The other side of Assos.
Assos has a long history of appearing on the podiums of cycling's biggest events. Sometimes these appearances are prominent public endorsements, as with Cancellara in Rio, and sometimes they're clandestine, as with the entire podium of the 1982 worlds. Considering that that podium comprised the likes of Saronni, LeMond, and Kelly, that's a ringing endorsement, and it demonstrates the brand's dedication to creating kit that meets the expectations of the most demanding cyclists in the world. The Men's T.milleshorts_s7 represent a different side of Assos' design philosophy. It privileges that same level of technical nous and expert construction, but it does so in a fit that accommodates those of us who aren't quite in the shape that Saronni enjoyed during his superlative '82 season.
Long-time Assos fans will likely remember that season of Saronni's, or at least the later exploits of King Kelly or LeMond's rise to dominance in the late '80s. That same demographic may also have fond memories of the original FI.Mille bibs, an endurance model that turned the Assos dial from race to comfort. The new T.milleshorts_s7 speak to that pedigree by combining the materials and chamois of the T.neoPro_s7 bibs with a more generous comfort fit at the waist. The thinking is simple: the T.milleshorts bring the construction details and functional brilliance that have won Assos so many fans in the peloton to those of us who want the experience of high-end kit but don't correspond with the typical body type profile of a racer.
As with the T.neoPro they're effectively replacing, the T.milleshorts are built with Assos' Type.429 Lycra blend. This durable fabric is used for the low-volume panels of the T.neoPro_s7, as it's incredibly supportive, hard-wearing, soft on the skin, lightweight enough to be appropriate throughout summer. It provides exceptional breathability, and it rapidly transfers moisture to its quick-drying outer surface. While that level of moisture management is general across most well-made cycling shorts, the feel of the material identifies the T.milleshorts as Assos quality by touch alone.
That feel also translates to a moderately compressive hold, which, supports the body underneath. 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 for cyclists who may dabble in racing but are primarily into cycling for the sheer love of the sport. We recommend the T.equipe or T.campionissimo models for a higher-denier construction for race days, but the T.milleshorts' long-distance pedigree shines through during long base miles and charity centuries alike.
The Advanced Ergonomic Pattern Design (AEPD) shape of the lowers also contributes to this confident feel. The shorts describe a slightly asymmetrical compressive hold that stretches more around your body, rather than vertically, so it wraps your engine rather than simply stretching to cover it. This tuned shaping secures the shorts while you're stretched out in the saddle, contributing a dialed feel to ride time that feels less ideal while standing upright or navigating the café patio. This feeling has long been known to Assos' devoted followers as the signature "click-on" fit.
The AEPD fit is universal across the _s7 line, and it's been further enhanced by its new Y7 bib strap design. While the straps on the previous generation of Assos shorts, _s5, were spot-on from a comfort perspective, the _s7 straps have been moved outward in the front slightly for better support and more clearance for breathing. The design also minimizes the gap that traditional bibs tend to leave when they fall from the shelf of the collarbones to the attachment point at the hips. By aligning the straps with the obliques, Assos keeps them closer to the torso while letting them mimic the body's movements without any gap, regardless of on-the-bike positioning.
As with anything Assos, though, the chamois is the crux of T.milleshorts. 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."
In practice, this lofty goal starts with an 8mm-thick memoryFoam material cut into two pads shaped to support your sit bones. This foam was first introduced with the venerable _s2 FI.13, as its material properties let it compress and immediately return, effectively filling the gaps created between body and chamois throughout the pedal stroke or while shifting in the saddle The memoryFoam isn't a homogenous material; rather, and in true Assos form, it's a complex gestalt of myriad materials. The first two layers are the brand's superAir and waffle composition, which provide perforated padding that increases breathability and to shed weight. This layer is responsible for the dimpling that shows through the ultra-soft amethyst top sheet. The combined effect pulls moisture from within the layers below and lets the chamois dry much quicker than the previous _s5 chamois.
Once Assos got the chamois layup to its 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 extended the chamois' thinly-padded sides over this short-to-chamois junction, making the transition against your skin as smooth as possible.
The T.milleshorts are built on Assos' s7 platform, which entails a host of bulk-reducing, anatomical features, but the goldenGate design warrants a specific call-out. GoldenGate involves attaching the chamois at the front and rear, leaving the sides free to float so the chamois moves with your body instead of against it. This effectively relocates friction from the skin/chamois interface to the chamois/shorts, all but eliminating the potential for abrasion and irritation. It also facilitates the chamois' "gap filling" action by helping to keep contact constant to avoid chaffing.
Before we let you get back to replays of the Paris time trial in the '89 Tour, the T.milleshorts' aesthetics and finishing details warrant some final attention. First the looks: stealth, sleek, classic. The legs are all black with just a hint of Assos branding in the form of rubberized logos. The legs terminate in low-volume, calibrated-stretch superFlat grippers which secure the fit, sure, but also contribute to the overall timeless style by eschewing the translucent meshes and unfinished hems that have become proprietary solutions to a problem that, since the advent of the single-piece elastic cuff, had never really existed.
- A classic cycling short tailored for long-distance cycling
- More forgiving waist fit adds comfort to performance
- Gently compressive Lycra offers confident support and stretch
- AEPD fit wraps muscles rather than formlessly stretching
- Endurance chamois adds cushion without undue bulk
- Lie-flat bib straps sit wide to eliminate gaps
- Elastic leg cuffs ensure fit without pinching
- Assos' superior construction and attention detail has long earned it a reputation as "the shorts company"