Testing and reviewing jerseys is certainly not as straightforward as it used to be; gone are the days when, at the start of each season, brands offered one or two new jerseys, possibly in a few different colours. Manufacturers now go out of their way to cater for several disciplines, varying levels of experience and ability, a wide range of tastes and any kind of weather condition that Mother Nature can throw at us.
Have a look at our guide to the best women’s cycling jerseys and you’ll see what I mean.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with descriptions and titles, particularly when there are several different jerseys from one manufacturer all with similar names. Velocio’s CONCEPT Radiator is a good example of this. Back in 2020, we reviewed the Velocio Radiator Mesh Jersey, designed for very warm conditions. This is still available on its website, so clearly a big hit.
Then the Velocio CONCEPT Jersey arrived, with an aero cut and performance fabrics..
Fast forward to 2022 and Velocio has combined the traits of both jerseys to make its latest, most advanced, high performing jersey, the CONCEPT Radiator Jersey. I was keen to see what the fuss was about – both the Radiator Mesh and the CONCEPT got rave reviews with Colin stretching to 4.5/5.
The front torso and sleeve panels mimic the Radiator Mesh Jersey; they use the same textured, perforated Polartec Delta Mesh material. The tencel and recycled polyester yarns create a 3D mesh structure intended to wick and absorb moisture, then actively cool through evaporation as you ride. Unfortunately, Polartec Delta Mesh doesn’t boast UPF – not ideal for the upper arms.
The rear panel thankfully offers UPF 30+ protection. The fabric’s open-knit structure is design to offer a degree of compression as well as breathability. It’s made by Italian brand M.I.T.I whose reputation for sustainability falls in line with Velocio’s.
A low-profile neckline, mimicking both the CONCEPT and the Radiator Mesh, is designed to reduce bulk and maximise airflow. Beyond that, the CONCEPT Radiator takes the same fit and patterning as the CONCEPT; it’s focused on aerodynamics – expect a close, streamlined fit with no wrinkles or bagging.
Even with traditionally stitched hems in several places (rather than raw-cut), the jersey still only tips the scales at 125g (MEDIUM).
A lightweight YKK CamLock zipper is kept away from the skin with a soft, supple full-length zipper guard. This extends at both ends to create garages that protect the neck and shorts.
The well judged dropped rear is supported with a band of silicone-lined elastic. At the front edge, the hem is bonded for a smooth transition to shorts.
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Four pockets, including a zipped one, have an elasticated top hem to help keep contents secure. It’s lined with silicone on the underside, presumably to prevent anything ‘slipping’ out. The zipped pocket has a moisture resistant lining.
A decent sized, well-placed reflective logo finishes off the pockets, helping to increase visibility in low-light conditions.
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I’d say following Velocio’s size chart should give you the intended fit: snug and race-ready. The jersey is available in XXS-3XL – Velocio consistently caters for the full range of sizes.
Pulling on the CONCEPT Radiator Jersey is akin to zipping up a skinsuit; the fit and cut is very much race orientated and the fabrics cope with deep, sweat-inducing efforts; they wick and dry out rapidly – certainly quick enough for you not to notice dampness. It’s perfectly understandable that this would be the choice of those riding or racing in hot conditions – the endurance and adventure racers wanting all day comfort and performance. It’s featherlight and lofty. I was genuinely surprised to see it was only 4g lighter than the Assos UMA GTV Jersey C2 (opens in new tab); it really does feel weightless.
Without a base layer, the jersey’s exceptionally soft against bare skin, the ribbon-like zipper guard is so compliant that you don’t noticed this either.
The pockets are roomy enough to be stuffed full of provisions and, should you want one, a lightweight layer. In addition to being spacious, they are considerately placed, making them easy to access while riding.
I personally have some reservations about the durability of the rear panel where the pockets attach. If the pockets are regularly heavily loaded, the material will be repeatedly put under strain. There’s no reinforcement or supporting panel where they’re stitched to the main body of the jersey, so it’s possible that the delicate fabric could be compromised in the long term.
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While we’re talking fabric durability, it’s worth noting that the Polartec Delta Mesh is very vulnerable; Velcro easily pulls out the textiles’ yarns and off-road or gravel forays can lead to snags if you brush against branches or bushes.
Given I’ve been testing this in the UK, it’s been teamed with a base layer quite a bit. It works well like this but I’d say the fabrics perform optimally without one. In either case, as all the photos clearly show, the jersey really doesn’t hide anything. The transparent fabrics reveal every detail of your sports bra and bib shorts (if you’ve opted for them over waist shorts).
At the time of reviewing, the jersey was only available in black or white, so one extreme or the other. For me that’s the option of something that looks grubby after a few months, or something that makes you close to invisible in certain conditions. Thankfully, Velocio quickly replaced the black with navy and added three more options, giving a total of five colours. Hopefully most preferences are catered for.
At £154/$199, the CONCEPT Radiator is exactly the same price as the CONCEPT and £35/$40 more than the Radiator Mesh. It’s not an investment to be taken lightly. Velocio pride themselves on quality and sustainability. In my opinion this a huge incentive to chose it over other premium brands who haven’t yet made that step.
While I personally wouldn’t be able to justify the expense due to the fact that I rarely train or ride competitively in very warm conditions, I’d say that those who do will appreciate the performance and comfort of the CONCEPT Radiator.
- RRP: £154/$199
- Sizes: XXS-3XL
- Weight: 125g (MEDIUM)