T.laalaLaiShorts_S7 Lady Bib Shorts
The number of claimed firsts in Assos' history is astounding. First skinsuit (1976), first Lycra cycling shorts and bibs ('76), first multi-density chamois ('88 — maybe our favorite "first"), first leg grippers ('98) — the list goes on. While they're not another industry first, the T.laalaLaiShorts_S7 Lady Bib Shorts do represent the first bibs in the women's S7 line. For those of us who have been clinging to our long-suffering T FI.Lady_S5 or the skinsuit-esque tB.laalaLai_s5, the T.laalalLaiShorts will be received with no less revolutionary fanfare than those other firsts.
It took the company six years to design the men's S7 line, and in the seventh year, it comes to women, too. And it didn't come alone. It's brought with it a host of features that were pioneered in the men's S7 shorts but refined for women. Instead of the typeA.430 and 434 material used in our old Lady Assos bibs, the T.laalaLaiShorts are made of the same type.439 material used in the men's T.equipe and T.cento shorts. The material is laid out in a pattern designed to accommodate a woman's body in the saddle, and — though the shorts shaping is the result of a completely independent design process — the type.439 material provides the same functional benefits for women as it does for men.
Specifically, the material is breathable, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying. All of which are obvious and, at this point, just assumed features. The material's real shine lies in its compression, which Assos engineered to provide an asymmetrically compressive hold that stretches more around your body rather than vertically. While unmediated, all-way stretch is a nice element for general comfort in cycling shorts, Assos' targeted, direction-specific stretch ups the ante by balancing compression, yield, return, and support for a cycling-specific application. This balance allows uninhibited pedaling while further reducing the fatiguing oscillations caused by road noise vibrating through the muscles of your engine.
This targeted fit construction also means that, while you're rifling through your apartment looking for your sunglasses and a CO2 cannister before a ride, the shorts aren't going to feel completely comfortable. But. When you finally clip into the pedals and stretch out to the bars, your body will click into the T.laalaLaiShorts. 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 give wider berth to the throat 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.
Also like the men's S7 models, the type.439 material used here is finished with an iceColor application, which effectively reduces surface temperature in dark fabrics. Unlike the men's versions, though, the women-specific bibs include a front buckle. The new model has been updated with a magnetic connection that Assos claims is more comfortable than that on the S5, but we never really had any complaints about the outgoing system. The obvious improvement is in the mechanism's engagement, which clicks into place with the same intuitive ease that the your body clicks into the Assos fit.
As the first women's bibs in the S7 line, the T.laalaLaiShorts also introduce lady racers to the joys of the purple chamois. As with all of the S7 collection, the insert rocks Assos' new amethyst color, a purple hue chosen to pay homage to the clothing of Roman emperors, English monarchs, and members of the Japanese aristocracy. The chamois is designed according to the same philosophy of progressive support that informs the men's amethyst inserts but with a topography specific to female anatomy. The material's high stretch, high return properties allow it to compress and expand in coordination with the surprisingly complex pattern of movement that pedaling produces in the ischial and perineal areas. This effectively "fills the gaps" that other inserts leave during a pedal stroke, reducing the number of instances when the skin in these sensitive areas separates from and reencounters the chamois surface. The result is less chaffing, because the chamois moves with your skin rather than independently of it.
Assos also rethought the way a traditional chamois is attached to the shorts, developing yet another avenue to help reduce friction and irritation. 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. But if that weren't enough, Assos went ahead and extended the chamois' thinly-padded sides over this short-to-chamois junction, making the transition against your skin as smooth as possible.
- Masterfully crafted bib shorts for demanding days on the bike
- Semi-compressive design keeps performance fibers close to skin
- Lightweight, breathable fabric wicks sweat and stays aero
- Odor-resistant treatment keeps you smelling fresh
- Chamois padding absorbs shock and impact for smooth comfort
- Leg grippers ensure a locked-in fit