An Open Letter to VeloNews

09.16.2009 | 1:28 pm

Dear VeloNews,

As a big fan of both your magazine and of Assos clothing, I was very excited to receive the special “All-Assos, All the Time” edition of your fine publication last month.

200909161107.jpgAnd while I was (moderately) pleased with the text you saw fit to place on the cover of your magazine — “Assos Precision” — I was disappointed you chose only the top-center of the cover of the magazine for that headline. Why not something more prominent? I mean, since you included Assos in no fewer than three articles, don’t you think you could have included a photograph on the cover, as well?

Also, you could have added exclamation marks to emphasize the endorsement: “Assos Precision!!!” Or better yet, “Assos is Very Awesome! And We Love Them Very Much!” This, after all, pretty much the substance of the articles in the magazine, so why not reflect that on the cover?

So what gives, VeloNews?

Table of Contents Treatment

200909161118.jpgWhile I am disappointed with the way you seem to be showing some restraint with your — absolutely justified — love for all things Assos on the front cover, I am pleased to see that you are at least trying to make amends by the time you get to the Table of Contents: “Threading the Needle: Assos means quality in any language.”

You see, that’s the kind of language I expect and require from the non-biased journal of competitive cycling. Something that plainly and simply endorses an extra-awesome clothing manufacturer. And since your statement is self-evident, I think it’s great that you don’t worry about actually substantiating that claim in the articles themselves by actually assessing whether the clothing is worth what you pay for it. Hey, if people need information, that’s what the ad’s for, right? (By the way, when you get a moment, could you please tell me what that ad means?)

200909161320.jpgThe Fashion Show

I admit to being a little bit concerned when I saw your first editorial mention of Assos in the September issue was little more than a photograph and blurb. Here’s what I think you should have written instead:

“The trim-fit jersey has reflective detailing, full-front wind protection, and a zippered security pocket. NO OTHER JERSEY IN THE WORLD HAS ANY OF THESE THINGS, AND ALSO THE OTHER JERSEYS WILL CAUSE BADGERS TO ATTACK YOU.”

I was, however, gratified to see that you did note the vest adds wind protection — it’s about time a clothing manufacturer realizes that cyclists want wind protection from their vests. I swear, I am so sick of all these vests I’ve got that provide no wind protection whatsoever. Sheesh!

And I’ll bet that formed collar doesn’t just keep out the chill. I’ll bet it also looks sexy as heck. You probably should have mentioned that, too. But I’m going to let it slide, because I know you’ve got to maintain your editorial integrity. Which you’re doing a smash-up job of, by the way.

Analysis of Your Hard-Hitting Assos Expose

I have to say, VeloNews, that I really enjoyed your first story on how much you love Assos: “Threading the Needle: After 33 years, Assos sets the bar for luxury cycling clothing.”

200909161203.jpg  200909161205.jpg  

I learned a lot of important things from this article, all of which help reinforce my deep and certain knowledge that Assos is the best clothing manufacturer that has ever existed. For example:

  • While many companies have relocated their manufacturing to Asia, Assos has chosen to continue producing clothing locally to maintain quality control.” This reinforces my long-held belief that it is impossible to maintain quality control over things that are produced anywhere but right at home.
  • The clothing line itself is largely manufactured in Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Italy.” Um, those Slovenians are awesome! Much more awesome than Asia. And it’s not really not all that important to have your clothes actually manufactured locally, anyway.
  • The aesthetic is tidy, modern Swiss, with polished concrete floors, stainless steel kitchen appliances [...] and a white, silver and black color scheme that’s applied to everything, a harmonic blend of Italian and Swiss.” It always has been and always will be of utmost importance to me to know the quality of my clothing manufacturer’s kitchen appliances. And it’s nice to finally know this white / black / silver thing that’s so new and fresh has a hybrid nationality. The next time I go to an Ikea, I’m going to let them know that they’re actually Swiss-Italian, not Swedish. Or Goth.
  • The freshly detailed Audis and Mercedes in the parking lot betray stereotypically Swiss sensibilities.” I love knowing that the people behind my favorite clothing line are driving very expensive cars, because that tells me they really love cycling! And that they fit neatly into nationality stereotypes!
  • Roche plays a major role in design and testing, taking new samples out for long rides around Lake Como and critiquing minute details to ensure the highest quality.” That, VeloNews, is truly innovative. I am quite certain that no other bike clothing manufacturer actually has people try on and use clothing prototypes. Frankly, my mind is still boggling that this idea occurred to them. What will Assos think of next?
  • A Gyrowash simulates hundreds of normal washes to see how things hold up in the laundry.” I’m relieved to know this, because, like many (most?) Assos clothing owners, I generally wash my clothes over and over and over without using them in between.

You know what, VeloNews? You totally got it right. Assos really does set the bar for luxury cycling clothing. You proved it, by not mentioning — apart from vague “other company” generalities — where that bar is set, how others compare, or even what “luxury” means in this context. (This is a question I’ve had for some time).

