Six years in the making.
Assos' engineers worked with their Werksmannschaft factory team riders over the past six years to develop the all-new T.cento_s7 Bib Shorts. These stand as a testament to the Swiss brand's dedication to fit and function perfection, as they are the next generation of the proven FI.Mille. There are four new "mission-specific" models of bib shorts within Assos' technical-feature-laden _s7 lineup, with the T.cento _s7 aligning itself as the long distance, comfort-oriented option. The next level of Assos bib short innovation has officially arrived.
The main Assos-specific textile that makes up the paneling of the T.cento_s7 bib shorts is called Type.439. This fabric is used for the panels of the T.cento_s7, as it's incredibly comfortable and supportive. The material provides exceptional breathability, and it rapidly transfers moisture to its quick-drying outer surface. Additionally, this smooth fabric provides a moderately compressive hold, which, in turn, supports the muscle groups of the legs. As a result, these muscles are partially shielded from the fatigue-inducing effects of muscle oscillation that are derivative of road vibration.
Countless prototypes tested by Assos' very own Werksmannschaft (the Assos factory team) riders proved to Assos engineers that this exclusive textile provides the ideal blend of compressive support and low weight. And like the other fabrics constituting the rest of the _s7 bib shorts line, Type.439 was finished with an iceColor application, which is similar to Coldblack cooling technology in that it effectively reduces surface temperature in dark fabrics.
Assos engineered these bib shorts to provide a slightly asymmetrical compressive hold that stretches more around your body, rather than vertically. This tuned stretch works to firmly secure the shorts in place while down in the cycling position, feeling more dialed while sitting in the saddle than while standing upright. This feeling has long been known to Assos' devoted followers as the signature "click on" fit. This Advanced Ergonomic Pattern Design (AEPD) fit is ever-present with the _s7 line, and it's been further enhanced by its new Y7 bib strap design.
While the _s5's straps were spot-on from a comfort perspective, this latest generation's straps have been moved outward in the front slightly for better support. For example, while positioned over the hoods or down in the drops, traditional bib straps generally create a gap away from the torso between the collarbone and upper hips. But by aligning the straps outward, more along the obliques, the straps hug the torso, mimicking the body's movements without any gap, regardless of on-the-bike positioning.
Now for the heart of the T.cento's technological dominance: the chamois. While we're always reluctant to use the phrase "game changer" in anything we describe, the research and development of the chamois might just warrant an exception. Assos is calling it the "kuKuPenthouse." Yes, that is the name, and we'll get to its meaning momentarily. But first, as with all of the _s7 collection, it wears the new amethyst color. According to Assos, this purple hue was chosen to pay homage to the clothing of Roman emperors, English monarchs, and members of Japanese aristocracy, as the historically-significant color highlights what it calls the "most technically advanced cycling shorts on Earth."
As the top-tier chamois within the _s7 line, the kuKuPenthouse received every one of the new technical innovations to emerge from Assos' extensive product testing. The engineers began with a 10mm-thick memoryFoam material. This was first introduced with the venerable _s2 FI.13, as its shock absorbing composition returns to its original position, "filling the gap," every time pedaling position is changed in the saddle through the shift of weight.
The memoryFoam features multiple layers, with its superAir and waffle composition making up the first two. This perforated design works to increase breathability and to shed weight. Additionally, this dimpling, combined with the ultra-soft microfiber top sheet, effectively pulls moisture from within the layers below, which allows it to dry much quicker than the previous _s5 chamois. Once Assos got the chamois layup to their standards, the engineers began rethinking the way a traditional chamois is attached to the shorts. This led them to what they are calling the "goldenGate," which involves interrupting the stitching along both of the chamois' side panels, allowing a more "three-dimensional" freedom of movement in this sensitive, rotational area. Additionally, because the seams are eliminated, friction is minimized even further. But if that weren't enough, Assos went ahead and bonded its lightly-padded anatomical side flaps over this short-to-chamois junction, making the transition against your skin as smooth as possible.
And while the aforementioned is impressive, the true magic of this chamois is located at the front, as Assos removed the section of padding where a male cyclist's genitals would normally contact the chamois. In place of the padding is a soft, brushed microfiber layer, which creates a "nest," or cradle in which the genitals are comfortably supported, free of the chamois' foam padding. This is where the kuKuPenthouse name is derived, which is truly a first in chamois construction. Pressure is thus eliminated in this area, and ventilation is increased substantially compared to a traditional chamois. The overall chamois design was then finished off with a "rearTerminal" at the back—where the chamois' rear portion meets the lower back fabric panel—by fitting a smooth layer of durable and wicking microfiber in this high-stress moisture collection zone.
The Assos T.cento_s7 comes in a claimed weight of 185g. The leg panels were finished off with new low-volume, calibrated-stretch superFlat grippers to keep the cuffs securely in place, and small Assos logos accent the shorts throughout. They are available in seven sizes from X-Small to TIR and in the color Black Volkanga.
- Long-distance/endurance bibs from The Cycling Shorts Company
- More accommodating fit than Assos' race-fit bib shorts
- Gently compressive material laid-out in an inimitable pattern
- Free-floating chamois moves with you rather than against you
- The playfully christened kuKuPenthouse adds men-specific comfort
- Since the brand was launched, Assos has enjoyed clandestine popularity throughout the peloton