ASSOS WOMEN'S SHORTS/BIBS - ROAD
Even with all of the choices out there for women's bib shorts, one ride in the Assos T FI.13 Lady_S5 Women's Bib Shorts will make you a devotee. After all, we always say that Assos' biggest competition is Assos, and with a 25% lighter construction, 35% more breathability, and 18% more compression than Assos' other women's bib shorts, the T FI.13 Lady_S5 are undeniably top-shelf.
Assos' wisdom led to the seemingly-funky, backwards-looking bib design. However, it isn't backwards, it's future-forward. In fact, it's the Assos Buckle Closure Mechanism (ABC-M). To provide the perfect fit for a wide range of women, the adjustable buckle can slide into any one of three loops stitched into the front of the short. This allows you to customize the fit of the short as a whole. And, unlike regular bib-less shorts, the shorts are held in place primarily by the tension of the bib strap. This means that you won't have an elasticized waistband putting pressure on your tummy as you ride -- this is the exact reason why the pros who race the Tour all choose bib shorts, not regular shorts. Comfort is paramount.
The general design of T FI.13 Lady_S5 is an easy visual cue to indicate that Assos has totally re-engineered its shorts. Just about everything on these shorts are different. It's easy to notice the different-colored exterior grippers, one Silver and one Black, and the external tags in back -- both details are driven by comfort. But, what about the Green'ish, Clinique-colored panel in the middle of the bibs? While a striking color, it's actually a carbon fiber mesh material that's lighter, more breathable, and substantially less prone to odor retention than Lycra.
The stretchy material in the rest of the shorts is also different than earlier Assos offerings. T FI.13 uses A430 on the outside panels and A431 panels on the inside of the legs. The A430 fabric has greater venting than other varieties, and A431 is Assos-speak for compression materials. Furthering the squeeze is the flat-panel stitching that results in less stretch. On the negative, it takes a bit more work to get these on. But that's the only negative. Once they're on, the shorts stay in place, squeezing the muscles gently while providing a perfect and adaptable fit through any riding position.
T FI.13's most noticeable change is actually the chamois. The Clinique color is used here again to call attention to the change. The smooth, Clinique-colored top-layer is light, breathable, and transfers moisture to the outside of the garment. Under the cover, and stitched to the outside of the shorts, is the actual padding. While the two separate pads are right next to each other, they're not stitched to each other as to allow them to operate independently. The result is less heat and moisture buildup, less sliding on the saddle, and even greater comfort.
One note to keep in mind: Assos designs all of its clothing with the Assos Ergonomic Pattern Design philosophy. When you put these bib shorts on, they'll pull and bunch when you're standing straight up looking in the mirror. But, they're not designed to be comfortable when you're standing in your bedroom -- rather, they're designed to 'click' into place when you're on your bike. You'll experience the beauty of the Assos fit when it matters -- in the saddle.
The Assos T FI.13 Lady_S5 Women's Bib Shorts come in a thermo-foam box with a small jar of Assos' highly-regarded Chamois Cream, a small bottle of Active Wear Cleanser, and a wash bag. The bib shorts are available in the colors Black and White and in five sizes from X-Small to X-Large.