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Assos Mille GT jersey review

14 Jun 2018

At £85, the Mille GT is an expensive 'entry-level' jersey that leaves me with mixed emotions

Cyclist Rating: 
• Breathable • Comfortable • Interesting design
• Very short sleeves • Unsure quality justifies cost

When Assos released its 'entry-level' Mille GT jersey in the spring I couldn't help but widen my eyes and purse my lips when I saw the price. An entry-level jersey for £85? That's a price that would even see Zsa Zsa Gabor asking how much? 

For even the most ardent cycling fashionistas who spend good money on what they wear, £85 could be considered steep. Just consider Assos' major rivals, for instance, who offer similar items for considerably less. 

Yet considering prices for a set of Assos bibshorts start at £110, it's clear this is a company that cares less about value for money than about creating high-quality cyclewear that will make you grateful that you dug so deep into your coffers for a long day in the saddle.

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Consider the corresponding 'entry-level' Mille GT bibshorts which at the aforementioned price of £110 are far from an 'entry-level' price. I have used these all spring and now into summer and I am confident in saying they are among the best bibshorts I have ever used, and I have worn and tested shorts twice this price.

The question is, however, is this corresponding jersey cut from the same cloth as its matching bibshorts and can it justify its high price tag?

Mr Kipling arms

Before even turning one pedal stroke, I had mixed impressions and this was all because of the fit. 

Conservatively plucking for an XL, I found that when Assos state this jersey to be a 'regular fit', it means it. Despite my measurements corresponding to the bigger size, I would have been much better suited to a Large.

I found the bottom of the jersey to be more forgiving fitting similar to a touring jersey rather than that of a race jersey. This was good for the casual Sunday cafe rides or my easy rides to work in which fit doesn't matter and even for the hottest days in the saddle when comfort is king.

With the jersey being a little big, I did suffer from some pocket sag which although a major bugbear of mine would easily be rectified by wearing a smaller sized jersey.

What would not have been fixed, however, was the extremely short sleeve length.

Even on the bigger XL size, the sleeves sat a good few inches higher than 99% of other cycling jerseys I've worn. If I had sized down to a large the sleeves would have probably been even shorter.

After a single ride in the sun this caused my once perfectly cultivated, razor-sharp cyclist's tan to disappear, replaced with a faded colour chart of shades up my arm resembling a layered angel cake, an even more ridiculous look than the usual two-tone arm I normally have.

Much of my first ride in the jersey was spent worrying about this loss of cultivated tan but once I had gotten over myself, I began to become pleasantly surprised with a few aspects of the jersey.

Firstly, whatever the weather, the Assos Mille GT was comfortable. 

Partnered with a thicker baselayer and some arm warmers, the jersey was just about right for those nippy early spring mornings when the temperatures are flirting with single figures. 

Then in the hotter summer days, the Type.157 Stripe Tex circular knitted fabric breathes and actually keeps you cool rather than trapping the heat. This same fabric also does its part in wicking away sweat. 

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On long climbs, my brow would become sodden with sweat as would my arms yet the smart fabrics in the jersey kept my body dryer than a Jack Dee stand up gig.

The jersey performed as a £85 jersey should and unlike any 'entry-level' jersey I have worn before. It kept me cool in the warm and warm in the cool. It took sweat from my body and kept the wind and light rain out.

The pockets are deep, which is good, because you can actually store stuff needed for a ride like spare inner tubes, gels and a small pump without fear of them falling out when you ride through the inevitable potholes found on a typical ride in Kent. 

The pockets were also black, which on a white jersey is for me a smart move as jersey pockets are easily stained from things like gel remnants leaking from a used wrapper.

On the topic of a white jersey, I know this colour isn't for everyone, and isn't the best way to show off my pasty self at the end of a long winter. Thankfully, Assos also produces this jersey in red and navy blue, which are classy-looking alternatives.

If you are blessed with a richer skin colour then don't be deterred by the white, it makes you look pro.

The underarms are also pretty funky resplendent in the Assos 'A' pattern which gives the jersey some character without being too out-there.

When it boils down to it I am left questioning whether this jersey is worth £85 and settling on the answer 'sort of'. 

In terms of performance, the Assos Mille GT jersey justifies its price tag and probably proves itself as more than 'entry-level'. I was really quite impressed with how it wore.

However, with the issue of sleeve length still on my mind to this day, I cannot help but think Assos has made a slight error on cut.

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