Long Term Review: ELEVEN vélo Merino Wool Team Jersey, Bibs & Arm Warmers

Eleven Velo Wool Kit

The Sydney, Australian based company, ELEVEN vélo , is a purveyor of fine merino wool cycling clothing. We featured their brand here. Since then, I have had the luxury of riding in their team jersey, 3/4 length bibs, and arm warmers. One can think of ELEVEN vélo as being akin to a custom frame builder. Each product that goes out the door is specifically crafted for the customer that ordered it. The goods sold are made from ethically sourced materials, and manufactured in Sydney to strict guidelines. A lot of thought has gone into the design of the clothing, ensuring it looks good and performs great.

Head past the break for a full breakdown of the items.

Eleven Velo Team Merino Jersey Front

TEAM JERSEY

The ELEVEN vélo team jersey provided for review is made from a quality 170gsm (5 oz) Woolmark superfine merino wool. It features an Italian made 6” zip, three reinforced rear anti-sag pockets, and customizable color options.

The wool used here (and in all of their products) is grown, spun, and woven in Victoria, Australia, which allows the supplier to keep a low carbon footprint. It is also non-Mulesing certified. And for anyone who has ridden in quality merino wool can attest to, it is odor resistant, naturally anti bacterial, breathable, and great at regulating temperature. Oh, and it’s flame resistant, but don’t go riding through any forest fires to test it, ok.

Eleven Velo Team Merino Jersey Rear

These features, combined with very high quality craftsmanship should yield a great jersey. And you know what, it does. This is hands down my favorite jersey in the closet. The fit is spot on. With seven different sizes to choose from, you should easily be able to order a jersey that fits perfectly. If you have an odd sized body, they will make a bespoke jersey just for you as well (for an additional fee).

Eleven Velo Team Merino Jersey Pockets

I received the jersey at the tail end of the warm weather here in Portland, OR. I found that it works great with no base layer on warm days. As fall rolled in, I found it works great over a lightweight base layer on cooler days, or under a rain shell. And now with winter here, I have been wearing it over a thermal base layer with a jacket over it. The jersey not only looks great, but it performs great too.

Comfort has never been an issue with this piece of kit. The fit is snug but not tight, and when loaded, the pockets don’t affect the fit in any significant way. The jersey also makes use of elastic at the waist and on the end of each sleeve to keep it in place.

Eleven Velo Team Merino Jersey Zipper

Options for the team jersey include short or long sleeves, 6” or full zip, seven different sizes, customizable body color, arm color, and chest and back panel colors, thread color, reflective stripes on rear pockets, and bespoke fitting if needed. I configured this jersey with short sleeves, 6” zip, in black with light blue accents and white and black thread. Cost as ordered is $120 USD.  A very reasonable and competitive price given the good design and quality of the product.

Eleven Velo Merino Arm Warmers

ARM WARMERS

Good arm warmers are always a nice addition to any kit, especially on those cooler spring and fall days. Knowing the temperature was dropping soon, it was great to have these arm warmers included in the review kit.

As with the jersey, the quality of stitching here is top notch. The design is great, because the strip on the arm warmers matches up well with the strip on the sleeve of the jersey. They are made using a 220gsm superfine merino wool that has never once felt itchy against the skin. It is mixed with 5% spandex to give them a bit of stretch. The added spandex also makes them more form fitting to the arm. They do a great job of keeping my limbs warm on cooler rides. When it does warm up, they roll up small enough to easily fit inside a jersey pocket.

Eleven Velo Merino Arm Warmers Detail

They come in five sizes, and I have the longest at 21.3” (31cm). At 6’2” I have somewhat long arms, and I prefer my arm warmers to have a fair bit of overlap with my sleeves. This largest size starts at my wrist and goes all the way up my arm, and ends just below my armpit. With a wide size range however, you can order a length that fits your personal preference. Cost is $45 USD.

Eleven Velo Premium Cycling Bibs

PREMIUM CYCLING BIBS

To round out the kit, I have been riding in the ELEVEN vélo premium cycling bibs. As with the other bit of kit, these are made from superfine merino wool (170gsm), but they also include some Lycra panels for a perfect fit with the right amount of stretch. Specifically, they are made using closed mesh merino wool straps and side panels. The inner panels are made using a tougher 250gsm Italian Lycra for “compressive comfort and durability.”  A rear stash pocket is built in to hold less frequently accessed items, and two optional leg stash pockets can be added for access to gels or other small items. As with the jersey, internal elastic is used on the cuffs to keep the legs from riding up.

