Velobici are a UK company based in Leicestershire.
One look at their website will tell you that this is serious, high-end cycling kit.
Beauty may well be in the eye of the beholder but I would happily predict that scanning through the Velobici range of Roadwear would leave your average style-conscious cyclist salivating and mentally concocting a plausible alibi for the online purchase that’s about to happen.
It’s lovely looking stuff.
So, with the ‘Franc’ long sleeved jersey, they had me at “add to basket…”
It’s a comfortable and beautifully cut jersey. Like all the best clothing it “sits” right – it wears like it was designed for a person of just about my dimensions. Cycling kit of lesser quality can feel as if it’s pulling and stretching in the wrong places, but there’s none of that.
I’m a fairly standard ‘Large’ in all but the most Italian apparel and I found Velobici’s take on this to be snug and clingy in the best possible way.
As ever with these things, if you’re carrying a few extra pounds around the midriff the experience may be different – but if ever you need an incentive to lose a few pounds.
For mid-ride storage there is one extremely reachable pocket on the right which swings round in the direction of the midriff. Unusual, but I like it. There’s also a second open rear pocket, and two zip pockets that are waterproof and re-enforced and well capable of dealing with phone, keys, money and the rest.
The details on the Franc really give the game away when it comes to the quality of craftsmanship; the seams, zips, collar and pockets are top-notch. Not just there to do a job, but adding to the sum total of reasons to absolutely flippin’ LOVE this jersey.
Visually, the sloping pocket seams around the back look great, as does the sewn in VB logo on the chest; harking back to the simplicity of 1970’s cycling branding in a Merckxian kind of way.
It’s classy looking, no question.
And performance-wise, out on the road?
It’s not fully windproof but the material offers a decent level of protection. I also found it to brush off a rain shower when required, for those classic UK conditions where rain starts to fall but you know fine well it’ll be dry again in three minutes.
Much colder than seven or eight degrees and I’d be reaching for a winter jacket, but in conditions which are par for the course in autumn and spring here in the UK the Franc is a great option.
In slightly warmer temperatures heading up towards the low teens Celcius and it’s also a pleasure to wear. It breathes well, is super-comfortable, and the snug fit gives a sense that you might be getting some benefit aerodynamically.
Every little helps, after all.
For the price you would rightly have high expectations of a jersey like this, and I find it hard to fault. At £160 it will never be for everyone, but If you’re willing to splash out on the next addition to your cycling wardrobe I heartily recommend the Velobici Franc.
You’re getting a special piece of kit for your money.