And I’d go so far as to say that this article sets the bar for luxury journalism.

200909161249.jpgAnalysis of “Tested: The Assos SS.13 Jersey ($319) and F1.13 S5 Bib Short ($359)

One thing I really appreciate about your coverage, VeloNews, is that you’re willing to stay focused. Hot on the heels of your hard-nosed investigative report into Assos’ kitchen decor, you’ve got…another article about how much you like Assos. This time, you help me make purchase decisions by telling me that:

  • My mother bought me my first pair of Assos shorts.” It is not clear whether she took out a second mortgage in order to make this purchase, but I think we’ll just go ahead and assume she did. And it was darn well worth it.
  • The fit of these things is so plush it’s worth enduring the chin music from my chucklehead bunch of riding buddies.” I’m not even sure what to say here, except that I hope your buddies have learned their lesson.
  • …The thick padding that goes under your seat bones is actually under your seat bones, not rotated up under your waist.” Actually, the problem I have is that the thick padding from other manufacturers (perish the thought) tends to drift down toward my kneecaps. Curse them! Let’s agree that Assos is the only company that has ever successfully managed to get a chamois between a butt and a saddle. Nobody else has even come close.
  • “True to Assos form, there are all manner of small details, such as a small, zippered pocket with a hole for headphones, reflective tabs, two small side pockets in addition to the standard back three, and a loop of fabric at the bottom of the jersey to prevent wear against your bibs.” What’s really amazing to me is that they were able to get the headphones, tabs, pockets, and the all-important fabric loop into that little hole.
  • “In all this is a fine kit. So, um, mom?” In all fairness, you should probably check with her first to see if she’s paid off the first kit yet.

After reading this, I have to ask myself: am I ready to spend $678 on this shorts/jersey combo?

And then the answer comes: Who isn’t?


VeloNews, I know you tried your best to give Assos a fair shake with your September issue, but let’s face it, you were unnecessarily hard on them, what with all the research, follow-up questions and comparisons and rigorous testing. Next time, you may want to take it a little easier on them.

I look forward to your December 200-page “Nothing But Assos” issue with great anticipation.

Kind Regards,

The Fat Cyclist


  1. Comment by 96hookooekoo | 09.16.2009 | 1:39 pm

    $678 for the combo!!!? If you can guarantee me a 6 second improvement over 40km and a happy hinie, I’m in and I’ll take two.

  2. Comment by eric | 09.16.2009 | 1:44 pm

    maybe their december issue will be the Assos catalog with VeloNews written on the cover in sharpie

  3. Comment by Richie | 09.16.2009 | 1:45 pm

    HAHAHA!!Genius!! I don’t know how i’ve survived without wearing assos clothing…….

  4. Comment by Stacey | 09.16.2009 | 1:45 pm

    LOVED this post! I’m drowning in the sarcasm! I’ll certainly be basing all future cycling clothing purchases on the obviously unbiased reviews from VN (as soon as I sell my car to buy the undoubtedly superior Assos gear). Love ya, Fatty!

  5. Comment by Chris | 09.16.2009 | 1:49 pm

    I’m not sure who you are referring to when you say “other bike clothing manufacturer”… I’m pretty sure everyone else went out of business once Dr. Michael Lammler threw his weight behind Assos.

  6. Comment by DavidV | 09.16.2009 | 1:55 pm

    I wonder exactly how many more ads Assos would have to place before they could get that “nothing but Assos” issue of VeloNews. Traditional journalism has been called out, the “ad placed / editorial opinion” relationship is “out of the closet”.

    Fortunately we didn’t see any bias in your writings about last weeks “suck-up festival” you attended. Keep up the good work and excessive sarcasm!

  7. Comment by Canadian Roadie | 09.16.2009 | 1:58 pm

    Now to wait for Dr. Lammler’s response – I’m sure it will be epic.

  8. Comment by Andy | 09.16.2009 | 2:02 pm

    This blatant monetization of editorial content has been getting a lot of attention recently, and I like it. Cosmo at cyclocosm has been harping on this for a bit and actually got some responses from bikeradar and Bicycling mag. I hope you’ll share any response from the Mothership.

  9. Comment by Heather | 09.16.2009 | 2:06 pm

    Fabulous post! One would think by now that I would know better than to try to drink anything and read your blog…I just about spewed water all over my computer screen today. Must remember: Don’t drink and read Fatty!! Great job – as always!!

  10. Comment by ESS | 09.16.2009 | 2:08 pm

    The latest Bicycling had a similar love fest with Fuel Belt. They went so far as to put them on the cover, officially one up’ing VN.

  11. Comment by Mile High Mark | 09.16.2009 | 2:08 pm

    Best. Post. Evar.

