Liberty RS23 Thermo Rain Jersey
It's common for us to be wowed with all of the new cycling components that enter our doors, but it usually takes something exceptionally extraordinary to grab our attention when perusing the cycling apparel we carry. While we get to work with a lot of great vendors and see a host of garments that come through the office that we would deem "neat," only a few achieve that coveted "must-have" status. The Liberty RS23 Thermo Rain Jersey, the latest wonder jersey from legendary clothing maker Assos, makes the grade.
Most of us can relate to the regrettable experience of being caught riding during a fall or spring deluge. While slogging along in soggy misery, we've all told ourselves we'd be better prepared next time, but the truth is, we loathe hauling around a jacket that won't get used. With weather conditions being so unpredictable this time of year and even on the other side of the mountain, we'd prefer something with a little more versatility. That's exactly why Assos created the Liberty. Fueled by the desire of the BMC Racing Team to use in competition and during training, the Liberty is designed as a breathable, lightweight, waterproof jersey that provides ample protection during high-output training and racing efforts and eliminates the additional bulk of a jacket. It can be worn over a baselayer or jersey and paired with arm warmers if needed, providing sleek, aerodynamic protection with a remarkable balance between breathability and weather resistance in windy and wet conditions.
To achieve its desired waterproofing, race-tailored cut, and bulk reduction, Assos crafts the Liberty Jersey with Stratagon Light fabric. It's a lightweight, breathable, non-porous synthetic engineered to halt the progression of cool blasts of wind to your core without hindering the ability for sweat to evaporate at its surface, so you stay cool and dry. It achieves an impressive 20,000mm waterproof rating, which is even more remarkable considering its 35,000gr/m² breathability rating, so it protects like a light ski shell but breathes almost like a summer weight jersey. This jersey also features a first from Assos, HI-AMtec or HeatInject-AccessMap technology. In a nutshell, HI-AMtec utilizes its stretchy, 3-layer Schloss Tex material internally on the left side of the torso to retain additional warmth around the chest, thus improving blood circulation by targeting the body's pump, the heart. This small addition is but one of the features that have taught us to expect more out of this short-sleeve jersey than we'd expect from many jackets.
The entire jacket is treated with a Durable Water Repellent finish that prevents rain showers from wetting out the fabric, while the squamoVenTech vents along the rear add ventilation and breathability to more sweat-prone areas. The jersey receives a reduced number of stitching to minimize water entry, keeping you comfortable and dry throughout your intervals. If the vents aren't enough to exhaust excess heat, the jersey's dual zipper allows you to zip down from the top traditionally or don the jersey as a cape to dump the warmth by unzipping up from the bottom.
Assos' attention to world-class fit and function is on full display with the Liberty, which features specific body mapping resulting in no fewer than 5 different textiles in 13 patterns and 10 discrete components. The sleeves feature an in-the-saddle oriented design with raw edges slightly longer on the rear of the openings than at the front. Assos' aero racing fit across the front panel achieves an abbreviated fit compared to some other jerseys; the Liberty will feel tight across the chest while you're standing, but clicks into position and perfectly follows your body position once you're clipped in and reaching for the bars. It sits close to your chest and achieves a desired aerodynamic silhouette without going so far as to restrict your movement, but we should note that it's a race-cut jersey for a proper racer's physique. In fact, you can see it in action on the backs of BMC at the 2018 edition of Strade Bianche.
Assos finishes the Liberty with its Reflex rear panel for additional visibility in low-light conditions. It receives the requisite 3 rear pockets for hauling snacks, extra apparel, and flat fixing material with the pockets lined with Tech Sheen 3D mesh for additional breathability. Taped seams are used throughout including at the zipper to keep the ingress of water to virtually zilch.
- A jersey for high-output rides in variable conditions
- water- and windproof fabric ideal on shoulder season rides
- Form fit leaves just enough room for a base layer
- Raw cut collar and arm openings improve the fit
- Can be paired with arm warmers in cooler conditions
- Reflex rear panel increases visibility on grey, rainy rides
- HI-AMtec design keeps the heart pumping warmed blood
- 3 rear pockets haul essentials on the ride