The Assos T.neoPro_s7 bib shorts are the entry-level offering from the Swiss company, which is often regarded as the premier cycling apparel manufacturer. This title often makes consumers feel like Assos products are in a class above their reach. However, like most products in the bike industry, there is clear price point competition when it comes to bib shorts. It just so happens that the neoPro bib shorts directly compete at the same price point as other offerings such as the Castelli Free Aero Race bib. Those shorts are one stop below the top of the Castelli range, whereas the neoPro is the lowest of four models. The beauty of the neoPro is that it shares many of the same features and materials found in the top-of-the-range $600+ models. In that sense, the neoPro is great value.
The s7 packaging remains very similar to that of the previous generation s5 models. It definitely lets you know you are buying a high-end product and if you are having trouble sleeping, you can even read the voluminous booklet included in the packaging.
As a previous owner of both s5 uno and mille bib shorts, I was able to distinguish many changes immediately upon wearing the s7 neoPro shorts. When pulling on the shorts, they are noticeably more compressive. Now, many other manufacturers (*cough cough Castelli*) seem to have a difficult time discerning the difference between compression and just making the shorts smaller. Assos managed to avoid this issue by keeping the fit the same and opting for a change in material. The new material stretches less, which means there is a little jostling around to get shorts into position, but once on they offer a pleasant amount of compression without going over the top.
Another major change lies in the new strap design. I loved the wide straps on the s5 products, because they felt almost "invisible" when riding and never bunched up uncomfortably. In the past I had purchased Castelli Body Paint bibs and never fell in love with the straps. They would bunch or twist during my rides and end up creating pressure points on my shoulders. I disliked that design so much that I was concerned when I saw Assos was moving over to a similar design for the entire s7 product line. However, the straps on the neoPro are noticeably thicker and made of a hearty material. They simply will not bunch up. The higher three models even include rubber strips on the straps to keep the straps spread out, but after wearing the neoPro, I can't work out why they are necessary. Overall, the straps do sit wider on the shoulders than the past and taper around the rib cage to create a fit similar to wearing backpack straps. They have a tendency to feel tight on the back when one leans into the riding position, but the feeling fades into the background once the ride progresses.
Moving on, the leg cuffs are made of similar material to the straps and offer a good fit without being too tight. Once in place, they resist movement very well.
Definitely. A good bib short should almost feel invisible in the sense that there are no uncomfortable seams rubbing or pressure points. After a three-hour ride I had nothing jump out as being annoying or uncomfortable. Also, I have wide non-race-worthy sit bones and Assos has always been the most comfortable option. They continue to impress!
The slight increase in compression was really nice. Also, I was a little skeptical of the new strap design, but surprisingly the things didn't budge at all. I would even say the design is an improvement over the s5 straps. The sizing is still spot on. I've always worn a medium and I still do. It's nice that Assos isn't subtly calling me fat like some other brands. Overall, the shorts live up to the company's claim that they will only put out a new product when it is better.
The chamois felt the same as s5, which is not a bad thing. As for the new detached design, I didn't notice a huge difference. Maybe in the higher end models there is a more definitive advantage (i.e. Cuckoo's Penthouse). For those who are new to the brand, the Assos chamois is worth the price tag alone. I have yet to wear another short with anything that comes close in comfort and durability. Assos shorts can easily last 3+ years without starting to disintegrate.
Yes. As I previously stated, they last a long time so if you look at cost per year or cost per ride you will find they are actually a good value for a high end short.
Not necessarily. However, if you create a new and obscure Strava segment before you head out for your first ride, you're almost guaranteed to get a KOM. Then you can go brag to all your friends on the next group ride and they'll feel slow and worthless. They will have no choice but to run down to Brumble Bikes and clean Amos out of these shorts!