Eleven Velo Permium Cycling Bibs Chamois Pad

The chamois pad comes from Elastic Interface, and it is their Tour-HP Carbonium model designed for long distance riding. It’s made from three layers of high density foam, and features their “HEART SHAPE” zone for a better anatomical, comfortable fit.

Eleven Velo Permium Cycling Bibs Rear Stash Pocket

Simply put, these are the best bibs I have ever ridden in. Thanks to the large size range offered (six options total), I was able to order a pair that fits me just right. They have a tad bit of stretch to them, but it’s nothing like the usual spandex bibs we are all used to. That gives these bibs a quality, tailored just for me, feel that I love. Again, knowing it was about to get colder outside, I went with the optional 3/4 length legs to get me through fall and spring. The legs stop 4” below my knee. They worked out perfectly in the fall weather. With the onset of winter temperatures (nothing to severe here in Portland, OR), I found I could wear these, along with some knee high wool socks, and if needed a pair of wind stopper fleece lined winter pants and stay plenty warm. These are looking to be a great three season bib.

The only downside I have found to these bibs is due to the lack of super stretchy-ness. While I do love how they fit, the mid section comes up above my belly button, and with limited stretchy-ness, I find it can be a bit hard to take a “natural break,” but it is manageable.

Cost for these bibs runs $140 USD, and the 3/4 leg option is an additional $10 USD.

CONCLUSION

In short, this kit is fantastic. The design and styling is classy, and is a nice change of pace from the logo heavy race kit we are all used to seeing. It’s produced ethically and responsibly, it’s made from high quality materials, shows fantastic craftsmanship, is available in a size range to fit most anybody, performs amazingly well, and is very comfortable. In fact, it’s so comfortable, it’s like riding in my pajamas. And if all that wasn’t enough, you get to pick out the colors. With all that in mind, the cost of these products is very reasonable, and quite competitive. When it comes time to purchase more clothing, ELEVEN vélo’s gear will be at the top of my list, and should be on your’s too.

Comments

Keir Whitcher - 03/10/14 - 6:52pm

These bibs are great and I was pretty impressed with the turnaround time. Really nicely made and great to wear.

Troy Junge - 03/10/14 - 7:39pm

I have the top – I love it. There are a lot of seams around the shoulders – I can see how design has evolved to move or eliminate these, but I ride with a backpack every day and have no complaints.
The fit and stitching is absolutely top class – the price – very reasonable.
And it fits perfectly.

Greg - 03/10/14 - 8:09pm

That dude should be playing football in which country these products are made.

bakapabo - 03/10/14 - 8:43pm

what frame is that?

Poncho - 03/10/14 - 11:50pm

All City Mr Pink.

boroboonie - 03/11/14 - 8:19am

HTFU and move out of that crappy duplex community brah

Ryan - 03/11/14 - 9:45am

Talk about an archetype, lol. I can’t believe they didn’t show his leatherette cassette tape suitcase sitting in the passenger seat.

Reformed Roadie - 03/11/14 - 11:02am

It’s there, you just can’t see it…
Cool car.

Charlie Best - 03/11/14 - 11:05am

HTFU?

You’ve got fenders on your bike dude.

Ironic?

Mike C - 03/11/14 - 11:51am

Can you talk more about the care and how well they’ve worn relative to regular synthetic kits?

Chuck Dick - 03/11/14 - 11:59am

Is that the new facial hair implant all the hipsters are getting in Brooklyn? Niiiiiice.

Champs - 03/11/14 - 2:10pm

Wow, this is not the threadjack I expected. Nick just earned an upgrade from Cat5 HTFU all the way up to Cat1 AYHSMB.

Hannes - 03/11/14 - 2:33pm

wow, so much wrong with that picture.
seriously, 3/4 bibs for men? and what’s up with that ridiculous beard and cap?
honestly, no matter how great the kit may feel, if it’s rocked by a dude like that, posing in a way like that, i’m gonna pass it right up. #nothanks

Antipodean_G - 03/11/14 - 4:27pm

@Mike C, I and others have jerseys that have been used and abused for years, worn and washed 3-4 times a week and the Merino holds up very well. The added bonus is that after a year it does not hold funk, like many synthetic counterparts – and we’ve used both extensively over a decade.

@Hannes #coolkidsclubmuch?

Velorider - 03/11/14 - 7:33pm

I like wool a lot. I don’t like this particular man wearing the wool so much.

