We’ve just come back from a visit to the UK base of the new Assos Factory Outlet, and taken a look round its extensive warehousing to check out just what Assos has on offer and get the lowdown on the savings on some of the finest cycling kit available.
While Assos is renowned for its constant R&D development on cycling clothing, that doesn’t change the fact that some of its less recent pieces are still at the pinnacle of high performance kit.
Being UK based doesn’t mean that the savings available are just for UK riders either. Assos Factory Outlet ships worldwide, and providing you spend over £100 (US$156 / AU$202 at time of writing), that shipping comes free too. (And believe us, it’d be easy to spend a lot more than that in this Aladdin’s cave of great gear.)
It's unlikely you'll have difficulty hitting the £100 free international delivery threshold
Head honcho of the Factory Outlet Kevin Griffiths told BikeRadar: ‘We have plenty of customers who have long-time favourites from the Assos range, and now these aren’t readily available through the usual stores they're sourcing them from us with decent discounts too.’ In fact, the popularity of some of the range has been so great that Assos has actually remanufactured older pieces to meet demand.
If you're worried that a factory outlet means limited (or odd sizes) and garish hues you wouldn’t be seen dead out on the road with, you can put your fears at rest. We saw huge size ranges, plenty of popular colourways and some real surprises. There was also a massive range of women’s-specific kit, far more that you’ll usually find within in-store ranges.
With new lines being introduced throughout the year, the Assos outlet has fast become a bookmarked site for us.
Here’s our pick of the vast range on offer – and check the gallery above for more gear images and shots from inside the factory outlet.
F1.13 S5 bib short: £153.74 / US$185.44 / AU$244.76 (26 percent off)
The S5 is a four-star rated short from us at BikeRadar. The high-spandex content of the fabric gives an almost compression-like fit, and the golf-ball textured pad remains one of the best we tried. When launched this was one of the first £200+ bib shorts around.
Just because they’re from the factory outlet doesn’t mean you don’t get the full Assos packaging treatment
iG.FalkenZahn: £143.99 / US$173.67 / AU$227.36 (21 percent off)
This is certainly not your average gilt. It's made of six different fabrics and 13 separate pieces and is absolutely form-fitting, so no more flappy fabrics when heading downhill. The fabric inner is lightly fleeced, making this a great top layer on cool dry days.
The iG.FalkenZahn is no ordinary gilet – its form fitting multi-fabric design is still one of the best
tK.434.1 S5 Knickers £123.74 / US149.26 / AU$195.39 (25 percent off)
A three-quarter bib that shares the same supreme pad as the S5 short. The full back is meshed to aid breathability and high-compression spandex infused panels help your muscles stay warm and flexible on chillier rides. Another top-rated BikeRadar product, this scored 4/5 when they were tested at the full £173.99 price tag.
The tK.434.1 S5s are a fully featured spring/autumn item
Fi.Mille S5 £127.49 / US$153.77 / AU$201.30 (26 percent off)
The Mille S5 short is a nailed-on classic. When we tested back in 2011, it scored a full complement of five stars. In fact we couldn’t find anything to fault with the Mille, apart from its then £170 price tag. It can now be had for over £40 less, which allays our reservations from the original test.
The S5s remain a favourite among our testers
SS Corporate S7 jersey £103.99 / US$TBC / AU$TBC (21 percent off)
The S7 corporate jersey was nicknamed the 'six-pack' thanks to its black barred front design.
The corporate jersey comes in five different colour versions
iJ Equipe Suisse jersey £124.58 / US150.27 / AU$196.72 (31 percent off)
The Equipe jersey has been a longstanding part of the Assos range, with the long-sleeve version usually priced at a shade under £180. It’s packed with great features: the material is UV rated to 50+, there's a full zip, three structured rear pockets (and a zipped security pocket), plus hi-vis detailing – and we love the Swiss federation design on this one.
The Equipe jersey – we like the Swiss version
iJ Intermediate S7 £160 / US$TBC / AU$TBC (20 percent off)
Sitting between a long sleeve jersey and a full-on jacket, the Intermediate S7 is another form-fitting top. It's designed to stay snug when in a riding position and features a multitude of fabrics including a full air-block front and a membrane fabric so it has some water resistance. The body fabric is also temperature sensitive so it opens up as you warm up so you won’t overheat.
The S7 jersey/jacket is surprisingly good in the rain, even with its minimal bulk
Skinfoil climarange spring £48.95 / US$59.04 / AU$77.29 (21 percent off)
The Skinfoil baselayer was designed to work with the Intermediate – its spring weight puts more emphasis on warmth, but is still designed to work in temperatures up to around 25ºC/77F (that’s pretty warm in our book). Its seamless tubular construction makes for a second-skin fit – this is one of our top baselayers of all time, and it's available in seven options for different temperature ranges.
The Skinfoil's tubular construction means no irritating seams on the torso
SixDay Pack black £65.45 / US$78.94 / AU$103.34 (46 percent off)
The Six Day presentation pack is perfect gift fodder. There's a top-grade Assos jersey made from lightweight high-wicking Plasma fabric; also included in the presentation box is a pair of matching socks and a cotton cap. At nigh-on half price now its one of the only Assos bits of kit we’d describe as a genuine bargain.
The Six-Day gift pack is now nigh-on half price
Arm warmers S7 £29.89 / US$36.05 / AU$47.20 (36 percent off)
The S7 arm warmers mix two different fabrics – there's a Roubaix-like fleece section to add warmth, mated to a wind-blocking section on the front faces to help stop wind-chill.
Even Assos arm warmers have had bag loads of design work on them
Spring/Fall socks £8.45 / US$10.19 / AU$13.34 (35 percent off)
A little more substantial sock that still retains an ultra-close elastic fit thanks to its high-stretch fabric content. Rated for riding in 8-22ºC (46-72F) temperatures.
Midweight, yet highly breathable socks, with a 35 percent price drop
Robocap £27.74 / US$33.46 / AU$43.81 (26 percent off)
Proper cold weather riding comfort from this super close fitting under-helmet wear. The insulated super soft RXQ fabric is double skinned around your ears, features loops to secure your glasses (as your ears are covered) and even has reflective detailing on the rear.
Assos's under-helmet Robocap completely covers your ears
Summer cap UNO £12.59 / US$15.18 / AU$19.88 (31 percent off)
Classic 100 percent cotton summer cap with the added addition of a sweat absorbing elasticated band around its circumference.
Even the simple cotton cap gets a decent discount
Insulator glove ALS £21.76 / US$26.24 / AU$34.35 (25 percent off)
High-elastane content close fitting gloves with light insulation for temperatures around 8ºC/46ºF. The palms feature a full silicone print (spiralling out from a big Assos logo) to provide plenty of grip even in wet conditions.
Chill proofing lightweight gloves