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The Shutt VR Tourmalet Bib Tights are very well made, and thanks to well-positioned panels and seams, fit excellently. The 3D multi-density pad certainly adds to the comfort, and if you want to do your bit for the planet then you'll be pleased to hear that the fabric is made from recycled material. Just make sure you make use of the size guide.
The Tourmalet bib tights are handmade in Italy using a fabric from MITI, a well-known and respected manufacturer of materials used by a fair few cycling brands.
The material itself is called Thermal Green and it has an internal brushed layer, giving a Roubaix-style finish to it for warmth. It's made from recycled polyamide and 'Eco-Smart' elastane.
Some recycled fabrics can feel a little different to traditional Lycra, but this stuff doesn't at all. It's soft and smooth against the skin, which makes the Tourmalets comfortable to wear on both short and very long rides.
What also helps is the shape and position of the multi-panel design, with all the seams kept away from where they are likely to cause irritation from rubbing, like behind the knees.
The fabric has a decent level of compression to it, although not over the top. This means the leg cuffs can rely on just silicone grippers to stop them riding up, which is something I'm glad of as I don't like zips or anything, which can irritate or interfere with overshoes.
As this is a piece of winter clothing, Shutt VR has used the same fabric for the bibs, rather than mesh or the like. It helps keep you warm and I've worn these down as low as 5°C so far. Shutt VR reckon the Tourmalets are good from 10°C down to -6°C, and I'd go along with that.
The bib straps are wide, don't twist when you are putting them on, and sit flat beneath your jersey or jacket, so they tick all the boxes there. There is a seam on each, which sits on the shoulder, but it's not large enough to cause any issues.
As for the pad, it's a Shutt VR Body Interface 3D multi-density gel and foam setup. It's a bit thicker than a lot of pads I've used, but it is also on the firm side which means that extra padding is supportive rather than feeling squidgy and causing numbness or pressure points.
I got on with it very well, especially on longer rides of four to five hours, and for use on the gravel tracks.
The overall quality of the Tourmalets is up with what I've seen many times from Shutt VR. Everything is well made without a stitch out of place, and the fabric is standing up well to the daily rigours of riding. One of the first places to show wear is where the material comes into contact with the saddle, but it's still looking unaffected on this pair after six weeks of testing.
When it comes to sizing Shutt VR has gone for a shaped anatomic race cut, so think a close fit when on the bike.
Compared with many other brands, the actual sizes are much smaller than you'd expect; think Italian. In most brands I wear a medium, which is what I have here, and while the general fit is absolutely fine, they are snug, and I'd definitely go up to a large if I was buying a pair. That does tie in with Shutt VR's sizing guide, though, my 34in waist being covered by the large, with the XL starting at 34.5in.
Priced at £129.99, the Tourmalets are in the right ball park for such a quality pair of bib tights.
The Rivelo Honister bib tights I tested at the end of the last winter offered an excellent fit and I was really impressed with the fabric used, apart from the DWR coating that didn't seem to be much cop, and they are £150.
Orro's Pyro Line Aquazero bibtights were some of my favourites from last winter too, offering loads of upper body coverage and warmth, plus the pad was awesome. Those are just £99.99, but they don't have any of the Shutt VRs' eco credentials.
The Tourmalets are a high-end pair of bib tights that offer plenty of comfort for those long, steady winter rides while keeping you warm. There is some tough competition at this price point, but at least Shutt VR has gone strong on its recycling game.
High-quality bib tights with eco credentials for sensible money – just check the sizing
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Shutt VR Tourmalet Bib Tights
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Shutt VR says, "Named after the Col du Tourmalet, the highest paved mountain pass in the French Pyrenees - it's cold up there!
Designed for riders who don't want to compromise on performance in colder weather, our Tourmalet Bib Tights will serve you during late or early season training and racing.
Handmade in Italy from lightweight and resilient MITI Thermal Green Superoubaix, which is internally fleeced and fast wicking to keep you warm and dry whatever the weather. Thermal Green is a high-end Bluesign certified fabric, brush back warp knit fabric made with recycled polyamide and Eco-Smart.
The aerodynamic cut and 3D multi-density gel and foam pad delivers outstanding comfort even on the very longest of rides. "
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Shutt VR lists these features:
Ideal for long distance riding
Anatomic race cut
Full Roubaix brace
Top-rated Shutt multi-density foam and gel pad
Hypoallergenic and bactereostatic
Optimal shock absorption
They size up small in relation to many other brands, but are true to the sizing guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues after following the manufacturer's instructions.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very comfortable bib tights for those long, cold winter rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The pad is very supportive.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing to really dislike as long as you buy the right size.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are in the right sort of price bracket, that is for sure. The Orros mentioned in the review manage to squeeze in some really good performance and comfort for 30 quid less, while the Rivelos offer an awesome fabric for the main sections but you'll pay more for that.
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
A solid performing pair of bib tights that are well made, and the use of recycled materials will swing it for some.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!