The EQUIPE R S9 is a more affordable bib short option in Assos’ race series
These daily driver bibs are a pared back version of the Equipe RS series.
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Assos has built its reputation on the quality of its cycling apparel, especially the humble black bib shorts it helped modernize decades ago. The brand frequently rolls out new features in its shorts, but those come at a cost, and multiple models in its lineup now retail for $350 USD.
The new EQUIPE R S9 is a pared down version of the brand’s race series EQUIPE RS and RSR bibs, which are among those $350 options. While still far from the cheapest option out there, the new EQUIPE R S9 is more approachable at $210.
The EQUIPE R features a new fabric, Type.443, that Assos says is similar in weight and compression to the Type.441 found in the more upscale EQUIPE RS product line. The new fabric has similarly high breathability as well as built in UPF 50+ sun protection.
To turn the fabric into a functioning pair of bibs, Assos relies on A-Lock Engineering construction, just as it does for the higher level RS bibs. Using a butterfly fabric panel results in high levels of leg compression. After a first ride on the new shorts, I can say the compression level is pleasantly noticeable and not constrictive, what you would hope for from a pair of bibs costing over $200. The new model is less compressive, however, than some of the Swiss brand’s pricier options like the RS models.
Single layer bib straps in the R model dry fast and are also lighter than double-layer version found in other models, says Assos. These perform well, staying put without bunching up or folding over—disappearing on the body and performing anonymously in the background, just as bibs straps should.
One critical difference in the R level compared to its more expensive brethren is the chamois; it gets a lower level Core chamois. That doesn’t mean, however, that the comfort level falls off a cliff. A three-layer, perforated foam results in greater breathability and a lower weight. And the chamois is kept in place by a stitching pattern that anchors the front and back but allows it to move with the body, preventing friction. To stabilize the chamois, Assos borrows X-Frame from the RS series, which limits sag in the back of the shorts.
The shorts benefit from all that trickle down tech. Over the course of a 70-kilometer gravel ride, the chamois felt similarly comfortable to other high end Assos bibs, moving with the body without bunching up or creating any other discomfort. These bibs certainly provide more than enough comfort for most riders, and do so at a price that is high, but falls below comparable models from other lauded bib short brands.
More information: assos.com