Sunday, 22 February 2009

Assos Element One Review

Assos elementOne - Tags
Fall / Early Winter Jacket

Essentially a lighter duty version of the airJack and constructed from the same RX900 "Super Roubaix" type fabric, the Element One, or to use the correct Assos capitalisation - elementOne, is a mid-weight item which spans the gap between jersey and jacket. Although not new to the range in itself, the jacket has only been available in white since October '08. Given my affliction of wardrobe chromophobia, this was the colour I chose.

After some trouble procuring the Element One in this hue, mine arrived from JE James. Evidently one that had served the first part of it's life on the shop's apparel rack, due to the lack of the usual zip bag and tell-tale bike shop odour, it fortunately exhibited no blemishes or marks. A spin through the machine in the oh-so-sweet bouquet of Assos' Active Wear Cleaner soon dissolved the aroma of a thousand tyres and ensured the jacket was ready for testing.

My first ride with the Element One was my Friday morning commute, and at -1˚c, too cold for the jacket alone so I elected to use it as a base layer with my airJack over the top. I was pleased to see that like my airJack, the jacket I received differed from the one pictured on Assos' site in the respect of not having the garage at the bottom of the zip, which despite looking neat makes taking on and off troublesome. It would appear that Assos have now abandoned this idea.

A more suitable test was the next day, 8˚c and the sun attempting to break through the clouds. My bottom half consisted of the Fi.Mille S5 shorts, knee warmers and to provide some wind protection a pair of Gore MTB shorts. Not exactly befitting to the rest of my ensemble, but I've elected to hold of purchase of Assos' 3/4 roubaix shorts until they are updated with the S5 pad. Under the Element One I wore the earlyFallInteractive base layer and stuffed an Element Zero vest into one of the captious rear pockets. This combination proved ideal for the conditions and the Element One's surprising windproofing abilities ensured my 6 hour ride was pleasant. The vest was only drafted into service on a couple of rapid descents.

Assos' reputation for detail hasn't been missed with this item. From the zip garage that prevents rubbing against your neck to the (possibly co-incidental) positioning of the RX900 logo to touch your bib short straps rather than your skin when wearing the jacket without a base layer, the little bits are all here.

Excellent fit, warm, large pockets, zip pocket is useful, works well as a base layer

Looks a little odd due to the laminated material around the collar, not the most attractive item in the range

Photos - Click for full size or view more on flickr

Assos elementOne - Front

Assos elementOne - Back

Assos elementOne - RX900 Logo

Assos elementOne - Collar Detail


  1. Nice photos and writeup! Im an Assos 'collector' as well, although slightly reluctant thanks to their price!

    I'm actually looking for something for 8-16C and windproof, currently have jersey+armwarmers+kneewarmers (which will probably wont be enough).

    Have you tested or heard things about the intermediate Evo? I hear its got good windblocking, but lightweight (so it doesnt insulate as well as elementOne).

    I was thinking of getting the gilet and having it over the jersey+armwarmer, but its pricing puts it near the intermediate evo and elementOne. What do you think?

  2. Hi Nogz, thanks for you kind words.

    I have had the intermediate Evo since December, although I've not reviewed it yet as the weather hasn't been warm enough to wear it.

    In your position I would go for the elementZero gilet. This will give the wind blocking you need, but allow it to be removed and stuffed into a jersey pocket should the weather warm up, or in reverse - set out with it in reserve and call upon it should conditions turn cooler.

    Out of all the Assos I own the elementZero is the most used. From adding a second layer of airBlock to the 851 jacket in winter, to protecting from chills on descents following sweaty climbs it's ideal.