ASSOS of Switzerland has supplied its partner BMC Racing Team with prototype products for testing during this year’s Tour de France.
ASSOS claimed it seized the opportunity of the world’s biggest bike race to fine-tune four product prototypes and put them through a practical three-week period of scrutiny.
Brand and product chief Roche Maier explains: ‘The demands of the riders taking on the biggest bike race of the year are notably different than for us regular athletes. The equipment used often requires different attributes such as simplicity, lightness, aerodynamics, increased protection, and robustness – to name but a few. These are challenges that ASSOS welcomes – challenges that we’ll not only resolve but also use as a means for further refinement and to push the limits of what is possible. In essence, we see this not only as a way to sharpen and further develop our organisation's skills, but also as a great opportunity to test concept technologies that might not necessarily have commercial logic, but build on the true reason behind our collaboration with the BMC Racing Team.’
BMC Racing Team head therapist Gunther Landrie added: “Since the beginning of the season when the BMC Racing Team and ASSOS partnership started, we have enjoyed a successful relationship with product innovation and research and development. We continually ask our riders for feedback on the ASSOS products, especially when they are testing new technical apparel items in training or at races. Here at the Tour de France, the riders have been testing four new products and the feedback has been really positive. Technical apparel plays a really important role in rider performance so it’s important to have this relationship with ASSOS and work together to ensure our riders are comfortable in the saddle.”
The prototype products used by the riders include:
Le Houdini: A one-piece race suit created to give aerodynamic performance while road racing. This piece has been created using the technology and engineering seen in our Olympic Gold-winning skinsuit. The item is the lightest product ASSOS has ever created.
Équipe RS: An evolution of the S7 generation of shorts, these can be seen as a precursor to our future S9 generation of shorts. The Équipe RS utilises newly developed materials, a new leg elastic and features a revised chamois.
Alley Cat: A wind vest that has been designed to give riders optimal protection during rain showers and mountain descents, with portability and functionality at the forefront of the design.
Chest Foil: A windproof bib designed to replace the newspaper. Super lightweight and packable, this piece has been designed predominantly for mountain descents.