One of the first things you notice about these bib shorts is the unusual magnetic fastening on the bib. This makes the bib straps sit much closer together than on the majority of shorts, and I found that when riding I barely noticed them.
The straps are also relatively stretchy, so should suit all heights – taller riders won't find themselves feeling inhibited by the bibs, but nor are they at all loose. With a little flexibility, I found I was also able to undo the bib fastener and remove the bibs to use the facilities without having to remove every top layer I was wearing.
If, like me, you often find yourself in between sizes (I am a small/medium), I would recommend choosing the larger of the two. I tested a pair of mediums which fitted just right around the bum, thighs and chest, and lost none of their shape when machine washed.
My only concern regarding the fit was that the small grippers inside the leg cuffs are not particularly sticky, leading to some excess movement on occasion. The cuffs themselves were generally a comfortable fit, neither too tight nor too loose, so it wasn't a big issue.
The real selling point of these shorts is Assos' new Goldengate technology. Inside the neat box that these shorts arrive in are pages of information and fancy language describing the innovative technology used in their design. The long and the short of it is that I have never felt so comfortable after 100 miles. The pad is only stitched into certain areas of the shorts, allowing it freedom of movement, with the chamois shaping itself snugly to your body. I soon stopped bothering with chamois cream since there was no chance of chafing or any shifting of the pad when getting in and out of the saddle. Not only was the fit exceptional, the amount of padding was just right for a pain-free ride, not especially thick or cushion-like.
My only criticism, if I must be a little picky, is that I prefer my shorts shorter in the leg, and these sat just above the knee. This is personal preference, though, and I am happy to overlook it for the comfort provided by the chamois.
Being a top of the range handmade pair of shorts, these don't come cheap. But if you'll be spending a lot of time in them and can afford it, they won't disappoint.
Top of the range bib shorts offering excellent comfort levels and attention to detail
Make and model: Assos T.laalalaiShorts_s7
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Assos describes these shorts as being for regular riders desiring a comfortable fit that also suits racing. They are all about maximising comfort without skimping on the fit or weight of the shorts.
Assos says: "These are our first female-specific S7 bib shorts. After changing the game for the men, we have now developed a women's version of these ground-breaking shorts, allowing everyone to experience Royal Comfort while on the bike."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Assos features a series of patents in the T.laalalai_s7 ladies shorts. These include the elastic insert, goldengate, waffle, superair, kukupenthouse and rearterminal. The key piece of new technology is the Goldengate chamois design which it says allows 'three-dimensional freedom of movement in this critical, and very sensitive, rotational area'.
HOW TO USE IT
Alone, directly on your skin with a skinFoil on your upper body. If the weather is a little cooler, they match perfectly with either Assos legWarmer or kneeWarmer.
Taking everything we have learned from our S7 generation of shorts, we have created something revolutionary for the female rider who demands superior performance. With our all-new insert, a cut that improves comfort, new clasp, and enhanced bibs and back, these bib shorts are a game changer for female cyclists.
_ Brand new insert, which takes the innovations of the T.équipe_S7 insert for men, has been revised specifically for female anatomy _ Takes many of the key design features found in the no-bib version of these shorts that were launched last summer
_ Refining our mono-bib construction, these shorts offer greater comfort
_ Includes the all-new magnetic closer system, which gives enhanced performance and comfort
_ Made from our type.439 material, these shorts offer slightly more compression than our previous models
_ On the legs, we placed the elastic on the outside to increase comfort
_ As with all our S7 generation shorts, the material has an added iceColor treatment
_ The new bibs have been designed with a slightly wider shoulder for added comfort
THE KEY FEATURES
_ New female-specific S7 generation insert
_ Wider bibs for added comfort
_ Refined mono-bib
_ External elastic on the legs for added comfort
_ Made with type.439 material for increased performance
_ type.221 mesh material on the back for added breathability
_ All new magnetic clasp on the mono-bib for easier closing and added comfort
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Incredibly well made, using custom-made top-of-the-line materials.
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
No major issues so far and after a few washes the shape and fit are unaffected while the chamois remains soft and comfortable.
Rate the product for fit:
All round good fit and chamois sits comfortably and securely in place while riding. Only minor fault is that the leg grippers are not the most secure.
Rate the product for sizing:
I tend to vary between a small and medium in different brands of shorts. I wore a medium in these which were a great fit, but as a personal preference I would rather they were a little shorter in the leg.
Rate the product for weight:
I expected the fastening on the bib straps to add a bit of weight to these shorts but they're still very light on the scales.
Rate the product for comfort:
Without a shadow of a doubt the most comfortable pair of shorts I've ever worn.
Rate the product for value:
The shorts are at the higher end of the price range but are certainly worth it.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
They washed well on a delicate cycle and held their shape.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed brilliantly on all length of rides and in all weather.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Beneath all the complicated names and patents, the chamois really is the most comfortable I've ever worn.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing that would prevent me buying them.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Certainly
Use this box to explain your score
These are a fantastic pair of shorts and deliver all that the manufacturer promises. They only miss out on the perfect 10 for a couple of minor niggles and that rather high price tag.
Age: 19 Height: 164cm Weight: 56kg
I usually ride: Boardman Team Carbon My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, track
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