The Assos SS.centoJersey_evo8 is one of the nicest and most comfortable jerseys I've tested this year. It combines top-end fabrics and construction with a fit that is a little more relaxed than some, superb breathability and some nice details, making it a lovely jersey for long summer rides.
Assos has developed its own fabrics for the jersey and uses one with a high stretch factor so it's a little more accommodating than some, ideal if you're no Chris Froome weight weenie. It's still close fitting but it's not exactly racing fit constrictive. The mesh back panel helps breathability and stretches horizontally but not vertically, to prevent the pockets sagging.
The Swiss company could probably be accused of obsessing over details, but one area where this pays off is in the sleeve design. Without a doubt, these are the best sleeves I've come across. A stretchy fabric with a seamless laser cut opening, with no silicone tape or stitched hem, provides phenomenal comfort and, best of all, the sleeves stay put. Pay attention, other clothing brands, this is how you do it.
The three rear pockets are reinforced and their mesh material aids ventilation. You can load them up as much as you want, they aren't going to sag. They're generously sized, too, providing enough space for all the food and spares you need for a 100-mile ride. There's also a fourth zipped pocket, something I'm always pleased to see on a jersey.
The waistband has silicone gripper tape lining, and the small reflective stripe is a nice extra detail for summer evenings. The neck sits a little lower than some jerseys, so there's less material around your neck, and the zipper is a high-quality item that works delightfully.
It's a jersey that Assos says is focused on comfort and it certainly lives up to that billing. Fit and shape are excellent, with the stretch of the fabric ensuring that it hugs the body perfectly, with no restriction or tightness. It still fits flush to the body, so it's reasonably aero if you worry about such things.
Tested in the heat of Majorca, the jersey provided adequate breathability to manage heat buildup on some of the testing climbs on the island. It wicks sweat well too, and remained dry during longer rides. It's a comfortable jersey from the moment you pull it on to the moment it gets pulled off after six hours in the saddle.
Style is a subjective thing, but I think the new design direction for the latest Assos range is a winner. Gone are some of the crazier patterns, replaced by a more understated and, to my mind, classier look, with the single coloured sleeve adding a splash of colour. It's also available in yellow and black.
And then there's that price... How much are you willing to pay for a summer jersey? Everyone has their own maximum limit, and there's no getting around the fact that this jersey is expensive. The design, fit and performance go a long way to justifying a premium price tag, but is it really that much better than other high-end but less expensive designs?
The SS.equipeJersey_evo8 from Assos I reviewed offers much of the performance for £30 less and is certainly one to consider, while a Rapha Pro Team Lightweight saves you £20, and the Castelli RS Superleggera – recommend by Jez – keeps £35 in your pocket. If price isn't a factor and you just want the best, be sure to check out the Assos SS.cento_evo8. It really is very good.
A superbly designed and extremely comfortable jersey ideal for mild to hot conditions, with just the best sleeve design
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Assos SS.cento_evo8 jersey
Size tested: Small
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 says: "The SS.centoJersey_evo8 has been developed for the rides and riders who are focused on comfort. We all have days when we just want to ride in comfort, when the focus is on the simple satisfaction being drawn from the ride. This jersey has been crafted for exactly those moments. Cut in our comfortFit, the jersey's construction and design have been refined and retuned at our ASSOS HQ with luxury in mind. Taking design cues from the ever-popular falkenZahn, we have created a cut in the front of the jersey that combines two materials to allow more stretch, as well as giving the jersey a distinct look. To guarantee that this jersey is worthy of joining the new evo8 generation of products, we've employed the same material used in our rallytrekkingJersey in this SS.centoJersey_evo8, again giving more stretch to improve comfort while giving you better performance."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Assos lists these features:
_ Comfort meets performance
_ Design cues taken from the iG.falkenZahn
_ Extra stretch and comfort achieved by using the material in the SS.rallytrekkingJersey_evo7
_ Same mesh rear as the SS.campionissimoJersey_evo7
_ New luxury pocket construction for more breathability, less weight and a distinctive look
It's of the highest level.
Performance of this jersey really does justify the price, it's one of the best money can buy.
It's proven to be perfectly durable throughout my extensive testing.
Assos has nailed the fit with the stretchy fabric proving to be very accommodating.
The sizing was what I expected from Assos.
It's designed to be comfortable, and it most certainly is.
It's far from being the cheapest jersey but it packs in a lot of great design and features, and the performance helps to justify the price.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy to look after.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Works well in a range of temperatures from mild to hot, with great breathability.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The superb fit and the sleeves, which are the best of any jersey I've tested this year.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A few more colour options would be nice.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Not the cheapest jersey, but extremely good in every single way. Really, it's hard to find fault with it.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.