Throughout its history, Assos has proven never shy about throwing out everything it's developed in the past and starting from scratch in order to revolutionize not just its own line, but the industry as a whole. The T.FF_1Shorts_S7 Men's Bib Shorts are something of a departure from this trend, as they instead combine elements of two celebrated models from the S7 line—the race-minded équipe_S7 shorts and the superlative campionissimo_S7—with Assos' oh-so-Euro passion for motosport in the form of some Mercedes AMG Petronas branding. The result is a gently compressive, surprisingly durable pair of bibs that incorporate style, fit, and impeccable finishing details in the way that we expect from the Swiss brand.
The T.FF_1Shorts feature a similar material to the campionissimo model. The only difference is that the former features a little less nylon and a little more elastane than the latter, so the two are virtually indistinguishable by touch alone. The T.FF_1Shorts are gently compressive, wrapping your legs in a confident hold that’s still as light and comfortable as possible. In classic Assos fashion, the material is also cut to fit rather than expected to stretch to fit. Most manufacturers rely on bib short constructions that use many fabric panels or overly stretchy materials to achieve a desired level of compressive hold and fit, both of which sacrifice weight and comfort in the name of heavily-stitched seams or ill-fitting bodies. The Type.A444 woven textile lets Assos mitigate the added bulk and abrasion of standard compressive shorts by building the T.FF_1Shorts with merely five sleek panels.
The construction was tested across countless prototypes while developing the Campionissimo and—Dare we say it?—possibly perfected here with the addition of a Type.490 panel in the front, which further enhances the shorts' ability to dispel moisture. Like the rest of the _s7 bib shorts line, the T.FF_1Shorts are finished with an iceColor application, which is similar to Coldblack cooling technology in that it effectively reduces surface temperature in dark fabrics. A cool, dry, and fresh feeling is the result, which complements your body's fully supported lower half.
Material construction is only one part of the Assos experience, though. As alluded to above, fit is just as crucial, and Assos was able to engineer these bib shorts with 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 the new Y7 bib strap design. While the _s5's straps were spot-on from a comfort perspective, this latest generation's straps move slightly outward in the front for better support. 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.
And now for the core of Assos' technological dominance: the chamois. 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 one of the top-end chamois within the _s7 line, the equipe chamois included here received the bulk of Assos' technical innovations. The engineers began with an 8mm-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, and Assos further smooths the transition from chamois to skin by extending the chamois' thinly-padded sides to completely cover the anchoring seams.
- Racing shorts that celebrate Assos' love of Euro motorsport
- Gently compressive fabric supports comfortably
- Signature "click-on" fit disappears when you're in the saddle
- Free-floating chamois helps reduce friction against skin
- Fabric treated to promote cooling in hot conditions
- Lie-flat bibs spaced to eliminate gaps between body and straps
- Elastic leg bands secured with silicone print
- Assos has earned a reputation as the shorts company for decades