Joshua Murdock - 03/11/14 - 9:33pm

What a bunch of dorks complaining about somebody who does the testing and writes the articles that they don’t (and probably can’t). I understand ripping on somebody if they write an unsatisfactory article, but only losers rip on someone else for their appearance – save that for your austere Sunday morning espresso ride. Maybe he’s not as self conscious as you all and does’t worry about how he looks in a picture? I think it’s a great article and don’t care how he poses. It shows off the kit very well.

Antipodean_G - 03/11/14 - 11:33pm

@Joshua Murdock nailed it on the head.

As the owner of ELEVEN vélo, I am astounded at some of the comments reflecting on the way the reviewer looks. I mean, if anyone should be concerned, it should be us and I’ll be honest, I don’t give a flying f@#!.

I have back and frothed with Nick for a few months while he used the kit we sent him, and he comes across as a stirling individual and I would have it as a guess, more of a genuine individual than some here. To cast dispersions based on the way he chooses to look is frankly, sad. Further, to say that “if it’s rocked by a dude like that, posing in a way like that, i’m gonna pass it right up. #nothanks” is frankly a 12 year old schoolyard mentality.

If I recall, there was a serious panning on another brand recently because of the way they chose to represent their new jerseys. The difference here is that we sent kit to BR and Nick, an everyday guy that writes for BR after hours, reviewed it and took pics; so in effect anyone panning an individual reviewer is effectively having a go at an individual, not a brand, not a model but a REAL person and one that may be actually reading this guff.

In this country, that’s called cyber-bullying (when prolonged and en mass) and there are laws coming into force that criminalise such pathetic behaviour that, disturbingly more than you think, leads to more serious consequences for the target victim and in the worst case scenario, end in self harm.

Sure, it’s a passing comment but think about what your typing for a minute before you type it. As it is, we’d prefer not to have such judgemental people wearing our kit, as it makes us look like knobs to more balanced people.

Sincerely,

Gerard T, owner, ELEVEN vélo.

Ian - 03/11/14 - 11:59pm

I got a pair of their bibs a month ago, and I love them. They’re holding up well with a few hundred miles in them.

During the order process, a production issue held my bibs up for a bit. I can attest that Eleven Velo handles customer service with as much class as they’ve handled the d-bags in this comment thread.

Stevo - 03/12/14 - 5:25am

I have the team jersey, a few pair of knicks and their premium trail shorts and the quality, fit and durability, along with the customer service, is top notch. I have used and abused them in races, commuting, on the road and general trail riding and have been very happy. In fact I won’t wear any other knicks now because the fit and comfort is so good. I would thoroughly recommend Eleven Velo kit to anyone…

Ryan - 03/12/14 - 10:01am

@Gerard
re: “that’s called cyber-bullying”

When I read that part, I was hit with a sudden realization that you were right—and I felt shame rush over me. Thank you for your comment, and I apologize to Nick for my comment earlier. It’s also an admirable quality for a business owner to stand up like you did.

Now I’m off to browse my new favorite company’s goods.

Ryan

Al Boneta - 03/12/14 - 12:19pm

I really like the look of the Premium Trail short

Psi Squared - 03/12/14 - 2:03pm

@ Nick Burlow: how does the fit of bibs or knickers hold up when it’s wet outside? Wool can stretch a bit when wet, so does the elasticity of the lycra cover that?

@Charlie Best: I’m not sure how group rides operate in the Pacific NW, but in many places that get a lot of rain, it’s frowned upon to show up for a group ride in the rain without fenders. Moreover, if a person’s going to ride in the rain a lot, fenders are smart. For commuting in the rain, they’re a virtual necessity.

Mike C - 03/12/14 - 2:08pm

@Antipodean_G – Thanks for the additional info! How well does it hold it’s shape? I like a tight fit and had a bad experience with a pricey Cappo kit two seasons ago that lost it’s shape after about 4 washes – highly frustrating for a premium product.

Antipodean_G - 03/12/14 - 5:35pm

@Mike C… that’s a simple one and please don’t take this as a sales spiel…. the kit does not loose shape (which is a pet hate of mine). To be honest, considering the way I’ve treated some of my own kit for the past few years (purely for testing purposes and not because I’m lazy ;) ) that the tops and bibs still have the same shape is quite amazing.

mattie d - 03/13/14 - 2:49pm

Can I see more of that vintage Z? And why hate on knickers for a guy? There is a time and place for everything.

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