Swiss Style-Makers Assos Launch MTB Line

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By bicyclebluebook September 4, 2014

We love companies that aren’t afraid to do the unexpected, some might say Bicycle Blue Book has been known to surprise a few people. The recent launch of MTB gear from the super stylish Swiss brand Assos has a lot of people surprised, including us. These guys only make high priced road gear right? Not anymore!

Don’t expect to see Assos baggy’s or flat brim caps anytime soon. Assos MTB gear is aimed squarely at the rider currently using their road gear on the trail. These are XC and endurance racers as well as any performance trail rider still debating the merits of baggy shorts on tight trails with trees, bushes and rocks just waiting to snag you. While Assos quality comes with a high price tag, it also comes with incredible durability, comfort and fit. It might be worth spending some of the hard earned money you saved by shopping for a used bike in the Bicycle Blue Book used bike marketplace on some of th elitist from Assos.

After almost seven years of development, Assos has launched a three-piece MTB line that is sure to grow in the near future. It includes new bib shorts called the T.Rally, and two jerseys, the CapeEpic and the RallyTrekking. Every one of the these items, while leaning on Assos’s extensive road background, is a ground up design for the dirt with exclusive fabrics and painstaking attention to panels, fit and function. Here are the details behind the new shorts.

T.Rally_s7 Bib Shorts
Last year’s launch of the s7 line of road shorts made waves. The shorts are just fabulously good, so Assos used them as the basis for these shorts. They are considered the same level as the T.Campionissimo_s7, which is Assos’s top of the line, but reinvented for the dirt.

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Instead of a race fit, they feature a more relaxed ‘regular’ fit. This isn’t to say they aren’t race worthy, but the regular fit delivers a better feel in the saddle thanks mountain biking’s more upright riding style and extra body movement. Assos uses three fabrics and ten panels in the shorts. Single panels wrap each leg while front and back panels help make up the majority of the short. Two more panels make up a small security pocket at the back of the bibs while the remaining four panels create pockets for the small hip pads. Assos has done away with the panel between the bib straps to reduce friction with a hydration pack and allow more movement.

The fabrics are MTB specific, with a higher level of abrasion resistance and an overall robustness designed for mountain biking’s frequent rate of unplanned dismount. They also provide controlled compression which Assos has found is even more important in the mountains thanks to increased vibration and higher rate of pace change due to steep kickers and short down hills.

The increased robustness also slightly increases weight. The T.Rally fabric is 227grams per-square meter versus 200grams for the s7 road shorts. The front and back panels use another MTB specific fabric that is both antibacterial and incredibly elastic, yet still run proof. At the front it has been doubled to create a stable platform for the insert. The other fabric, for the rear pocket and protection pockets is a light mesh, only 90grams per square meter, but still robust enough or the dirt. The bib straps are the first crossed bib straps in Assos history. They also dive down deep into the front of the shorts to create a tougher attachment.

The insert is the now famous s7 ‘Golden Gate’ pad that is not stitched all the way around to allow it to move with your body – especially important in the dirt. Painstaking attention has also been paid to the placement of seams away from high friction areas. The pad is still only 8mm thick, like Assos most road pads, but placed slightly farther back for the upright riding position. Speaking of pads, the polyurethane pads Assos uses for the T.Rally have undergone as much testing as the rest of the shorts. They were chosen because they actually dissipate some impact energy as heat, as well as being stable across a large range of temperatures.

T.RallyShorts_s7: $449 More:

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