  12. Comment by Rantwick | 09.16.2009 | 2:08 pm

    Thanks, Fatty… funny stuff. Just whent they thought their readership wouldn’t notice a little more pandering, WHAM! FC open letter. Yeah!

  13. Comment by Mellow Velo | 09.16.2009 | 2:10 pm

    Holy eff. Shorts and a jersey combo that cost more than my cross bike and almost as much as my first road bike? I just can’t wrap my head around that…

    Runner’s World did a feature a while back reviewing cheap running products. It was actually legit. Target and Academy don’t give RW money, but their in-house brands got good remarks from some of the testers. It was refreshing.

    But the real problem is … why is it so EASY to sell us uber-expensive stuff? We shouldn’t put up with those prices!

  14. Comment by Orbea Girl | 09.16.2009 | 2:14 pm

    Very, very amusing! Actually, I do think the shorts, and only the shorts, are worth the money. Of course, Assos is relatively cheaper in Europe than in US. When I’m in Mendrisio next week for the World Championships, I’ll be popping into the Assos outlet in Lugano to see if I can pick up any bargains.

  15. Comment by Miles Archer | 09.16.2009 | 2:18 pm

    Assos and bargains in the same sentence?

  16. Comment by bikemike | 09.16.2009 | 2:19 pm

    This post was longer than an entire issue of Velo News…impressive.

  17. Comment by Fred | 09.16.2009 | 2:22 pm

    You are at the top of your form on this one Fatty. I can’t wait to here VN’s response.

  18. Comment by BikecopVT | 09.16.2009 | 2:24 pm

    Clearly this Luxury Body isn’t ready for Assos or Velo News. Well done Elden Guess that banner add from Assos is out of question.

    Fight Like Susan!

  19. Comment by Merlin | 09.16.2009 | 2:26 pm

    I think you’ve missed the whole point.

    The question is “what will the models look good in?”

    Based on several visits to the Assos website, various catalogs, and several magazine ads, we have to agree that they do look excellent in Assos clothing. Especially the bibs.

    Of course Pearlizumi made an overtly sexist ad a few months ago to gain inroads into the market. It’s also pinned on my garage wall as a reminder to NOT rely on this style of advertising.

    PS – do you think any of the models in the Colorado Cyclist catalog have ever ridden a bike? Inquiring minds want to know.

  20. Comment by rokrider | 09.16.2009 | 2:26 pm

    So THAT explains all the badger attacks I’ve been getting

  21. Comment by Dave | 09.16.2009 | 2:28 pm

    “The freshly detailed Audis and Mercedes in the parking lot betray stereotypically Swiss sensibilities.” I can’t help but wonder how much those shorts and bibs would cost if they drove something slightly less expensive. Then again, maybe Audis and Mercedes are less “mating ritual display” and more “regular joe”. I’ll go ahead and pull the “Ignorant American” card on myself here.

  22. Comment by Don | 09.16.2009 | 2:30 pm

    I love your hate for Assos.

  23. Comment by josh | 09.16.2009 | 2:31 pm

    I am considering selling a kidney so that I can buy a new Assos kit. Any takers?

  24. Comment by Mikeonhisbike | 09.16.2009 | 2:34 pm

    $678 for the combo? At that price I’ll take two. I wonder how much of the price of their clothing goes to cover paying for articles like these. That can’t be cheap. Thanks for the laugh.

  25. Comment by berry | 09.16.2009 | 2:39 pm

    The part about comma misuse had me laughing out loud. Maybe semicolons cost extra?

  26. Comment by buckythedonkey | 09.16.2009 | 2:42 pm

    Is VeloNews saving their article on the finer points of spalming until next month?

  27. Comment by Metric Jason | 09.16.2009 | 2:44 pm

    Well done Fatty, you’re always at your best when you’re kicking Assos!

  28. Comment by todd | 09.16.2009 | 2:47 pm

    Assos crotch creme smells funny.

  29. Comment by Bandobras | 09.16.2009 | 2:47 pm

    “Comment by 96hookooekoo
    $678 for the combo!!!? If you can guarantee me a 6 second improvement over 40km and a happy hinie, I’m in and I’ll take two.”
    I think you are on to something there.
    If I just bought enough $678 outfits I could ride so fast I’d disappear up my own ass and then just tell the timers what my time was for a TT.
    When they see I’m wearing Assos they’ll know I have set the bar for the competition and I win. It’s brilliant.

  30. Comment by Joel P. | 09.16.2009 | 2:48 pm

    Too too funny!! Although being a newer reader I had to click on the links and read the original open letter and the good Doctor’s comments to get the full effect, wich took time from my afternoon ride in sub-standard riding clothes. Reminds me of a time I was out for a Sunday drive in the country and saw a rider all kitted out in the latest and greatest being passed on a hill like he was standing still by a guy in cut off Levi’s a tie dye tshirt and Birkenstock’s.
    Joel P.

