I have two thoughts on these bibs. Both can be summed up with one saying. To make sure we stay PG here, I will paraphrase. Holy Guacamole!
Holy Guacamole! These bibs are comfortable.
Holy Guacamole! These bibs are expensive.
We will start with the latter. These bibs are $300. That is a lot of money. And that's all I have to say about that.
Now that the majority of people have stopped reading, I'll continue. Assos never set out to make a cheap bib with the T.Rally (or any of their other product). They set out to make the best possible mountain-bike bib on the market. Which brings me to my next point.
These bibs are comfortable. So much so that I don't think about changing at the trailhead anymore … or when I get home. To make the T.Rally, Assos took it's 40-plus years of apparel experience, albeit mostly in the road market, and put that knowledge toward a mountain-bike-specific bib. What exactly does mountain-bike-specific mean? For starters, it means adding removable hip pads.
The hip pads, or ImpactPads as Assos calls them, slide into their respective pockets on either side of the shorts. When I first held them, I was a little surprised by how stiff and flat they were. I thought I was about to slide hockey pucks over my hips. But once in, they didn't cross my mind again. That's to say, the extra protection came at no expense to comfort. My body heat softened the pads and the more malleable guard was able to move with my body as opposed to chaffing against it. The pads are perforated with little compromise to breathability.
The crash pads are the biggest difference between Assos' road and mountain shorts, but not the only difference. Assos took a look at every detail to ensure comfort in an off-road riding position. This translates to a 'regular fit,' meaning the intricately sewn shorts cater to mountain biking's more upright posture. The shoulder straps cross over one's back rather than using mesh backing found on Assos' road bibs. The simple straps allow for more freedom of motion than do traditional uppers while doing just as good a job holding the lowers in place.
As for construction, the fabric is robust, slightly heavier in material to boost durability. Additionally, the chamois moved slightly backward to adjust for a seated position. Three different fabrics combine to mix areas of breathability with comfort and durability. A single-layer stretch fabric armors the chamois' outer and lower legs. A softer, more breathable material forms the small of the back. There’s also some light compression to help alleviate muscle fatigue.
Where the real magic lies is the chamois. The soft next-to-skin fabric practically reaches the top of the waistband. It makes for great support without constriction with stitching removed from all pressure points.
Design follows function—you can't feel a single hint of stitching. The chamois sits free of constraints. This boosts comfort, but also gives the pad freedom of movement. In a lesser bib, freedom of movement could mean extra chafing. But the T.Rally is not a lesser bib. The chamois conforms perfectly, following my body regardless of riding position or movements over bike.
Seated, the chamois feels supportive and protective, yet forgiving and pliable. It feels as though the chamois is doing multiple jobs all at once. There are two pads built into the shorts, measuring eight millimeters thick. Shaped wide in the back and tapering to a point in the front, the two pads move separately from each other and the space between boosts breathability.
So, is there anything not great about the shorts? The only problem I found was that when natured called, pulling down the front was tight. But I still made it work.
I mean it when I say holy guacamole. Assos has knocked it out of the park with these.