Tour de France

NTT Pro Cycling to test Assos ‘hyperlight’ kit during Tour rest day

Assos has some top-secret prototype kit floating around at the Tour de France rest days on the backs of NTT Pro Cycling riders.

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The pros get all the cool toys when it’s Tour time. NTT Pro Cycling riders are getting said cool toys this year at the Tour de France, specifically on the rest days when Assos is working with the team to test out some prototype “hyperlight” race kit.

According to Assos, the team will be using the rest days to test “Aero short sleeve jerseys and bib shorts that are 30 percent lighter than the current team-issue summer kit.”

In order to cut down on weight and increase comfort for the riders on the hottest summer days, Assos says it has incorporated panels of ultralight, breathable textiles, while also reducing seam constructions. It’s unclear what exactly those things mean in actual garment development and construction, but it’s likely that Assos is working to reduce the profile of the seams to eliminate rubbing and possible friction points.

Assos has often taken the lead on race clothing development, and in VeloNews testing, we’ve often found Assos bibs to be among the most comfortable and well-constructed on the market. As racing kit becomes sleeker, more minimalist, and as breathable and aerodynamic as possible, it certainly seems as though the bar is constantly being raised for clothing brands, leading to rapid innovation.

Be sure to listen to the VeloNews Tech Podcast to hear Rapha’s founder and CEO, Simon Mottram, speak to that constant development and the changing needs of both pro racers and everyday riders.

This isn’t the first time during the 2020 Tour de France we’ve seen riders use a rest day to test out new gear. We spotted Richard Carapaz rolling on Princeton Carbonworks wheels, for example, during the first rest day.

While most riders are eager to find every edge they can to shave seconds and watts, they are often reluctant to test prototype gear during a stage, since the stakes can be high should the prototype not be up to snuff. Such rest days are great opportunities for riders to test out equipment without having to be a guinea pig during actual racing.

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