Every seasoned cyclist has experienced good cycling knicks and bad knicks. More often than not, the secret to comfort is in the chamois. Since launching in 2015, Singaporean brand RedWhite quickly earned themselves a loyal customer following with their first product;’The Bib” cycling knicks were designed for endurance and Grand Fondo style riding and featured a custom designed chamois rather than an off-the-shelf chamois which are used by most brands.
The young brand has now released their second product line, “The Race” bib knicks which, as the name suggests, were created for road racers. The Race knick are don’t replace the original ‘The Bibs’, rather they are for a different segment.Company founder Yuva confirms and says that the Race Knicks are “designed for riders who prefer short, fast and aggressive rides.”
On the basis of the enduro/fondo style and the race style there are a few design variations so for The Race you can opt for “The Stealth” which is identical except that it is all minimalist black which makes it easier to go incognito when combining with other cycling gear. To date, RedWhite have continued their trajectory of creating only cycling knicks but we expect them to expand to other cycle wear soon.
Back to where it all began
I was an early starter with RedWhite and reviewed their first product, ’The Bibs’ in 2015 which I continue to wear for all of my long rides. You can also get the technically identical and optically different “KOM” (King of the Mountain) version for riders who fancy themselves as climbers. The regular design has a subtle style making it easy to mix and match with the rest of the kit.
It is worth check reading about RedWhite’s unique approach to chamois design in our original review of the RedWhite Cycling Bib Knicks because their approach has worked and drawn a lot of recognition from long distance cyclists.
Because it’s all about performance, for this review, it is time to start the jet engines and find out, did they Take My Breath Away and leave me dreaming of destinations unknown? Let’s find out.
Be my Top Gun
After a long summer of riding, I would describe The Race cycling knicks as an evolutionary rather than revolutionary change to RedWhite’s original knicks, they are clearly tailored for quite a type of rider. On the surface you won’t see a notable difference as the fabric, cut and design remain largely unchanged. The most significant update is to the most crucial component – the chamois.
The Race’s chamois utilises a similar construction to the original chamois, though is thinner overall, particularly toward the edges and is about 5cm shorter at the front.
A lighter mid layer in the chamois construction reduces weight while adding breathability. Breathability is also aided with a construction akin to Drillium technology – the inner foam layer is perforated with holes which are spaced about half a centimeter apart. The result is a lighter, thinner but still plush-feeling chamois that wicks away sweat and provides good airflow – all good things in race conditions!
From the first ride I noticed that the chamois created for The Race knicks was significantly less stiff in comparison to chamois on The Bib. In fact, RedWhite do not add a recommendation to soak these knicks in water once before the first use.
I use the knicks on the indoor trainer and for riding around Sydney during summer where I found that the Race bibs were comfortably cool.
Many brands of cycling knicks take a while to break in – including The Bibs. In comparison, The Race knicks disappear immediately on the first pedal- stroke which is perfect for short rides and race. As with The Bibs, The Race’s chamois resists compression, but with less padding, the trademark RedWhite ‘not there’ comfort factor starts to fade sooner into a ride when compared to The Bibs. This isn’t to say The Race is uncomfortable, or doesn’t go the distance – The Bibs remain the gold standard for long-distance comfort – rather The Race was designed for the shorter riders.
Through the Fire
For shorter and snappy rides, The Race excels. The knicks worked through the entire Sydney summer which incidentally was the hottest summer on record and delivered breathability and comfort. Of course they won’t stop you sweating when you get going and there is no secret Iceman functionality, but the breathability transfers to comfort and saves you from that sweaty and damp feeling, even in the cafe.
I was comfortable racing while wearing The Race knicks for rides up to three or four hours and for anything beyond this, The Bibs are still the first choice because that is where the extra padding starts to make a difference.
Heaven in Your Eyes
For riders who wear lighter coloured or white jerseys, the braces are white so wont contrast with your style. The RedWhite logo printed on one brace may still be visible through open-weave jerseys. The cut of the bib is low and has less lycra and more of the elastic brace material which is good for airflow and keeping cool.
The design and finish is very much like The Bibs (which you already know I like) and includes a distinct all-red RedWhite logo on the right leg, along with a matching The Race logo on the left. The back of each leg also has a reflective tab for night time visibility – this is thoughtful design and pays off.
The wide silicone micro-dot gripper band and laser-cut single-layer band on each leg are excellent. RedWhite have subtly evolved this feature by slightly increasing the number of dots whilst reducing their size; this results in an even better grip on shaved or unshaved legs, without feeling clingy or pulling at leg hairs.
The Race are perfectly suited to criterium and cyclocross racers, or anyone whose riding involves relatively short, high-intensity efforts. In fact, I’ve also found The Race to be a great choice for social rides and even commuting in Sydney’s recent heatwave conditions.
A great feature of RedWhite is their Crash Replacement Programme… if worst comes to worst then RedWhite provides a discount on replacement bib knicks.
If you are a bit of a hotshot on the racing circuits or you fast paced bunch rides… a Maverick, then these bibs are for you.
To purchase, you can head to the RedWhite online shop (ca. $210 (160USD)) or to a local Australian bike shop with the average pricing of $180. Stockists include Al’s Cycle Surgery, Velotec Sports, Armidale Bicycle Centre and VeloDepot.