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Perfect for autumn or spring, these mid-weight, smart-casual Velocity Women's Cycling Capris are bike-friendly yet will segue seamlessly to the office. The cycle-specific features – such as the diamond gusset and reflective accents – are subtly hidden, but the low-rise waist might not suit everyone and the price tag is pretty hefty, especially compared to non-bike-friendly high street offerings that are very similar in appearance.
So, what are exactly are you paying for? Well, top-quality fabric and construction for starters, and the clever design touches that make the Cycling Capris extremely comfortable to ride in, as well as durable. Also, all Velocity cycle wear can boast its 'Made in Britain' label with pride – it is both designed and manufactured in good ol' London town.
Made from cotton, with 2% elastane for a bit of stretch, the material feels akin to chinos so they're well suited to a normal British summer (but were a bit warm this heatwave year). The fabric is treated with Nanosphere, for water and stain resistance. I didn't test the latter, but they are certainly more water repellent than I'd expect for such a heavy cotton. Getting caught in the odd shower, water beaded and was held off well before the Cycling Capris got wet, and then they dried out surprisingly quickly.
They ooze quality, being very well made with excellent finishing and attention to detail in the design. I particularly like the deep rear pockets (big enough for a good-sized wallet) with their reflective trim and button for extra peace of mind.
The front hand pockets are useful too, but more for off the bike in my opinion.
The diamond-shaped gusset is an easily overlooked feature, but important for cycling comfort as it means there are no seams to rub, as these capris are intended to be worn without padded pants or Lycra underneath.
Another bike-friendly design touch is the articulated knees, for unrestricted pedalling movement.
Overall, I found these 3/4 trousers very comfortable to ride in, with a good cut through the leg for my body shape. However, on me the waist is extremely low rise at the front – so make sure you pair the capris with a long top, unless you're lucky enough to possess a washboard stomach that you're happy to flaunt! Similarly, when wearing casual clothes the rear waist exposed my lower back/pants when cycling – despite being advertised as 'high back, for modesty'.
Of course, we all come in different shapes and sizes, but on me (nearly 5ft 7in and 28/30in waist) the size 12s are a great fit apart from the waist being too big; happily, there are belt loops so I can cinch it in. It's worth mentioning that I had to go up one size from the size chart recommendation – I could barely squeeze into the 10s.
The Cycling Capris come in burgundy and petrol blue, with a choice of trim – black reflective and black buttons or silver reflective and white buttons. They're also available as full-length trousers for £85-£94 in (grey, black and petrol blue) – see our review of the men's version here.
Top quality 3/4s that are comfortable on the bike and look smart off it – but they come at a price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Velocity Women's Cycling Capris
Size tested: 12
Tell us what the product is for
Velocity says: "Velocity Cycle Wear creates stylish, yet functional clothes that you can wear on and off your bike. It's great to look good when you cycle, and it's even better to get off your bike and not look like you've been cycling. Women's specific, cycling specific capri trousers – that look just as good on and off your bike."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
NanoSphere® treated fabric, for water and stain resistant cycling
98% cotton and 2% elastine, for just enough stretch
Reinforced diamond seat, for comfort and durability
Articulated knees, for ease of movement
High back, for modesty and low waist, for comfort
Heavy duty belt loops, for carrying things
Phone sized pockets, to stay connected
Reflective pocket trim, for a high-viz eyeful
Designed and made in London
Go up one size from size chart.
Low rise but too big waist niggled me.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy: machine wash at 30°C.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They do the job well – very cycle-friendly – but whether you get on with them depends if the cut suits your body shape.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The quality feel, fabric and details.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The extreme low-rise waist, and price tag.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? If at a sale price...
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A quality cycle-specific product, but they're very spendy and you can find similar-looking non-cycling capris on the high street at a fraction of the price.
About the tester
I usually ride: Marin Point Reyes 29er My best bike is: Whyte T-130 RS
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, mountain biking, audax