Some brands excel at what they do so much that they become synonymous with a product. When it comes to bib shorts, most cyclists will tell you that ASSOS has long set the gold standard. And the Swiss brand’s latest model, the MILLE GTO, is its most comfortable yet.
The MILLE GTO has been designed with long-distance riding in mind and is at the top level of the ASSOS Total Comfort line. While there are new design elements throughout the bibs to meet this goal, the most noticeable updates are to the chamois. The GTO C2 chamois features what ASSOS calls a Twin21 System, which is made of three different layers of foam of varying density. The first layer, an 11mm-thick section called microShock, sets the base and absorbs the majority of big shocks. For the smaller road vibrations, the mid layer is made of a 10mm-thick lower-density matrix foam called filterFoam. The final layer, called 3D Waffle, sits next to the skin and is perforated for breathability.
The entire effect is a chamois that is more noticeably padded than any other we have tried. And while we thought this could inhibit the pedaling motion after a while, like trying to use a beach cruiser saddle on your road bike, we never found that to be the case. The fit is perfectly tailored, meaning, at least for us, no adjustments were necessary to get the chamois in just the right spot. The fit of the bibs overall is so precise that putting them on feels almost like adding a piece into a jigsaw puzzle. Everything just clicks.
The GTO borrows the OSSIDIA fabric from the MILLE GTS shorts. Made of ultra-thin yarn, this fabric utilizes a “warp-knit” construction that supports muscle compression. But the GTO stands apart in one way in the textile department: it includes a new fabric called LOSANGA around the crotch that relieves pressure.
The OSSIDIA fabric extends throughout the shorts in continuous panels, so there’s no separate panel of fabric above the knee where some brands put material to grip the leg—which can lead to uneven pressure at the base of the bibs and ultimately discomfort. (There is a grippy material at the inside of the base of the legs, but it’s not too tacky and does its job in the background without ever becoming noticeable). ASSOS ensures good compression throughout the leg by using a “louvreTec darted construction,” which tapers down the leg on the outside of the thigh, also ensuring the legs stay wrinkle-free to reduce chafing. These bibs don’t offer as much compression as other shorts we have tried, though, likely due to the goal of all-day comfort instead of top race performance.
The GTO straps are also at the top of the game for bib straps. Nicely compressive, they are structured enough to never fold over or wrinkle up—yet they’re not so stiff as to be uncomfortable. This is an area where otherwise great bibs can fall short, but the MILLE GTO gets this crucial element right.
And as if to say, “yeah, we know we’re the best at making bibs,” ASSOS has included gold logos on these bibs that set the gold-standard in long-distance comfort—though an all-black version is available too. Plus, there’s a long version that extends an additional 3 centimeters over the standard fit.
While not ASSOS’s most expensive model—those honors go to the $379 race-oriented EQUIPE RSR BIB SHORTS S9 which feature a more compressive woven fabric—the MILLE GTO is still a premium model of shorts and the $350 price tag reflects that. These won’t be your after work quick spin shorts, but rather the ones you’ll want to pull out if you’re planning to put in some big miles and want to do so in maximum comfort.