by Jacquelyn Herbert
There is no truer story of a small company than turning your passion and love into a product you can share with others who share your passion. That’s the story behind Tirade. It all started on a hot August day in the state of Texas, USA.
For those who have never traveled to the belly of HEAT – a summer day of riding in Texas can cook your breakfast right on the plate, and is the stuff of the toughest cyclists in the world. It’s intense, it’s hardcore, it’s badass – but in the slang of Texas, it’s “red ass.” The spirit of being out on the road in that kind of heat, pushing to do what you love when the conditions make every pedal stroke a stir of the boiling waters, is what red ass is all about.
I tested out the Red Ass Mandrill jersey – both in Small – and the Bibs in Medium. The weather for me might not be the 108 degrees F of a Texas summer day but I enjoyed wearing the kit just the same (and not complaining!).
The fit on the bibs is great! The compression is fairly light so still flattering but the bibs don’t move on the ride. I’d probably want something with more compression for like an 80 mile ride or back-to-back ride days – but for normal riding and a 40 mile or less ride, the bibs were perfect.
The chamois is also great. Not as small as a triathlon chamois, which, let’s be honest, is totally not enough for a road ride, but not as big as a Velocio, which I find really nice for super long rides but can feel like an unnecessary diaper if you’re doing less than 60 miles.
Overall I found the bibs really good for a casual – to moderately long ride. Light compression, solid chamois. The fit, fabric and cut of the jersey was an excellent match the bibs.
While the fit and chamois were excellent, I did find one thing strange. The bibs have a clasp in the middle of the straps that I honestly don’t know what the purpose of it is. It wasn’t uncomfortable (but could be to larger sizes), and the straps were light and laid well over my shoulders without the clasp. It does slightly tighten the bibs but to no substantial degree so I found it unnecessary overall.
You can see from the photos that the fit is really good. The jersey doesn’t ride up when riding, it sits in place well. Sleeve length is pretty normal and that’s good. I don’t really like to be zipped all the way up to the collar but it’s not too big of a collar that you can’t.
In terms of proportions and cut, it’s a top notch jersey. In addition to that, the jersey fabric is light and breathable. I rode in 75 degree F weather and felt pretty good in just the jersey and bib shorts, no other layers were needed. And something else – the jersey isn’t too long in the torso, which is sometimes a problem since bike companies seem to assume every female rider is nearly 6 feet tall. The jersey a nice compromise if you’re not into a lot of compression, like a race fit, because it’s pretty mild on compression but it doesn’t hang loose like some club fit jerseys. It’s not like wearing a t-shirt or spandex, it’s a nice in-between.
The stitching on the jersey is subtle, the same stitching as the inside of Rapha kit for example, which is nice. There’s no irritation or weird issues you see sometimes with the cheaper jerseys or made-to-order team jerseys. Overall, the stitching is really high quality.
My only gripe is probably with the jersey pockets. They JUST fit my iPhone 8 Plus in there if I squeeze but they don’t fit my bike wallet which is a pretty standard size. I know quite a number of other brands all make the same dimensions for their bike wallets so I believe a good number of riders will probably have an issue with that if they carry one regularly. I’d prefer to just have two pockets in the back that are a bit wider so I would love to see that upgraded in the next edition.
And let’s not forget the biggest surprise of them all – the Mandrill red ass on the back of the jersey. Honestly, at first glance out of the package I wasn’t sure I’d like it, but the black and white geometric pattern really pops with the bibs and the full back design equally matches that wow factor.
Tirade’s mascot is the Mandrill baboon, which nature considers to the ultimate ‘red ass’ so borrow a little badass when you wear this kit and push yourself harder on your next ride.
Full disclosure: I received the kit reviewed in this post free of charge. The decision to write this review and all opinions expressed are 100% my own. This is not a sponsored post. Thanks as always for reading!