  31. Comment by Jeff. | 09.16.2009 | 2:51 pm


  32. Comment by asmathews | 09.16.2009 | 2:52 pm

    Ouch! I’m glad I’m not VeloNews. Kit for that price should provide a feeling of euphoria.

  33. Comment by Bridey | 09.16.2009 | 2:55 pm

    Go, Fatty!

    Life in print media, especially in trade and specialty mags, sucks these days, and it’s getting really hard to keep advertisers’ grubby paws off editorial when they know how much we need them. But it’s not impossible, and fawning at this level deserves a takedown — and even better, a delightful one. Love it.

  34. Comment by ant1 | 09.16.2009 | 3:18 pm

    Damn, an assos kit cost almost as much as a Di2 front derailleur!

  35. Comment by Dan O | 09.16.2009 | 3:18 pm

    I’ll stick with with my Fatty jerseys from Twin 6
    They’re not Assos.

    life is good

  36. Comment by Fat Cathy | 09.16.2009 | 3:24 pm

    Wow. And to think that with the money I just wasted on a new refrigerator, I could have had a new Assos kit! I’m such a bonehead.

  37. Comment by Swami Wheelo | 09.16.2009 | 3:31 pm

    After reading your re-post of your open letter to Assos, Lammler’s reply, then getting this issue in the mail, I’ve been waiting for this post. I’m happy you didn’t disappoint.

    I like VN, I really do, but sometimes I wonder about them. Why didn’t they include Pearl Izumi’s Pro Octane kit in that same high-end clothing review?

    I also wonder why they never use a spell-checker prior to printing. VN has more typos than any magazine I read.

    Keep kicking that Assos Fatty! ALLEZ!

  38. Comment by MattC | 09.16.2009 | 3:35 pm

    Hmmm…replace my dented frame, or get an Assos kit…dilemma dilemma dilemma. Dang…tough call. The frame is actually CHEAPER than the kit! (2009 Cdale Caad9 w/bb30). One thing I can bet on is that you won’t be getting any love from VN anytime soon.

    And hey…maybe it was badgers that attacked me back in early March, not wild boars like I originally thought (in the heat of a ride, attacking badgers look very much like wild boars I believe. Or the chupacabra).

  39. Comment by Wirehead | 09.16.2009 | 3:39 pm

    I’m very disappointed in you, Fatty.

    Everybody knows that Assos is really about hot chicks in the women’s cycling wear. Why, I wasn’t even aware they made stuff for men and was avoiding the brand on general principle because I didn’t want to get called a crossdresser.

    But you didn’t mention that once. I feel let down. :(

  40. Comment by curtis | 09.16.2009 | 3:42 pm


    OK, so you HATE Assos – or at least how much their stuff costs, but I do have to admit, after wearing those F1.13 S5 bibs, most other bibs are not as nice. I have at least half a dozen other brands of bibs and only 1 comes close to the comfort of Assos over a long ride. If you’re riding less than 50 miles (road), the Assos shorts are not worth it, but go on a 75-100 mile or 4-5+ hour ride, and they are worth it. At least worth the price you pay when you go buy them from the UK (discount), get free shipping and no tax.

    As for the other parts of the Assos cycling line up, there are other, better alternatives so I agree with you there. But, for the butt, the new S5 chamois is pretty top notch.

    Nope, don’t hate Assos. I have no idea whether it’s really good. Never tried anything they’ve made — it all looks like it falls on the wrong side of the diminishing returns curve. The trick here is to note what I’m making fun of. Hint: it’s not a clothing manufacturer. – FC

  41. Comment by Jeff | 09.16.2009 | 3:55 pm

    this should be required reading in Journalism courses.

  42. Comment by C-Rob | 09.16.2009 | 3:56 pm

    Perhaps Assos will be sending the author of the VeloNews editorial custom tailored shorts henceforth. These shorts will utilize two chamois. ‘Cuz you just ripped him a new one.

  43. Comment by Philly Jen | 09.16.2009 | 4:21 pm

    “Threading the needle,” eh? At $678 for a full kit (chamois cream not included), one can only assume they are threading it with a camel. A luxury camel, of course.

    I suppose we can thank them for making Rapha look downright affordable…

  44. Comment by Randoboy | 09.16.2009 | 4:25 pm

    The ultimate irony will come when an Assos executive, misunderstanding the cheek/tongue relationship implicit in this missive, sends you a full kit to review. To be true to your journalistic integrity, you must send it back … or ask for a size large and send it to me. Pretty please?

  45. Comment by monkeywebb | 09.16.2009 | 4:32 pm

    My mom bought my first pair of shorts for me, too. At Big 5. Off a generic rack. For something like $7. I wore the things for about 5 years (never once removed them). No one credited me with a luxury body, but I don’t know that I’ve ever enjoyed riding like I did in the days I didn’t know shorts could cost double (or triple) digits.

