Assos SS.corporate S7 Jersey ($199) and T FI 13 s5 Bib Short ($369.99)
The designers at Assos continue to innovate and bring more technology to their products. The SS.corporate s7 jersey is new for 2013 and uses only two fabrics, Assos’ new light and airy Type 151 fabric and a textured, vented mesh in the underarms. Though it only has two materials, Assos used 24 separate panels to create a contoured, detailed fit. In addition to its 50+ UPF rating, it has increasing moisture transfer as you sweat more, and when you cool down, it slows down. The six-panel FI 13 short weaves polyamide, elastane and even carbon together for a mix of compression and stretch. As the company’s lightest short, it has a lower volume than others in the line.
This jersey was the tightest of the bunch, so consider moving up a size. That said, the 24 panels do a great job of providing plenty of stretch, plus the jersey was the softest of the bunch, so I didn’t mind the tightness as much. When temperatures went up, I was impressed at how cool this jersey felt, considering the material wasn’t as sheer as the others. I also liked the zipper garage at the bottom of the jersey to keep it from rubbing on the shorts. As for its drying properties, it was on par with the others. When a pair of shorts cost this much, they need to perform well —and these live up to the shocking price. They had the most compression of those that featured it, which I liked. Even though they seem a bit old-school, the standard elastic leg grippers were comfortable. With the larger area and ergonomic cut, this chamois was a top performer. A thing layer of soft fabric independent from the rest of the chamois covers the primary padding and sticks to the rider, allowing you to scoot and wiggle around the saddle without bunching the pad and creating irritating hotspots. The nearly all-white look is something you can either pull off or not, so decide if you are OK with being “that guy.” (I am.)