The cycling industry loves superlatives, and there may be no brand of clothing whose product is more awash in adjectives ending in -est than Assos. We're loathe to blindly pile on, but the fit of kit like the LL.bonkaTights_s7 demands it. So here goes. When it comes to bib tight fit, the LL.bonkaTights are the closest to perfection that we've had the opportunity to struggle into — in a word, they're magical. We don't use the word "struggle" on accident, because the tights' impeccable fit means that, until you get the bibs situated and perform the requisite chamois dance, they're a bit difficult to get on. The fit is best compared to installing a new pair of hoods: wrestling them over the lever bodies seems frustratingly impossible until — ta-da — they slot into place to become virtually indistinguishable from the levers themselves. Like those hoods, the LL.bonkaTights seem to disappear once you get them on. Magic.
The attention to fit-related minutiae that informs this hyperbole is evident in details like the articulation down the back of the leg. Assos combines strategically tapered panels of material for a fit through the back of the knee that — at the risk of dipping into hyperbole again — is every bit as bunch-free as riding with bare knees. Even the reflective strips on the back of the legs are only attached at the ends, as sewing the entire length to the tights would compromise the stretch and fit of the fabric. There may be some possible improvements to be made, but Assos' obsessive development philosophy means that it will likely identify those possibilities well before we do.
Assos' RX heavy fabric makes up the tights' body. It's an all-new material that hits the usual cold-weather mark of a brushed inner face that creates small pockets of insulating void in order to establish a microclimate of comfort beneath its protective exterior. It also manages moisture from within and without, wicking sweat from your skin and — with Assos' Water Resistant (WR) treatment — keeping road spray, rain, and even melting snow at bay. Where the LL.milleTights substitute RX Light on the back of the legs for protection equal to early winter conditions, the LL.bonkaTights go all-in with RX Heavy throughout for Assos' highest level of winter warmth.
The RX Heavy material is further reinforced with overlay panels of Stratagon fabric at the points where wind chill takes its biggest toll: the hips, thighs, and — of course — the ever-vulnerable knees. The ankles and shins are wrapped in Assos' Type.009 waterBarrier to repel wheel spray and maintain complete coverage with a gently compressive hold. The tights also incorporate a panel of wind-resistant Stratagon Ultra fabric in the front crotch and lower abdomen, which Assos is calling blasenSchutz. This translates literally to, well, to something quite racy that — construed in a cycling context — suggests windproof qualities. Assos claims that the extra protection keeps you from having to urinate while riding in cold weather, but we can't repeat that in good conscience without acknowledging that we're not sure if it's true. What we can say about blasenSchutz is that the extra panel protects your core from wind chill — a feature that needs no additional, bladder-related justification.
All of these features are further reinforced with a membrane that runs throughout the entirety of the tights. Assos bills it as "winter-proof," and it's meant to serve as a final, anti-weather portcullis that ensures the barbarians of winter remain outside the gate. The need for maintaining form and building base miles doesn't decrease as the calendar turns over into January and February. If anything, we find our sense of race-related urgency ramping up well before the temperatures do, and the LL.bonkaTights' combination of protective elements empower us to keep going when lesser kit proves insufficient.
The LL.bonkaTights are finished with the Cento chamois, whose amethyst microfiber cover is meant to reference royalty throughout the world's ages and cultures. The memory foam at the insert's heart absorbs road noise and shock and features a high degree of return. It's able to compress and reform fast enough that, as you pedal, it stays against your skin, "filling the gaps" while your legs move. The chamois' superAir waffle padding is perforated for increased breathability, and combines with the purple top layer to transport moisture away from your body. The whole thing is anchored with Assos' goldenGate technology, so the unattached center sides allow the chamois to move with your skin rather than against it, relocating the point of friction away from the chamois/skin interface.
While the aforementioned is impressive, the Cento's true magic emanates from the front, where Assos incorporates what it's calling the kuKuPenthouse in a final stroke of chamois genius. This questionably titled feature involves replacing the section of padding at the very front of the Cento with a soft, brushed, microfiber layer, which creates a pouch or cradle to comfortably encompass a male cyclist's most sensitive areas. This eliminates pressure, sure, but we should warn that there is one tradeoff: the lack of pressure formerly provided by padding means that there isn't anything but stretchy material between the kuKuPenthouse's occupants and the outside world. This has the unfortunate effect of risking a decidedly public display of a cyclist's palmarès while waiting in line for a mid-ride coffee.
