UK brand Shutt VR has delivered a very well designed and thought pair of bib tights with this Team model. Everything from the fabric selection, panel positioning and the custom designed chamois pad is spot on and they are a joy to wear, whether out for a quick blast or one of those off-season base mile epics.
- Pros: Comfy pad, panel positioning, price
- Cons: Erm...
Shutt VR has developed its own pad for the Teams rather than buying a product off the shelf from one of the big manufacturers. It's done a very good job too. My initial ride in the bib tights was a five-hour, 90-mile jaunt around the local countryside which is always risky, but the Shutt VRs were, well, unnoticeable. When kit is that good that you don't give it a single thought while in the saddle, then that's a resounding success.
When I first put the bib tights on I did feel the pad was a little on the bulky side, with its varying thicknesses of foam panels surrounding the pressure relief channels. Once on the bike, though, that soon disappeared and the plushness was well received, especially for the type of rides you are likely to do in the winter months. Longer and a little slower possibly, where you can often find yourself spending more of the ride sat in the saddle and in a more upright position.
For racier riding, though, things still work and that added padding doesn't bunch when you are crouched over, hunkered down on the bar.
For warmth, the Shutt VR Teams use Vuelta Lycra for all of the panels below the waist. This has a fleece-style brushed back which sits against the skin and is both soft and insulating.
Shutt VR doesn't make any windstopping claims but I had no issues when riding in the recent cold northerly winds, and while we are yet to have any early morning frosts down here in the south west I don't see an issue when the temperature drops below freezing. (I'll update this review if they prove me wrong.)
Breathability feels perfectly acceptable too. On some rides where the sun came out and I was sheltered from the wind things did get a little warm, but I didn't feel as though I was overheating.
The material also has a water-repellent treatment which works well against light drizzle or riding in the mist and fog. Anything heavier and it'll get overwhelmed, but you do stay warm even when wet so it's no biggy.
There is plenty of stretch in the material to allow for a full range of unhindered motion when pedalling, plus you don't get any bunching behind the knees at all.
The fabric used for the bib section is similar but nowhere near as thick, so you get the cosiness of the brushed fabric without overheating. Nice wide straps and a central back section fit close without causing any pressure points, especially where they pass over your shoulders.
I'm not a big fan of zips at the bottom of the legs on tights, especially if they sit at the rear, a place where they can rub against zips on overshoes and cause discomfort. The Shutt VRs just use an elasticated hem and silicone gripper and it works a treat; they don't move up your legs at all.
One hundred pounds isn't that rare a price point for a decent pair of bib tights and I think it's money well spent here. As I've said, the fit and performance are absolutely brilliant, and when it comes to quality things continue to impress. They're Italian made, and all of the stitching looks neat and tidy throughout; they feel like a much more expensive pair of tights. They look it too. I'm a fan of the Shutt VR logo, and with their coloured band around the bottom of the thighs they look like a bib shorts and leg warmer combo.
All of the branding has been screen printed too, so nothing will be peeling off in a couple of months. Another cool little touch is the sizing and information label which is made out of a kind of clear plastic which doesn't irritate at all.
We've recently reviewed Rapha's Core bib tights which look to be very similar to the Shutt VRs but £20 more expensive, while Pearl Izumi's Pro Pursuit tights, again very similar, are £129.99. The Shutts are looking very competitive indeed.
On the whole, the Shutt VR Team bib tights are a welcome addition to an autumn/winter/spring wardrobe.
Excellent bib tights in every aspect, with a special mention to the very comfortable pad
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Shutt VR Team Bib Tights
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Shutt VR says, "Specifically designed for Autumn, Winter and Spring riding, our Team Bib Tights will serve you during late or early season training and racing. The aerodynamic cut and custom Shutt chamois make these bib tights practical, comfortable, and perfect even in the harshest weather conditions.
"The Vuelta LYCRA® fabric with water repellent treatment has an interlocking microfibre knit that controls stretch whilst providing highly breathable insulation that is super soft to touch. These bib tights will keep the chill out whilst wicking moisture away."
The Team bibtights are a great combination of material choice and cut to offer an ideal piece of clothing for almost all winter weather conditions.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
*Water repellent Vuelta LYCRA®
*Anatomic race cut
*Custom Shutt Chamois
*Sizes - S to XXL
The sizing reflects the charts.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Usual stuff: 30 degree wash and they came up clean.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Brilliantly, very warm and sublimely comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The pad works better than I first thought it would.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really, but if I was being picky I'd like the colour band to go all the way around the leg.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The Shutt VRs are just great bib tights, as simple as that. The fabric works, the cut is spot on and the pad is ideal for all types of riding.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.