To create a new top of the line performance race bib shorts, Assos reconsidered and re-engineered the bib platform as a whole, to parse and strip away any component or material that didn’t contribute to the primary objective of reaching the ultimate conversion point where speed and total comfort coalesce. Consider the mission accomplished: the 160-gram Equipe RSR Bib Shorts S9, the lightest, most comfortable race-spec bib shorts to ever leave the Assos laboratory. The evaluation happened not only in the lab and design meeting room, but with a focus on how pro cyclists, who log more hard miles than any others, interact with their bib shorts in the real world.
In the harshest racing environments, the most advanced insert technology is only as good as the framework that supports it. Consider the abuse a pair of shorts goes through during an average day "at the office" for a World Tour rider: aggressive cornering, abrupt transitions between road surfaces, constant in-to-out-of-saddle pedaling, and hours of body re-positioning. All of this greatly impacts the composition of the short as a whole, it's component pieces, especially the way its insert functions, and ultimately the comfort both are able to provide.
To mitigate these effects, without tacking on weight, the first point to address for the RSR project was the textile itself. Assos came to the key conclusion that drove the designers to create a new material that delivered the perfect combination of compressive hold, durability, soft hand-feel, and the lowest weight possible, setting the foundation of the Equipe RSR S9. The all-new Type.701kompressor established the standard, as the true successor to the lauded S7 Campionissimo kompressor, delivering a complex woven textile that delivers across the board, using ultrathin yarns with super-high elasticity, yielding a near-frictionless weave that provides you with incredible comfort and muscle support. The effect is clear. Type.701 becomes your second skin, delivering phenomenal structural hold, breathability, and a silky smooth, uninterrupted wrap along the low back and thighs that supports both the fine and large muscle groups with equal effectiveness.
With the textile establishing the foundation, Assos crafted a new bracing system comprising new technologies working together to stabilize the shorts and secure the insert in place, referred to as A-Lock Engineering. The actual garment construction and panel patterning came next. Whereas the previous top-line S7 was constructed with four panels, the impressive characteristics and capabilities of Type.701 allowed the S9 generation to incorporate and integrate just two, with a primary “butterfly” panel fully wrapping the legs and converging in the rear to form the new ergoBox structure. This design effectively frames the insert in place and provides you with an ultra-comfortable wrap that works in conjunction with Type.701 for the best clickFit Assos has ever produced. You’ll notice a key difference from the RS to the RSR, as for the RSR the designers omitted the RS version's rollBar, cutting a touch more weight and relying on the textile’s holding properties to do the added stabilizing. The bib straps have also been redesigned using calibrated stretch throughout, with the rear section using a single section of elastic material- folded over on itself- forming an A-frame in the back. It delivers limited vertical stretch in order to add further stability. In the front, the straps are made of a more flexible material, with an antibacterial carbon weave, to wick moisture and lay flat.
For the insert, the designers focused on a single race-mission platform, and it evolved from the proven Equipe Evo, allowing them the freedom to reassess what is most crucial to a streamlined, race-spec insert. First, they reduced the overall footprint to further shed weight, employed superAir microShock foam with a 3D waffle, incorporated the Assos kraterCooler system to increase airflow up front, and took additional measures to anchor the insert at the rear with the Assos-patented horizontal stabilizer. The end result is best version of the total Assos comfort you’ve come to know and trust, matched by more stability than ever.
Virtually all of the keys that allowed Assos to reduce the weight and implement the inventive design of the Equipe RSR S9 represent the most advanced thought process Assos has ever applied. Of course it was built off years of work and incredible success, but perhaps success had been worn too long and cyclists started to call for updates, lighter weight, etc. If Assos rested on it's laurels, well that can be forgiven, as the rest has been the source of tremendous new energy and inspiration, followed only textile, construction, and execution excellence Assos has impeccably demonstrated over the years. Innovation, application of skill, and true cycling inspiration are the true cornerstones of the Assos "tradition", and the Equipe RSR S9 Bib Shorts the new apex.
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