As cyclists, one of the biggest challenges we face as our commitment to the sport increases is finding ways to stay comfortable and pain-free in the saddle on longer rides. I talk every day with people who are trying all kinds of shorts and saddles to address the problems they are having after hours in the saddle. I have thought during these conversations that the bicycles might be a technology we enjoy, but cycling is not an inherently natural activity. Nothing in the last couple of million years of human evolution has prepared our bodies to sit on a firm triangular saddle for several hours.
It is a problem of nature, but the solution is in technology. The Assos T.cento_s7 bib shorts are more than just clothing, they are an artifact of cycling technology, as much as a set of carbon wheels, an aero frame, or a power meter. They are the distance-oriented short in the latest generation of Assos products (which all carry the S7 designation)
Clearly Assos looked at every aspect of their previous model, excellent in its own right, and found ways to make improvements. The bib straps sit flat and close to the body and simply refuse to wrinkle or fold on themselves, so there is never spaghetti-strap effect. The textiles throughout the shorts are thin and breathable, but somehow still have a sturdy quality. I expect these to last a long time.
The chamois is big and thick, more so than any other bib shorts I own. This is especially noticeable off the bike, but these weren’t made to be good off the bike. In the saddle, I have not felt the padding go flat underneath me, nor have I felt the edge of the chamois. The KuKu Penthouse feature is unlike any of my other shorts. Under the sit bones it feels firm and substantially padded, but in the front, where the chamois would usually push back against the anatomy, it is soft and unobtrusive, almost like a knit boxer short. This takes some getting used to, but after the miles start to stack up, the shorts just disappear.
Since getting the T.cento_s7 bib shorts a few weeks ago, I have done a couple of short rides, a mountainous 40-mile ride, and a flat 60-mile ride. Used with Assos Chamois cream, Ss.milleJersey_evo7 Jersey, and the NS.skinFoil Base Layer, they will be a top pick for long and strenuous rides.