Assos Mille GTO C2 winter bib tights review


We’ve included the Assos Equipe RS winter bib tights in our list of the best winter bib tights for cycling in the cold. They also made it one of the Gear of the Year items that closed out 2021. Sure, they’re highly regarded here, but not everyone is focused on racing.

For those who spend their time on a long distance focused bike, Assos offers the Mille GT range. The focus is still on performance, but with the added considerations for what it takes to spend all day, if not days, on a bike. If you think this goal makes more sense to you but you like the features of the Equipe RS winter bib tights, then Assos has another option. The Assos Mille GT GTO C2 winter bib tights feature similar innovations to the Equipe RS version but with a distinct personality. Keep reading to see if this option could be the right choice for your winter driving.

Assos Mille GT GTO C2 winter bib tights rear view

The Mille GT version actually adds functionality over the race-focused Equipe RS bib tights. (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Design and aesthetics

One thing Assos does well is build on every success. If there’s a design or feature that works well in one garment, you’ll see it appear on a wide range of other garments. It’s smart for any company and when it comes to a company known for using unique textiles for the best performance, even better. The Assos Mille GTO C2 winter bib tights feature the same pattern and use a mix of fabrics and features that you can find in other garments we reviewed.

The chamois is the heart of any bib and in this case the same design is used in the Assos Mille GT C2 bib shorts. The light blue fabric mattress topper features a highly ventilated, ultra-thick, multi-layer pad that moves with the body. Only the front and back have seams to anchor them to the rest of the tights. It’s the goldenGate design that Assos is well known for and there’s nothing different here.

What is different is the implementation of the superlight sunDeck that sits on the front of the pad. The description says it’s “made using an ultra-soft foam-free textile to form a pre-shaped fit that both supports the male anatomy and promotes maximum ventilation.” It’s a design that’s new but reminiscent of the kukuPenthouse introduced on the S7 bib shorts in 2013 and that description is the same for the summer version. When looking at the two side by side, the winter version here uses an ever so slightly thicker fabric, and the front seam that connects it to the rest of the tights lacks ventilation openings.

Above and behind the sunDeck is the blasenShutz front panel. From the outside, it appears as a single fabric that covers the cup area. What you can see is a two-layer softshell called SPHERE Ultra Hole which is backed by a membrane. Behind this is a second layer of lightweight Osmos fleece fabric against the skin. The idea here is to try to toe the line of better ventilation while adding protection against road spray and great next-to-skin feel for the lower abdomen.

Assos Mille GT Winter Bib Tights GTO C2 detail of the roll bar construction

This double connection of the shoulder straps is a common feature of the entire range of Assos bibs (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Another change for this cold weather implementation of the chamois is in the rear. The back edge connects to a lightweight fleece panel. It wraps around the entire back edge and extends upwards to the lower back. From the outside, it is not visible because it rests on top of the fabric used for the exterior. This is part of the goldenGate design and the only seams that would be visible on the outside are the outer edges and these share a seam with outer panels.

Move away from the chamois area towards the hips and you will see a pocket on each side. This is a feature taken from Assos’ off-road designs and is where the impactPads are if you decide to use them. Each cushion is a lightweight and highly flexible series of interconnected cells approximately 10mm thick and hollow. When slipping on icy roads, the TPU will flex and flex to soften the blow against the hip while the durable dyneRope ripstop exterior minimizes damage to the pantyhose.

The fabric Assos uses for the majority of the Mille GTO C2 winter bib tights is Osmos Heavy: a brushed warp-knit fabric with a density of 290 g/m2 which also serves as the main fabric for the Equipe RS Long Sleeve Winter Midlayer. On the outside, the warp-knit design is dense, almost rigid, and helps protect against the elements. Inside it is a soft fleece but not as soft as the heavy RX interior which makes up the bulk of the Mille GT winter bib shorts.

Go down each leg and you will find the geoprene which is perhaps the most important feature of Assos. Instead of any type of zipper, geoprene is a lightweight, flexible neoprene that has enough length to perfectly seal the top of any shoe covers you choose to use. It’s this detail that makes these tights work so well when paired with Mille GT Thermo Rain Shell Trousers.

Assos Mille GT Winter Bib Tights GTO C2 geoprene lower leg design detail

Assos calls this material Geoprene and it’s awesome (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Performance

When the Mille GTO C2 winter bib tights arrived, I already had my doubts about them. Much of the technology, including the design of the straps and the unique way they connect, the design of the chamois and even the fabrics, was familiar to me, but other details worried me. The geoprene bottom seemed over-engineered and I considered the hip pads a weird inclusion on a road apparel. The pre-curved legs also didn’t help me change my mind immediately. Instead, it happened on the first ride.

The lower part in geoprene is indeed over-engineered. It’s a solution to a problem that others have long since successfully solved, but once you’ve tried the Assos solution, you can see the need for improvement. It covers the top of overshoes or winter boots much better than a zippered leg cuff and it’s not only hydrophobic, it’s actually waterproof. It really is a case where you don’t realize how much room there is for improvement until you try it.

Assos Mille GT Winter Bib Tights GTO C2 preformed knee detail

Pre-curved legs look useless but don’t hurt anything (Image credit: Josh Ross)

As for the hip pads, I never had reason to be grateful for them. After seeing them, I understood their potential value but thought it would be okay. It had been a long time since I had come across a road bike and it took the experience of a riding partner to change my mind. After discussing the pads on a long drive, we split up and drove about 40 miles separately to get home. The next day I got a picture of a nasty purple bruise on my friend’s hip. He explained that it happened as night set in, the road was icy and he slipped while crossing the train tracks. The spot he hit was exactly where Assos pads would have made a difference and since then I have kept them just in case.

The rest of the Mille GTO C2 winter bib tights are perhaps less revolutionary. Osmos Heavy fabric is a good choice but it’s not the only choice that will work. What I like is that it breathes well while presenting a face to the elements that does a good job of providing protection when it’s less severe. When you know the weather is going to call for a pair of hardshell pants, this is a fabric that goes under a second layer with no problem.

Assos Mille GT Winter Bib Tights GTO C2 crash pad detail

Hip pads may seem unnecessary, but there’s no downside to using them and with icy roads you might have reason to be thankful you brought them. (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Verdict

These bibs kept me warm in the worst weather conditions I have ever experienced. Many times I’ve taken them out and spent sunrise to sunset in rain just at freezing point or just below. If the rain is constant, they do a great job when paired with the matching Mille GT Thermo Rain Shell Pant. They are also self-sufficient if you find yourself braving dry but very cold days.

The only thing that takes away from features and performance is the price. Assos offers them at a price that makes them hard to compare to the competition. They are better but are they that much? On the other hand, if you’re ready to take the plunge, the performance is definitely there.

Technical specifications: Assos Mille GTO C2 winter tights

  • Price: £395 / $550 / €450 / AU$820
  • Materials: 81% nylon, 15% spandex, 4% polyester / Osmos heavy main body
  • Weight: 346g runs small without hip pads included
  • Available colors : Flamme D’Ore (a little orange on the straps, black series
  • Size availability: XS-XLG and TIR (XLG but wider)
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