It goes without saying that you can spend 30 to 100% more on gear from Assos. Cost is the first thing that comes to most folks mind… That might be partially due to the fact that most folks haven’t had the chance to own many items from the company, and it’s a shame. The first piece of equipment I bought was a set of their Campionisimo Evo shorts and after I got over the shock of sliding the better part of 200 bucks (170) across the counter, I have never hesitated to replace inferior product with Things from Assos as the need came about.
Be it winter spring summer or fall, you can find kit that works from Assos. That said, It’s officially summer here in Arizona, and when the overnight low is above 80 degrees (and will be in the 90’s later) and your ride will more than likely end in the 100’s, we have a bit to say about what is truly cool. The other 8 months of the year, we have super great weather, but this is the time of the year that my Canadian counterparts (that I nag endlessly November through April) get to make fun of me…
So First out of the box is Assos standard Short Sleeve Jersey. For starters, the seams and finish on Assos gear are always flawless and better than the rest of the industry. But the seams on Assos hold together what are some of the best fabrics for the job available.
There are Three different fabrics in major use in this jersey (not counting zipper fabrics etc…). The picture shows the three joining in the sleeve area; A very compliant material for the sleeve top and sides, a hyper breathable material for the underarms, and a comfortable, breathable and durable fabric for the body.
You will also notice the back pockets are designed better than most with a larger center pocket (perfect for vests, Jackets etc) and two standard sized pockets (one with a zipper).
The second Jersey is the Assos super light summer sleeveless. Not only does it have the standard sleeveless pattern (which is all that most companies give you) it also has a super light and breathable front body fabric.
The back is where this jersey gets going with a great mesh panel back that extends from mid back to bottom (the area that is shielded from wind and holds the most moisture..
Next up is the new head band. Nothing to write a stand alone article on, but good enough to mention. It has a thin wicking front panel, and a well designed mesh back (for the same reason as the Mesh back in the summer jersey…)
Assos also use that Mesh back in their top of the line FI-13 bib short(Check the Tech archives for a full review), which is by the way, the single nicest piece of gear I own (and I have more than 50 bib shorts and better than a hundred jerseys). The material on these shorts is a great summer weight, and best of all, the chamois is not only the most comfortable on the market, but is also positioned correctly so that the wide part that has the padding is actually between your legs instead of half way up your back (where it does no good at all).
It’s nice to have a manufacturer spend the extra money to manipulate the materials and shape of the garment so that it is at it’s best when you are bent over on the bike instead of standing up. I am sick of companies that say they design their gear for on bike fit, when they simply don’t. I also get tired of seeing the same kinds of under performing foam get colored blue (or green or red…) and stamped in a cool looking shape, only to compress and do little to increase your comfort. Assos both shape their shorts correctly and make a Chamois that I believe is the best in the industry.
OK, so yes this stuff is high priced, but where the shorts are concerned they are worth every penny (the chamy in the picture doesn’t have a mark on it and still works like it’s new although it has thousands of miles on it). The Jersey’s are better than the standard crap on the market and are worth paying 10 – 20 percent more for, but not much more than that. Assos has always been the easy choice when the weather is bad and now they are the top choice when the weather is good.
In the case of Phoenix Arizona in July, a little too good…