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Ashmei bibshorts review

Verdict:

Ashmei has updated its bibshorts since our last review. Here are our thoughts on the latest versions

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£235
For 
The bibshorts remain an outstanding product
Against 
Changes made aren't particularly perceptible

As a brand that places its emphasis on producing technically cutting-edge apparel, Ashmei has just recently refined its bibshorts once again. Originally Cyclist reviewed Ashmei's 3 season outfit back in January last year, so with the release of the redesign we thought it was time for an update.

Compared to the original bibshorts we tested, the shoulder straps have been redesigned with the aim of giving a more supportive hold with less slippage and the pad foam has once again been reassessed - Ashmei says the high density memory foam it uses has been placed more tactically so it absorbs even less moisture but still offers the comfort and support for multi-day exploits.

As mentioned above this update is more of a refinement than a complete overhaul, but that is no bad thing - while pricey, the atypical approach Ashmei takes when constructing its bibshorts results in pretty formidable performance, so wholesale changes weren’t necessary.

Nuanced changes in design lead to nuanced changes in performance - they did feel firm and supportive over my shoulders but not to a degree that is night-and-day different from previous iterations.

Similarly, I wouldn’t say I was attuned enough to notice the tweaks to the pad.

However, what is certainly clear is that these latest bibshorts remain remarkably good. Comfortable compression, weather proofing, breathability, a sumptuously well-designed pad - Ashemi should be applauded for managing to combine so many positive attributes in its shorts, and for continuing to strive to improve an already accomplished product.

While this latest design doesn’t make it necessary for current owners of Ashmei bibshorts to rush and update, they now present an even stronger case to be some of the best premium bibshorts on the market.

For more visit ashmei.com

Ashmei 3 Season kit review (Published January 2017)

Ashmei significantly increased its cycling quotient in the summer, and the 3 Season jersey, matching Armwarmers, Legwarmers, Glove and Bib Short are right at the top end of the portfolio, both in performance and price.

Key to the range is the fabric used, which Ashmei refers to as ‘power-stretch’. It’s incredibly lightweight, but the company claims it’s weather-resistant and highly compressive thanks to its very dense weave, which is inherently wind and water resistant without any special membranes or chemical treatments that fade over time.

In broad strokes I found these claims to be true. Water beaded on the surface and happily ran off without saturating the fabric, and indeed everything from the 3 Season jersey to the Armwarmers is highly compressive, and surprisingly warm for garments so thin.

As a full outfit it did me proud on a number of occasions in temperatures down to around 6 degrees, and in other combinations it was a fine kit for the late teens (and probably higher, though the weather at the time of review wasn’t able to provide mid-20s sunshine).

Likewise, the Ashmei kit did as promised, offering a draft-free wind block and largely keeping rain out, although prolonged heavy rain did find it’s way in.

Happily the close fit and thin material meant a good degree of wetsuit-style insulation without becoming heavy with water and uncomfortable to ride in.

The seat-pad in the Bib Short did eventually saturate from spray off the rear wheel in rainy conditions, but again it’s pretty thin and so didn’t suffer from the ‘nappy’ effect. (Click here for full review).

The merits of compressive clothing are debateable, but the idea is they aid blood flow, which is good for muscle function and recovery.

The Ashmei gear is certainly compressive; the first time I wore it I felt like I was going to rip the Legwarmers and Armwarmers before managing to get them on.

I actually asked Ashmei to provide larger sizes for test, only to find these were too baggy.

Yet, this wasn’t a sizing issue, rather it was a process of adjusting my expectations. Step one: trust that this gear is stronger than it looks and pull; two, don’t judge the fit before you try riding in it; three, build in a ten minute window of extra time for it all on.

That might sound like I jest, but honestly, to get everything sitting nicely without wrinkles is a real art. The warmers are articulated to prevent bunching, so only sit happily one way, and there’s not a lot of room for error.

Those weren’t the only bugbears though. I found that to get the Legwarmers high enough up my thigh that they didn’t fall down meant a decent chunk of sock was showing at the ankle, and the ‘Ashmei’ logos on the Armwarmers get partially covered by 3 Season’s jersey sleeves.

Those are relatively minor points and easily solved in future production runs if Ashmei sees necessary, but given the prices for the warmers I’d expect nothing short of perfection.

Still, ignore these small issues and focus solely on performance and this is some seriously good kit.

Ashmei 3 Season kit

3 Season jersey, £220
Armwarmers, £55
Legwarmers, £75
Windproof glove, £45
Bibshort, £235

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