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Assos Equipe RS Spring Fall Gilet review

When even Assos says the fit is aggressive, is it too much for regular cyclists?

Assos Equipe RS Spring Fall Gilet
(Image: © Josh Ross)

Our Verdict

The Assos Equipe RS Spring Fall Aero gilet is incredibly comfortable with a front facing fabric that not only keeps you warm and comfortable but also feels great to wear

For

  • High-quality double zipper
  • Well-designed neckline
  • Dense front fabric stops wind
  • Full-length reflective strip in the rear
  • Reflective shoulder stitching

Against

  • Raw cut edges to front panels
  • Expensive

Spring and fall are when you need the most versatile cycling clothing. Whatever you choose has to work in the morning when it's cold and the afternoon when it's hot. If there's a sudden change during the ride, you've got to stay comfortable in the rain too. In short, spring and fall are the perfect times to grab a high-quality gilet. 

However, a gilet isn't a single thing. There's a whole range of options that compete with different designs for different situations. We've covered what we think are the best across the whole range in our article about the best gilet for cycling. One of the products we chose was the Assos Spring Fall Aero gilet, and now that we've spent some time with it, we are ready to expand on our reasons for that decision. If you are looking for the right option for riding in the changing conditions of spring and fall keep reading to see what situations we think the Assos option is best for.

Assos Equipe RS Spring Fall Gilet rear view

There's no pockets on this gilet offering from Assos (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Design and aesthetics 

The Assos Equipe RS Spring Fall Aero gilet handles the dual nature of its intended use with a dual design. The front handles the rain, road spray, and stops the wind from chilling your core using a three-layer fabric. The front face is a very tight weave softshell that's not completely waterproof but certainly enough to serve its function in a vest. 

The most notable feature of this fabric is how dense it is. It almost feels like a light neoprene and the inner face is very soft with a low pile fleece to add a little bit of insulation. It really goes back to the density though as, given the open nature of a vest, it's more about keeping your core dry and protected from wind than trapping heat. The other benefit of that density is that it won't wrinkle when worn and presents a smooth front to the wind. 

The 2XL fabric covers the entirety of both front panels with the same fabric. It also continues, without a seam, to wrap around the sides of the torso. There's another panel of the same material on the upper back completing the coverage for the entire area the wind "sees." Right along the top of the shoulder the seam adds a strip of reflective fabric that mirrors the larger reflective strip that runs the length of the back panel. 

At the back of the neck, and covering the whole rear panel, is a fabric Assos refers to as a "moisture-banishing Push Pull textile." The purpose here is to keep your temperature regulated even as you push the pace and the temperature comes up. What's interesting about the fabric is that it also shows up in the summer Equipe RS Jersey S9 Targa. 

In the summer jersey it's not the fabric you'll find used in the back panel. In that setting, the back panel is even more open and lightweight. Instead, the place it makes an appearance is in the construction of the jersey pockets. It's a little less open than some of the lightest Assos fabrics but there's still plenty of venting and it's a tough, stretchy material. 

In the Assos Spring Fall Aero gilet, it's not used for pockets because there are no pockets. Instead, the extra stretchy material pairs with a cut that makes room for jersey pockets under the vest. It's a subtle design feature but if you hold up the vest you can see the slight arc that either allows it to come down a little lower or makes room for a stuffed jersey underneath. 

Providing access to those jersey pockets is the job of the front zipper. This is a change that Assos has been introducing along with the Targa designation. Gone is the small toothed metal zipper of previous designs and in its place, you'll find a double zipper with big plastic teeth. You can unzip the gilet from the bottom to add even more ventilation but it also allows access to jersey pockets underneath. 

Performance

When I reviewed the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain vest I talked a lot about how great the fit and feeling was, and it's time again to bring that same discussion up. The Assos Spring Fall Aero gilet is very different from the Sportful piece but in both instances, the most memorable feature is what a joy they are to wear. 

While the Sportful piece adds just a touch of warmth on crisp days, the Assos option is quite a bit heavier. Without the bulk of arms, it's possible to pack the Assos gilet into a pocket but that's clearly not the focus. The dense fabric covering the leading edges does not pack down well. Instead, you'll want to expect to leave it on throughout the ride and you'll want to grab it when the ride is a little bit cooler. 

Even though this piece carries the Equipe RS tag, it's completely comfortable when standing or sitting up. Sometimes Assos fit can be so aggressive that it's not totally comfortable in any position other than an aggressive riding position, but that's not the case here. Whatever position you are in, on the bike or at the coffee shop, this is such a comfortable piece you aren't going to want to take it off. The neckline is a joy, the rear stays put, and the front fabric adds aerodynamics as well as dresses up your style by always staying flat and smooth. 

Verdict

The Assos Equipe RS Spring Fall Gilet is inherently a simple design. There are two fabrics, only a few panels, and nothing you might call out as an unusual feature. That means the details have to be perfect and, in that respect, Assos nails it. Typical for Assos, the fabrics are high quality and used in exactly the right way. Also typical for Assos, the fit is amazing and when you are wearing it, it feels great. 

This is a piece that is going to feel right at home on a chilly morning ride. If the day warms up but stays overcast and a little closer to winter than summer, you'll do well to leave the Assos Equipe RS Spring Fall Gilet out of a jersey pocket. If you are feeling a little warm, unzip the top-quality zipper from the bottom to allow some wind through. 

When it comes to downsides, the biggest one is price. Despite the reputation, Assos doesn't always mean a higher price than other premium competitors, but in this case, they are more expensive. A saving grace might be that the Spring Fall Gilet pairs well with a jacket for extra warmth in the winter. 

The other negative is the lack of edging on the front panels. So far it's holding up well enough but it seems like an opportunity to add greater longevity. A stitched edge wouldn't have any downside even if it's not totally necessary.  

Assos Equipe RS Spring Fall Gilet detail of rear gripper

The silicone grip material does a great job keeping the rear from coming up.  (Image credit: Josh Ross)

 Tech Specs: Assos Equipe RS Spring Fall Aero Gilet 

  • Price: £200 / $259 / €230 / AU$410
  • Weight: 296g grams in size small
  • Size availability: XS-XLG
  • Colour Options: Black

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Josh hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but would prefer riding through the desert than the rain. He will happily talk for hours about the minutia of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races, if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer will be yes.
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 137 lb.
Rides: Orbea Orca Aero, Cannondale Topstone Lefty, Cannondale CAAD9, Trek Checkpoint, Priority Continuum Onyx