ASSOS has undergone some major changes this year. The Swiss clothing brand - who already had a reputation for creating incredible kit - have transformed their marketing approach, making them considerably more appealing to female customers.
The brand was founded by Toni Maier-Moussa in 1976, and the family is still heavily involved in the development of new kit. Joining CEO - Phil Duff - has swept in to clean up the business side of the company, taking an already impressive brand from strength to strength.
Duff told us earlier this year that of 18 World Tour Teams, kitted out by 13 different brands - 70 per cent of riders were wearing an ASSOS chamois in whatever shorts their team had provided them with. We've no way of confirming this, but it's a bold statement to make and one that demonstrates extreme confidence in the product.
You may note that most of ASSOS products sit closely flush with the 'considered purchase' end of the expenditure scale. Read: it's not cheap. This said, the company is at the cutting edge of research and design, and you know you're investing in quality that will last the test of time (according to TWC freelancer Adele, over TEN YEARS is entirely feasible).
If you're preparing your cold weather armourey, and aren't sure where to start - ASSOS have outlined the ideal outfit from their women's range to keep you comfortable and warm as the winter draws closer.
ASSOS' stand out item for autumn/winter 2016 is their 'HL.TIBURUTIGHTS_S7 LADY' tight. Made using three textiles, seven patterns and nine components these also feature the brand's unique 'Goldengate' chamois.
Designed for spring and autumn rides, you'll find an all-new leg construction that's been created with a refined blend of fabrics. Breathability was kept at front of mind, and water repellent treatment will keep the worst of the rain from soaking through on damp days.
These are ASSOS' first female tights which include their Lady_S7 insert. This unique chamois uses the brand's 'Goldengate' technology where the chamois is only stitched at the front and rear of the shorts. This means the chamois surface sits cleanly against the rider's body, whilst the exterior fabric works with the saddle. This allows exterior and chamois to work independently, reducing friction and offering superior comfort.
Those that aren't bib tight fans will be pleased to hear these are waist tights, not bibs. A wide, high band ensures there's no restriction at the stomach.
Sizes XS to XL. RRP: £155. See them here.
What to team the tights with?
ASSOS put a strong focus on what they call the 'ASSOS layering system'. Items are designed to fit as part of an outfit - with specific care taken in the way they complement each other.
When pairing with the HL.TIBURUTIGHTS_S7 LADY tights, ASSOS would suggest the following to build up the ideal outfit:
Body insulater: SS.skinFoil_Spring/fall_evo7
Jacket: iJ.intermediate_S7 Lady
Here's a look at each item, and how it interacts with and complements the tights...
Baselayers from ASSOS are renowned for being some of the very, very best. The Skinfoil is a unisex item and it acts as a first defense against both the cold outside, and sweat which can otherwise evaporate on your skin creating an even greater cooling effect.
The foundation of the ASSOS' Layering System, this first defense layer has been newly engineered to use seamless tubular knitting technology.
The skinfoil fibres use your natural humidity as an insulator or coolant - working with your 'personal microclima' to pull and push moisture to the next shell layer as necessary. New transport mesh technology means that the base layer is the most effective it's ever been and the stretchy, textured yarn keeps volume low, so this isn't a base layer that feels thick or bulky.
Sizes 0-III, £65, see it here.
Designed for the shoulder seasons, this is a summer weight jersey with long sleeves and a protective 'airBlock' front panel at the front which acts as a wind resistant layer. Purpose designed to keep your chest warm, without causing you to overheat, it's ideal for those days when it's 'chilly but not cold'.
To create this jersey, six different textiles have been used, plus 17 patterns and 14 components in total. The fabric is designed to be extremely stretchy and low volume, so it feels light and easy to wear - and breathability has been carefully looked after with the help of summer fabrics on the side and rear panels.
The upper arms feature a light but fleecy insulation fabric, that's still quick to dry whilst keeping you cosy and allowing for ease of movement.
The jacket features a full zip, high collar with airBlock protection, close fit sleeves, three rear pockets including one water resistant and zipped compartment.
Sizes XS - XL, £185, see it here. Available black, black and white or black, white and red.
A unisex glove, these are designed to be worn through spring and autumn when summer mitts no longer provide sufficient coverage, but you don't want anything too heavyweight.
The fabric is highly elastic, and lightly brushed - creating a second skin feel that doesn't become restrictive or bulky on the handlebar. Rubberised printing on the palm will provide plenty of grip, and these can be teamed with a further pair of summer gloves for extra protection later in the year.
Sizes XXS - XLG, £35, see them here.
Available in white, black, yellow, blue and red - these are high performance socks that aim to provide protection tailored to intermediate conditions common in spring and autumn.
The goal in creating this sock as to combine three important characteristics:
- lightweight, but heavy protection
- compact construction
- low compression
To achieve this, ASSOS used ultra thin fibers, that are highly compacted thanks to a huge number of stitches per square inch (made possible via new machinery). Elastane fibers provide comfortable compression, that aids blood circulation.
The result? A thin sock that's comfortable, with a snug second-skin fit that won't bunch up in your shoes.
Sizes 0-II, £14, see them here.
ZEGHO NOIRE EYEWEAR
Sunglasses are an item of apparel that we usually associate with sunny weather – but on the bike it’s handy to wear a pair year-round. Lenses will prevent grit and grime from flicking up into your eyes in the winter, and act as a shield from the rain.
Each pair of these glasses takes 22 manufacturing steps, involving 37 people – ASSOS wanted to make this a pair of lenses that you buy once, and keep forever.
The glasses use ‘Tunnel Vision’ – a feature produced with Carl Zeiss Vision Sunlens. The lower third of the lens is clear, whilst the upper two-thirds graduate. The idea here is to challenge the accepted photochromic lens (colour change under sunlight) technology common in cycling. ASSOS argue that these lenses take too long to change. For example, when you leave the sunlight to ride through a tunnel you can be left with low vision whilst with Tunnel Vision lenses, you’re equipped at all times.
The glasses frame folds around your face, meaning these are a one size fits all model. They weigh just 27.5 grams and offer 100 per cent UV protection, and are water repellent.
RRP: £290, see them here.
Coming Soon: London Store
ASSOS are opening a new concept store in St James' Market, London. The opening date is yet to be announced - but we'll keep you posted.
Read more about ASSOS the brand, its products and objectives here.