Dec 14, 2009
Posted by MJR
For the past few weeks here in Northern California it’s been as cold as we’ve ever seen it. Weather that left over a foot of snow on Mt Hamilton left even devoted NorCal hippie raw food dieters looking for a cup of scalding hot soup.
With all this bluster, we’ve been forced to pull out the heavy artillery: Assos tights and an AirBlock jacket (as much as we’d like an excuse to wear one, the Bay Area never gets cold enough to merit a FuguJak.) Yet, when we need a little more than legwarmers, we reach for the Assos T RX.LL. The Levi’s 501 of cycling tights, the TT RX.LL has been refined for over a decade and, thanks to all the years of development, they fit like an absolute dream and provide additional warmth over a leg warmer and short combination.
Tights are one of those things. If they fit great, they make your ride so much better than it would’ve been otherwise. But when they're even the slightest bit off—little stiff in the knees or tight in the quads—you might just as well have skipped the ride and gone to yoga. Yeah, it’s that bad. Fortunately, Assos tights are sleek and supple enough that you’ll never even need to consider trying to figure out who Bikram is.
The T RX.LL are fabricated mostly from Assos’ Roubaix fabric, a much copied textile that mates a stretchy, slightly wind breaking Lycra exterior layer with an ultra plush, moisture wicking fleece that rides against your skin for an incredible balance of wind protection and flexibility. The key is that the Roubaix fabric provides just enough protection from the wind. It cuts enough of the breeze to keep you warm, but remains ultra supple (unlike a Windstopper fabric for example). A mainstay of Assos cool and cold weather garments years, it feels to us like the most recent iteration of Roubaix fabric is even softer and more plush than ever. A pair of the RX.LL tights and an ElementOne jersey and you’ll feel like you’re sporting a pair of warm winter pajamas.
One place where these tights have improved over the years is in the cut. Like Assos shorts, this garment has benefited greatly thanks to their AEPD or Advanced Ergonomic Pattern Design. While the T RX.LL might not feel perfect when standing in front of a mirror, they definitely feel right when you drop onto the saddle and reach for your bars.
Barring rain or worse, it’s not likely that you’ll need the heavier Assos tights as long as the weather you’re riding in stays above 40-degrees. Below that we go for the warmer and more windproof Assos Airblock Thermax tights. Which add a level of warmth, but start to feel more restrictive than a typical combination of shorts and leg warmers.
There’s some debate around the shop about whether to wear tights that don’t have a pad (and to wear shorts beneath), or to simply buy the version with a pad. Going all the way back to my mid-1980’s Giordana wool tights with natural chamois and aftermarket suspendors, I’ve always been a pad-in-the-tights kinda guy. But, hey, that might not be for everyone. Fortunately, Assos makes both versions.
If you're interested pop into our online store and order up, give us a call @ 415.389.5461 if you're unsure of sizing or color selection, come by the shop or hit online store if you're good to go!