  46. Comment by Haven (used to be Kt) | 09.16.2009 | 5:01 pm

    I should know by now when the post is title “Open Letter To”, that I should put down the beverages. I go through so many keyboards reading your blog, sir.

  47. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 09.16.2009 | 5:26 pm

    And he’s back! Fatty in rare form. Love it!

  48. Comment by Andrew | 09.16.2009 | 5:35 pm

    I dunno, I see some blatantly favorable reviews coming outta YOU every so often, Fatty. ;)

    Doesn’t make your assessment any less true, though. Reminds me of the that ridiculous Rock Racing kit post I love so much — brilliantly done! Great post!

    Do you see any blatantly favorable (and more importantly, unbalanced) reviews of products advertised on my blog coming from me? – FC

  49. Comment by ToddBS | 09.16.2009 | 5:37 pm

    MattC wrote:
    “Or the chupacabra”

    Oh, no you didn’t just go there. Truth be told, I had a luxury body once. Until the chupacabra came to town…

  50. Comment by Anonymous | 09.16.2009 | 5:38 pm

    After your shameless promotion of the GF bikes, I find your attempt at sarcastic humor a bit flat.

    It’s fine for Fatty to bloviate if the subject of your adoration lines the Livestrong purse, but God forbid anyone else fall to your ethical levels.

    That’s an interesting comment, and one I expected someone to make. From your email address I know you only comment to be a troll, but in this case you serve my purposes. So thanks! Here’s my response.

    1. My post describing a Gary Fisher bike as my favorite bike I have ever owned was after riding, for an entire season, a bike I purchased at no special discount — I paid the same for everything that anyone would. The only special treatment I got was being allowed to purchase the Superfly Singlespeed frameset even though I was not a shop employee, and did not attend Trek World. I wrote that piece because it really is my favorite bike. Of all time. I have not written a similar post about any other bike, ever.

    2. I do not get advertising or any other financial consideration from Gary Fisher or from any other bike company. This distinction is crucial.

    3. While you single out Gary Fisher and try to draw the line from their donation to my positive review, to do so you have to wilfully ignore the fact that I have gotten much more significant donations from other companies. Gary Fisher donated a frameset, while Ibis donated a complete bike, as did Orbea/Shimano.

    4. Perhaps most importantly, my blog serves a much different purpose than VeloNews. Roughly, if VeloNews is like NBC Nightly News, I am like the Colbert Report. Their stated purpose is to report and be unbiased. Mine is to tell jokes and write fake news. And while I might occasionally “review” stuff, it’s with the understanding that I have no technical depth at all, that I consider a funny line more important than telling the truth, and that I’m doing it for free. Since they are asking for money and professing professionalism, they’ve got to hold themselves to an entirely different standard.

    - FC

  51. Comment by tim | 09.16.2009 | 5:43 pm

    i may be able to stretch to the Assos Beanie hat for the winter……

  52. Comment by Weiland | 09.16.2009 | 5:47 pm

    Why do I have the feeling that in the next couple weeks you’ll be paid a visit by the UPS guy carrying Assos gear?

  53. Comment by Sramtaro | 09.16.2009 | 6:09 pm

    “How fatty got scooped.” or “Isn’t Fatty kind of a big deal over at Kona since his awesome oncologist friend both named and donated this bike to an auction?”

    In defense of Fatty against Anonymous, Fatty only praised a version of the bike that he had already purchased for himself in a gushing manner. Spend that much on a frame and try bringing yourself to telling the world it isn’t everything you had hoped for. I thought Fatty’s comments about the RumbleFish were more than fairly critical. As for Gary’s bikes, I’d still take a Roscoe if it were down to me.

  54. Comment by Par | 09.16.2009 | 6:29 pm

    Ah, Fatty, you’ve made a rare but horrible grammatical mistake:

    “Roche plays a ajor role…” should correctly read “Roche plays AN ajor role…”

    I’m sure Stephen would agree.

    Rock on,

    Ooh, that was an ajor istake. y apologies. – FC

  55. Comment by Jason | 09.16.2009 | 6:40 pm

    I must say I do enjoy their clothing. I don’t wear everything Assos when I ride but they do make some quality clothing. I know some of the stuff might be pricey however you do get what you pay for and their stuff seems to last (I know it’s a corny cliché but it’s true).

    I have nothing against Assos Clothing. Never tried it, actually. Anyone who looks at my other Assos post will see it’s about the ad, not the gear. This time it’s about the journalism, not the gear. – FC

  56. Comment by Kaley | 09.16.2009 | 7:26 pm

    tsk, tsk, Fatty….given your profound sarcastic ability, I am shocked, SHOCKED, to find that you have overlooked the similarity of Assos to Assh*les, or some other derivative of it. Frankly, I expected better of you. I’ll keep reading, but most likely with a more critical assosment.

  57. Comment by Frank | 09.16.2009 | 7:34 pm

    I was looking into purchasing a set of Assos outfits but first have to sell my bike to get the cash. Well you can’t have everything!

