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Vel's Short Sleeve Jersey has everything you'd expect of a performance race jersey – it's made from a lightweight material, has a close fit that incorporates plenty of pockets and includes a zip garage. You'll need to watch the sizing, though, as it comes up small compared with most.
The fabric is made from recycled post-consumer waste polyester, so will please those looking for eco credentials; it's lightweight and obviously designed with warm days in mind. In fact, it is highly breathable and even on the hottest days we've seen so far this spring (prior to the June heatwave) I'm yet to find myself overheating.
I'd also say you'll be fine with this top on and a mesh baselayer underneath down to about 14°C.
Apart from this black version, the Vel is also available in purple or turquoise, to get the proper summer vibes going.
As I mentioned, the cut is close – race fit if you like – but the jersey does also come up very small. You will definitely need to go up a size, possibly even two if you are anywhere the upper measurements of Vel's size guide.
It's not just the chest and waist measurements that come up small, it's also short in the body, both at the front and the rear, with not that much of a drop to the tail.
In contrast, he sleeves are long, virtually coming down to my elbows. I must admit I do prefer something a bit shorter, if only for the tan lines.
Get the right size, though, and I think overall you'll be impressed with the Vel. The breathability is impressive and the material is soft against the skin, plus it's well made, with the overlocked seams giving no irritation.
On the rear you'll find three pockets running horizontally across the jersey, with a fourth zipped one on the side of the right-hand one, ideal for storing valuables.
The full-length zip runs smoothly, with a baffle behind it and a zip garage at the top to protect your neck.
Priced at £70 – though currently on sale for £40 – the Vel is a bit cheaper than some. The Endura Virtual Texture jersey is £77.99, for example; it isn't made from a recycled material, but the sizing is much more accurate in my experience.
The Stolen Goat Tappa Bodyline jersey scored really well on virtually every aspect according to Ben, but is a fiver more than the Vel, at £75.
When it comes to the fabric and details like the zipped pocket and zip garage, the Vel does very well; in fact it is only really let down by the sizing and its overall length.
Good performance for warm weather, but you'll need to size up for the best fit and even then it might be short
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Vel Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Vel says, "The Vel Short Sleeve Jersey brings together a smart design, a close yet comfortable cut and advanced fabrics, and is versatile enough for a range of disciplines. The environmentally-conscious Italian recycled, post-consumer waste polyester is summer weight for hot rides and filters out harmful UV rays. Raw cut sleeves create a smooth transition between material and skin, and silicone at the waist holds the jersey securely in place. There are three spacious rear open pockets and a zipped compartment for storing valuables and ride essentials, while the reflective finishings enhance safety after dark."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight summer jersey
Recycled, post-consumer waste polyester
Close fit, comfortable for all-day wear
Raw cut sleeve hems
Silicone waist hem
Three rear open pockets
Full-length zip with zip guard and zip garage
I found the body quite short.
It comes up small, and smaller than other brands on the market.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues with being washed plenty of times.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
If you can get the sizing right, the performance is decent.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The material works really well in warm weather.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Sizing is off, in all directions.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's a similar price to many jerseys on the market, like the couple mentioned in the review, both of which are more on the money size-wise.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, I prefer shorter sleeves.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, while warning them about the sizing.
Use this box to explain your overall score
On the whole it's a decent jersey in terms of performance and build quality. It's just the sizing and fit that knock it down.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!