07 April 2008

Assos Product Review

Outside it is raining and the last cherry blossoms are falling to the ground. The complete atmosphere is somewhat melancholic and there is little reason to spend time with work related matter. Everything can wait until tomorrow.

However this winter I bought a lot of stuff from Assos through David Marx and I promised him to write something about this stuff on the Positivo web site. As the winter is gone by now and all stuff was thoroughly tested I can finally make good on my promise :

So the most important Assos gear I bought was this yellow Fugu jacket. Only the jacket, not the yellow trousers. Also I noted that in my jacket I look completely different - but it would be hard to blame the jacket for this.

But it is in fact a very warm jacket. According to the Assos website in should be worn at temperature from -4 to + 7 degrees. Please note that the temperature should be measured INSIDE the jacket. Really, I was wearing it one day when I crossed Otarumi with Tom and the temperature outside was around 3 degrees. We made a break at a Soba shop close to Takaoguchi and when I undressed from the jacket it was completely wet on the inside. Tom can confirm that. So every degree more than seven will extract 500 ml of sweat from your body. But nevertheless it is a very nice jacket and it has this huge one pocket on the backside for all kind of stuff and this nice collar and it really feels good. It is expensive yes, but it brought me well through the winter season.

There is little I hate more than riding on a bike and having cold ears. I used to be sensitive against rain but after riding last season almost completely in the rain (10 hours in Sadogashima, one hour home from lunch with David, david and a summer associate in Tama Jiman and and and) I lost that arrogant attitude. So I always wanted to have this robo cap from Assos and in fact it is very comfortable and warm. Again it looks different on my head, but I am not working as a model in Switzerland. This was a very good purchase and I threw away all other kind of winter bandannas, caps and tutus after getting this wonderful piece of gear. David Litt has the same one in red. Of course he had one in red so I wanted on in orange,my but then I had to compromise on the yellow one which might not fit so well in the color scheme of new Cervelo bike.

Oh yes, I also hate cold feet. So I bought this Assos shoe covers which were neither available in orange nor yellow. I have bought Pearl Izumi and Shimano in the past, but they do not have a long life duration when used by someone like me. These things are good, they keep the feet warm (OK not dry, but which shoe cover really does?) and they are easy to put on despite my initial judgement as the zipper cannot be opened fully on the back. The only drawback is, that the zipper is made out of metal and in the shape of the Assos logo. Therefore it is really hard to pull the zipper up and one of them has been lost already. David was so kind to send the shoe cover back to Assos in Switzerland for repair, but honestly speaking I would prefer a small strip of plastic attached to the zipper as in case of my old Assos airblock jacket rather than to have this fancy logo which hurt my sensitive manager fingertips. But nevertheless, these are the best shoecovers I ever owned.

But the most wonderful items I bought from Assos are these early winter gloves. They are available in yellow and red, among other minor colors. They are just wonderful warm and it is hard to imagine that you need anything else for winter in Japan (at least in the greater Kanto area). What I particular like about these gloves is, that they have no velcro fastener. They are very long so they can be worn over the sleeves of the jacket and it is so easy to put them on or off. Really of all the items I bought from David this year, I like these gloves the most. By now you might think that I am getting paid by David for talking so much good about Assos. I really like the gloves, shoecover and the robo cap and also the fugu jacket is nice. It is not the fault of the jacket that it just didn't get cold enough in Japan to wear it. But I bought some more items which are just standard or even sub-standard :

This lycra shoecover from Assos is what I wore when racing in Kawagoe in March this year. It has to take part of the blame that I finished in 25th position. No, I was just joking. But in real life the color is not as half as nice as the photo to the left shows it. I mean, in the photo it looks like your foot is filled by divine yellow light. No, this is not the case. And after using it only once, it has now two holes. Maybe I should have bought the red version.

The Thermic socks socks have also a problem : They are just not warm. Maybe it is my feet, but after the experience with the fugu jacket I expected something hotter than 1.000 suns protecting my feet against the cold - and I was disappointed by these socks. So I almost exclusively wear them at home with my blue slippers which provides a nice color matching.

Again I bought some other socks which are good but nothing special. Please take a look at the socks photo gallery below.

All in all I had a very active winter season thanks to the support of David Marx. He also provided an excellent service, exchanging the fugu L size jacket against XL size when I was too confident about my body measurements and taking care of my all too many whims.
Thank you David.



3 comments:

David L. said...

Thanks for the review.

I've got two of the Assos winter jacket that is one step lighter weight than the Fugu, and it is great. Breathes very well, warm in all the right places (wind blocking material), tight seal around the zipper seam to keep out the cold, ... and lots of pocket space, including zipper pocket for valuables!

The robocaps are great.

The toe covers have lasted 2-3 times as long as any others I have used regularly during a winter season and still have some life left.

The bib shorts, jerseys and winter tights are also great.

Can't wait to get some new Assos!

Anonymous said...

michael - you look much younger in the photos...

mob said...

Ha, I should not answer to anonymous comments but basically I agree. My hands and feets have become older recently, this cannot be denied.