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The Velocio Concept Merino Long Sleeve Jersey is soft and lovely but ultimately very expensive.
For the hottest days, check out our guide to the best summer cycling jerseys.
Let's get straight to the heart of it. This is extremely nice to wear, but is it so much nicer than its rivals that it's worth the premium? For me at least, I honestly can't say it is.
At £180 the price is very high for a jersey – even a merino one. The 7mesh Men's Ashlu Merino Jersey that Matt tested earlier this year is made from ethically sourced wool and is cheaper at £160. That's not because it's a weak blend either, as at 89% merino it actually contains more wool than the Concept.
Indeed, the Van Rysel Mid Season LS Road Cycling Jersey Racer, tested by Shaun last year, is another great, slim-fitting long-sleeve for layering or outer use, and it's just £54.99. Again, it's not merino, but is this Velocio more than three times better? Let's pretend that wasn't rhetorical and say no.
But that's that. If the price doesn't bother you, there's little else to put of you off – this is a reasonably versatile and extremely comfortable jersey, and it's built to a very high quality.
The fabric is 75% merino, with 7% elastane to give it a really nice stretch – it's form-fitting to the point it will never flap or ruck up uncomfortably, but at the same time it's light and absolutely unrestrictive. In case you're paying attention and wondering about the other 18%, it's nylon, there to boost fit and durability, according to Velocio.
This 'ultrafine' merino gives UPF30 sun protection, which is always useful in a long sleeve – it's no good being caught out because you felt protected and weren't.
The seams are all overlocked rather than flatlocked, but that perfect stretch and general softness means they cause zero issues, even when using this as a midlayer. The three rear pockets are backed with a much stiffer fabric that effectively stops them sagging, and there's a zipped fourth pocket on top of the righthand one for valuables. Unfortunately it's much too small for a typical phone, but it's good for keys and money.
I found the tail very secure with its silicone gripper and elastic, and there's a neoprene-feeling windflap behind the metal-and-plastic YKK zip that ends in protective zip garages. The one at the top feels a bit redundant due to the low, rounded collar, but hey. It's there and looks tidy.
The logo on the central pocket is reflective, and in this colour at least the whole jersey is noticeable, which I always appreciate.
I found the fit mostly excellent – slim and almost tailored yet, as I said, entirely unrestrictive. Personally I'd like an extra centimetres on the sleeves, as they tend to ride up to just above my wrist, and I wouldn't want to size up thanks to the rest being just so. You probably could should you need to, however, as the generous stretch should help shrink it to you elsewhere.
The sizing feels just right, and Velocio offers an impressive eight options from XS to 4XL.
Velocio says this is good on its own 'for cooler fall or winter days', but for me at least it's not really up to that – the fabric is roughly 0.5mm thick and not windproof. I only found this comfortable alone (well, over a baselayer) on mild days well into double figures, and preferred a windproof layer over the top if the air was chilly. I found it good up to around 20 degrees like that, after which I started to want short sleeves.
I also found, during one ride with 17-18°C air temps, that I was slightly chilly on shady fast bits and slightly hot on sunny, sheltered climbs. You could see that as the problem with it being fundamentally quite warm yet vulnerable to windchill, or you could see it as it being versatile in that it was okay, if not perfect, for the entire ride.
It gets damp and doesn't dry that fast when used as a midlayer, but it stays comfortable so it's not a huge issue there. Being wool it doesn't start to smell unless you really hate washing machines, either.
It dries much quicker with no other layer on top, but in this (rather attractive) colour any soggy patches are noticeably darker and more translucent than the rest, which isn't a great look. The navy blue and black versions will presumably hide it, though the 'Army' green one may not.
Even dry, this is thin enough to make you think about the colours of your baselayers and bib straps, as light ones can show through.
This is undoubtedly a high-quality jersey, and it's lovely to feel, look at and wear. For me it's too thin and vulnerable to chills to be a super-versatile 'go-to', though – I found it useful either as an outer when it was just a bit too cool for short sleeves, or as a slightly-warmer-than-a-tee baselayer worn next to the skin. I could often make it work, but rarely thought, 'Oh, that's the perfect thing for today.' Given the high price, that it feels anything less than essential is a bit disappointing.
Very comfortable with an excellent slim yet unrestrictive fit, but it's expensive
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Velocio Concept Merino Long Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Velocio says: "The CONCEPT Merino Long Sleeve is uncompromising, with details for performance and design for demanding rides.
"Pairing our most articulated and refined pattern with ultra-fine merino wool, the CONCEPT Merino Long Sleeve is an extremely versatile jersey. Wear it as a standalone for cooler fall or winter days, or as the ultimate mid-layer beneath our jackets when the weather turns sour."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
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
It's expensive, even for merino.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's very comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's very expensive.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's expensive, even for merino.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, it's too expensive.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The quality, comfort and fit are all excellent, but its overall performance is only good when the price demands greatness.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,