  58. Comment by Dave | 09.16.2009 | 7:36 pm

    You clearly overlooked the fact that ass-os chamois cream contains far less menthol than it used to…
    Ps, Google “os” in medical terminology… You will never look at ASS-OS the same…

  59. Comment by John | 09.16.2009 | 7:46 pm

    Here’s one thing I like about Assos clothing: It makes my Rapha habit seem reasonably affordable.

  60. Comment by Dave | 09.16.2009 | 7:51 pm

    A confession. I am so embarassed. My last two pairs of cheap LG shorts I bought at an end of season sale. Do you how small I feel wearing summer shorts in fall?

    My one consolation is I can afford Assos chamois cream at only $25 a jar. It’s almost like spending $379 on a pair of shorts and it makes me tingle!

  61. Comment by Pap | 09.16.2009 | 8:01 pm

    I work for a newspaper and I see this sort of thing all the time. It is sad to see that as advertising dollars drop so does journalistic integrity.

    Fatty thanks for calling a spade a spade.

  62. Comment by sworksone | 09.16.2009 | 8:03 pm

    While the post is crazy funny and I remember feeling somewhat nauseated when first reading the article (what happend to VN?) I have to say that Assos shorts are ridulously good. Worth the money? That’s really the $1M question – almost no pun intended.

  63. Comment by roadchica | 09.16.2009 | 8:14 pm

    Ha! I’ve been hoping for a post like this since I saw the Velo News story. This luxury body needed a good laugh.

  64. Comment by The Other Matt C | 09.16.2009 | 8:46 pm

    Paging Dr. Lammler…

  65. Comment by BamaJim | 09.16.2009 | 9:06 pm

    Wow, the jersey/shorts combo costs more than my Monocog 29r. I guess buying out a magazine is expensive.

    Thanks for not adopting the Assos pricing model for the FC gear.

  66. Comment by Paul Lundgren | 09.16.2009 | 9:39 pm

    $319 for a bike jersey? My car’s license renewal isn’t that much!

    I’m with Fat Cathy…I’ve bought not one but TWO household appliances in the past year that each cost less than that combo. I’m not religious, but at a certain point, you have to call something “sinful,” and not in a good way. I’ll save my $600 for that new fixie I’ve got my eye on at my LBS.

  67. Comment by Hambone | 09.16.2009 | 9:52 pm

    Ah man Fatty! You made me spit cookie out of my nose. Maybe that’s my first step towards having a luxury body. I’m gonna put my only son up for sale on Ebay so I can get a set of these awesome cycling shorts and jersey.

  68. Comment by Born 4Lycra | 09.16.2009 | 10:08 pm

    Ladies and Gentlemen. The Fat Cyclist is back in the building. Very Funny stuff.

  69. Comment by Jon | 09.16.2009 | 10:27 pm

    I miss Winning(Bicycle Racing Illustrated)magazine.

  70. Comment by Accident Prone | 09.16.2009 | 11:32 pm

    Well done Fatty. Well done.

    Especially appreciated your response to “anonymous”. Some don’t like to stretch the muscle in their head.

  71. Comment by Shaun from AUS | 09.17.2009 | 12:41 am

    Its amazing how so many readers think you are knocking Assos (we know you really are).You really nailed so many observations. Youre sarcasm is spot on. And you with a luxury body as well (just kiddin)

  72. Comment by Saso | 09.17.2009 | 2:16 am

    Dr. Lammler is going to be very upset when he reads this.

  73. Comment by Conor | 09.17.2009 | 3:40 am

    Very, very funny – really enjoyed that.

    So, their marketing is lame, and uh, trying way too hard to be cool, but (full disclosure approaching) I wouldn’t leave home without a pair of Assos shorts (and Assos chamois cream).

    Price for Assos shorts here (Ireland) is between €120 and €220. (US$175 and US$320).

  74. Comment by eliel | 09.17.2009 | 3:51 am

    My guess is that Anonymous is Dr. Lammler. Although his English has improved a lot, I would have to say that it is unlikely that he was able to maintain his luxury body, if he had one at the first place.

    Great write up, Fatty. Spalm you, Anonymous

  75. Comment by Mike Roadie | 09.17.2009 | 4:24 am

    When you charge $49.95 for a subscription, you HAVE to schill for $300 cycle wear!!!!


  76. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 09.17.2009 | 5:34 am

    I don’t like to make my luxury body sweat. Fortunately, Assos (and this is something they don’t mention very often in advertisements) has an inbuilt “self-pedaller” – the knicks literally pedal themselves for you. Truthfully, your legs are only there to attached the pedals to the knicks otherwise a double amputee could ride up the Alps wearing these things.

  77. Comment by Bob | 09.17.2009 | 5:59 am

    If you own a velocipede you need Assos clothing. I have a bike, so discount bike shorts and a t-shirt work OK for me.

