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Assos Dyora RS Summer Bibshorts and RS Short Sleeve Jersey reviews

29 Jun 2020
Verdict:

Good-looking, comfortable and fast, Dyora could become your go-to summer cycling kit. Photos: Tom Kirkpatrick

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Blissfully comfortable chamois • Well ventilated all over
Against 
The fit may not suit some figures • Pockets are baggier than they need to be

In terms of style, Assos’s newly launched Dyora RS range is the Little Black Dress of cycling kit. It’s understated and flattering, with a few well-placed details – such as a coloured zip and Assos’s signature dogtooth print on one sleeve – that don’t scream for attention, but quietly convey that this is a class act: Givenchy, rather than Topshop.

But this kit is designed primarily for performance, and augments Assos’s Race Series, alongside the perpetually popular Laalalai. It’s the sort of thing you’ll wear in the heat of summer, when riding hard in a race or sportive, or for long sweaty days in the saddle.

 

Assos claims a host of innovations to reduce weight and enhance fit. The Dyora bibshorts are composed primarily of a single textile panel, that wraps around the lower back and legs, and means even fewer seams and – so I’m told – greater comfort.

I do wonder how well this would hold up after a season or two of sweating and washing, since a greater acreage of floppy Lycra gives the pad far more leeway to move and chafe, but for now the shorts remain wonderfully snug and comfortable.

One detail that might mitigate chafing somewhat is the Carbon XBib, which mimics the design of a car’s anti-roll bar to keep the chamois firmly in place. A hefty elastic strap makes up the back part of the bibs, folded over on itself and attached in an A shape, just above the chamois.

Buy the Assos Dyora jersey from Wiggle for £145

Buy the Assos Dyora bibshorts from Wiggle for £175

This brings the bib element of the shorts far lower down than others I’ve tried: the ends of the straps show underneath the hem of the jersey, especially when you’re in a riding position. For me this added a pleasing visual detail, but if you prefer an even more minimalist look, you might be less of a fan.

 

The chamois, like that of the Laalalai, is fitted with Assos’s patented GoldenGate technology, meaning that there are breaks in the stitching along the side panels and at the front, allowing for more freedom of movement and – I discovered – better ventilation.

The pad’s promise of ‘freedom of movement’ and the bib’s assurance of ‘stability’ might sound like opposing political campaigns, but they work in unlikely harmony. The robust straps – and the snug fabric of the shorts – hold the chamois firmly against the body, and the gaps in stitching around the tops of the thighs ensure that the motion of pedalling doesn’t repetitively tug at the edge of the pad.

I was extremely comfortable over several long hot days in the saddle, and found the added advantage of improved ventilation. When I stood on the pedals, or lifted myself off the saddle on descents, the GoldenGate construction meant that air could flow between the chamois and the main fabric of the shorts – a welcome touch, given that this pad is one of the thickest on the market.

 

Elsewhere, the shorts are thoughtfully constructed, to iron out many of the small annoyances I’ve found with others over the years. The grippers are made of lycra and elastane, which will be welcomed by riders with allergies, and those – like me – who’ve ended up with blistered quads after long hot rides with silicone grippers.

The front straps are made of a slightly more elastic material than the back ones – loose enough to get them on and off easily, but also firm enough that they won’t roll up, or move around. As with all women’s bibshorts, how well they fit will depend on the size and shape of your bosom, and some people might get on better with the Laalalai’s ‘monobib’ design, where the straps are drawn together at the chest.

I am broad of shoulder and small of cup size, and on one or two rides experienced very minor chafing where the straps crossed the soft part of my chest. It wasn’t a dealbreaker, but this would be something to consider when trying the shorts on – some people might find this more troublesome; most will probably be fine.

 

One of the few real reservations I had about the Dyora bibshorts was the low-cut waistband at the front. Assos claims that the raw-cut edge (reinforced with tape) offers 'the smoothest transition possible' between body and fabric, but I suspect the body in mind had washboard abs and 12% body fat. I normally wear bibs that come up a lot higher, and was interested to see how the waistband would sit across my lockdown podge.

The fit turned out to be fine once I got into a riding position, apart from a few hours of one ride, where I was slightly bloated and could not get the waistband to sit in a comfortable place – a problem I’d only expect to encounter with non-bibshorts.

This feature is unlikely to be a problem for most people, though you’ll want to consider it if you have a post-baby bulge, a tendency to bloat when premenstrual or experience gastric problems while riding.

The Dyora shorts will remain a staple of my cycling wardrobe, but I’ll probably steer clear of them at certain times of month, or on longer rides where there’s a chance of digestive trouble.

 

The Dyora jersey – as well as being stylish – is deliciously comfortable to wear. The main panels are made from a textured fabric that makes it feel lighter and drier than the slinky fabric of many summer jerseys, and it wicks extremely well. On the longest, hottest rides of the summer, I never once noticed my torso getting sweaty.

Buy the Assos Dyora jersey from Wiggle for £145

Buy the Assos Dyora bibshorts from Wiggle for £175

Despite being see-through when held up to the light, the jersey offers good solid coverage once it’s on, and claims a minimum sun protection of UPF 25 (some panels are UPF 50+), something my sharp tan lines would attest to.

 

The pockets are roomy and easy to get into, but made of a slightly looser fabric than I’d like. I keep my phone in my rear right-hand pocket, and occasionally found it creeping round to the side of my waist by the end of a ride.

This will be less of an issue if you keep lighter or bulkier items (such as clothing) in your pockets, but I’m sure many riders would appreciate a narrower space to store a pump or banana without it moving around.

There’s a port for headphones; I’d have liked to see secure storage for a key or credit card, though this would have added to the weight.

 

Assos has engineered the Dyora kit for 'racing and high-output riding', and it’s cut for a tight fit. I wear a Medium, but sized up in the jersey, and was happy with the fit of the Large.

Those more concerned with aerodynamics will want to wear their usual size, and be prepared for a slightly awkward fit when not in a riding position. Once you’re racing up hills in the sunshine, everything will feel perfect.

All that said, this kit is extremely flattering and easy to wear. I can see myself choosing the Dyora jersey again and again over some of the more ‘statement’ pieces in my wardrobe, particularly on those days when I’m feeling self-conscious about my physique, or want my actions to speak louder than my kit.

Plus, the bibs are solidly constructed, reassuringly compressive and blissfully comfortable against the saddle.

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

Price: 
Jersey £145; Bibshorts £175

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