With the lighter evenings and warmer temperatures indicating the arrival of spring, Swiss company Assos has just sent us some of its spring and summer 2017 clothing range to take a first look at and review.
For a long long time, Assos was the undisputed king of performance cycle clothing, but it has faced many challenges over the last few years. For 2017 it is facing this increased competition with a range of fresh designs all backed up by the quality and attention to details that the brand has long been renowned for. Taking centre stage are updated equipe and cento short sleeve summer jerseys, now in their eighth generation (hence the evo8 in the name) and with a fresh new look that is indicative of the company's desire to claim back some of the ground it has arguably lost over the last few years. This is a first look preview, we'll be testing the clothing as well so watch out for full reviews once we've logged some miles in the kit.
The SS.equipeJersey_evo8 (£120) is the more affordable of the two jerseys we've got here, billed as an entry-level racing jersey designed for the cyclist that wants an everyday jersey focused but with a high focus on performance, there are no signs of corners being cut.
Assos has used its own 3D structure material that it says increases the surface area to keep you dry, whilst allow more breathability. There’s also a large mesh back panel to further increased cooling. It’s got a race fit with a V-shaped low collar intended to provide the optimum fit when in the drops. There’s a bonded zip and lie flat waist and sleeve edges to make it more aerodynamic. There are three rear pockets.
Assos has also introduced a new design with the hazard pattern on the sleeve that has been well received in the office and with everyone that has so far seen it. If the yellow is too bright for you, it’s available in red and black.
The SS.centoJersey_evo8 (£150) is a jersey that is designed with a focus on comfort and uses the company’s ComfortFit, so it’s essentially a bit more relaxed than the equipe jersey. If you’re not racing and don’t want that second-skin fit, this is probably the jersey to choose.
To provide a comfortable fit Assos has used two materials on the front of the jersey that allows more stretch. It has borrowed tech from its top-of-the-range Campionissimo jersey so there are the same mesh rear panels to improve breathability in the heat. The three rear pockets have been reinforced and there’s a vertical zipped pocket lined with a reflective stripe.
“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,” says Assos.
The T.MilleShorts_s7 (£100) are an all new entry-level comfort fit bib short, ideal for longer days on the bike where comfort is the biggest priority, replacing the old neoPro shorts. They’re cut wider in the waist to provide a little more room to breathe and increased freedom. There is the same focus on performance, though, with reduced seams to provide a more comfortable fit and wide and flat gripper tape at the leg openings.
Inside is the familiar S7 padded insert, with its dimpled memory foam and multiple players in key places, and the middle section is detached from the shorts to allow extra movement. One nice detail is the inclusion of reflective tabs on the back of the legs. The price, £100, is a competitive market for bib shorts and for many cyclists is really as much as they want to spend, so to get Assos quality at this price looks very appealing.
The iJ.tiburu_evo7 long sleeve jersey (£145) is the top to reach for when it’s not quite warm enough for a short sleeve jersey and arm warmers, ideal for early morning or evening rides. It’s called a jacket but it feels and fits like a long sleeve jersey, the cut is similar to one of its summer jerseys in fact. New for 2017 are the addition of three new colours, reOrange, blackSeries and voltYellow.
It has a close fit that is well tailored to the body, with the use of different fabrics and panel shapes in key areas to provide the best fit and performance. A fleecy RX fabric is used on the upper arms and a lighter weight RXQ fabric on the back panels.
To prevent loaded pockets sagging down Assos has developed what it calls a rear stabiliser panel design with reduced vertical stretch in the fabric to keep everything nicely in place. There are three rear pockets and a zippered pocket, plus additional reflective details.
To complement this garments we’ve also got an LS.skinfoil_summer_evo7 base layer (£70). It’s an ideal top for early spring rides when the temperature is still on the nippy side. The seamless and tubular knit design promotes comfort and the fabric is intended to be fast-drying and high wicking.
A long sleeve base layer might seem an odd choice for spring and summer riding, but Assos reckons its “balances your body’s climate while offering more protection from the sun’s rays.”
Winter hats can be swapped for cycling caps come the warmer weather, and the Millecap_evo8 (£16) is a simple design with a generous length peak and available in a choice of colours.
Lastly, spring demands some fresh new socks, doesn’t it? So we’ve got a pair of Tiburusocks_evo8 (£25) to complete the new outfit. They’re made from a thicker material to provide warmth on cold morning rides and come in a controversial mismatched colour combination, but you can be less bold and choose both in black if you prefer.
We'll be putting all this new clothing to the test over the coming weeks and months so stay tuned for those reviews. You can see the full 2017 Assos range right here www.assos.com
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.