Last summer, I was able to tour the Assos headquarters in Ticino, Switzerland. The tour was an excellent opportunity to see firsthand the amount of time and detail that goes into each and every product release. While there, I was given a sneak preview of the presentation box for the new line of shorts that fall under the s7 designation. The unusual thing for me was seeing how much care was put into presentation of the new product. From a casual perspective, I’d guessed this was a months long project, which made me think the development of the shorts must’ve been a years long project. I received confirmation of both these assumptions, and then, six months after this preview, I received my own personal presentation box in the post, and I am now able to ride the new T.équipe_s7. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about trying these shorts. I’ve been riding the T FI.13_S5 shorts for some time now, and since the first ride, I’ve never worn another pair. As my previous review pointed out, these are hard to beat. So, the game changing s7 line made me nervous. Would they be better and worth the upgrade? The answer is a resounding yes. There are many details in the new design that improve upon the former, but I am smitten with two of these improvements over the rest. First, the new positioning of the straps is excellent. They are now positioned further out on the torso, avoiding the chest, and increasing comfort tremendously. It feels more natural to have the straps this way, and it avoids chafing entirely. The other huge improvement is the material around the thighs that features more compression. The compression aids in getting you farther, and in more comfort. Simply put, these two changes have made riding immeasurably more comfortable for me. I’ll still ride the s5’s, but I really do have a new spot in my heart for the T.équipe_s7 shorts. The details are spelled out in a new Assos microsite set up for the introduction of the line. There are four models, the équipe being the first to reach market. The two top tier models feature the much ballyhooed kukuPenthouse, a circular cutout meant to accommodate the male anatomy. The name of the feature has raised many eyebrows, but I for one am looking forward to trying these shorts out. The concept behind the kukuPenthouse makes sense to me, and judging from the design success of the équipe, I imagine the top tier will be exceptional. Finally, I wouldn’t toss the old s5’s, but if the opportunity presents itself, the upgrade to the T.équipe_s7 is worth the money.