Reviewed: Assos Mille GTO C2 Bibs, “destroying conventional short construction”
Assos has unveiled its new summer bibs, the Mille GTO C2 bib shorts. Designed specifically for long-distance comfort, the new GTO bibs are the successor to the current Cento bibs from the iconic Swiss brand and sit in the same product family as the Mille GT and the Mille GTS bibs. Assos says the Mille GTO is its plushest and most luxurious bibs yet and is now the pinnacle of its Total Comfort Line. No pressure, then.
Perhaps most striking about the new bibs, though, is the price. At $350 / £255 / €290, the Mille GTO C2 bibs are never likely to make any list of budget-friendly bib options and match the price of Assos other top-line bibs, the Equipe RSR S9.
Presumably part of the reasoning for this pricing is that Assos says it has completely redesigned bib short construction and claims the new GTO C2 “destroys conventional short construction formulas”.
So, do they? And did it work?
New construction, new pad
The new bibs feature reverse stitch lines, a brand new chamois multi-layer insert, and muscle supporting one-piece leg panels all intended to deliver on the new bibs’ lofty goals and price. These leg panels also feature Assos Louvretec darted construction which tapers the leg down the outside of the thigh for what is said to be a wrinkle-free compressive hold.
Assos is known for its use of new fabrics and in-house design concepts, so as you might expect, the new GTO bibs are anything but boring black bibs. Assos has kept the branding understated with just two small Assos logos, one on the rear and one on the leg, but the GTOs still stand out thanks to the Rollbar external bib straps and its new Sundeck superlight male anatomy support. Yes, you read that right.
The Sundeck Superlight is a quilt pattern effect fabric on the front of the bibs and an evolution of the Kukupenthouse on previous Assos male bibs. Assos claims this offers increased support for the male anatomy while also providing improved ventilation.
Assos has used its Ossidia fabric as seen on the Mille GTS bibs, featuring a warp-knit composition and made with ultra-thin yarns for muscle supporting compression. For the new bibs, Assos has complemented that Ossidia fabric with a new fabric it calls Losanga on the front panel. This new fabric is said to help reduce pressure on sensitive areas.
On the inside, Assos has included its new Mille GTO C2 insert pad. This chamois features Assos’ new Twin21 system and is made of three separate multi-density layers to create an insert Assos says is its plushest yet.
Layer one is an 11mm lightweight foam, and the foundation of the insert specifically targeting shock absorption. The mid-layer features a 10mm thick lower density foam designed to absorb micro-vibrations and features an open cell structure to reduce moisture buildup. The top layer Assos names the 3D Waffle sits next to the skin and is a three-layer foam targeting increased breathability and low weight.
This new insert is attached to the shorts with Assos’ stitch-free Goldengate side panels. In simpler terms, Assos does not stitch the pad’s side panels to the shorts allowing the pad to move under the rider.
The Mille GTOs get wide, seamless bib straps with tabs on the front to help with placement and Assos’ Rollbar bibs on the rear, which attach externally to the same panel as the insert. Assos claims the Rollbar bibs and Butterfly lightweight stitching on the pad help keep the insert in position under the rider while seated and standing on the pedals.
The new bibs get Assos X-Frame, where the rear bibs meet the front and midway up the back. This small section eliminates verticle stretch in this area to help improve strap comfort and further assist with keeping the insert in position.
Assos has finished the shorts with a raw-cut, tape-reinforced edge for a smoother transition at the end of the leg. Beneath that raw-cut edge is a silicon gripper unlike any I have seen. Rather than a silicon strip, Assos has opted for its Skingrip finish, effectively silicon dots that wrap almost entirely around the leg.
Assos has opted for a raw cut on the waist also to create low pressure and a more comfortable fit while seated on the bike.
Assos has not yet unveiled a women’s version of the new Mille GTO C2 bibs.
While Assos just released the bibs today, I have had the difficult job of reviewing the bibs over the past three weeks. I guess the newbie gets all the heavy lifting jobs.
All joking aside, while reviewing Assos bib shorts is certainly right up there with some of the nicer tasks one could hope for, having that review coincide with my first time covering the Tour de France means riding has been curtailed slightly. As such, consider this review an early look rather than a long term review. That said, first impressions of bibs rarely change until they begin to wear out.
Those first impressions are good. The new bibs have a modern look and feel thanks to the multiple fabrics, reverse stitching and those one-piece leg panels. A hint of gold gives the new GTO bibs that plush look Assos has targeted.
That Sundeck front panel and the Rollbar external bibs are a very unique, perhaps even divisive, look and ensure the GTOs are anything but a basic looking black bib.
Inside is the new Mille GTO C2 insert in baby blue with drillium-like vents, and that Goldengate stitching looks and feels great. The variable thicknesses and characteristics of the multi-density pad construction are clear to see and feel. The rear of the chamois under the sit bones is quite thick and feels very supportive and dense, while the front section of the insert is much softer.
In the saddle, the insert does exactly what it says on the tin, delivering a noticeable comfort boost compared to riding the same bike on the same roads in different bibs.
I usually prefer a thinner pad, so that bulkier, thicker area at the rear of the insert was one of the first things I noticed. But on the bike, the leg compression and those Rollbar bibs do a great job of holding the pad in position. As such, I never noticed the added bulk while moving in and out of the saddle.
While it is too soon to speak to the bibs longevity, Assos seem to have taken the long-distance riding theme into the bibs construction. The bibs feel more robust and compressive than the more lightweight and breathable style of summer bibs.
Overall the new bibs are as incredibly comfortable as you would expect from a pair of Assos bibs, but if I was to pick flaws in the bibs it would have to be the leg length and the silicon grippers. In the bibs’ defence, I did have the standard length version, Assos do offer a 3cm longer long version which should suit me a lot better.
I found the silicon grippers added too much stiffness to the ends of the shorts and without the wicking properties of the fabric created little sweat patches between the shorts and the legs.
As mentioned this is a first impression look at the new Mille GTO C2 bibs and I will update this article with a longer-term review in the coming months.