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Assos has announced its new collection for winter 2020, and while the Equipe RS family looks to be as well-made and innovative as is usually the case for the Swiss brand, it’s also even more outrageously expensive than usual.
Assos has organised the new garments into a layering system (as you should all be doing already, anyway). The flagship garment is the johDah waterproof and breathable soft-shell jacket. In fact, Assos says this is, “The most technical, low-volume winter soft-shell we’ve created to date”.
Assos created the johDah from layers of its new Sphere fabrics, with different densities in specific locations to “perfectly regulate core temperature”, the brand says. The front of the jacket gets a dual layer with wind and waterproofing properties plus shoulder “diffuser valves” to help regulate temperature. The rear of the jacket gets a medium-weight layer and the lower rear gets the heaviest version of the same fabric.
The johDah is cut with the trimmest and most speed-focused fit that Assos offers. Along with the usual three rear pockets, you also get a fourth designed to carry a rain cape plus a two-way zip on the front. Behind that two-way zip is a second short zippered mid layer for extra targeted insulation.
Coming in at US$725 / AU$1000 / £575 / €650, the johDah is in a price range all its own when it comes to cycling apparel. Assos has defended this pricing, stating that, “the notion of affordability is relative. If you demand a winter outfit that allows you to push hard during the harshest conditions, then you will need to invest in a product that has no compromises.”
Whether the johDah is truly worth this lofty price tag is hard to say without having had a chance to test it, although it is safe to say this jacket has a lot to live up to.
Slightly disappointing is the fact it is only available in black. Assos has offered some incredible colours in the past, and a brighter option would be nice for a garment designed to be used on dark winter days. Granted, there is a small reflective stripe on the rear pockets, but that’s only useful for drivers with their headlights on.
To accompany the new jacket, Assos has also launched the new Thermobooster long- and short-sleeve jerseys. Assos intends for these to be used as an insulating middle layer to trap body heat and transfer moisture, yet still be removable and packable for when temperatures heat up.
The third layer in the Equipe RS family is the Clima Capsule packable wind and rain cape. This is a lightweight jacket designed for racing and training in dark, wet conditions, developed with input from WorldTour riders. The upper half is made from Assos’s Silver Haze fabric and is said to be windproof, water-repellant, and includes reflective properties all over.
All in, the full three-piece system costs a cool US$1,179. If nothing else, having paid that might help ensure you have the motivation to get out on even the worst of winter days.
For the lower half, Assos unveiled the Equipe RS winter bib tights S9. These are an evolution of the previous Bonka deep-winter bib tights with a focus on reduced overall weight. Assos has also introduced the A Lock Engineering and the instantly recognisable rollBar external bib straps from the S9 Bib Shorts. Assos says these systems stabilise the tights and ensures the chamois holds firmly in place, both in and out of the saddle. On the front, Assos has added in its goldenGate technology, which is said to increase freedom of movement in the chamois by interrupting the stitching along the sides of the chamois. A welcome addition is the reflective bands on the ends of both legs, meaning they will be visible regardless of which side of the road your country requires you to ride/drive on.
The Equipe RS range is available now, although disappointingly, the collection is only available in men’s fits and cuts at the moment. However, if past experience is anything to go by, we can expect a women’s range to follow within 12 months.