Cycling clothing is a challenge for those of us who aren’t built like a pro cyclist. There is little more depressing than ordering clothing in a size XXXL and finding it’s too small! It’s a common problem for those of us who are built to larger dimensions and it’s long been a quest of mine to compile a real world list of clothing that will fit a person of my size. I haven’t got round to that yet as a) it’s quite expensive buying kit from every manufacturer and b) I’m quite lazy so haven’t quite got round to it.
I’ve been wearing Endura Pro SL bib shorts for the past couple of years and initially found them very comfortable. However, I’ve begun to notice a persistent rub on the left side of the pad area over the past six months and decided it was time to trade them in for a new pair. I had orginally thought that I would go for a pair of Decathlon’s B Twin 900 series. I bought the 900 series bib tights last year and found them to be a comfortable fit and nicely padded. Typically, they seem to be phasing out the bib shorts and I couldn’t get any in my size so had to look elsewhere. I also considered going back to Fat Lad At The Back’s range – I have a pair of their Ey Up bib shorts that have been going strong for several years and obviously their sizing range works well for just about anyone. I’m a big fan of FLAB and their ethos – their tongue in cheek approach to deling with what is for many a very sensitive subject is both refreshing and welcome. Embrace your size and be proud.
However, my eye was caught by a number of reviews of the Assos Equipe bib shorts mostly because of the level of comfort the reviewers found they provided. From what I understood it appears that the pads are only connected at the front and back, allowing for more movement of the pad with the body whilst pedalling. Assos call this ‘Golden Gate’ technology. I’m sure there’s some double entendres in there somewhere but I’ll give them a miss for the moment.
I found a par of the S7s on sale at Wiggle in my size and pulled the trigger. When I say they were on sale, the discount brought the price down to a merely eye-wateringly expensive level. Still, what price comfort? I ordered a size TIR – I seemed to be slightly in between sizes and erred for the larger – and was pleased find that they fitted very comfortably. For reference I am about a 39″ waist (measured below the overhang obviously). I had read some comments that they came up shorter than normal but I didn’t find that at all. The look is great – plain matt black finish with discreet logos.
I have taken them out for two rides now – one of about 20-odd miles and one of 40 miles; both times I found them to extremely comfortable with no issues in terms of pressure or rubbing. That Golden Gate technology may be a thing! The pad is certainly comfortable and I like the fact that it’s quite large in area at the front – the more cover a gentleman has in that area is a good thing in my opinion! I don’t really know what else to say about them – I didn’t notice them while I was cycling which is perhaps the best thing I can say; normally the only time you would notice your shorts is when they’re doing something you don’t want them to.
I’ll report further as I use them more but initial impressions are very positive. It’s nice to be able to wear some premium kit at my size though. I’m no equipment snob but it’s still nice.