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The Assos SS.laalalaiJersey_evo7 is a superb summer jersey in terms of both comfort and functionality; if you are happy with the price tag, you certainly get a quality garment.
Initial impressions of this jersey were that 'there's nothing to it'; all of the material used is exceptionally thin and lightweight. Assos' type.002 material is used for the main body – it's a thin, stretchy fabric that glides over the skin while simultaneously wicking away any moisture and allowing good airflow.
It's the rear panel of the jersey that predominantly delivers cooling, though, and comprises Assos' mono-stretch type.220 material. This fabric offers some stretch horizontally across the back, so constantly adapting to the body's movements on the bike, but no give in the vertical weave, ensuring stability under the weight of objects in any of the three rear pockets.
A wide elasticated band across the lower back panel is combined with a series of short silicone strips to guarantee that the jersey does not ride up at all. On the front, the jersey is held securely by a thinner band of elastic enclosed in the seam of the main body.
Unlike many lightweight summer jerseys, the Laalalai jersey isn't overly generous in frontal length, and consequently there is absolutely no 'bagging' when riding. I would avoid combining it with non-bib shorts as there will likely be 'exposure' of the midriff. (Maybe pair it with the T.laalalaiShorts_S7, tested recently by Ashia.)
The full-length front zip sits neatly in a tab at the base to prevent any catching or snagging on other garments; there isn't a garage for it at the neck, but no discomfort either.
Assos recommends using a summer skinFoil under the jersey, or no undergarment at all. In the recent heat I tried the latter and loved how the jersey performed, I don't think I could have been cooler. I have also tried it with various different light, skin-tight undervests, and it sat well in all cases, its functionality not compromised.
The sleeves are slightly longer than many manufacturers tend to make them, something I particularly liked as it ensured full coverage of any undervest used. The longer length also meant that when using arm warmers there were absolutely no gaps.
All three rear pockets are big enough and perfectly positioned for access – something that I've found some manufacturers just cannot get right on their women's jerseys.
Overall, Assos has produced a garment that functions supremely in the environment it was designed for. If you believe in investing in quality then this is worth handing over your money for.
Superb summer jersey for keeping you cool and comfortable on hot days
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Assos SS.laalalaiJersey_evo7
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The SS.laalalaiJersey_evo7 is a female-specific, short-sleeved jersey designed for use in hot conditions.
WHAT IS IT?
Our new jersey for summer 16, this product combines the comfort of our type.002 material with added, lighter, type.220 material in strategic places to give you the ultimate in performance on the hottest days.
HOW TO USE IT
Engineered to work perfectly with a summer skinFoil, it can also be used next to your skin on the hottest days. And if the summer weather does not live up to expectations, add either armWarmers or a shell for those cooler times.
A new standard in the ASSOS women's jersey range, this is a product for riders who demand the ultimate in performance. Light, breathable and cut specifically for women, we believe it strikes the perfect balance between performance, cut and aesthetics.
_ We chose to use our type.002 material for the majority of this jersey. Its elastic, yet soft properties mean you get a jersey that not only fits better but is also more comfortable to wear during summer rides
_ For enhanced breathability we have added our mono-stretch type.220 material to the back of the jersey. It is an extremely light fabric used to keep you cool on even the hottest summer rides, as well as to give added stability to the jersey
_ To give you the ultimate in comfort and performance, we used our female-specific cut for the best anatomical fit
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Assos lists these features:
THE KEY FEATURES
_ Made of type.002 fabric for increased comfort and softness
_ First time the ASSOS blocks have been used on a women's jersey
_ Mono-stretch type.220 material on the back
_ Anatomically cut for the feminine form
The jersey did exactly what Assos claimed, and kept me cool in hot weather.
After several wears and washes it is still looking and feeling like new.
The elasticated banding and silicone strips ensured that it didn't move at all for the duration of even 4+ hours of riding. It might be considered short in the body by someone with a larger figure as it offered minimal midriff coverage when off the bike. I noted this when wearing it with non-bib shorts, it was not an issue with bib shorts.
The sizing was exactly as I would have expected.
The lightweight nature of the jersey resulted in a 'barely there' feel.
It is a lot of money for what is a very 'thin' jersey. There are certainly cheaper options out there, though I suspect they may not fit quite so perfectly or stay in position so well during a longer ride.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The product is labelled as handwash only; presumably such care is going to extend the jersey's life somewhat. I admit to putting it in a gentle 30 degree cycle more than once, and it came out fine! It still feels like new after several washes.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does as it claims: it keeps you cool in hot weather.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I particularly like the slightly longer sleeves, which ensured there was absolutely no undervest showing (or skin if using arm warmers).
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? A little out of my price range, but not a reflection on the quality of product those who can afford it will get.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It's an exceptional jersey – excellent performance in hot weather, extremely lightweight fabric, beautifully made.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…