“The all-round, training and racing bibshort”
The T FI.Uno_S5 six-panel bibshort is specially cut to contour to the body while in the cycling position. To provide optimal comfort during training rides and when racing, T FI.Uno_S5 incorporates the new FI.Uno_S.5 insert, which is slightly thicker than the FI.13_S5 insert.
- A430 Fabric – 75% polyamide, 22% elastane, 3% carbon fiber
- AEPD ergonomic 6-panel cut
- FI. Uno_S5 insert
- One piece insert for better comfort
- High density foam insert protecting all contact points
- Triple needle stitching
- Back panel antistatic carbon fiber mesh
- Elastic leg-gripper with silicon
- Overlock seams
- Reflective visibility stripes
- UV Protection 50+
- Measured size medium
- Weight – 196 g (6.9 oz)
- Inseam – 26.5 cm (10.4 in)
- Retail – $199
Assos is one of the premier brands in Cycling. They are known for their top of the line clothing and interesting marketing. Check out their site and you will see what I mean. Assos is out of Switzerland and is known for their highly-tuned patterns, top fabrics, and style. They make a full line of apparel with some other products thrown in.
I myself had never used anything from Assos except their chamois cream. I have heard glowing raves over the years about Assos products, especially their bibs, but have not tried them, up until now, because of the cost. For the site I was able to get a pair to test out and see what it is all about.
I received the Assos Bib Shorts as we entered winter here in Bend. Unfortunately, it has been a dreary winter so my good opportunities to get out in shorts were a bit limited. I took a while, but I have enough miles in them to write a good review. All my miles in these were on the road. Some with leg warmers, but most without. The days ranged from 50 – 80 degrees for my testing.
The Assos T FI.Uno S5 Bib Shorts are the workhorse of the Assos lineup. They borrow many of the characteristics of the more expensive shorts with slight tweaks to make them more cost effective. The shorts are a 6-panel construction to map to the shape of your body. The panel shapes are less dramatic than the more expensive bibs which make them easier to sew and therefore, save on cost. The seams are sewn with triple needle stitching for greater durability. They also have overlock seams for more comfort and finishing. The bibs are made entirely from Assos’s A430 fabric, which offers better breathability and moisture transport. This fabric has a high elastic content giving it excellent stretch and mobility. In the back, there is a panel of carbon mesh for increased breathability under a jersey.
Assos has uses welded elastic leg grippers to keep the legs in place. This is also a step down from their higher price bibs but still completely functional. The chamois on these bibs is not as curved as the higher-end shorts. It is still made of one-piece high density foam for optimum comfort on long or short rides. The chamois has the same next to skin feel and heat dissipating dimples as the higher-end ones do. For better visibility, Assos has added two reflective strips on each leg. These are located in the front and back of the legs. Every detail has been taken with these; the tag is even on the outside in the back to reduce possible irritation.
I did try to look up the sustainability practices of Assos and their fabrics but had a tough time finding any information. For this reason, I gave these a zero for sustainability.
Comfort Next to Skin (25%)
Ease of Movement (20%)
Inseam Length (15%)
Leg Sizing (20%)
Torso Sizing (20%)
I am normally a size medium in most things I review. Some of the exceptions have been European cycling gear where I have had to get a size larger. Looking at Assos sizing chart I was on the upper edge between a medium and a large, so I opted for the medium. When I first got the bibs in the mail I was a bit worried about the fit. Putting them on, they fit well through the legs and torso but felt like the front straps were too short. Now that I have tested these for a while, I can say that this is by design. You may be asking why they would do this. It is because we are not meant to be walking around in our bib shorts. I think most people, whether cyclists or not would agree to that. =) These shorts may feel awkward when standing but when hunched over in the riding position the sizing comes around and becomes very comfortable. I can still tell that I am right at the edge of fitting the length of these shorts, but I would rather have it comfortably snug rather than loose. I have even layered a baselayer underneath and still felt comfortable.
Through the legs and torso, the shorts fit me well. The fabric has great stretch to it so it can contour the shape of your body like you want it. As this is their bottom of the line shorts, I would be curious about how much better they can get. You can see in the picture, where I do my best impression of the Assos model, that the front of the bibs comes up just below my belly button. Since they do come up rather high I found that I had to bend forward a bit in order to use the bathroom. It is not ideal, but it is possible. The inseam length is about average for most bibs. I did not find it to be long or short. I do like how the legs stay in place; the elastic gripper does what it is supposed to.
The chamois is where I have heard the most praise for Assos and must say that it has been great. It is not curved like the higher-end shorts are, but I felt like it was not too big or bulky. Rather it cushioned all the places it is supposed to cushion. The chamois is elastic so it can shift and stretch with your body movement to be more comfortable. My longest ride thus far is 50 miles in these, and I can say that my bum felt good at the end. If you pair this with Assos chamois cream, you have a great combination. The only thing I was surprised to see was the edging of the Chamois was not as neatly stitched as others have been. I guess they had to save on the manufacturing costs somewhere, and that seems to be one of the places they chose. Fortunately, it did not diminish the comfort at all for me. As for the heat dissipating dimples, it was hard to tell for me. I have been testing this mainly in cooler weather this winter and spring, maybe in the summer I will be able to tell better. As all people seem to have different needs when it comes to chamois, please let me know your thoughts if you have used these in the comments below.
Chamois Cushioning (25%)
Moisture Transport (15%)
Muscle Support (15%)
Assos is a performance-based company. They are making the highest performing bibs shorts on the market and for the most part, are not too worried about the cost. This is evident when their lowest priced bibs are $200. Testing these in cooler weather, I can attest that they do breathe well. Sometime more than I would like on a particular day. They also seem to move moisture well. I only had a couple of warmer days to test them in, but I had no complaints. Assos has not made these to be compression bibs, but they do offer some muscular support. This will vary with your individual measurements, but the fabric has excellent stretch to hug the body. While I have not been too harsh on my shorts, there have been no issues with durability to date. I cannot comment on how long they will last but so far so good. I will try to check in here with more information down the road.
The true test of a good pair of bib shorts is if you can go for a ride and not think about them or your seat. Some of that has to do with your saddle, but a good pair of bib shorts can go a long way. I have to say that these are those types of bib shorts. I was impressed by these and can only imagine what the higher-end ones feel like. Maybe they are the missing link between my current ability and the pros; I doubt it. One thing I was not able to do was wear these as a kit, so I am not able to comment how well they interface with an Assos jersey. I am sure they have put careful thought into those and how they work together. If you are looking for a high-quality bib short that looks good, rides good, and does not cost too much; I would definitely recommend these. The fabric and chamois all move with your body well and are especially comfortable in the cycling position, not so much when walking around. They retail for $199, which is steep, but many people swear by them, which says something. As always, your mileage may vary.
Pros [field name=iFrame]
- Great fabric stretch
- Comfortable chamois
- Great fit when in cycling position
- Legs stay in place
- Breathability is excellent
- Slightly difficult to use the bathroom in
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