When Assos triumphantly rolled out its new, mountain minded T. rallyShortss7 Shorts, we were admittedly surprised not that the Swiss company was leaving the black ribbon for the dusty trail, but that we never found it odd that a company based in such mountainous terrain hadn't done so before. Whatever the case, the Assos' peculiar naming convention is describing knobby tire kit now, and three key elements set the T. rallyShorts apart from the company's legendary road kit: padding, a revised chamois, and a new main body fabric. The padding is the most immediately obvious difference, and it's also the feature that most recommends the T. rallyShorts for bumpy riding. The padding centers on the greater trochanter, which marks the top of the femur and the hip joint. The pads comprise 8mm of viscoelastic polyurethane, and they're shaped and positioned to protect against the usual impacts of hard trail riding without compromising pedaling efficiency or mobility. Their low weight and flexibility is further complemented by body perforations, which reduce the suffocating effect of solid pads. They're also removable for days when your XC aspirations aren't as dangerous or you're just out spinning on the road. The chamois is similar to the amethyst inserts found throughout Assos' road line, but in a grey color. At its heart is an mountain specific geography of memoryFoam material first introduced in the venerable s2 FI. 13. This material exhibits remarkable return properties, so it quickly returns to its original position after deformation, essentially filling the gaps that your pedal stroke produces while your weight shifts throughout the pedaling motion. The final mountain specific innovation included here is the Kompressorfabric, whose compound name alludes to the material's combined powers of compression, aerodynamic properties, and durability. While the former two properties feature in Assos' road line, durability is almost as important for off road shorts, so th...