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The Assos Mille GTS Spring Fall Bib Shorts C2 are, quite simply, some of the best cycling bib shorts I've worn in a very long time. The amount of comfort is amazing, as is the fit. And though you do pay for this level of excellence, they're not as expensive as some.
As their name suggests, these shorts are designed for use away from the high temperatures of summer, which makes them pretty versatile for the UK climate. In fact, with the mild transition into winter we've had, I've been wearing them right through October and November paired up with knee warmers.
For the legs and rear panel Assos has used a warp-knit material called RX Evo, which it describes as a medium weight, thermal fabric, and it feels great against the skin. It's softer than many other Lycras I've used, and considering the stretch and close fit, there is no restriction at all, even when pulling them on and off.
RX Evo is slightly thicker than you'd find on standard pair of summer shorts, which gives a small amount of insulation. I've worn these down to around 5°C on some early morning rides and found them plenty warm enough, even with a stiff breeze.
They offer a good temperature spread as well. I've even worn them on the turbo with an ambient temperature of 18°C and they remained perfectly breathable with a fan blowing over them simulating real ride airflow.
To stop things getting too warm the crotch area is made from RX Evo Light, with a bit less insulation, boosting breathability.
Also helping to keep you dry is that the materials have a degree of water repellency. They aren't going to stand up to a heavy rainstorm or anything, but if you haven't got mudguards then you'll be protected from road spray.
The pad is also excellent. Made up of multiple layers of varying materials and densities, it manages to give a plush ride without alienating you from the bike, so you don't miss out on any of the feedback. I rode both long and short journeys wearing the Assos bibs and there were no signs of discomfort from things like hot spots, bunching, or the pad not being supportive enough.
Just like the shorts themselves, the pad also feels very breathable. As with the racier Equipe RS Spring Fall S9 bibs that George tested, it is only stitched at the front and rear – Assos' GoldenGate design – which allows it to move separately from the rest of the shorts. It gives a kind of hammock-like feel, as in you are suspended as you ride.
Assos designs some of its shorts differently to how other brands do it; most noticeably there is no seam running up the front of the crotch area. This is a single section – like a large pair of swimming trunks, if you like – and it's very supportive and comfortable. There is also plenty of height front and rear, so no chance of any breezes getting through.
They also don't have a traditional bib strap setup; instead, like the Equipes, they have four wide straps that are stitched into a cross design at the back. Again, there are no pressure points or any discomfort, and they keep the shorts in place without being noticeable.
Size-wise, I normally find that Assos stuff can come up a little on the small side – think European rather than a UK cut. The sizing here, though, is more on the generous side. If in doubt, enter your measurements into Assos' guide and that will point out the right size.
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, they ain't cheap at £180, though you do get a two-year warranty and a crash replacement policy, and the quality throughout is excellent. If you can afford to splash the cash, you will grin every time you wear them on a ride.
And they're certainly not the most expensive – they're £20 less than the Equipes, for a start, and a good £55 less than the highly rated MAAP Pro Bib 2.0s at £235, which George tested in April. And Rapha's Brevet Bib Shorts, which Steve tested in the summer, are £215.
You can get much cheaper bib shorts, of course, but I've yet to find such an impressive all-round package of great fit, comfort and quality from a single pair of shorts. With that in mind, if money was no object, these Assos would be on my Christmas list this year.
A large outlay, but incredible comfort, fit and performance mean they're worth every penny
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Assos Mille GTS Spring Fall Bib Shorts C2
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Assos says, "The Mille GTS Spring Fall Bib Shorts are a streamlined regularFit short tuned for the cool and often damp rides of spring or fall. Constructed around the Mille GTS C2 insert, its active fabrics are RX EVO light, which provides lightweight insulation with high breathability, and RX EVO, which adds midweight insulation for targeted protection. Both textiles are water-repellent, so precipitation and road spray from mid-ride weather shifts simply bead up and roll off rather than soak through."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
RX EVO fabric - brushed back for insulation
ECO water-repellent treatment
zeroPressure Waist - raw-cut edge for the smoothest transition between tights and skin/base layer
X-Frame upper - supports and stabilises the seat insert and lower body
Ultralight Leg Grippers to the end of the longer legs
Assos regularFit - streamlined but comfortable
Men's MILLE GTS C2 Insert
86% Polyamide(Nylon), 14% Elastane(Spandex)
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues after many wash cycles.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very comfortable shorts that will work on a massive range of temepratures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They have a big price tag.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They actually come in cheaper than some of the best rated shorts we have reviewed recently.
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 overall score
A near-faultless design, and if you can afford them then you will not be disappointed. Their performance justifies the cost.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!