There are typically two options for jerseys: Race and Club. While race-fit jerseys typically get lavished with the industry's latest trends—long sleeves, matte fabrics, clean cut and welded cuffs and hems—club fit kit tends to be left out. Assos is defying that business-as-usual model with its Men's SS.centoJersey_evo8, which combines all of the features of a top-tier race jersey with a fit that's a bit more accommodating around the midsection.
The implications (and enormity) of this aren't immediately clear unless you've found yourself in the situation where you wanted the high-end features but were forced to size up in order to fit into the jerseys. The trade-off is that sizing up with those jerseys makes the body fit, but it means things like the clean, cuff free arms and tidy, minimized collars become sloppy, flappy expanses. Not so with the SS.centoJersey.
It imports all of those features (we can't praise the clean finish of the arms highly enough) to a model that fits those of us who are a bit more of an Ullrich in springtime than a skeletal Contador in the third week of July. In fact, if the SS.centoJersey reminds you of the SS.campionissimo, that's no accident; the former's aesthetics, material feel, and finishing details are all largely based on the latter. There are some key differences between the two, but they're subtle and they're less about reducing quality than about achieving that aim of pro-level construction in a jersey cut for the rest of us.
Those key differences are in the material and the collar. The material features a different blend of synthetics in order to provide more stretch for bodies that are, admittedly, not in peak grand tour shape. (Yet.) This stretch peaks around the midsection, where most of us non-pros can benefit from the added give. The collar is cut lower, which brings the jersey more in line with the industry's typical take on jerseys and also frees up your throat for important things like, you know, breathing. And that's important for endurance athletics.
The pockets surface Assos' obsessive attention to detail in a way that you have to put hands on to really appreciate. First, the obvious: There are three open pockets and a fourth, zippered pocket. Most brands—even those that self-stylize as "luxury"—hit that point and call it a day, but Assos goes well beyond. The pockets are a robust material whose perforations allow ventilation, and this material is anchored to a full back panel of two-way stretch mesh that gives horizontally but not vertically. Assos is daring you to load the pockets up with bananas, CO2, spare tubes, and cobblestones pried from northern France's Napoleonic-era farm roads traversed during a sportive following the route of a spring monument. The jersey's construction prevents droop, so the weight of your granite souvenir won't send your pockets down to rest on your saddle.
- A jersey that combines a comfort fit with performance details
- High-stretch Lycra allows a more expansive mid-section fit
- Laser-cut, lie-flat sleeves sit long and flat without pinching
- Reinforced back panel eliminates pocket droop
- Zippered security pocket eliminates the risk of lost keys
- Rear elastic hem anchors fit with silicone grip print
- Reflective pocket strips up the safety factor in low-light conditions
- Assos logo zipper pulls add the final touch to an endurance jersey masterpiece