Assos SS.Lady jersey and T.Lady_S5 bibshort
The lowdown: High-performance, durable kit that will stand the test of time
Pros: Fabric quality; bibshort strap configuration
Total price: $470
Jersey price: $190
Bibshorts price: $280
The Assos jersey and bib shorts combo is one of the more comfortable kits tested. Everything about this kit screams high quality, even down to the packaging; opening an Assos product provides a similar experience to opening an Apple product. The Swiss apparel company is known for going the extra mile to make their clothing last. Every detail is considered during the development process; Assos claims to put a product through 50 to 100 prototypes before pushing it to market. This process adds to the exorbitant price point, and is truthfully the only strike against this kit, but at nearly $500, it’s a major consideration. You get what you pay for with Assos apparel; whether or not it’s worth so much more than some of the very good yet more affordable options is widely subjective to your tax bracket.
The SS.Lady jersey scored high marks in the comfort category, though it’s not for a hot summer day — even Assos only recommends it for a “warm spring or cold summer day.” The Assos SuperLight fabric did a great job of wicking away extra moisture, and the spandex shoulder composition made it easy to move around. The pocket system is constructed a bit differently than the traditional three-pocket configuration. Instead of three equally sized pockets in the back, the two outer pockets utilize a side-loading orientation for easy access on the bike. The middle pocket contains an outer fold over a smaller safety pocket for storing keys and cash. While these side-loading outer pockets may work for a smaller cargo load, when packed full, items are more likely to spill out. On one occasion, a well-stuffed rain jacket began flapping around, requiring special attention. All in all, the side-loading pockets make for uneasy storage. Along with most of the jerseys in this review, the SS.Lady jersey required sizing up due to its European cut. The SS.Lady jersey is available from extra small to extra large in the following color options: red (pictured), black, white, blue, and yellow.
The patented T.Lady_S5 bibshort was by far the most distinct bib tested. The strap configuration was the most unique and functional out of the bunch. The Y-panel design runs the strap down the middle of the torso instead of to the sides and was comfortable and practical, making the occasional nature break easier to accomplish. The bibshort utilizes the ASSOS ABC Closure System, which allows the user to select from three closure hooks. The ability to select individual strap length is a phenomenal and unique feature. The iceColor technology reduces heat absorption, and provides UV 50+ protection — an important consideration on a long day in the sunshine. The softness and breathability of the custom fabric chosen for this bib stands out; so, too, does the $280 price tag, which is $75 higher than the next-highest priced short in this review, and more than several jersey/kit combinations.