Dressing for mid-summer weather isn’t tough. You can count on the weather being the same throughout a ride and there’s not typically a need to compulsively check the weather report for upcoming rides. Grab a pair of the best cycling shorts and you are good to go. The same is true in the winter but instead of shorts, you’ll be reaching for a pair of the best winter bib tights. The times when it’s tough are the shoulder season of spring and fall.
As we head into shorter and cooler weather, we are firmly into the unpredictable fall weather. You’ve checked the weather every day for a week and it always seems to be changing. You can’t quite decide what makes sense but you know it’s a little colder than bib shorts plus it might rain the night before. In times like these, an insulated bib short is a perfect option and Assos has an updated version this year with the Assos Mille GTS Spring Fall bib shorts c2. We’ve spent time testing in a variety of weather and now we are ready to discuss the details. If you are looking for just the right thing to wear in slightly cooler weather keep reading to see if this in-between option from Assos is the right choice for you.
Design and aesthetics
The Assos Mille GTS Spring Fall bib shorts c2 come in black. Occasionally Assos offers colour options in their bibs but only in as much as a little spot of colour here or there might change things. In these bibs, even that’s off the table. More recently brands like Pas Normal and Velocio have started to inject a bit of colour into the sea of black, and the Rapha Pro-Team Powerweave bibs in their rich navy have been a favourite mine this summer, but Assos has been steadfast in a specific look and feel. That’s exactly what you get in these bibs and that extends to a few different angles.
Along with the familiar colour, you’ll find other threads connecting the Assos Mille GTS Spring Fall bib shorts c2 with past Assos designs. The X-frame bib strap design is a big part in that it depends on so many other pieces of the design. While some Assos pieces use a rollBar design that attaches the shoulder straps in two places on the lower back, the X-frame relies purely on the support of the fabrics in the butterfly pattern.
The butterfly pattern is what makes everything work and it’s unique to Assos. Instead of multiple panels, a single piece of fabric wraps both legs and across the low back. This limits the seams to only a single seam up the back of each leg that connects on the low back and a third through the centre under the chamois. The second piece of fabric used covers the lower abdomen and cup area and it’s where the two pieces join that the straps connect. The X-frame design ties in at the seam between the two panels at the front as well as at the top of the unbroken section of fabric across the low back.
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The fabrics that Assos uses for the two different panels are both similar fleece fabrics going by the name of RX Evo. The main body of the Mille GTS Spring Fall bib shorts c2 use what Assos considers the standard weight RX Evo while the front is RX Evo light. Although it seems unnecessary to include extra ventilation in the cup area, the difference between the two fabrics is incredibly minimal. Unlike the Equipe RS version of the spring-fall bib short, the RX Evo has a water-repellent design that helps repel light rain and road spray.
Visually one of the biggest differences, and welcome upgrades, to the butterfly and codpiece patterning of the Mille GTS Spring Fall bib shorts c2 is how similar the two fabrics are. Many of the Assos bibs use fabrics for the cup area with different sheens or even patterns. The effect is to visually highlight the cup in an entirely unnecessary way. RX Evo and RX Evo light look identical from the outside and it’s a big upgrade from past designs.
Assos designs are technical in a way that few other companies manage. To verify the design, I had to dig up every other Assos bib short I could find and compare. The website isn’t clear on what’s the same and what’s different and I’ve spent time tracing the seams and going back and forth to report back to you. In the end, it’s a lot of detail. What’s really important to understand is that each time I spend time with a pair of Assos bibs they’ve inevitably taken what works and adapted it while dropping what doesn’t.
The butterfly pattern adds stability and limits annoying seams. It also keeps the few seams that remain far away from the inner thigh where they can be a real issue. The downside is that it tends to highlight the cup area that’s not so great visually off the bike. With the Mille GTS Spring Fall bib shorts c2, Assos has finally fixed the issue. The advantages of the panels remain but the fabrics have the same look.
Along with the butterfly pattern, another big piece that’s been re-used without any highlighted text is the chamois design. The uber-expensive Mille GTO Bib shorts C2 are the premium non-race summer bib shorts currently in the Assos lineup. A big part of what makes those bibs so amazing is the impressive chamois design and the one in use here is almost exactly the same. The summer version has vent holes in the rear and a different front with more ventilation but the basic structure is the same. There’s a 9mm base for the pads plus 4mm of foam integrated into the upper cover as well as two layers of fabric in the mix. It’s a seriously thick chamois that helps protect sit bones no matter how long, or rough, the ride might be.
