WORDS: THOMAS OPSTRUP PHOTOGRAPHY: FLAVIO PALUMBO ASSOS EQUIPE RS AERO JERSEY The fabric on the front of the jersey has a grainy texture which should give it an aero effect. The cut is tight – Racefit. But because the fabric is both breathable and very stretcable it feel very comfortable over the diaphragm when riding. The sleeves are laser cut and made of a less stretchable fabric that has a uneven surface for improvement of aerodynamics. One wonders that the sleeves are no longer, now that the focus has been to make the jersey fast. It is usually the case that a longer sleeve is more aerodynamic than a shorter, because the surface of the fabric breaks the wind better than skin, so the further down close to the elbow you can cut the sleeve, the better. In real world testing it is of course of a disapearing aero advantage if the sleeve is cut 2 cm. longer. But I just wonder now that Assos is trying to make an aero jersey. Against the neck Assos has used a softer inset of fabric that feels gentle and soft against the neck. The main part of the back is made from, In my perspective, an absolute gorgeous fabric with a proprietary weave. It is specially developed at Assos and they call it ‘Stabilizer textile’. In addition to being incredibly nice, it has a good deal of strech horizontally but very little vertically. That is smart because it the vertical firmness in the fabric keeps the pockets in place, thus avoiding them to ‘hang’. At the same time the horizontal strech of the fabric helps the jersey to fit perfectly and follow the body’s movement. The pockets are positioned correctly so that you can easily reach them and at the same time they are placed perfectly so they stay on your lower back just so that there is some free space between the bottom of the pockets and the top of the bum – makes you look like a real cyclist! On the top of the pockets, Assos has made what they call ‘Triple Ramp pockets’, which is a small fabric fold that can be used to close over the top of things in your pocket. It really is a good detail. Besides from keeping your stuff securely in place in your pockets it also gives a cleaner look on your back. So you avoid your gilet, minipump or whatever else you have in your pockets sticking out. Of course, as this makes things in the pockets a bit more inaccessible, Assos has made it so that you can use the pockets completely as usual, leaving the flaps side inside the pockets. BUY THE JERSEY HERE ASSOS EQUIPE RS BIB SHORTS S9 For many years, Assos has been known for making some of the best bib shorts in the world, and with the new Equipe RS S9 bib shorts they do not disappoint me. Equipe RS bib Shorts S9, sounds like a name that an engineer has invented, and it is indeed a bib short with many engineered technical features and details. The construction of the bib shorts is very unique it incorporates a ‘butterfly’ panel that fully are wrapping the legs sewn together with the crotch panel. This unique construction creates a much better fit for the rider when in motion on the bike. As always with Assos the quality of the fabrics is top notch. This is one of the main reasons why Assos’ bib shorts keep shape and color after several washes. Very durable – like the Dura-cell rabbit of bib shorts. The bib straps are made from a carbon weave antibacterial flexibel material. If this carbon addition means any real world difference, honestly I can’t say but the construction of the bib straps is cunning. On the back of the bib shorts the straps are unconventionally stapled to the top of the inset keeping it very stable during riding. The straps are assembled in a V-shaped neopren alike fabric piece with a soft surface inside towards the back. The front of the straps has a little more stretch than the straps on the back and adheres a little wider than traditional constructed bib shorts to the sides of the bib shorts, thus making the horizontal distance between them a little greater. This gives better space for breathing without the constrains of the straps. The Assos brand tag on the front of the straps is another little clever detail. This little piece of rubber keeps the straps from collapsing. The top of the shorts (beltline) are coated with a soft rubber all the way around. This construction achieves two things – it stops the lycra from breaking apart at the edge, and it saves the sewing that is traditional applied here. This solution makes a flat surface against the skin. Actually Assos told me that they have cut down the stitching on the bib shorts by 50% over the years – I take they words for it. A light silicon treatment is woven into the leg bands, which secures the shorts in place without any exessive pressure. The fabric quality again seems to be anything but standard. If I have to give some criticism, I personally don’t like that the black color shade on the leg band and the pants itself are different. INSERT The insert is a story of it’s own. It is made from a three-layer perforated foam that increases breathability. In the groin area the surface is perforated by several holes that enhance the breathability. Inside it is made up of memory foam which supports the body’s shape. The memory foam is clevely cut in the middle to form two pieces that is separated in the middle, thus creating a much better breathability. The shape of the front of the insert is different from the norm. Assos constructed a ‘cave‘ for the groin‘ which works very well for your genitals when you are riding – it is like a dedicated space for private parts. One important point; remember to put your genitals in place when you put on the shorts. The first ride I did not do that and it felt honestly a bit uncomfortable. BUY THE BIB SHORTS HERE CONCLUSION If you are looking for the highest level in cycling apparel and are willing to pay, then I have to say that Assos Equipe is a strong candidate to be your next set of cycling clothes. From the proprietary developed fabrics to the thoughtful details you sense that Assos has invested abudance of hours into these products. After many years of experience with cycling clothing, it is my opinion that there is no ‘Right’ way to construct bib shorts that will suit everyone, but I would recommend trying Assos Equipe cycling shorts if you tend to have problems with pressure sores because I believe that these bib shorts is among the very best the market can offer.