Finding the kit for those in-between seasons of spring and autumn can be a challenge, but I think it's completed that challenge well with the Assos Dyora RS Spring Fall Bib Shorts S9. They offer a high-quality, figure-hugging fit and an extremely comfy chamois.
Their quality and comfort come with a reasonably high price tag, but these shorts have very little missing from them. They lack any feature for easy pee breaks, the legs are a little long for shorter people like me, and they have a rather specific look which might attract more attention to your crotch than you would've wanted... but that's about it for downsides.
I tested these shorts on those rides where the temperature is just below double digits, when it's too cold for short-shorts but too warm for full thermals, and they performed extremely well.
These are a snug and compressive fit, designed for racing and more performance-focused riding, but still extremely comfortable. That being said, I do recommend a good look at the size guide – I am a size larger in Assos than in many other brands.
Also, the legs on are longer than normal (either with Assos or other bibs I've used), perhaps so as to pair nicely with leg warmers. For me they're a little too long, and sit just above my knee.
I found the chamois extremely comfortable, and Assos' 'Golden Gate' design leaves the sides of the chamois unstitched, allowing it to move with you more freely. This, for me at least, eliminates the need to adjust the chamois after I've stood up or shifted position on the saddle.
The chamois never feels bulky despite not being the thinnest, though does it takes a while to dry after a wash and – unlike the rest of the shorts – it is not very breathable.
Keeping these shorts comfortably in place are the 'rollBar' braces. These offer varying degrees of elasticity, being very stretchy at the front, then connecting to a non-stretchy X section at the back, and then stretching a little before attaching to the waist. The brace-like nature feels strange at first, but when riding, I did not even notice the wide straps and the shorts stayed well put.
The design also allows the shorts to be a lower cut than I'm used to, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much it helps with heat management.
The legs have ultralight, silicone-free grippers that work just fine.
These shorts are well made, with neat stitching and no loose threads hanging anywhere. The waist is reinforced with a soft, flexible tape at the back and the strap attachment is reinforced with suede-like patches at the front.
The Dyoras feature a range of materials; the thighs use a heavyweight brushed material which feels very soft against the skin and works as the insulating layer, and that's paired with a warp-knit layer to offer compression and support.
The crotch area also has a windproof layer and, while it works, it does look a little strange in a 'superhero pants on the outside' way and tends to trap heat. Overall, I found the bibs were breathable, except in the chamois area.
> 38 of the best cycling bib shorts – get comfy on longer rides
One thing that is missing is an easy pee-break feature – you're stuck doing the usual core-chilling strip of the upper body layers. Okay, these are not technically winter bibs, but I do think that any women's bibs meant for anything but warm days should have some sort of easy-pee feature – at least when they have as high a price tag as these.
At £200 these are certainly not cheap, but for a premium quality bib short offering warmth and wind protection, they are fairly priced. The Velocio Women's Thermal Bib Shorts retail at £192 for instance, and Cafe du Cycliste's Adrienne Women's 3/4 Thermal Cycling Bib Shorts are £191. Some brands make thermal bibs for men but not women (Rapha, for example), and many of those retail around the £200 mark too.
These are a great quality pair of spring/autumn bibs that can be worn well into low digits when paired with leg warmers, and I think also have a place in early morning rides in the British summer. The windproof section makes them less breathable than I would like, but they still offer ultimate comfort for long, cool training miles with their well thought-out design.
Great quality shorts with just that little bit of extra warmth and protection, though long legs won't suit everyone
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Make and model: Assos Dyora RS Spring Fall Bib Shorts S9
Tell us what the product is for
Assos says these are: "Low-volume shorts that fill the gap between summer race bibs and spring/fall knickers for pros and serious year-round riders with their insulating materials and aerodynamic fit."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Assos says: "The shorts' thigh panels are constructed with Assos' brushed-back OSMOS Heavy textile, featuring a fleecy interior that's highly insulating, breathable, and super soft against the skin. The warp-knit outer acts as the 'shell' of the shorts, supporting your leg muscles with the compressive structure. SPHERE Ultra is applied in the double-layer twinDeck construction to the front panel, locking out icy cold air from the crotch."
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
The only downside is that you can't easily pee in these.
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for fit:
The legs are long and the fit is snug - following the size guide is essential. When on the bike these bibs need no re-adjustment; they stay in place perfectly.
Rate the product for sizing:
These size up small, as often seems the case with Assos.
Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:
Rate the product for value:
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Handled multiple washes looking like new.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. On chillier morning rides they offer a little extra warmth without the full winter kit feeling.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The 'barely there' feel when on.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The need to strip down when going for a rest break.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
These bibs are not cheap, but when compared to for example the Cafe du Cycliste Mathilde Women's Audax Bib Shorts, these are cheaper. The Assos Dyora RS Spring Fall Bib Shorts S9 offer something unique with the fleecy interior - not many women's bibs like these are available.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
These shorts deliver exactly what they promise, and there's very little to fault them on.
Age: 30 Height: 164cm Weight: 53kg
I usually ride: Specialized Tarmac Sl6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, general fitness riding, Ultra-distances
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