The Assos TiburuGiletEquipe is a technical garment designed with the rigorous attention to detail that we've come to expect from Assos. As a soft, thermal gilet rather than a waterproof one it is perfect as an extra layer for the frequent 'in-between' days of spring and autumn when you don't quite need a jacket, and as such ought to get a lot of wear.
Perfect extra layer for when the seasons are changing
Well designed pockets
Not as flashy looking as some Assos clothing
Soft, light fabric holds onto dirt
Odd-looking blank label on front
By Simon Smythe published
The Assos TiburuGiletEquipe is new to the Swiss brand's range, replacing the Falkenzahn. Assos seems to have decided that a lighter, more packable gilet could be useful in a wider range of conditions than the earlier model. Soft, stretchy and form fitting rather than crackly and waterproof, the TiburuGiletEquipe could be worn as an extra insulating layer underneath a shell jacket as well as outside a jersey paired with arm warmers.
Assos TiburuGiletEquipe construction
As is generally the case with Assos garments, there are multiple fabrics in its construction. The panel across the chest (yellow on our test gilet but also available in black and orange) is Twindeck – a double layer of softshell to trap heat in the part of the body that bears the brunt of the weather conditions. However, Assos does not claim particular water resistance or windproofing for it: as a lightweight garment aimed at autumn or spring riding the TiburuGiletEquipe is not for combating extreme cold or wet.
There's a slightly different double layer at the shoulders of the Assos TiburuGiletEquipe gilet and then the back is RXQ, which is a dense, stretchy, breathable mesh.
There are three pockets at the back, made from a thicker, Lycra-like fabric similar to that used for the front below the yellow Twindeck panel.
There's subtle but vital reflective piping front and rear.
The Assos TiburuGiletEquipe does not feature the heavy Assos branding of past ranges: there's a discreet 'A' on the centre of the rear pocket and on the front an oval-shaped label with the details of the fabric is sewn in to face the inside of the jacket so that just the outline of the stitching is visible from the outside.
Since it's made of thicker thermal fabrics instead of a thin waterproof/windproof material, the TiburuGiletEquipe will not pack down as small as a shell-type gilet and at 185g is not as light as one, although rolled up it will certainly fit in a jersey pocket.
In Assos, small actually does mean small, so the medium provides a snug fit if you're not built like a twig.
The TiburuGiletEquipe is engineered so that it feels 'right' when you're bending forwards as you would be over a bike.
Perhaps even cleverer is that despite the gilet being tight and sleek when in the bike position, the pockets are not tensioned as you'd expect them to be and can be loaded up without the fit around the waist being affected.
Some might say a gilet doesn't need pockets – and indeed many gilets don't have them – but a thermal gilet requires a different way of thinking: whereas a rainproof shell gilet might be packed into a jersey pocket, a thermal gilet that is itself not so packable needs the capacity to stash a shell layer in its pocket if the weather is looking iffy. And Assos has understood this.
The collar is nicely judged so that it's no so high that the top of the zip digs in under your chin but seals the top of your neck against draughts. The raw cut elastic of the sleeves also keeps the heat in efficiently.
As for its effectiveness in various weather conditions, we found it worked perfectly as an outer layer when the temperature is between 5-10°C. It wicks well enough to stop you from sweating up on climbs and keeps in heat as claimed when you're not trying as hard.
However, the soft, yellow panel absorbed a lot of mud on a group ride in the lanes and washing it at 30°C as per the label instructions didn't quite get it all out.
It's not news to anyone that Assos kit is up there with the most expensive out there, but with the Assos branding so discreet that it's almost invisible, the TiburuGiletEquipe is not one for the poseur. Rather, it's a well designed, well made, utilitarian garment that could be your most worn piece of kit in the course of the year, so it's worth the investment.
Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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