I’ve not yet really mentioned the Morvelo kit we have been wearing on the trip so far, but as you can see from all the pictures on the blog, we look pretty smart because Morvelo kindly supplied us with some clothing to test out. I have the Unity Jersey and Short with matching Gillet along with the 1985 Jersey and Short.
Marion has the full Vanno Velocissime kit.
I am usually a bit tight with buying bike clothing, I once completed the NPS XC MTB races in cut off pinstripe trousers from Oxfam! I also had the same pair of Fox MTB baggy shorts for 10 years of pretty constant riding. However with padded lycra shorts my usual ‘go to’ brands are Lusso and Endura for both road and MTB riding. I love the robustness and comfort of their kit and I think it is great value for money.
I never really understood why you would need anything else or to spend a bit more. However riding Morvelo’s shorts has been a real eye opener. In 20+ days of solid 8 to 10 hour daily use I have honestly had no discomfort at all! Normally there is an inevitable issue of chafing or discomfort after a week or so, or maybe on long wet or hot days. I can genuinely say that sitting down on the hard stock Kinesis WTB saddle has presented no issues in the slightest, I am pretty amazed to be honest! Kinesis will probably say its the comfortable bike which might play a part too!
It’s not just me though. Cycling to Istanbul last year Marion had a pair of Lusso and another brand shorts, the Lusso ones were her favourite and the most comfortable. This year she has a Morvelo pair and some Lusso shorts and you’ve guessed it – the Morvelo are even more comfortable.
With all these recent hours on the saddle I have been thinking why are they better? I have personally concluded that:
1: The bib short shape sits slighty better for me, both the tight and supportive panel design and with the pad perfectly on my sit bones. The bibs, as always help keep the short sitting right and with these the excellent leg gripping band helps too.
2: The foam is perforated with little cut out holes that combine with the overall design to make the pad and shorts dry really quickly, it is this that I think reduces chaffing and most of the discomfort from long hot or wet days.
3: It also feels like the resilience of the foam is better not sure how or why!
To be honest if these or any shorts made it through the trip it would be a miracle. It is not just the daily use but also the relentless daily hand washing, then being tied on the panniers to dry out that takes its toll. The fabric is showing scuff marks on the seams from use but nothing out of the ordinary yet and I think they will last well.
Marion did say that she would still prefer a lady’s version to be available in just a short as well as a bibshort. Whilst the bib is very comfortable it is not compatible in shape with a vest top for the hot days on the bike, and it also makes roadside toilet trips all the more traumatic! The bib shorts do hold up without the bib on though on those scorching days.
To be honest I suspect the main reason people will choose their jerseys are the unique and classy designs Morvelo offer, which is a personal choice.
For us we have found them comfortable and well thought out. I always use full zip jerseys like the Morvelo ones as I just like the extra ventilation they offer on hot days. They have the usual pockets at the back, one with a zip that’s not water/sweat resistant for phones, but is ideal for our GPS or plastic cash.
The thinner fabric on the back also helps with venting on hot days.
The only negative is that the extra side pocket is super useful to reach and use but it is liable to let stuff fall out, so don’t put valuables in there like sunglasses. Also the sizing is quite small, I went up a size to large, the arm gripping sections are still quite tight, perfect for my skinny arms but maybe not for anyone with any muscles!
The t-shirts are comfortable and I love my “Ride fast travel far” one – I think I should adopt it as the trip motto, any translations into Latin?
It is fair to say we have both been blown away by how comfortable it is. I’m not just saying this because they’ve been kind enough to supply kit to us. I try to be honest about what I use, but also I wouldn’t expect stuff to massively fail, because I am pretty selective on trips like this and only approach and use kit from companies setting a high standard.
We also both love the little individual features like the “Winner” on the 1985 cap or glancing at the “Pure sweet hell” on the jersey collar halfway up some hors categorie climb!
The only other possible negatives are clutching at straws a bit and are probably irrelevant because they are about keeping cool when its 30c+ and that would contradict the UK design logic. For example the mesh being a bit lower on the shorts to cool your lower back is not what I would recommend for riding in the Lakes on an average wet Sunday ride!
I will report back in a month or so and see how it all holds up but so far so good!