Gravel is still a new kind of party, so it’s okay if you’re not sure what to wear. Fortunately, more and more kit options exist to accommodate the grit, grime, and abrasions that comprise the off-road fun. The Mille GTC line from ASSOS ensures you get to enjoy more of the dirty, rough-and-tumble world with kit developed over the course of two years.
Like gravel itself, the Mille GTC clothing line lives in the grey areas between road and mountain bike. From the road side, comfort, airiness, and performance fabrics. From the MTB side, durability, style, and freedom of movement. But it’s clear ASSOS places a premium on durability. The bibs are, rather fittingly, called Kiespanzer – gravel tank.
Inside those bibs lives 19mm of thick, C2 chamois. A twin layer construction absorbs micro-vibrations and provides lots of cushion when you’re perched on the saddle. ASSOS has found in testing that the body continues to move on the saddle while you’re pedalling, so its chamois inserts are designed to accommodate that.
And these bibs are made to haul: two pockets on the rear and two pockets on the legs make it easy to stash nutrition and tools. ASSOS developed an easier way to access those pockets too: pull tabs that you can grab while in motion.
To test the all-road mettle of the Mille GTC Kiespanzer bibs, ASSOS sent them to WorldTour team Qhubeka-Assos last year. Riders used the shorts during recon rides for Strade Bianche on the legendary white dirt roads around Siena. But the rest of the testing is a secret; Assos spent years getting the chamois insert just right, from the right thickness to the perfect length and position. And since crashes are part of the game, the Bunny Hop side panels protect against abrasions and offer exceptional breathability.
If you’re the type to wear baggy shorts to the gravel party, ASSOS has you covered with the Mille GTC Zeppelin shorts. At first glance they look like their mountain bike cousins. But the Zeppelin shorts feature a more tailored cut to eliminate flapping or bunching. The legs run a bit shorter to accommodate the gravel riding position and pedal stroke.
Up top, the Mille GTC C2 Schwarzwald jersey offers the clearest indication that gravel style has become its own landscape. A slightly looser fit accommodates just about any rider and places a premium on comfort.
And since the Kiespanzer bib shorts pull most of the cargo duty, the Schwarzwald doesn’t feature the standard rear pockets you’ll find on most jerseys. Instead, ASSOS has tucked a zippered pocket on the side of the jersey, where you can quickly access small items, like your credit cards or a gel, while you’re riding. And since gravel has established a trend of storing most of your bulky items on the bike itself, ASSOS has focused on comfort and fit — two features you’ll appreciate as the gravel miles tick away.All told, the Mille GTC lineup from Assos fits perfectly in the ever-shifting off-road wardrobe. What’s going to happen at the gravel party? It’s hard to say, but it’s almost certainly going to get dirty. Whatever happens, it’s nice to know you’ll be dressed for success.