First-look review: Scott RC ProTec bibshorts and jersey
Scott’s Racing Concept (RC) collection comprises a range of equipment specifically designed to meet the demands of competition. Scott recently added bibshorts and jerseys to this collection that utilise a new armour-like material that promises to reduce the risk of abrasion in the event of a crash.
The new fabric is called ITD ProTec and it was developed in collaboration with Schoeller, a Swiss textiles manufacturer. ITD Protec combines knitted carbon yarns with ceramic printing to yield a material that offers the same kind of fit and feel as regular nylon but with significantly greater resistance to abrasion, as demonstrated in Scott’s promotional video:
The promise of ITD Protec is obvious though the proof is lacking. In short, there is no convincing way to prove the effectiveness of the material (aside from recruiting riders to crash at speed on the road). However, Scott is working on developing a standardised abrasion test to quantify the strength of the new fabric.
To be precise: ITD ProTec is not knitted entirely from carbon yarn but rather it serves as a scaffold for the rest of the nylon material. In the event of abrasion, the scaffold acts to limit the size of any tear. At the same time, impregnation of the fabric with ceramic particles (i.e. ceramic printing) also enhances its resistance to abrasion.
Scott utilises the new fabric for the shoulders of its RC Protec short sleeve jersey and the side panels of its bibshorts. Since it is a knitted nylon fabric, it offers the same kind of stretch and breathability as normal nylon. ITD ProTec almost feels like rubber to the touch but once it is on the body, it is difficult to distinguish it from the rest of the garment.
Out on the road, I was as comfortable wearing the RC ProTec kit as any other I’ve worn this summer. Scott designs the RC ProTec bibs and jersey to provide an “Athletic Fit” and indeed, I found both garments were close and supportive. Sizing compares well with other brands such as Assos with perhaps a little extra room overall.
The RC ProTec jersey has a full-length zip at the front and three pockets at the rear with two extra internal compartments. The bibshorts have elastic padding that is good for at least a few hours of riding while the leg hems were reliable without ever being tight.
Finally, I didn’t put the abrasion resistance of the fabric to the test but I’m satisfied with Scott’s “lab” testing. Realistically, I wouldn’t expect ITD ProTec to prevent road rash, but it should reduce its severity. The pricing of the jersey and bibshorts is very reasonable, the only drawback is that there is just a single design and fit on offer at the moment.
The RC ProTec jersey and bibshorts are available in one colour and five sizes (S-XXL). At present there are no plans to bring the kit to Australia but other markets will find it at their local Scott stockist.
RRP: Short-sleeve jersey, US$125 (AU$165); bibshorts, US$145 (AU$190).