Assos Equipe RSR Cycling Bib Shorts Superléger S9 review

The ultra lightweight shorts come in time for winter indoor training but can be used on hot summer days

Assos superleggera indoor shorts
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

While other brands have been supplying indoor riding kit for some time, Assos have taken its time, launching a line which includes these shorts, along with a base layer, socks and sweat bands. I’ve clocked up a few sweaty hours on the turbo in these Superléger shorts and not only do they display legendary Assos quality, but they perform brilliantly.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Lightweight - the thinnest material I've seen on any shorts

  • +

    Fit - They might be thin but they still compress and support

  • +

    Pad - the legendary Assos pad aids comfort

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Nothing, except the high price

Launching the Assos Equipe RSR Cycling Bib Shorts Superléger S9 shorts just as northern hemisphere cyclists are heading into winter clearly shows Assos intends them to be used for hour after hour on the indoor turbo trainer or exercise bike. However, according to the Swiss company’s website they are equally suited to use on hot summer days.

And though I’ve not had the opportunity to use these shorts in summer, they certainly fit the bill for turbo sessions.  I have yet to find any flaws, other than the £220/$309 price tag - making these one of the best indoor cycling clothing options on the market, if your pockets are deep enough.

Assos Equipe RSR Cycling Bib Shorts Superléger S9: construction

No Assos kit could ever be described as cheap cycling clothing, but quality has always been the company’s strong suit and there’s no change here. These shorts are beautifully put together with no visible defects, not even a stray thread, and while I’ve only had these shorts a few weeks experience tells me Assos quality often comes with durability, making the initial outlay easier to bear.

Superléger translates from French as super light and they are certainly that. The material is incredibly thin, with a dry, almost papery feel, and the legs are almost transparent, making the application of suncream in unusual places essential if you use them in summer. Thankfully they’re thicker across the front and backside, protecting anyone unfortunate enough to meet me.

There are no wide, elasticated grippers, Assos instead opting for a ribbed section with gel dots to keep them in place.

An evolution of the S9 shorts launched three years ago they completely lack the upper back panel of conventional bibs, retaining only the braces, which aim to keep the pad in place even when you get out of - and return to - the saddle, reducing the need for 'reshuffling'. 

Assos boast how the straps are thinner and perforated, and though I've not used them for hours at a time on the road, I really cannot see why they would need to be made of heavier material as they’re plenty sturdy enough.

Assos Equipe RSR Cycling Bib Shorts Superléger S9: the ride

Whether battling your mates on Zwift or on the open road a bad pair of shorts can spoil your ride unlike any other bit of clothing, and these shorts live up to both expectations and their £220/$309 price tag.

When launching the S9 shorts Assos claimed the new construction, where the straps meet the rear panel just above the pad, would keep them in place perfectly and that certainly fits with my experience. Once they’re on there’s no budging the pad, though they have not had the in and out of the saddle action of a road ride.

The pad is an evolution of the Equipe RS with a little material removed, but it remains welcoming and thick, without being too bulky. There are perforations around the edge which increase ventilation, though overall it wicks well, never feeling clammy and is always nothing short of luxurious.

But what’s more impressive is how the super thin fabric on the legs, which is too light to hold any moisture, manages to support and compress the muscles while simultaneously feeling as though it’s not there at all. Other indoor shorts I’ve tried are perforated which makes them feel baggy; not these. While the thin material is a little less stretchy than bog-standard bibs, these shorts really are amazing. Even those ribbed grippers grip.

  • Assos RSR Superléger S9 bib shorts
  • RRP: £220/$309.10
  • Weight: 133g (Medium)

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Owen Rogers is an experienced journalist, covering professional cycling and specialising in women's road racing. He has followed races such as the Women's Tour and Giro d'Italia Donne, live-tweeting from Women's WorldTour events as well as providing race reports, interviews, analysis and news stories. He has also worked for race teams, to provide post race reports and communications.