Sir Nob of two Ghiblis has kindly carried out another of his completely unbiased ‘I don’t get no freebies’ road tests, this time on Assos’s ij. tiBuri Insulator Jacket … a very timely test indeed bearing in mind we’re all freezing our lobcocks off here in good old Blighty (Sir Nob currently ducks and dives in warmer climes!).
This is what he has to say:
In return for lavishing my lovely wife with everything she could possibly desire in the 12 months leading up to the 2012 festive season I couldn’t have wished for anything better than the new 2013 ASSOS ij. tiBuri Insulator Jacket when I unwrapped my goodies on Christmas morning. I was hoping that Assos’s latest offering would be perfect for the cold conditions we’re currently experiencing here (where I'm currently ducking and diving) in the desert.
As I slid it out of its luxurious packaging I was immediately struck by its superb stitching and the quality of the different fabrics used in its construction. Its back was made from a lovely-jubbly breathable fabric and the front with a windtex material that, presumably, was going to protect me from everything the cold desert winds could throw at me. The jacket had decent-sized pockets at the rear (great for stashing my ample tax-free earnings in) with 1 being zipped for keys (and uncut diamonds).
Size XLG fitted my highly tuned and impeccably toned body perfectly (1.88m tall, 95 kgs, 111 cm chest). Being blessed with such
a superb and athletic physique (see right) I was worried about the length of the back when on the bike but I needn’t have worried
because Assos only manufacture goods for supreme statuesque figures such as mine … although if you ARE fat you can always size
up to TIR! Having tried it on, it looked plenty long enough. It even had grippers to stop it riding up when in the ‘tuck’ position on the
bike so there’s absolutely nothing to fault on the ‘fit’ front.
It felt very comfortable and had a sort of padded feeling which is just what you need during the colder months we’re currently
experiencing here in the desert. Despite mine being the black version, it did have white sleeves which really stood out from a safety
aspect and there were also reflective stripes on the jacket that provided additional protection whilst riding in the dark. It was so
comfortable I felt quite at home parading around my luxury apartment in it in front of the many full length mirrors (walls and ceilings) I’ve
had fitted since I moved in. I’ve also done a lot of posing in front of the security cameras around my estate. Whilst these were originally
fitted to keep an eye open for tax-men and other do-gooders, they do allow for a bit of self-indulgement too! The neck of the bIG,titi is
extremely well protected with the collar being very snug without being overly tight. It’s a racing cut so hugs the body in all positions
even with a bit of extra weight … so I’m told. Remember … I’m perfectly tuned and loaded (in more ways than one) too!
Date of Test: 17 January 2013
Road Test: 46 kms covered in a gear of 53x19 on an 8 km circuit
Time Frame: 04.20 - 6.00 am
Weather Temp Range: 4 - 5 degs during this period
Wind: from the North at 11 km/h
Throughout the ride it was dark
To fully test the ti.tBurner I restricted my under garments to just ONE Helly Hansen long
sleeve thermal base layer as the idea was to test the true insulating qualities of the jacket. It
was, after all, claimed to be an ‘insulator jacket’.
The fit of the buT.Bita on the bike was superb (so that’s a bonus … not just good for posing off
. the bike you see!) with all areas of the body being hugged nice and tightly due to the excellent
cut and design of the jacket. Even with my relatively skinny arms (ok I’m not quite perfect) the
long sleeves were nice and tight all the way down to the wrists. The feared shortness of the
jacket at the back was unfounded as there was a good length protecting the small of the back
and with the gripper this stayed in place even when on the drops for some considerable time.
Once on the move (and for the first couple of kilometres) I was thinking I’d screwed up (highly technical term for made an error) as I felt uncomfortably cold. I even wondered if I might need to stop to put on another base layer. Despite my initial misgivings, I pressed on and found that as the body started to warm up so the insulating qualities of the jacket start to come in to play.
With the biting desert wind coming from the North, the chest area of the jacket created an excellent protection barrier and not once did I feel any penetration from the wind during the ride. The arms did however remain pretty cold for about 10 kms but after that the insulating began to take effect and it became very comfortable for the rest of the ride.
The back area of the body was well protected in much the same way as the front. Once I'd got in to the ride and 'warmed up' I had no complaints or any cold feeling from my back even following the surgery I’d had there many years ago.
So based on the above you’d think the tiTy.toTy would have passed with flying colours? Well sadly I found there to be one big weakness: the desert wind managed to find a way in to the arm pit areas. I found this to be a real blow as this particular area never warmed up. My pits felt cold throughout the ride which made me pretty miserable despite knowing I must have looked immaculate … although it was still too dark for anyone to notice.
In MY opinion, the insulation qualities of ti.time failed miserably (in my tests at least!) and even though its breathable qualities are good, it can't claim to be an ‘insulator’ when there are flaws to be found in certain areas (the arm pits). My personnel conclusion is that this jacket is not particularly good for the temperature range encountered during my tests ... of course I COULD have worn more under garments but I've always found that too many layers tend to make me look a tad weighty and that's not cool.
Having said all that, there's no disputing the fact that the biG,t1t fits extremely well and that it is impeccably made. It protects the chest, back and neck areas and I will therefore continue to use it when it's not quite as cold as when I carried out my tests ... or simply add a couple more under garments. If I HAVE to do that, I'll only be able to train in the dark (so no-one can see just how portly it all makes me look) which, of course, defeats the object of owning Assos kit in the first place.
Safety-wise, the reflective stripes were well seen by the compound security vehicles that were roaming around the perimeter road looking for drug-smugglers, tax-dodgers and dealers in anything and everything illicit (this area seems to be the geographical hot-spot for that sort of thing ... I fit in quite well) where I was riding as this acknowledged this fact that I was highly visible which was good to know. The price is a fair price for a quality piece of Assos kit but, in my opinion, you might just need to add a couple more base layers before you’re good to go.
'Blessed with such a superb and athletic physique'
On test: Assos's tiTY. Bum