By Brandon Bilyeu
- Traditional styling with a bit of flair on the arms and black accents
- Sturdy rear pockets with ‘barely there’ lids
- Full length zipper with garage at bottom
- Long reflective strips on the rear pockets
- UV protection fabric
- Sticky zipper, need two hands to open
- No mesh side panels, only mesh on bottom of sleeves
- Comfortable chamois
- Moderate compression
- Generous volume in waist
- Reflective accents behind each leg
- Abrasion resistant material
- Low-rise front waistline
- Minor chamois wedgie off the bike
Cost: Jersey: $109; Bibshorts: $159
How obtained: review sample from company
Available: online, retail, ASSOS website
Colors: Jersey: Blue, White, Red, Black; Bibshorts: Black
Website: www.assos.com, Jersey, Bibshorts
RBR Sponsor: no
Tested: 40+ hours
Sizing: Jersey: XS-2XL+TIR (Wide); Bibshorts: XS-2XL+TIR (Wide)
Reviewer Measurements and Fit Comments: 5’10” (178cm), 150 lbs (68 kgs), 33″ (84cm) waist, 33″ (84cm) inseam, 37″ (94cm) chest. I choose size medium based on the ASSOS sizing charts and found the sizing to be accurate.
Classic Jersey Design, Sticky Zipper
The MILLE GT short sleeve jersey is a simple yet refined cycling top. To keep the price reasonable ASSOS pared down all the fancy features to produce a classic style jersey that still retains all the functionality we expect: full front zipper, three back pockets, good stretch/fit, decent breathability, and moisture management. I was very happy to see they splurged on UV protection fabric.
The pockets are constructed out of a slightly heavier black fabric and supported with a very hefty waist band to hold everything in place nicely, the black color a nice contrast on the otherwise solid color jersey. To keep pocket contents in place the openings are elastic hemmed and there are also ‘barely there’ lids which is a downward facing flap of fabric at the top edge of each pocket. They won’t work for small items, but for gear that fills the pocket you can flip the fabric flap lid over the top of the contents to hold everything in place. It’s a neat little feature, especially for a little extra cell phone security, and if you don’t want to use them you won’t even notice they are there.
The jersey is cut in ASSOS Regular Fit which sits nicely between racer snug and baggy. The sleeves are quite short by today’s standards but stay in place well even without grippers. Cut for the riding position it is a little tight across the chest when standing upright, but a perfect fit on the bike. The fabric has good stretch and so should conform well to different body types. The fabric used throughout is fairly tight knit and the only open mesh used is under the sleeves (the patterned material) which makes for decent but not great breathability. That said, moisture management does work quite well to help cool you off and there is the full length zipper for added cooling.
Which leads me to my biggest gripe with this jersey: I can’t open the zipper with one hand. The zipper friction is too high and trying to unzip one handed just stretches the fabric down and jams the zipper. While not a fatal design flaw it is quite frustrating to reach up for a quick adjustment and get nothing when all other jerseys open right up. Using your second hand to support the jersey allows the zipper to move freely, but taking both hands off the bars is not always possible or safe.
Bibshorts Are Comfortable, Robustly Built
The bibshorts are also classically styled being solid black and with a two-thirds thigh length. As part of the Mille line they have a comfort fit that is very generous in the waist to accommodate more than just bean pole bike racer body types. I did find the waist to be very roomy, but it is cut quite low which is not the best if you carry a little extra weight up front. The material offers good stretch to fit different body types, though a consequence of this is only moderate compression.
The shorts have minimal paneling and seams, basically just a front and back panel sewn together, but it fits well and conforms nicely in the riding position. ASSOS claims the fabric is abrasion resistant and while I have not had the pleasure of testing this out sliding across the tarmac I can say the material does feel more robust/stiff than typical lycra, but still soft. The leg openings are a sewn on elastic band with grippers and the same band is used for the bibstraps.
The straps attach to the front of the shorts much wider than other manufacturers which I found comfortable, no better or worse than other bibshorts. The elastic band is fairly thick and firm so it offered good, comfortable support for the shorts, but if you are a devotee to paper thin, silky bibstraps these may not be for you. Given the hardy materials used I expect these shorts to last a long time.
The Mille chamois is a simple sandwich construction consisting of a soft top sheet with padding place perfectly right under the sit bones. The chamois is sewn to the shorts only at the front and rear to allow movement and better breathability. I found on bike comfort to be excellent and while the padding feels fairly thick it compresses nicely for good cushioning without feeling bulky. In a past experience with this chamois it gave me an uncomfortable wedgie off the bike when walking around, but the mild compression fabric in these bibshorts almost completely eliminates the wedgie effect.
Both the jersey and bibshorts are solid performers offering good comfort, fit, and quality with the exception of the sticky jersey zipper. If one handed zipper operation is not a requirement for you then the Mille GT is a great option to consider. The bibshorts provide comfort all day long and look good doing so.