Thanks to its mesh back and side panels, the Shutt Velo Rapide Elite Jersey is a great choice for when the temperature starts to ramp up. It's comfortable too, but at £110 it's priced a little high against some of the competition.
- Pros: Breathable fabrics, quality finish
- Cons: White panels get grubby quickly, pricey
The sun has been out for well over a week here while I'm writing the review, and with the temperatures hanging around 18-25°C the Elite jersey has been getting a lot of use.
Shutt VR has used a combination of materials from Miti Spa, one of the most highly regarded fabric developers in the business, and it gives the jersey a top quality feel and performance.
Around the front and over the shoulders, the smooth material has plenty of stretch for freedom of movement and its softness against the skin is one of the best I've worn. It provides a small barrier against a cool breeze, making the Elite ideal if you start a ride early in the morning or finish late in the evening but when the sun is out it doesn't struggle to keep you cool.
This is helped by the back and side panels which are made from a wide section mesh type fabric. It really lets the heat and moisture escape, especially as the wind whips over your back when you're down on the drops.
As a jersey it's not quite as cool as a full-mesh design like Castelli's Aero Race 5.1 Jersey FZ, but like I say, it's a good compromise if the temperature drops off mid-ride.
Round the front you get a full zip, though oddly no zip garage at the neck. I didn't get any irritation but some might from a neckline that sits reasonably high up.
The tail is dropped at the back although not by as much as some jerseys I've tested, and it's held in place by a silicone gripper which runs just along the rear section. It does the job and I never found the Elite riding up.
The Shutt VR comes with three traditional pockets which use a heavier weight material than the mesh they are attached to. They are sturdy enough to carry a multi-tool or phone without sagging and they are deep enough to keep everything secure.
Sizing is quite generous compared with Shutt's website. I was assigned this medium as that is the size I take in the majority of brands and it was great: a close, race-style, form fit with no excess material or restriction, even though I did find the sleeves a little more roomy than I'm used to. Shutt's size guide, though, would have me in either a large or even extra large, so if you want a close fit like the jersey deserves, size down.
As usual from Shutt VR, the Elite is a quality garment and very well made. All the stitching is neat and tidy, and I like the addition of the clear soft plastic label inside – no chance of irritation from it.
You do pay for it, though, at £110. That Castelli Aero I mentioned is £100, as is the excellent Morvelo EFX Nth Series. Another thorn in its side is the Craft Monument jersey, which has many of the same characteristics but is £85.
Overall, I really like the Elite for its performance, but if it was my own money I'd be shopping around.
Impressive warm weather performance and quality, but you pay for it
road.cc test report
Make and model: Shutt Velo Rapide Elite Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Shutt VR says, "A luxurious pro-fit jersey constructed using a mix of the latest technically advanced fabrics for fantastic breathability and moisture management, this jersey works to keep you dry and comfortable when the heat's turned up."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Shutt VR:
Race cut from premium MITI fabrics
High level of breathability and exceptional moisture transfer
Sleek, contemporary design
Textured Lycra back and sides
Full length zip
Laser cut arm grippers
Silicon elastic hem
Three large rear pockets
I'd say the size chart on Shutt VR's website is a little off. It has me in between L and XL but the medium fitted me fine, and if I'd gone bigger I wouldn't have had the close fit.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
With the jersey being mainly white, I was worried about staining especially from wet, muddy roads, but I've had no issues. It does get grubby quickly, though, and you'll be washing it after every ride.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A great jersey for warm-weather performance riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
White panels get grubby easily.
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 overall score
Overall, the Shutt VR is a great jersey for riding on warm to hot summer days thanks to great breathability, but at £110 value is a consideration as there are many other jerseys out there of the same quality for less.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is:
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.