Contrary to belief, Assos has been making half-shorts all along; it's just that the H's make up about 10% of their short sales. The Assos H FI.Uno S5 short is the creme-de-la-creme of their half-short lineup. We know there's a place for the half-short in many a person's wardrobe. Especially amongst the modest, since they can get some baggy over shorts and ride Assos plush in secret. And those who find bibs constricting, these will free your torso.
The side panels of the H FI.Uno S5 are made from Assos' new A430 fabric. It offers superior venting in comparison to the A360 used on the S2. Amazingly, A430 provides better muscle compression than A360. And it wicks sweat substantially faster. Do the fingertip test when you pull the S5's out of the box -- the sheerness of the A430 tells the story. A fantastic detail here, though, is that Assos uses a different fabric on the inner thighs, A431. Why A431? It has less stretch than A430, keeping the chamois in a more stable position in your crotch. And it's a more durable fabric, too, in order to minimize sweat-induced fabric degradation and potential piling of the inner thigh fabric cause by rubbing against your saddle.
The front panels of the S5 are made from neither A430 nor A431. Rather, it's a high elastic fabric designed for a simple purpose: Reduction of pressure on your crotch. You'll spend a lot less time mid-ride reaching down into your shorts to readjust yourself. Gone are the days of your shorts contorting your goods in unpleasant ways.
The feature that makes the S5 unlike other half-shorts is the front and rear waist panels. Assos eschews drawstrings because it's a sign that the fit is off to begin with. The front waist panel, which stretches all the way across the front half of the short is wide and soft and stretches well. The tag is outside the short so it doesn't chafe your skin. Across the back, Assos uses a firmer, or less-stretchy spandex so the back of the short doesn't move around any more than it should.
The key element of any short is its chamois. The S5 holds nothing back. The new FI.13 chamois is actually two separate pads with two separate stitchings. The layer next to your skin is softer than what you get on the S2. While it lacks in none of the elasticity of the original FI.13 chamois, it somehow feels less rubbery than the original. It's softer and it compresses less; it stretches it's not under so much tension. In other words, when it's being stretched, it doesn't try to snap back into place, so it won't abrade your skin as much. The chamois is dimpled, too, to facilitate heat ventilation. You'll also note a broad cut at the front of the chamois to further reduce pressure -- seen by the wide stitching in the front of the short. The edges of the S5 side panels have reflective tabs. The bottoms of the legs have Assos' external grippers. What Assos does in terms of color is keep the back panels black regardless of the color of the front panels. The Assos H F1.Uno S5 comes in black, in sizes Small through TIR.