First thing you need to do with any Assos product is ignore that price just above this sentence. Done that? Right, now we can continue with this article about the latest bib tights from the Swiss clothing company.
The new LL.716_S5 bib tights are designed for cold winter riding. They use the company’s new RX_Plus fabric (a Roubaix fabric with a waffle pattern in the microfleece lining to reduce the overall weight) and stratagonUltra airBlock windproof panels on the abdominal area and knees to provide an extra layer of protection from the cold air.
They’re available with or without a chamois. We opted for with, and doing that gets you the latest S5 chamois insert. It’s one of the most comfortable pad inserts out there, a sumptuously soft affair curved to perfectly fit the body; it’s luxurious to ride in and, being the ‘Long Distance’ version (it has a greater surface area than the standard S5 chamois) it’s ideal for those long winter base rides.
As usual with Assos garments the attention to detail is exemplary, with nothing left to chance. They go to great lengths in pursuit of the perfect fit, with 12 panels and five different fabrics used in that quest for the ultimate tights. One such example of this attention is an extra layer of fabric placed on the side of the thigh to provide the leg muscles here with a bit more defence against the cold.
The fit is typical Assos, and can be best described as uncomfortable and inhibiting when walking around the house before a ride but works absolutely brilliantly once on the bike and in the crouched position. The long 18cm zipper on the front inhibits easy toilet stops but on the plus side the bib straps are placed more centrally, and more narrowly, and the wide straps spread the pressure well. At the end of the legs are foot stirrups that ensure a smooth and seamless fit around the ankles.
Designed for temperature ranges between 0°C to 8°C, they do exactly as they claim. We’ve been fortunate [eh? – ed.] to have had just such low temperatures recently and they’ve kept my legs warm on several bitterly cold rides. The fit is excellent, with the shape of the legs and in particular the panel design around the knee joints ensuring excellent freedom of movement through the full range of pedalling. The bib straps could do with being a tiny bit longer in my mind, just to make them less uncomfortable off the bike.
Assos has always had a strong reputation for the ultimate cycle clothing and these latest bib tights only serve to cement that reputation.