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Assos' Uma GTC bib shorts are its women-specific, gravel-orientated cargo bibs. As much as I liked the pocketless GTV version, I can't help but feel a little disappointed by the three side pockets on these GTCs. They just don't offer meaningful capacity, and I found myself using them less than my jersey pockets – something that never usually happens when I wear cargo bib shorts.
If you're not sure these are for you, check out our guide to the best bib shorts for more options.
It comes as no surprise that Assos has chosen the materials for these bibs carefully, and also – as is usual for Assos – given them difficult names. The main fabric is Type.429, which offers light compression and sun protection (UPF 50+), along with some more robust Bunny Hop textile on the sides. The fit is tuned for full-body motion on and off the bike.
The fabrics feel pleasant against the skin, but because of their robustness these bibs are not the most hot-weather friendly, and I felt sweaty quicker than I do in some bib shorts.
I am not the tallest at 5ft 4in and do often find Assos shorts a little long on me. While that is the case with the GTCs, it didn't bother me as the silicone grippers keep the legs in place, and otherwise they fit well.
The main selling point of these bibs is the pockets – four of them in fact (Assos lists three – one large and two small – but my test pair had four). You could argue there are actually two pockets, but each side is divided into two smaller ones.
When I asked Assos about the correct number, I was told that the number depends on the manufacturing batch – mine had four, whereas some will have three, in which case the left one is one larger mesh pocket.
Women have historically been deprived of pockets on their clothing, and I feel Assos has tried hard to introduce as many as possible to these bibs. I just think the design would be a lot better without the dividing stitching, which would allow both pockets to be larger and easier to use. The smaller pockets can hardly take anything larger than a gel or, at a stretch, my small iPhone mini (which, let's be frank, is one of the smallest smartphones out there).
The pockets also come with an internal 'lid', which essentially means the mesh fabric has a fold at the top. As good as this is at keeping things in, it was also a source of frustration because I like to slide the things in the pocket upwards to get them out, and they often slid straight into this fold and were then much harder to get out than is necessary.
Pockets aside, these are very good. The more robust textile on the sides doesn't make an impact on comfort. And though I didn't crash while riding in these bibs, so can't comment on how well it'd deal with that, any bushes that kept scratching me left no marks on the fabric.
There are also reflective stripes on the "back of the legs" according to Assos, but these are actually 'inside' the pockets, covered by the mesh fabric, so aren't the most visible.
These bibs feature the same pee-break feature as the UMA GTVs I mentioned at the start of the review. Dubbed bisiClick, this magnetic closure system allows natural breaks without you having to remove jerseys, vests or shells. There are two magnetic buckles at the end of the crossed-over bib straps at the back, and they attach to the lower back clips. These buckles are quite visible below the jersey hem, especially if you wear anything shorter, and I must say that they are not necessarily the most pleasing visually.
Similarly to the GTV bibs, the bisiClick on the GTCs also likes to disappear up the back once you release the clasps, so it takes a little time to get used to peering behind you and twisting your arm to grasp them from underneath your jersey. Still, I'd rather have this feature than not, especially in lower temperatures, as the last thing you want is to take your top off and freeze.
I rate the 9mm-thick Uma GT C2 chamois highly, and the goldenGate tech which means the pad can kind of 'float' as it's not stitched from every edge, making the pad sit right where you want it without impacting the rest of the bibs.
Comfort and quality-wise, these bibs deliver the premium that Assos is associated with. There is no need to adjust the chamois or the straps during a ride – everything stays in place neatly – and even after multiple washes I've not noticed any fading in the fabric or it being saggy.
There is no denying that the Assos GTCs are pricey at £215, but they aren't the most expensive out there. MAAP's Women's Alt_Road Cargo bibs, which Anna liked a lot, cost more, £235, and Rapha's Women's Cargo bib shorts are £240, although they also come with some weather protection.
So although expensive, the Assos GTCs are not unreasonably priced when compared with their closest rivals.
Overall, they're a great pair of shorts if you get along well with Assos' pad and enjoy having bibs with an easy-pee function. The pockets are on the smaller side, which for me was a negative, but that said, they're still better than no pockets at all. However, there are cheaper women's cargo bibs available as well.
Great quality cargo bibs let down by the size of the pockets
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Assos Uma GTC Bib Shorts
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
Assos says: "The UMA GTC C2 is built with robust textiles and a fit tuned for full-body motion on and off the bike. It's also equipped with three thigh pockets – one large and two small – for day-trip supplies or to supplement pack space. Reflective stripes on the back of the legs help ensure visibility on gravel or roads alike, and the bisiClick magnetic closure system provides quick-release convenience."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Made with 73%PA 27%EA
- Three or four thigh pockets
- main fabric is "Type.429" and more robust "Bonny Hop" textile on the sides
- bisiClick easy-pee technology
- Silicone leg grippers
Neat stitching, well made.
Performed well, but the pockets were a bit of a let-down.
I tested size S and it was accurate (I would wear XS in Rapha, dhb and Endura, but find Assos runs slightly smaller).
Definitely not the cheapest pair, but on a par with main rivals.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Wash really well; the pad takes a bit longer to dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The bibs performed well on all rides, whether off or on road. The pad is comfortable even on 8+ hour rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
How comfortable they are, and the great quality construction.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The dividing stitching on the pockets.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There is no denying that the Assos GTC bib shorts are pricey at £215, but MAAP's Women's Alt_Road Cargo Bibs cost more at £235, and Rapha's Women's Cargo bib shorts are £240, although they also come with some weather protection. My personal favourite cargo bibs are the Castelli Free Unlimiteds that offer very similar properties (but better pockets) and are slightly cheaper at £195. So although expensive, the Assos GTCs are not unreasonably priced when compared with their closest rivals.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes and no. I like the bibs but the small pockets annoyed me.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
These bibs are every bit as good as the Assos Women's UMA GTV Bib Shorts C2, but the pockets left me wanting more space.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Tarmac Sl6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 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, mtb, Ultra-distances
Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.