Have you heard of Stomp The Pedal? It is a company run by the lovely Natarsha Tremayne, known to everyone as Tarsh. The brand was born as Tarsh loved cycling but was fed up of boring kit. So she started her own brand and that is where STP started.
Tarsh is colourful, always smiling, super positive and just all round lovely. I am bias as she is a friend and during Ironman Italy, where I was with over 20 members of my triathlon club Havering Tri, we adopted her as part of our little group as she was there alone. Only she is never alone as everyone knows and loves her. I recall her coming down the red carpet at the end and Paul Kaye recognising her from a distance and cheering her through the Ironman archway.
Tarsh also sits on her turbo for hours! Literally hours! At the recent London Bike Show I was chatting to her as we were at the Casquette stand listening to the talk on saddlesore (I wrote a blog post on this subject that you can read here). Anyway I ended up saying to Tarsh that I didn’t know how she sat on her turbo for so long and she very confidently said it is down to her bibs. Tell me more……
I have kit that ranges from cheap to expensive and actually my most expensive pair of bib shorts are my least comfortable ones so I am not claiming that the more you pay the better they are as that is not the case in my experience. However, if I can find kit that is comfortable and stops soreness downstairs then yes I am happy to pay for that luxury.
If you follow Tarsh or Stomp The Pedal you will know that she truly believes in her brand and any product she brings to market has been tested by herself both in training and in events. For example she has spent a long time trying to perfect a tri suit and recently debuted this at Ironman Marbella 70.3 and shared what needed to be changed noting that ‘by the time this suit comes to market I will have done everything I can to make sure it looks good, performs well, is comfortable and the cut is flattering.’ I love that she shares this on her social media so her followers, customers and friends know what lengths she goes to in order to get that perfect product that she puts her name to.
So when Tarsh said to me she was going to send me some bib shorts to review I was excited. If honest, I couldn’t wait to try them to see if they were as good as she said but also quite a bit nervous – reviewing kit from a friend? What if I didn’t like them? True to her word she sent me the bibs and added a note saying she would really appreciate an honest review pros and cons.
So be it!Zwift so the shorts were first tested on my Wahoo Kickr turbo trainer. A lot of people will know that as there is no natural movement on a turbo it can cause discomfort and this is definitely something I suffer with. Was trying them on a turbo to start with harsh? I figured that was how this conversation started so why not? They were fab! No soreness or the need to fidget which is my tendency to try and alleviate any sore or numb parts.
Let’s rewind a little. The bibs come in a kit bag, with a little handwritten note from Tarsh herself and a bag or haribo – everyone loves a freebie little bag of sweets right? These were eaten before I got on the turbo I am not ashamed to admit. The bag is also super handy and came with me last weekend on a trip for a cycling sportive. The material on the bibs is great, laser cut leg finish with the branding on the band. The chamois was at first glance thinner than I thought it would be and I will admit I was worried this meant I was going to be more uncomfortable if anything, but I was totally wrong.
They stayed put too and didn’t rise up on the leg, which some bibs can do. The straps are also made of a mesh material and comfort wise is always my preference as I find those with solid straps can dig in and especially on longer rides this can be uncomfortable and the last thing you need is to be stopping and having to adjust. But as I said these stayed in place and were extremely comfortable.
So the next test? I was heading to Great Yarmouth with friends (who also know Tarsh and are STP fans) to do the Tour de Broads event. Again was the second test being a 100 mile ride harsh? My training is gearing up for an endurance event and I need longer mileage so seemed the perfect opportunity. The ride ended up being 108 miles in total. In the freezing cold, rain and savage wind. How were the bibs? Again they were fab! I actually had no soreness down below at all. I can’t stress how much this is a positive for me!
So far so good.
I did find after the ride that I had a loose thread. Not anywhere that will create a hole but on one of the legs where there is some double stitching on my front thigh (not sure I am explaining this right). Anyway message sent to Tarsh who was super appreciative of the feedback and offered immediately to return so she could send back to the supplier and replace with a new pair. So great customer service too!
The bib shorts I have are these STP signature black bibs, they are £100 and would I buy them? Hell yes!
Now the main question is what jersey do I get? I have my eye on the new jersey inspired by Audrey Hepburn that is simply stunning and my bibs need a matching jersey right? Would be rude not to!
I was gifted the bib shorts, but all opinions are my own.