There are always mixed emotions for me when a product I love is updated or replaced.  When Assos launched their S7 line, I must admit, I was sucked into the hype surrounding the Game Changer advertising, but I was also hesitant to believe that the new version could be that much better than my favorite bibs, the Assos S5 Mille.

I absolutely loved my Milles. Over the years I had 6 pairs of them, and they were my go-to bibs for long days.  The Mille literally saved my butt on the 336 miles of Trans Iowa gravel.  But by early season last year, I had worn out all of my Milles.  Fabric was thinning at the hips and back or at best had taken a bronze tone from sun exposure.  So I bit the bullet and ordered two pairs of the S7 T.Cento. The Mille was, and still is, the most comfortable bib I have ever worn.  Unfortunately, that means that the Cento is not. 

Highlight unfortunately because the price of the S7 model exceeds that of the Mille with the bibs retailing for $329.  For that much money, I don’t think I have unreasonable expectations to want everything about the bib to be perfect, but the truth is I am not at all impressed with the S7.

S7 Bibs on the left.
S7 Bibs on the left.
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The main area of improvement over the Mille is in the material of the legs.  It is lighter, slightly more compressive, bunches less, and wicks moisture better which also means it dries faster.  The biggest disappointment is the pad.  It is significantly thinner than that of the Mille.  The Mille pad truly did offer all-day comfort.  With the S7, comfort in the saddle for me severely degrades around the 3 hour mark with sustained out-of-the-saddle time necessary to give the butt a break.  In addition, the pad is not sewn on the sides in an effort to eliminate seams from rubbing on the inner thigh, but I have found that it sometimes pinches me in this area.  Finally, Assos has introduced a kukuPenthouse (their phrase; no joke) which is a cut-out in the front of the pad intended to provide genital pressure relief and increased comfort.  It is my experience that this only acts to bunch things up and is less comfortable than the Mille design without this feature. 

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KukuPenthouse is the black box on the left. 🙂

Assos specifically markets these as their ultra-distance bib, but it just is not.  The Mille was far more comfortable for the long-haul.  It seems Assos has tried to blur the line between their racing bibs and those made for longer distances.  This has created several shortcomings with the Centos and has left me looking for replacements.  So help me out, and comment below with your current favorite bibs for the big days.

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