View more Men's Tights & Bib Tights
|Leg & Knee Warmers||0||I||II|
|Height||4ft 11in - 5ft 2in
(150 - 159cm)
|5ft 3in - 5ft 6in
(160 - 169cm)
|5ft 7in - 5ft 10in
(170 - 179cm)
|5ft 11in - 6ft 1in
(180 - 185cm)
|6ft 1in - 6ft 3in
(186 - 190cm)
|6ft 3in - 6ft 5in+
(191 - 195cm+)
|XLG but wider|
- How to Measure:
- For best results, take measurements over your underwear.
- Measure around the widest part of your chest.
Reviews & Community
If there is one thing I hate it's being cold. Fall and winter riding has never really been kind to me and I usually avoided it. That's until I decided to get good gear, gear that fit's and does the job.
Yes, these are expensive, but if you are a rider that's putting in miles while it's 40, even 30 degrees outside, hell, you might as well be warm and be comfortable. Sometimes the trainer simply gets too boring and the road is calling.
As soon as I put these on I felt like I could ride in anything. My first ride was a chilly 40 degree morning and I was getting in a quick hour. The fit while riding is perfect, much better compression than competitors and the minimal material was noticed immediately. As you can see in the photo the fit is tight and non-bunching. The Cento chamois with the kuKuPenthouse is the greatest thing in cycling since di2..maybe better. The detail in this piece is remarkable, everything from wind block fabric in all the right places, perfectly placed reflectors on the legs, and finally the Type.009 waterBarrier at the ankles and shins. All I can say is it feels great to treat yourself every once in awhile, and you certainly won't regret treating yourself to these. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all.
MEASUREMENTS: (I ordered a Small)
Inseam (jewels to your foot): 31in
Customer Account Manager-Bike
Expensive and warm
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Medium
Yes, they are uber-expensive. But oh so incredibly warm. If you plan to ride in freezing conditions, this is just the way to go. The new Assos pad is better than S5, and the compression on these is perfect. The best part is that the mid-section portion is designed incredibly well to insulate your crotch and kidneys from the cold and the wind and that makes a ton of difference.
Warm enough for the 20's and 30F's
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
Updated March 6, 2017
See below for the full review. This is my second winter with these tights. They are still great especially for exceptionally cold rides. I have one minor complaint: after using these probably 50 times I have discovered a design flaw or just plain problem. The very bottom of the tights have a water resistant rubbery cover. I have noticed that the boots I put over my shoes and then over the bottom of the tights are wearing the outside of the tights. Essentially the material on the tights is very soft and the abrasion from the zippers on my boots combined with the pedaling probably moves the boots very slightly over the tights. So this section of the tights are beginning to wear through the material (see photo). I am downgrading the rating to 4/5. Use with boots with caution.
UPDATE: Feb 1, 2016
I have used these about 25 times in January (nearly every day) in temperatures from 18F to 40F. They are great. I have had no problems.
I got these for Christmas to supplement my winter riding collection. I own many pair of Assos bib shorts and a pair of Habu tights. The Habu works great from the 30's up to about 50F. I got these Bonka for lower temperatures. I am replacing a pair of thermal Pearl Izumi tights.
These bibs are thicker in the legs than the Habu but not to their detriment. The Habu have straps at the ends of the legs for your feet. These do not have straps or even a zipper. The snug fit at the bottom is provided by the water-proof fabric on the very ends. The product description mentions some difficulty in pulling them on. I have had no such issue. It was actually tougher in the beginning with the Habu tights.
These are as warm as my PI thermal bibs and much thinner. I liked the PI bibs but one always knew that one was wearing it (especially around the thighs). These tights are a nice thickness that one forgets about. The chamois seems a little thicker than the one in the Habu but I only noticed it when putting them on and not while riding.
I wish it covered a little more of my torso but I have base layers to help with that.
I found the straps on these to be comfortable but not as tight when standing upright in them (as compared with the Habu in which I have to slouch over when getting ready to ride). I don't think they are loose and my size has not changed so I don't know why the straps would not be as tight as those on the Habu.