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The Shutt Velo Rapide Women's GreenTech Bib Shorts are well made and suit all ride distances, with one of the most comfortable multi-density foam and gel pads I've tested. They don't come cheap, but for the comfort on offer they're worth the cash.
The fit was great right from the off, in my usual medium size. They are made of Miti recycled Lycra, which has the right amount of support and stretch around the legs – although the lightweight gripper at the ends was a bit loose on me. It's a laser cut design that kept the shorts nicely in place while riding, but off the bike was a tiny bit baggy.
The legs are also about 4cm longer than my usual shorts, judging by my tan line. I don't mind the length but would prefer the grippers to be a tiny bit tighter; there is a fine line between too tight and too loose.
The bib straps are made of lightweight mesh material and are claimed to be high wicking; riding with and without a mesh baselayer, I certainly had no issues with being too sweaty up top on warm days. The straps are very comfortable, too, not too tight at all, and there is even a little pocket on the back.
I did a lot of rides of between two and five hours, in a mixture of temperatures, and really enjoyed wearing these shorts. On one particularly scorchio day I did get quite hot and felt a lack of wicking and the shorts rubbed at the edge of the pad, which I haven't had before. It was a one-off, though, and I had no more issues.
On slightly cooler rides I was fine, as I was on shorter rides. I'd say they are suited to days up to 24/25°C and when the weather is a little cooler. I tested the Lusso Stripes bib shorts last year and I'd say those are better for hotter days as they wick really well, though the pad isn't as well suited to longer rides.
The pad is the most important part of the shorts and Shutt VR has designed its own 3D multi-density foam and gel pad, claiming optimal shock absorption and rapid sweat absorption. I really liked this pad, and as someone who likes a simple, smooth type pad I wasn't sure that I would. However, the combination of the gel and multi-density foam works really well – for me, anyway.
According to Shutt VR, the pad has a 3mm flex layer, 6mm flex taper, 9mm nerve relief channel, 12mm contact padding, and 15mm critical padding with gel. I found it really comfortable on both short and longer 80-mile rides. The seams are all flat and neat and tidy. It was just that one super-hot ride that I experienced some rubbing, so I'm not sure about the 'rapid sweat absorption' claim.
In terms of value, at £110 they are pretty expensive, but if they have the right pad for you then the quality and comfort could be worth the investment. You can certainly buy cheaper, though, for example the 2XU Women's Sub Cycle bib shorts at £95, which got a good review from Emma (if you like the colour), and Ashia found Alé's £65 Solid Traguardos comfortable for medium rides, though not longer ones. I always hear good things about Rapha's £100 Core bib shorts from fellow cyclists, too.
Overall, for all but one of my rides, I was very comfortable in the Shutt Velo Rapide shorts, and thought the pad was great. They're definitely a pair of shorts I would be happy to use for longer rides – just maybe not the hottest of hot days.
And if you find you don't get on with them, Shutt VR says 'If you don't love them, simply return them to Shutt within one month for a full no quibble refund.'
Very comfortable shorts with a great pad for all distances
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Shutt Velo Rapide Women's GreenTech Bib Shorts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Bib shorts for women for any distance riding.
Shutt VR says, "Handmade in Italy, Shutt bib shorts are a cut above the rest. So good in fact that you'll forget you're wearing them and just enjoy your ride.
"Constructed from MITI Green Soul recycled Lycra with laser-cut leg gripper combined with high-wicking lightweight mesh straps, these bib shorts have been designed with comfort and performance in mind."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Shutt VR:
* Super soft Miti recycled Lycra for just the right amount of stretch and support
* High Wicking mesh straps to prevent over heating
* Super lightweight laser cut leg gripper to stop the shorts riding up even during the most intense ride.
Top-rated Shutt multi-density foam and gel pad
* Hypoallergenic and bactereostatic
* Anatomic design
* Multi level seamless pad
* Optimal shock absorbition
* Rapid sweat absorbition
Looks well made.
On 4 hour + rides, they performed well.
No problems after a month of wear.
The mediums fitted well, apart from the leg gripper being a little loose on me when not on the bike.
Medium sized up correctly, apart from the slightly loose leg gripper.
I found the pad very comfortable. I did have a bit of rubbing on a very hot day, but I was sweating a lot – a one-off issue.
They are £110, which ain't cheap, but you can pay more for similar quality shorts; if these work for you they could be worth it.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems washing them.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A quality pair of bib shorts, with a good pad, that performed well for long distance riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The pad was very comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The leg grippers didn't quite fit my legs, just a tiny bit loose.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I've scored these an 8 as they're a great pair of shorts, only the laser cut grippers not fitting my legs so well. They're not cheap, but I'd say they're worth the money if they fit.
About the tester
I usually ride: Genesis Croix de Fer Ti My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking