New ASSOS Bibs - Which One is for Me?
The hype and tech-talk surrounding big product launches can turn some into skeptics before trying the product. The new S9 generation of Assos bib shorts PR blitz might have that effect. The previous generation S7 were excellent; how much better could Assos make a pair of cycling shorts? The quick answer is “a lot better.” Continue reading for our summary of the Cento EVO, and in-depth review of the Equipe RS and RSR.
The Cento EVO replaces the previous Cento, our best selling bib. The new version maintains the concept of a long distance short, but now features an updated chamois, later cut ends, a new gripper and refined materials. This bib will continue to be a good choice for our long distance riders.
Equipe RS & RSR - How do the two compare?
A key component of the all-new S9 bibs is the new chamois insert that fits the contours of the posterior incredibly well, almost like a second skin. You won’t believe the way the pad contours to the body – it feels like a custom fit -- unlike the previous generation, which could feel a bit like a diaper protruding between one’s posterior and the short. The new chamois materials and integral channels and venting ensure excellent comfort and outstanding moisture wicking – truly remarkable. And the chamois pad’s nose is key to much-improved crotch support and comfort without added thickness. To one of our testers, the crotch area on the RS is better than that on the RSR, because he thinks the silkier fabric on the less expensive RS has less friction against the pad insert, and because the RS fabric is cut to a more effective shape than that on the RSR.
While chamois design is vital, so are the fabrics and patterning used to construct the bib short. The warp-knit fabric used on the new Equipe RS bib is slightly more compressive than the S7 material. It is nicely supportive and breathes well – a great fabric with a nice, smooth hand that lends itself well to all types of riding: training, weekend and long distance. The RSR uses a proprietary woven fabric with even more compression, a higher level of moisture transfer and abrasion resistance. These properties create a more structured bib designed for the rigors of racing.
The pattering of the materials is impressive, providing consistent, balanced support around the legs, posterior, crotch and lower back. This is achieved by only having two pieces of fabric, cut in a butterfly shape, comprising the body of the short. Sounds simple, but it is very hard to achieve. The chamois insert combined with the short materials and patterning yield an outstanding fit: uniformly supportive, glove-like fit, sleek, yet very comfortable.
The new RS bib straps have received a lot of hype, and they do excel at ensuring that the short and chamois remain planted on one’s body. Some may not care for the aesthetics of the new RS straps (they join the back of the bib at the outside top of the chamois) but the design provides a precision fit and level of performance that is compelling. For those desiring a more low-key look, the RSR bib straps join the short at its top.
Wearing the EquipeRS and RSR back-to-back with other bib shorts (Assos S7 and other brands reliant upon the CyTech chamois) reinforces just how good this product is. At $249, the Equipe RS is unquestionably the best short for the money, period. For those who must have the ultimate, there is the Equipe RSR at $369. Visit Studio Velo and try the S9 Equipebibs for yourself. This time, the hype and tech-talk deliver.
Wondering what the SV team rides in?
Colin: Cento EVO
Aaron: Equipe RS