Designed in Switzerland, Assos is a Euro classic cycling brand, with highly detailed kits built to go fast
Sleek and smooth proprietary materials
Lots of details built for speed
Newest women’s specific styles from Assos’ classic tech
Expensive for many triathletes
You’ll either love or hate the one-strap over-the-head bib system
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Based in Switzerland, Assos has developed a reputation over four decades of being at the cutting edge of cycling technology. In fact, they may have been the first to develop the lycra skintight cycling clothing we all now have a love/hate relationship with. They’ve continue to innovate with European-focused, performance-first designs—and a price tag to go with it.
Assos T.laaLalai_S7 Bib Shorts ($229, competitivecyclist.com)
This is the newest version of the style the Swiss company is best known for: Its slightly unique bib design—which comes over your head rather than your shoulders. The pieces connect via a magnetic clasp near your sternum. For women who hate bib shorts because of how they sit around your boobs and chest, this design could avoid the quandary altogether by simply connecting in between your boobs, leaving you free for movement. However, I have to say I found it slightly awkward (and certainly no easier to go to the bathroom). Once you pull the elastic straps over your head, the loop almost immediately snaps up around your neck, which is alarming and slightly choking, and you’ll need to pull it all down and into place to clasp it. Once you clasp the suspender style system though you won’t have any problems. It’s supposed to conform to your on-the-bike position as you ride too and stay in place. I’m not sure if it’s better or not, but it didn’t chafe or rub.
Otherwise, the material is a polyester-elastane-polyamide blend. It’s a little firmer and less stretchy than other materials we’ve tested. According to Assos, these are the first women’s bib shorts with their proprietary textile, which is designed to be compression and high-wicking, as well as wind tunnel tested and treated to reflect sun (making them cooler).
And the chamois is a three-layer foam design that’s quite thick. It’s one solid piece of foam in the saddle area shape, with a thinner waffle foam across the top and around the thicker foam. It’s also left open in spots, leaving room between the foam and shorts for some extra breathability.
Assos Dyora RS Summer Bib Shorts S9 ($260, backcountry.com)
These are Assos’ high-end race-level shorts. They’re designed to be fast and aero, and they are. The material is slightly different than the above shorts, with no polyester and a little more compression along with the movement. The seams are also designed to be smoother and fewer, with a compression band around the leg (which I found a tiny bit tight even in the medium size). The bibs, themselves, are wide suspender straps meant to sit flat, with more shape across the bottom in an X-shape and more elasticity across the top. There are lots of small details around the edges all meant to be fast and high-end. The chamois is also similar to the above shorts, but a little different. It’s thick enough I was worried it would be bulky and diaper-like, but once I was riding it felt more plush than anything. I did get a little chafing on one seam, but in general you simply wear the shorts, ride fast, and don’t think about it. The most annoying thing is the large tag, which you can’t quite cut out without it continuing to rub against your skin.
Assos Dyora RS Summer Jersey ($189, competitivecyclist.com) + Assos Women’s Summer NS Skin Layer ($79, assos.com)
The Dyora jersey goes with the Dyora shorts above and together make up a race-level cycling kit. And even more than the shorts, this jersey is very definitely a race-style jersey. It’s designed to be tightly fitted and cut for fast women. Across the board, the material is also designed for going fast. The sleeves are skintight with no seam at the edge and made of aero textured material. The front is a thin, light, breathable material, with the back an even lighter and more see-through mesh. The back is also cut lower and with a band around the bottom to stay in place. The only downside was I found it rode up some in the front and I’d have to pull down. This is very much a Euro-style race jersey, if you want to look slick and go fast.
We also tried the summer undershirt both as a layer to wear underneath when the weather cools and as a layer to wear on its own when the weather is hot. If you do the second (and wear it solo on the trainer or runner), it’ll feel like it’s cut high—almost like you’re wearing a crop top. But if you wear it under bibs, then it’s the right length and almost too long. The neckline is also slightly high if you don’t love things around your neck. Otherwise, it’s a light undershirt designed for summer and fall riding that pairs well with their kits.