Van-Chilli Thermal Jersey
Vélobici Van-Chilli Thermal Jersey
Natural fibres and timeless British sartorial style, battle typical British weather. How will the Van-Chilli Thermal jersey from Vélobici fare?
Cycling clothing brand Vélobici, was established in 2010 by Chris Puttnam and Tara Love; both with a heritage of knitwear manufacture in their respective families. From a Leicestershire base, Vélobici clothing and accessories for both men and women are designed and manufactured in the UK to exacting standards and an obsessive attention to detail.
After the successful launch of their Roadwear collection in the summer, the Vélobici winter collection was released to the public in early November and included among other items, seamless performance arm and legwarmers, new additions introducing Roadwear to the Ella women’s collection, and the new long sleeved Van-Chilli Thermal Jersey.
The Van-Chilli Thermal Jersey is a blend of high performance technical fabrics and classic design, comfort and fit; a mirror of the striking swoop design of the Van-Abel and Van-Dapper short sleeved jerseys, though with silver reflective binding.
The ‘Cornelli’ VB on the left breast and ‘Vélobici’ embroidery across the back are both very prominent with bright white lettering against the black of the jersey. ‘Cornelli’ is a bold and looped decorative embroidery stitch which is raised on the fabric of the garment. The jersey is full zipped and predominantly black, except for the lettering and the silver reflective binding on the swoop and the piping on the hem.
5 generous sized pockets concealed within the swoop, 2 of which are fully zipped and waterproof to secure your phone, keys, cash and wallet, with a grey lining to match the draft flap and chin guard along the front zip. All zips have the VB logo zip pullers and the hem, which is slightly dropped at the rear for comfort, has a soft silicone gripper.
Vélobici specialise in typically British sartorial style – the Van-Chilli jersey is the embodiment of the less is more, subtle detailing, quality and timelessness that British design is renowned for; the jersey is extremely comfortable and offers perfect thermal protection in temperatures down to about 5 degrees centigrade.
I wore the jersey on a recent jaunt from Eastbourne down to Rye, at the very south eastern corner of East Sussex, and back where the temperature fluctuated from a balmy -1 degrees centigrade to a relatively tropical 5 degrees (in the sunshine); mixed with a long sleeved merino wool base layer and a lightweight windproof jacket over when it was particularly cold, I felt perfectly comfortable.
The thermal Meryl/Lycra actisystem fabric (made from the branded VB/Pro-VR1 performance fibre) is designed to be wind proof, but I must admit that those coastal easterlies did nip in a little; however, we were riding in fairly extreme temperatures that day – on any given ‘average’ British winter day the jersey would act perfectly well. The jersey is said to be water repellent (an important distinction from water resistant) though I haven’t had a chance to test this as yet.
Driving up the heart rate, sprinting for signs and pushing up the hills getting a sweat on, the jersey wicked away any body moisture and kept me feeling fresh and dry – having removed the jersey during the obligatory coffee stop and then putting it back on, there was no need to fear the dreaded cold and damp feeling of pulling the jersey back on again when it was time to leave, as the jersey was quick to dry in the heat of the café.
The extremely comfortable, flatlock seam stitched Van-Chilli jersey is the perfect garment for those long, Sunday winter training rides. The jersey is form fitting and moves nicely with the body which is testament to the Vélobici claim about the stretchiness of the fabric.
The expanding Vélobici Roadwear collection proves that the manufacturing skill base is alive and well in the UK and that it is perfectly possible to produce high quality and reasonably priced (in comparison to the competition – the Rapha Long Sleeve Pro Team Jersey, also priced at £150, springs to mind) cycle apparel, making use of the knitting millers and fabric modistes of the midlands around Leicestershire.
The Vélobici collection is offered as secure online shopping directly from the Vélobici website as well as from a handful of stockists around the UK including Velorution in Marylebone, London; Suka Sport in Carnaby, London; BonVélo in Herne Hill, London and the brand new Vélobici boutique in the leafy suburb of Stoneygate, Leicester.
The Van-Chilli Thermal jersey is available in a range of 5 sizes, and like the unisex Van-Abel and Van-Draper jerseys, from small which is suitable for both a slight male and a petite woman, to XXL – given the flexibility of the fabric easily stretched to a 46.5” chest.
I have worn and washed this jersey a number of times and for now it remains a firm favourite in my winter cycling wardrobe.
Van-Chilli Thermal Jersey – £150.