On the bottom half, the gripper-less “Power Band” leg openings had me worried the legs of the shorts might creep up–Voler’s web site even notes this may be the case. Though a potential concern for riders with extremely skinny thighs, the combination of the high-compression fabrics along with doubled-over cuffs kept the edges where they belong and felt extremely comfortable–more so, in fact, than traditional silicon or elastic grippers.
Voler paid attention to details large and small, from the excellent CyTech HP padding, to the two-piece collar, to the reflective band along the rear pockets.
A long distance-rated synthetic chamois–the CyTech HP from Italian supplier Elastic Interface–lines the bib shorts and performs beautifully. Its seamless construction and low-profile design provides a comfortable interface free of both chafing and that pillow-between-the-legs feel of some pads. Notably, several other high-end manufacturers also use the CyTech HP, usually on higher price point shorts.
As extras go, the use of hidden-until-needed reflective materials, and well-proportioned and tensioned rear pockets highlight the kind of consideration Voler brought to every detail. While I found the zippered key/phone pocket a little hard to use, it’s the smallest of niggles and will likely work just fine with some practice.
As a complete experience, Voler’s Black Label has what I can only describe as a disappeared feeling of comfort. That is to say the garments feel hardly there–seamless and undistracting, and near weightless even when sweat soaked. If they could only make these not get dirty, I’d wear them every ride.
Voler’s PowerBand arm openings hold firmly to the bicep without creating a pressure point. Photo by Voler.
For now there are only five pieces in the Black Label collection–the $99 men’s and women’s short sleeve jerseys; the $109 men’s and women’s shorts; and the $119 men’s bib shorts. Women’s pieces come in five sizes from small to extra large, while the men’s selections add a sixth size, double extra large. Barker predicts they’ll add additional colors next spring and may incorporate more Black Label features into their team kits as well. Black Label thermals and outerwear are also in the works.
As if performance, comfort and price weren’t enough, Voler brings national pride to the equation despite their French-sounding name.
“We do all our manufacturing here in Grover Beach, California,” said Barker. “We source our jersey fabrics in the US, our performance spandex and specialty fabrics in Italy, and zippers in the US and Canada. All of our threads, elastic and heat transfers are from the US and we always choose a US supplier if we can.”
Voler Black Label Cycling Collection
- Men’s SS Jersey, MSRP: $99 (tested)
- Men’s Bib Shorts, MSRP: $119 (tested)
- Men’s Short, MSRP: $109
- Women’s SS Jersey, MSRP: $99
- Women’s Shorts, MSRP: $109
- Sizes: Men’s: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL; Women’s: XS, S, M, L, XL
- Colors: Black, Black with red (shorts and bibs only)
- Available: now
- Country of origin: Made in USA from US, Canadian and Italian components
For more information visit voler.com.