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We have Assos to thank for the introduction of Lycra to cycling, back in the 1970s. The company is still innovating, though in more subtle ways: the straps on the Assos Dyora RS Summer bib shorts ($260) go down to the back of the chamois panel, holding it firmly in place and preventing the occasional tug-of-war that happens when bibs pull down due to leg and hip movement. No need to pinch and pull these bibs up – they stay in place. From the back they remind me of lederhosen, extending well below the jersey.
The other stand-out feature: the chamois isn’t sewn directly to the crotch of the shorts all the way around. This allows for a bit of float, letting the padding settle where it needs to under your bum, and again, reducing the need for tugging and repositioning on longer rides when leg motion and sweat can cause kit to move around.
The front attachment point of the straps also isn’t awkwardly positioned: they are spaced widely enough to sit comfortably on my chest, and the fabric is wide enough not to cut into my shoulders on long rides. They also lay flat on my back thanks to the “Carbon-X” bib design. Because of the way the straps are sewn, they’re easy to forget about. That’s what you want when training or racing: bibs that fit effortlessly, so your effort goes into the ride.
The front panel hits just under or at my belly button. High enough for most people not to have belly-gap off the bike, I would think, but optimized for on-the-bike position. If you’re a bit taller and thinner than average, beware – the overlap there is pretty small with Assos race-cut jerseys, meaning there is a chance of belly gap after the café stop.
The chamois and strap design are the main positives of these shorts, but the proprietary fabric blend itself is another huge plus: it’s tougher than a lot of other bibs in my collection without feeling rough to the touch. Longevity is a hugely important factor in a long-wearing garment intended not just for racing but for training.
They did something clever with the leg bands: the silicone is woven in, meaning they stay in place without uncomfortable strips of material that sticks to your leg. That said, it’s still traditionally shaped and sewn onto the bib leg panels. What this means is there’s still a band around the bottom of the leg, which could cause a sausage-casing effect for those with more thigh.
The leg bands are not visually updated, yet are innovative and high quality. They worked fine for me, but if you frequently suffer sausage-leg, or have huge thighs, the fit may be an issue. On the other hand, the straps and chamois are a revelation; a great example of thoughtful and thorough bib design that we would expect from the company that started it all.
The Dyora bibs are fantastic: the chamois and straps design work well, the material is tough to beat (literally), and the visuals let you know that it’s something special at a glance.
Assos summer jerseys
The three Assos jerseys (UMA GT Summer Shifter, UMA GT C2, and the Dyora RS) represent a range of fits from comfortable training to racing. The UMA GT Summer Shifter ($130) features Assos’ “regular” fit, meaning it’s closer to club cut than race cut. It has a drop tail, but is still generous in the torso and long in the front. That’s about the only good thing I can say about it. Had this not been billed as a “summer” jersey, I would probably praise its hearty materials and timeless cut.
Despite Assos’ claims to the contrary, I did not find this jersey breathable at all. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t choose it for any day where the temps would get up over 70F degrees. It felt like the material I got from some AliExpress jerseys in my early days as a kit addict. I was sweating in this jersey the second my heart rate got into zone 2. Even though it’s possibly the only raglan sleeve that is comfortable, and looked good on my square-shouldered frame, the high collar didn’t help matters. It was almost as though it was designed to retain heat instead of dissipating it. Perhaps it would do better in dry heat than in the humidity of New York City.
The fit and finish did, however, lives up to Assos’ high standards. The sleeves are my favorite part – smooth and light, with a comfortable raw edge. I also appreciate the zipper, which I can easily grab with sweaty hands (since they would be sweaty, inevitably, wearing this jersey). The pockets are roomy and feature a somewhat unusual elastic mesh at the top so I didn’t feel like I had to shove my gear in at an angle to keep my items from bouncing out. This jersey feels appropriate for spring or fall, as it feels neither breathable nor light. That said, a friend crashed in hers, and she says it’s still solid. That gives some indication of the fabric quality – and possibly heft.
The UMA GT C2 ($120) feels a bit cooler than the slightly pricier UMA GT Summer Shifter, perhaps because I happened to get the white one. There are two other, darker colors available (Assos Black and Purple), and I wonder if I would have had as favorable an experience had I received a color that absorbed light, and with it, heat. Even though Assos uses the same fabrics, this is not described as a summer jersey – instead it’s recommended for “warm” weather. That’s not a specific indicator: suffice to say it’s not on the level with jerseys for hot weather rides. The only marked difference between the two is the “shifter” color palette that uses a fade.
The Dyora RS jersey ($189) earns a place as one of my favorite jerseys. Designed for those seeking a more compressive, aero fit, it achieves a classic look with a modern slant. The capped sleeves are reasonably long without straying too close to the elbow crease, and the collar is low. When paired with the Dyora bibs, I realized I could not overeat at the lunch stop – this jersey would not allow it. Since I’m at the edge of the height range for my size, the RS would definitely show off a belly gap if I was at all bloated, and not in a riding position. On the bike, however, it was infinitely comfortable. The soft fabric is the kind you can live in, without having to soak it to get the stink out.
The fabrics are what make the Dyora jersey really notable – it is as breathable and light when worn as it felt on the hanger, despite it being black I don’t feel like I am cooking in direct sunlight. This could be the SPF treatments at work – 25 for the front, 30 for the back, and 50 SPF for the sleeves.
The Dyora RS jersey doesn’t visually break the mold, which is probably what a lot of people want — apparently, not everyone enjoys being clad head to toe in floral print like me — and it comes with Assos crash protection and 2-year warranty, as well as free returns in case you think that the belly gap is less forgiving than I.
Assos sent socks as well, while they feel great, they don’t look great on me. They feel almost too short; I would rather my socks feel too long/tall. If you’re tall, the Dyora socks may stray dangerously close to ankle-sock territory. But, they don’t slide down into my shoes or pull tight around my toes. Also, they breathe well: Even after a hot ride, my feet feel fresh – no jungle-foot feeling with these dedicated cycling socks.
Asking around to other riders, people seem to like the UMA GT jerseys, so I won’t presume that my experience is common. Personally, I don’t love them. But I DO love the Dyora jersey and bibs.