  78. Comment by Go Cycling | 09.17.2009 | 6:24 am

    I can’t say that I love my Assos – they didn’t do it for me on my epic 2300km ride but maybe you should write the Assos ads for them.

    Then we’ll all know what they are talking about in layman’s terms.

  79. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 09.17.2009 | 6:56 am

    What the heck is “luxury” cycling clothing anyway? Isn’t it made from all the same stuff as the Trek and Specialized and Performance and Hind stuff I bought for $30 a piece? I could get 10 or 11 shirt/short combo sets from the local bike shop’s clearance rack for the price of one Assos set. In the words of Seinfeld, “What’s up with that?”

  80. Comment by MTB W | 09.17.2009 | 7:02 am

    methinks that Fatty’s Velonews subscription is about to be “mysteriously” cancelled!

  81. Comment by Jessica @ How Sweet It Is | 09.17.2009 | 7:42 am

    I have followed your blog for some time and find it hilarious and inspirational all at the same time. Great work, keep it up.

  82. Comment by justrun | 09.17.2009 | 7:55 am

    Considering that combo costs more than my first bike, I was laughing already. But you, Fatty, well I have missed these editorials.

  83. Comment by 100poundsago | 09.17.2009 | 8:03 am

    $678….this stuff is worth $20 more than my car? To date the most expensive piece of cycling clothing I have purchased was the new Team Fat Cyclist jersey. Good Gravy!

  84. Comment by db | 09.17.2009 | 8:09 am

    Thanks for pointing this out, Elden, I think it gets past a lot of folks’ BS detectors. Bicycling magazine is in the same boat. Try finding a poor review of anything in there — it’s rare. It seems they’ll heap praise on non-advertisers, as well, in the hopes of attracting those companies to eventually advertise.

    As for “luxury cycling”, BikeSnob’s post yesterday was directed at companies like Rapha as well as individuals who bring a great deal of pretension into cycling. Thanks for adding to the ongoing conversation.

  85. Comment by VT_Rob | 09.17.2009 | 8:29 am

    Classic. And for more Assos humor, see Joe Lindsey’s pice on Bicycling….

  86. Comment by alfonsobedoya | 09.17.2009 | 8:47 am


    We aint got no badgers. We don’t need no badgers. I don’t have to show you no stinkin’ badgers.

  87. Comment by Joan | 09.17.2009 | 9:21 am

    I’ve been referring to VN as “Velo-Vogue” for some time now.

  88. Comment by Carl | 09.17.2009 | 9:47 am

    $678… how many Team Fatty kits does that buy from Twin Six?

  89. Comment by Den | 09.17.2009 | 10:05 am

    “The fit of these things is so plush it’s worth enduring the chin music from my chucklehead bunch of riding buddies.” I’m not even sure what to say here, except that I hope your buddies have learned their lesson.

    If would just wear his jersey OVER the bibs instead of tucked into them, maybe they wouldn’t making fun of him.

    I’m just saying…

  90. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.17.2009 | 10:10 am

    The next time I go to an Ikea, I’m going to let them know that they’re actually Swiss-Italian, not Swedish. Or Goth.

    That got nose.

  91. Comment by Lisa | 09.17.2009 | 10:46 am

    Badger, badger, badger.
    Mushroom, mushroom.

    Provided for a wee bit less than $678.

  92. Comment by Philly Jen | 09.17.2009 | 10:57 am

    Speaking of advertisers, I’ve gotta say that today’s Duluth Trading Company ad here on the site (“Average Work Pants vs. A Giant Angry Beaver”) is probably the funniest new plug I’ve seen on FatCyclist yet.

    How many pairs of those trousers can you buy for $678?

    (Since the Duluth Trading Company is not actually located in Minnesota, but in Wisconsin, I’m sure the pants can easily withstand crazed Badgers as well…)

  93. Comment by dpcowboy | 09.17.2009 | 11:10 am

    That means about $3300 for a 5 day ((and if you double up on two days a week…) a week’s worth of clothing. For two weeks (yes, I tend to do my cycling laundry in two week intervals…KI know, I know… I try to do it more often, but they march over to the washer by themselves after two weeks) that’s about $6600.00.
    I still can’t bring myself to buy more cycling clothing, as the ‘old’ stuff gets carefully washed and is still pretty good.
    The other day I took a ride like Dough, and actually wore no jersey, just regular (non-bib) shorts. It was pretty warm, and the ride was fun. The back tan is something I have been working on here at the ranch, similar to your quad tan, Fatty.
    Besides, your recent emphasis on electronic shifting stuff has made me venture out to BestBuy, but they didn’t have the product I wanted, so my high-tech bucks went across the counter at Rick Steiner’s adult emporium in Lemon Grove. That purchase got me all I needed to make the hiney all happy.

