For many years, ASSOS of Switzerland was one of the most respected names in cycling. The only catch, from a female cycling perspective, was their notoriously... how would you say?... 'traditional' approach to marketing their women's kit.
Then in 2016, everything changed. As they say themselves, their women's cycling range went 'from bad to badass'.
The Rolls Royce of cycling kit...
The excellent Phil Duff took over as ASSOS' new CEO, proud husband to a passionate cyclist and father to three equally fanatical cycling daughter. He was quoted early on as saying it was 'a no-brainer' to redress things.
He worked tirelessly with ASSOS' female employees to resteer their whole approach to women's cycling. The mindset of developing men's kit to make them better cyclists and women's kit to make them look good was scrapped.
Now they do both for both sexes.
Almost immediately, gone was the risqué photography. In came strong imagery of strong women doing serious cycling. We thought about showing the pre-2016 pictures, but decided they were best consigned to history while we celebrate the new stuff!
Phil left most of ASSOS' heritage and successful product development untouched, but admitted in a Total Women's Cycling interview:
"The only thing I have dictated and mandated is that we are not going to depict women and treat women the way company had historically".
They turned their attention to kit - and promptly invented the first Lycra® cycling shorts.
ASSOS' imagery and ethos now matches the exceptional quality of their women's clothing. It does justice to their 40 years of cycling experience and their true passion and expertise in what they produce.
They sponsored their first women's pro team in 2018, Cyclance Pro Cycling, we have nothing but respect for how they have turned things around for female cyclists.
So how did it start? In 1976, ASSOS was founded by Toni Maier with the first carbon fiber bicycle frame. Toni spent painstaking time testing the bike in the wind tunnel, but it eventually dawned on him that it was the riders' clothing that was the main cause of drag.
Toni naturally then turned his attention to kit - and promptly invented the first Lycra® cycling shorts. It's their bottom halves that they are still most recognised for. Fast forward to today, and ASSOS have now contributed to over 350 gold medals at world championships and Olympic games.
ASSOS works as hard as any brand we know with its suppliers and test team to produce fabrics and fits that make it - in our view - the Rolls Royce of cycling kit.
They've been at the vanguard of many of the really big innovations that have shaped the evolution of cycling, including the first sublimation of a cycling jersey in 1980, the first elastic interface cycling short insert in 2001 and the 'fastest bodysuit on earth' in 2004.
Today, ASSOS has multiple sponsorships of World Tour teams and riders. It's a brand for the purist - for passionate cyclists who appreciate the very best. We're delighted to have them as part of the VeloVixen stable of great brands.
The Assos Bibshort and Bib-less shorts
Not only did Assos create the first elastic interface cycling short insert, over time they have homed in and perfected their shorts. Assos new range of women’s cycling short really show off Assos compulsive attention to detail, being lightweight, breathable and cut to contour using their acclaimed goldenGate technology. The UMA GT Bib-less shorts use Assos S7 generation technology, and before I go on, as I could babble on about the tech and their acronyms for ages, however, in short you would be shocked by the amount of technology that goes into making their Bibshorts and Bib-less shorts so comfortable, aerodynamic and breathable. The feedback from our customers is about quality, comfort and even their lifespan, making these short a worthy upgrade for those wanting more out of their kit.