An almost perfect fit and superb comfort are the highlights of the Assos Mille GT Winter bibtights. Wet weather performance, whilst not a deal breaker, is really the only thing we can fault them for.
Water repellent coating not as effective as on other tights
By James Bracey
The Assos Mille GT Winter bibtights were selected for an Editor's Choice award in 2020. This year's list contains 78 items which scored a 9 or 10/10 with our tech team - this gear is the best of the best, and has received the Cycling Weekly stamp of approval.
Assos has very specific notions as to which kit a rider should be wearing based on the weather conditions and the brand labels all its gear accordingly. Take the Mille GT winter bibtights as an example - they fall into Assos' Clima Code as a 3/3 which covers the entire winter range.
As to where the bibtights fit within the range, these sit somewhere in the middle with regards to weather protection and insulation. They're also at the entry rung of Assos' winter bibtight ladder - albeit at a price at which many rival's ranges top out. Assos justifies its prices by the years of research and technology that goes into each of its garments, plus their well documented longevity.
This experience is apparent as soon as you handle the Assos Mille GT Winter bibtights and is completely confirmed when you put them on. From a fit point of view the Mille GT bibtights are quite simply perfect. Each panel has been cut in such a way as to almost make the tights disappear when in the riding position and to offer no restriction of movement whilst in the saddle.
You will also notice that unlike lots of the competition, Assos relies on a much more simplistic construction with only two main panels and two smaller panels behind the knee and lower leg. This limits seams to a minimum ensuring an almost luxurious against-skin feel from the brushed Rx Heavy and Rx Light materials.
The two fabrics have differing jobs. The thick and well insulating Rx Heavy features throughout the pelvic and leg area of the tight whilst the thinner and more highly stretchable Rx Light fabric is used in what Assos class as high movement areas, namely the back of the knee and rear portion of the lower leg. Assos also claim that the materials feature an eco-friendly water resistant coating.
The bib consists of a much lighter mesh panel at the rear and wide and flat layer cut straps at the front. These are particularly noteworthy for the fact that they resist the classic rolling and folding of typical bib straps plus they do a great job of staying steadfastly in place. Reflective slash panels are also found at the rear of each calf providing additional night time visibility.
The one area that is different to the higher end tights Assos produce is the pad. The Mille GT has the S7 Evo pad, this being a slightly thinner and less complex construction than Assos' other seat pads. It still has a maximum thickness of 8mm and has multi-layer density to provide support as well as easy movement. To aid this comfort Assos only attach the pad at the front and rear, leaving it to effectively hammock in the tight and enabling it to move a little easier with the body rather than being restricted by the tight itself.
The chamois used here is one of the most comfortable pads you can find in any brand of tight and it's only really surpassed - for me - by Assos' higher level pads (with their additional price tag) or Castelli's superb Progetto X2 pad.
Riding in these bibtights was a pleasure, with the thickness of the fabrics treading the line between efficient thermal insulation and being a bit overly hot when riding hard. Where they do fall down is in the level of wet weather protection: the apparent water repellent coating was overwhelmed far quicker than I have found with equivalent weight tights. This was especially noticeable on the lower leg when on a long ride a couple of weeks ago - the road spray penetrated quickly and kept my shins and calves feeling frigid for the entire ride. You can of course add additional water repellency yourself using one of several proofers on the market, so it certainly isn't a deal breaker.
The only other issue to address is the price, as it is pretty high for what many will see as a 'basic' pair of bibtights. However as I along with countless other cyclists have found with any Assos product, once you get out and riding the instant comfort and the knowledge that with care these will last several years is enough to forget the expenditure.
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