  94. Comment by DavidV | 09.17.2009 | 11:20 am

    To Anonymous,

    Fatty hasn’t shamelessly promoted GF bikes, actually he dismissed their best products, to continue his adoration of his own bike (being the singlespeed luddite he is).

    But I will say he did butter-on the chamois cream onto the rears of some of mountain biking greatest figures (Gary and Travis among others) and if I’m not mistaken he used used his own nose as the butter knife.

    You, on the other-hand, are a non-sarcasm-getting-fool!

    (Which you now have the opportunity to prove by not-getting-this)

  95. Comment by bart | 09.17.2009 | 11:32 am

    mr.lammler please PLEASE respond , I beg you.
    herr lammler, bitte reagieren sie, sowas lassen sie sich doch nicht gefallen !

  96. Comment by MattC | 09.17.2009 | 12:30 pm

    I actually saw the chupacabra a while back (was overtaking me on a climb)…and believe it or not, it (he/she?) was wearing Assos bibs. Apparently even chupacabras appreciate a luxury body. You know…when they are out doing chupacabra stuff. But no jersey…apparenlty that was too much.

  97. Comment by joe blow | 09.17.2009 | 12:34 pm

    I know I’m not Assos’s prime customer type, (I ride on a less than $3,000 bike), but $300 for a JERSEY? Really, for a friggin JERSEY? I could see the shorts if you have comfort problems with other brands, but a JERSEY? I buy jerseys with logos of things I like (like my California flag jerseys), causes I support (Fat Cyclist) and the occasional freebie. I’m not sure I’ve paid $300 for all the jerseys I own now (about 10), combined.


  98. Comment by mikeweb | 09.17.2009 | 1:00 pm

    All of us who get the Colorado Cyclist catalog know that Assos isn’t the only overpriced clothing company out there: Exteondo, Cavalo and now the boutique-y Rapha thrown into the mix.

    I like my gear to work for me, not the other way around.

  99. Comment by UphillBattle | 09.17.2009 | 1:08 pm

    Dr. Lammler, paging Dr. Lammler.

  100. Comment by Kris | 09.17.2009 | 1:49 pm

    I’m in total agreement with Weiland’s comment…while this post is dripping with sarcasm…it rings pretty much just like your open letter to Specialized which netted you new shoes and some competing Sidi’s…I look forward to reading your post where you declare your ’shock’ and ’surprise’ at receiving said ‘windproof vest’ from Assos and other products and the fall all over yourself trying to convince us that you never expected this to happen. May as well shake what your mama gave ya right Fatty? Have fun with the free gear none of us could ever afford.

  101. Comment by Clay | 09.17.2009 | 1:59 pm

    Have you seen their latest catalog models?



  102. Comment by bobble | 09.17.2009 | 2:28 pm

    Damn it! All this time I’ve been struggling to get my clydesdale fat @ss moving faster by training and riding more after surgery but all I really had to do was buy a bunch of overpriced euro clothing!

  103. Comment by joe blow | 09.17.2009 | 3:07 pm

    The phrase “luxury body” hae been pretty much preventing me from working for about an hour and severe brain damage is soon at hand. What does that mean? I have it: Its what Elliot Spitzer paid for. Its a body, you only have it every once in awhile, and its expensive, and possibly rated with diamonds.

  104. Comment by MattC | 09.17.2009 | 3:09 pm

    If you look fast, you ARE fast…right up until you get passed by someone riding a 35lb mt bike wearing Levis, a T shirt and combat boots (with flat pedals). Then you just look like an Assos.

  105. Comment by James | 09.17.2009 | 3:20 pm

    All a long I thought it was hard work never did I realize I spend this kind of money & go faster. I’ll stick with my Boure kit.

  106. Comment by ChefJT | 09.18.2009 | 3:43 am

    Let’s see…..$650+ for a jersey and bibs….or a powertap for the rear wheel? Nah….the $650 powertap is a wired system at that price. Better to look swank!

  107. Comment by Brian | 09.18.2009 | 7:43 am

    Says the guy with $500+ shoes and DI2.

  108. Comment by dpcowboy | 09.18.2009 | 2:57 pm

    Hey Elden! I think there are a few out here who are even more cynical than I am….amazing the inter-perceptual kuan (big words for ‘lessons’) one learns reading the letters at FC.

  109. Comment by Doug | 09.19.2009 | 10:52 am

    Seriously, fatty, don’t we all owe a debt to Assos for setting the price bar for cycling clothing so ridiculously high? I remember showing the Colorado cyclist catalog to friends some time ago because they featured an Assos cycling jacket for $500. I was flabbergasted they could get away with that. And now we have a full line of fantastically expensive clothing. Barf!!!! Do these manufacturers realize they are chasing an ever-decreasing demographic, selling to fewer and fewer customers? Will cycling become the sport of snobs,(not you bsnyc) like skiing is for some, where the après-ski ‘look’ is more important than skiing? Will legs and lungs still matter???

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