are sometimes smooth and silky, and other times tired and tight.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Nothing gets between me and my Assos

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I received an email from a friend yesterday that had all of the info on Assos latest offerings for the summer of 2007. My reply back to him was something to the effect of "why are you trying to make me spend money I don't have?"

Sure, I could just look at it, like he suggested, but that's easier said than done with Assos.

I started riding my bike, for real, in the summer of 1990. Back then, “dressing up” for a bike ride meant putting on a pair of cotton ‘bikers shorts’ that I bought as casual wear a few years before. Yes, casual wear. Don’t ask. You don’t want to know.

After a summer of wearing “shorts” that were the equivalent of underwear I picked up a pair of real bike shorts, to wear on my first 100 mile ride, the TA New York Century. Oh what a huge difference those Team Z shorts were, with their genuine, old school, natural chamois. So much better, especially after I realized that you shouldn’t wear underwear with them.

I thought that it couldn’t get any better until I made the move to bib shorts. Who would have even considered that suspenders could make such a difference? No more tying the drawstrings so tight that I’d lose feeling below the waist, no more plumbers butt when the drawstring came loose, no more unnecessary movement ‘down there’. To top it all off, the bibs had a synthetic chamois! No more slathering lanolin on to the chamois, then slithering into my bibs, and squirming as I felt the chamois cream ooze around as I mounted the saddle.

Years passed, and I went through a variety of different brands of bibs: Santini; Nalini; Cannondale; Pearl Izumi; Performance; and a bunch of smaller companies that made my various team kits. To be honest, as long as they fit, I wasn’t that bothered.

Fast forward to 2003. I was getting back into cycling after a lengthy break. I hadn’t been riding regularly for awhile, and I didn’t see the need to invest in anything new, so I rode through that summer wearing 10 year old bibs. One pair was so old and worn that friends begged me to stop wearing them. Apparently they left nothing to the imagination if you happened to be sitting on my wheel.

Revealing shorts aside, I was also developing some saddle sores, most likely caused by a chamois that was well past it’s prime. I’m sure it also didn’t help that the bibs were stretched to the breaking point thanks to the extra 30 lb I had put on since they were last put to use. Regardless, I kept on wearing them, and complaining.

Then something magical happened. A life changing experience. Thanks to the generosity of a friend – whom I will always be indebted to – I was given a pair of Assos bib shorts.

It is a gift that keeps on giving. No more saddle sores. No more unnecessary movements below. Nope, all you get is a beautifully cut, exquisitely constructed, well thought out garment, with a chamois that is so perfect, I hear that it was developed at the Swiss equivalent of Area 51.

Many people will say that Assos is too expensive, and that they’re not worth it. Those people are wrong. They obviously have never tried them.

Yes, I will admit they are not cheap. I will admit that when I was a twenty-something racer, my take on Assos was that it was bike clothing for middle-aged men with too much money. Yes, I am currently entering the middle age bracket, but having too much money is something that will never be said about me.

To put this post in a nutshell (no pun intended): if you like to spend time on a bike, get some Assos!



1 comment:

CyLowe said...

Why *do* you hate BikeNashbar so?


And, as you well know, chipcom's never looked so friggin' HAWT!!