Feature: Chat with David O’Connor, Shutt Velo Rapide

A brand that has help VeloUK serve the sport for many years now is Shutt Velo Rapide and we chat to David O’Connor, new Head of Custom Kit and Operations

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Feature: Chat with David O’Connor, Shutt Velo Rapide

ShuttVR is a premium UK cycling brand which also makes custom cycling kit for clubs and teams and has been a supporter of VeloUK since its launch. We chat to David O’Connor, new Head of Custom Kit and Operations

Above: David heads up Shutt’s custom kit operations, including customer service and business development.

VeloUK: So how did you get involved with Shutt?
DOC: Like everyone at Shutt, I started out as a customer. I loved the classic timeless look and very high quality of the product. Made in the UK isn’t something you see often these days either.

After a 32-year career with the Royal Marines, I was looking for something that fitted in with my love of endurance sport and the opportunity to join the Shutt Team ticked all the boxes.

The work environment is very relaxed but focused. The mission, (to use an old familiar term) is simple. To provide our customers with high quality functional and long lasting kit and very good value for money.

One of the great aspects of working with Shutt is that we all have a very unhealthy passion for all things bikes, so we know what works and what doesn’t and this knowledge and experience is passed on through our products. The other great thing is that if it’s sunny, we’ll ride our bikes, and make the time up when it rains.

VeloUK: The custom kit market is competitive, where does Shutt fit in?
DOC: You’re right, it’s very competitive, and to compete just on price is a race to the bottom. A lot of what’s out there is, frankly rubbish. We are getting more and more requests from clubs and teams who have used the cheaper end of the market only to realise that the kit just isn’t up to the rigours of todays club and racing rider.

People are happy to pay a little extra for a quality product that’s well designed, well made, performs better and lasts significantly longer than the rest. Shutt’s entire custom range is made to the same specifications, high quality fabrics and refinements as our retail range.

The kit for the ShuttVR Ridley team in 2018

What’s your favourite piece from the Shutt range?
DOC: All of it ;-) ! This time of year, our Roubaix Bib-tights are superb and this has been recently supported by a rave review on Road.cc causing the retail version to sell out in just a day (more on their way). They’re identical to the ones we produce for our custom customers, featuring our own custom pad with variable thickness foam and gel panels surrounding pressure relief channels.

This same pad goes in all our bib shorts, even the entry level designs. As an endurance rider, I know what I need in a pad and know how uncomfortable things can get if you get it wrong. Since using the Shutt pad, I have not had to consider any other on the market. It is superb, and finishing the 2017 Tour du Mont Blanc in Shutt kit without any major pad issues is testament to the excellent support and comfort levels the pad provides. 330k, 8700m of climbing in 18 hours you had better make sure your kit is up to it! And it was – thankfully!

VeloUK: What does the future hold for Shutt Custom?
DOC: There is a buzz in Shutt HQ right now. In the next 12 to 18 months we are adding to our range but not diluting the quality and classic timeless signature that our customers like. We’ve got a new super-lightweight climbers’ jersey, a new fully waterproof jersey and a hi-tech winter jacket in development.

Technology wise, we’ve just started offering customers a private online ordering portal, taking a lot of the woes from the club’s kit manager and supported by a complete design service.

Thank you to Dave – you can see the great selection of kit from Shutt VR here on their website






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