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What hasn’t been re-used from that design is the elastic-free lower leg. Instead, the bottom of these has a wide band of elastic that, while comfortable, seems a bit outdated in the face of competition from Castelli. Despite the potential mis-step in design though, the length is perfect. Some Assos bibs offer multiple lengths and can be a bit short if you don’t go for the longer design. The Mille GTS Spring Fall bib shorts c2 are only offered in a single length and my tan lines place it right in the middle of the summer length bell curve.
Outside of the technical pattern and chamois details, there’s also the basic idea of an insulated bib short. Assos isn’t the only brand to offer something in this category but not everyone understands it. To give an idea, deep in the fall season I recently had a gravel ride that started three hours away. I checked the weather every day for at least a week trying to guess what to wear and in the end, I brought two pairs of Assos bibs. A summer gravel bib was an option but so were these insulated bibs. When I arrived on a very chilly morning, I opted for the Mille GTS Spring Fall bib shorts c2. They are just enough to take the chill off in the morning, or in the shadow of a mountain late afternoon, but they breathe well enough to handle the warmth of a full sun climb in the heat of mid-day. If the temperature drops a bit more, add leg warmers.
Assos also offers the Equipe RS spring-fall bib shorts S9 with a similar warmth profile. The difference in choosing the Mille GTS Spring Fall bib shorts c2 is the different chamois as well as the ability to shake off some moisture. If you prefer a thicker chamois that will dictate the Mille GTS but in the US Pacific Northwest, or the UK, this time of year often means rain and that might be another reason. Even if you dodge the rain with Zwift you may find yourself starting a ride with wet roads from overnight rain. The Equipe RS uses Osmos heavy, which lacks water-shedding capabilities, while the RX Evo in use here adds that feature in.
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I wear a lot of Assos gear and it is a brand I would consider one of my favourites. When it comes to cold weather gear, I consider it not only one of my personal favourites but one of the best choices on the market. The brand seems to understand what it takes to ride hard in cold weather and the Assos Mille GTS Spring Fall bib shorts c2 are another example of that.
These insulated bib shorts pick up past designs from some of the most expensive and high-performance bibs on the market. They then make some cool weather-specific changes, improve the aesthetic design, and add water-shedding fleece for less money. The only thing they lack is the rollBar bib strap design but that’s not a noticeable loss. On top of all that, fleece-lined bibs tend to be incredibly comfortable and the Mille GTS Spring Fall bib shorts c2 don’t disappoint in that regard. The thick chamois won’t be everyone’s favourite but it’s great for long-distance riding and so is the lack of seams near the inner thigh.
In fact, it’s tough to pick negatives about the design. The cost has dropped and the highlight of the cup area has disappeared as well. The focus on ventilation for the cup area continues to be an oddity of Assos designs but it’s not an outright issue. The same is true of the elastic leg gripper. It’s comfortable and the length is correct but Castelli has shown that it’s unnecessary and it’s now a place that Assos could stand to make a future change.
The biggest question you’ll want to consider is if you need the specialisation of an insulated bib. In some climates, there will be a short period of time where it makes sense but there are some for whom it could be perfect all winter. If you are in the lower third of the US, an insulated bib might be the warmest piece you ever need. If that’s the case, or you don’t mind specialising in the fall and spring, then the Assos Mille GTS Spring Fall bib shorts c2 are an excellent choice.
|Design||Assos finally got this right beyond the technical. There’s no highlight in the cup area and the zeropressure waist is high enough to both look and feel good. The leg length is perfect and the straps are great.||10/10|
|Fabric Quality||It feels amazing and it sheds water (to an extent) there’s nothing more I would ask for.||10/10|
|Chamois Quality||Not everyone will love how thick it is but the quality is top notch and it’s great for long distance.||8/10|
|Fit||Consistent throughout the brand and compared to other brands.||10/10|
|Value||You get a lot of performance but you do pay for it. There’s no bargain here but the price is lower than other Assos pieces with the same features.||8/10|
Tech Specs: Assos Mille GTS Spring Fall bib shorts c2
- Price: £180 / $250 / €210 / AU$400
- Weight: 195g size small
- Colour Options: blackSeries
- Size availability: XS-XLG and TIR (XLG but wider)
- Materials: 86%Nylon/14%Elastane / RX Evo main body, RX Evo Light cup area