Assos comes from a Greek word, which means the first, or the best. Tony Maier created the first aero carbon bike back in the ’70s which he took into a wind tunnel for testing, along with engineers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. There, Maier learned that while his frame was indeed better than the round steel frames of the day, rider position plays the largest role in drag, as we know well today. Toni then developed his bullhorn bars, which he mounted at the fork crown below the head tube to create a super-low, aggressive position. While there, Toni and the university engineers also tested fabrics in the wind tunnel. No surprise, but they found wool had a lot of drag when it came to airflow. They even tested a rider naked… but found skin wasn’t that fast either. So Maier and his wife Elaine, and their friend Hans Hess, a Swiss downhill ski racing suit maker, set about creating a Lycra skinsuit.
From this came the first ever lycra cycling shorts. The shorts were initially met with skepticism, but after the Ti-Raleigh Pro Team began wearing them, soon the rest of the peloton adopted this new tech and cycling never looked back. So, in a roundabout way, a bike frame led to the creation of one the best cycling shorts available today. Even now Pros will buy an Assos Chamois and get it sewn into their non-Assos bibs. Working closely with the Swiss National Team and the AMG Petronas F1 Team, they have helped develop some of the most innovative garments out there. They utilize exclusive fabrics and patterns, developed in their own textile factory, that come from an obsessive drive to be the best. Yes, some of the pieces have names that nobody knows how to pronounce, and other names (KuKu Penthouse) make kids laugh. All this aside, no one can argue that Assos makes the best bib short and chamois on the market. Assos has set a price point that others brands put their products at, thinking: “hey, if they can sell a $350 bib, we can too.” Asso’s entry bib is superior to the best bib made by most other brands. Truth.
We have carried Assos for over 15 years, and today still remain their exclusive dealer in Edmonton. Our close relationship has allowed us many amazing co-lab kits. We were the first shop in Canada that Assos made a custom kit for. A kit made in Switzerland by the same seamstresses that put together Cancellara’s skinsuits. That’s pretty cool.