Assos has launched the Equipe RSR S9 Targa shorts, claimed to be the company’s “fastest” bib shorts and arriving as the Swiss brand’s new flagship offering.
The new shorts are said by Assos to be designed for the rider “who demands the fastest and lightest equipment”.
The key updates see the use of a more compressive fabric, as well as revisions to the bib straps and chamois pad.
The Equipe RS S9 shorts and the Mille GTO C2 were included in our best bib shorts for men list, the former being the previous-generation, second-tier option this new short supersedes.
We’re looking forward to seeing how Assos’ tweaking of its well-established formula translates to real-world riding.
The shorts retail for £255 / €290 / $350 / AU$499.95 and are available now.
A revised compressive fabric
Never a brand to shy away from using creative marketing terms, Assos’ new Equipe RSR S9 Targa bib shorts firstly use a proprietary ‘type.701kompressor’ fabric, which the brand says actively reduces fatigue and increases speed.
Assos explains this is because the ultra-compressive woven construction envelopes the body, which in turn compresses the muscles, thus reducing fatigue – a welcome feature for longer rides in the saddle.
Assos uses its Ossidia fabric insert to complement the compressive fabric in the front and saddle areas, which was initially introduced in the Mille GTS bib shorts and then the Mille GTO C2.
According to Assos, because the 701 fabric is much closer-fitting, Ossidia needed to be used to grant additional breathability and reduce pressure in the genital area.
Assos says the combination of these two technologies enables “a true Superskin fit”.
The brand claims it has increased the stretch and support of the fabric to dial the compression, while reducing pressure on sensitive areas.
Assos says the new construction also dries faster, limiting added weight from perspiration soaking into the shorts.
The new shorts are rated to UPF 50+, and are claimed to be resistant to abrasion and odour while actively cooling.
The shorts feature a ‘skinGrip Finish’, which the brand says combines compressive leg bands with silicone grips to keep the cuffs and leg panels secure. Assos explains this provides compressive support across the thigh, with minimal transition ridges between the skin and shorts.
To maximise the aerodynamic profile, Assos says the Equipe RSR has a slightly longer leg than bib shorts in the Equipe RS and Mille GT lines.
BikeRadar asked Assos to share data supporting the claim these shorts are the brand’s fastest, but it declined.
Updated bib straps
The Assos Equipe RSR S9 Targa retains the ‘rollBar’ bib straps found on the previous S9 and Mille GTO C2, helping to keep the seat pad in place.
Assos says that ‘a dual-face carbon material’ on the bib straps reduces drying time compared to the previous single-sided applications.
Branding is kept minimal, with a single Assos logo on the bottom of the left leg.
It’s all about the chamois
Assos has updated its seat pad, called the ‘S9 sundeck insert’ and says the revisions have decreased its weight while increasing ventilation.
The chamois features a three-layer construction, with the ‘Shock-Absorb Damping System Mono 9’ at the base of the insert consisting of 9mm of compressive foam material.
The fabric that comes into contact with the skin has been dubbed the ‘Sundeck Superlight’.
Assos says this is a panel of soft, comfort-oriented fabric, which increases ventilation and eliminates pressure on sensitive areas. There are perforations in the fabric called the ‘whirlKrater’ that are placed strategically throughout the insert and foam layers, which the brand says creates “a whirlwind of cooling airflow”.
This is a change from the ‘kraterCooler’ found on the previous S9.
A ‘3D Waffle’ is sandwiched between the foam insert and the fabric against the skin. It’s made from perforated foam that Assos says further increases airflow and reduces weight.
Like the previous S9, these new shorts utilise a stitching pattern that holds the front and back of the insert, but the mid-section is allowed to float. Assos dubs this ‘GoldenGate technology’ and says it’s designed to move with the body when riding.