsWomen's Cycling

Ten of the coolest men’s and women’s cycling jerseys for Summer 2016

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Victoria’s pick of the coolest women’s cycling jerseys:

The sun is out and the mercury is rising. All I can think about is getting out on my bike in the coolest women’s cycling jerseys of 2016. The Vamper.cc kit is, of course, our favourite – more about that here! – but that’s not to say there aren’t a lot of cool kits out there this season. Here’s my pick of the bunch…

Feel free to share your objects of desire in the comments, or tell us on Twitter what you’re lusting over.Cool women's cycling jerseys 2016

Attaquer – Core Brush Women’s Cycling Jersey

The Attaquer Core Brush jersey in teal is vibrant and summery and bold and beautiful. We like the colour and the subtle fade of this graffiti-esque women’s cycle jersey, and from what we’ve seen of Attaquer kit, we’d expect the fabric to be top notch too.

AUS$179.95 – From Attaquer

 

Cool women's cycling jerseys 2016

MAAP – Arrows Women’s Cycling Jersey

The Aussies really know how to do cool cycle kits. Maap’s Arrows women’s cycle jersey is sharp: we like both colourways, but the navy and coral really floats our boat. Properly cool.

AUS$180.00 – From MAAP

 

Cool women's cycling jerseys 2016

Twin Six – The Artcrank Women’s Cycling Jersey

What’s black and white and red all over? The Artcrank women’s cycle jersey from Twin Six. This is not a jersey for the faint hearted, but we think it’s pretty fabulous. A whole peloton in this design might be migraine-inducing, for a solo cyclist, we think this rocks.

US$85.00 – From Twin Six

 

 

Cool women's cycling jerseys 2016

Giro – Chrono Pro Women’s Cycling Jersey

We adore the nebular print of this Giro women’s cycle jersey. What can we say? It’s out of this world. Understated, chic and unusual.

£139.99 – By Giro, from Wiggle

 

Cool women's cycling jerseys 2016

Stolen Goat – Momentum Women’s Cycling Jersey

“Moving effortlessly from one colour to another, this jersey represents our freedom of movement on the bike.” – Well. We’re not sure about that, but we do like the trendy ombre-effect and the bold shades of this women’s cycle jersey from Stolen Goat. Very smart indeed.

£60.00 – From Stolen Goat

Matt’s pick of the coolest men’s cycling jerseys:

 

Velobici Verne

Velobici – Verne (Cannon Grey)

This lightweight short-sleeved three-season number from Leicestershire’s own Velobici had us drooling from the outset. A great colour combination with technical detailing to match, its sartorial credentials are firmly at the forefront. Those in the know will be able to spot your finery from afar and will duly admire.

£150  – From Velobici

 

 

Attaquer – GiroXAttaquer

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Is there any brand on top of their game like Attaquer are right now? If so, we would love to see them. With exquisite collaborations in conjunction with G!ro and Dosnoventa as well as a riotous range of cool cycling jerseys for both men and women, we’d sell our grannies* for pretty much everything they purvey.

*ok, not our grannies. But perhaps our souls.

£89.95 – From Giro Cycles

 

 

La Passione – Summer Diagonal Jersey (Blue)

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A return to true classic lines and hues, this summer offering from La Passione hits the mark in delivering bold shades in a powerful yet understated way. Showy but without bling, this jersey let others know that you know your onions…

£54 – From La Passione

 

 

Rapha.cc – Classic Jersey (Black)

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Sometimes it just has to be black, the unmistakable silhouette that sets off just about any bike. Rapha have nailed it with the Core. The subtle injection of contrast with the white and pink elements are understated and cool. A collection to remind you of the timelessness of cycling.

£110 – From Rapha.cc

 

 

Hunter Bros – Butterfly Jersey

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If you can allay your vehement dislike of flying insects for more than a few hours (yes, Matt – you!) this punchy number from Antipodean apparel artistes Hunter Bros will have you soaring above the crowd. Tell me you see beautiful kit like this in Richmond Park. Go on, tell me. You can’t, can you? Because you don’t. Let’s bring some style from Down Under to London.

AUS$155 – From Hunter Bros