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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Tried the Assos Habu5 jacket, and while it fit and felt great, the price is WAY out of my usual budget for clothes (bibs are Voler Black Label or Performance Ultra, jerseys are PI Elite....that sort of price range). I liked the fit and the pockets did not sag or tug on other parts of the jacket when loaded.

Already have a Bontrager eVent rain jacket that does double duty as a cold weather wind blocker, but I wanted your opinion on alternatives to the Habu as a non-rain garment for cold weather. Everything I've read (including One Perfect Thing: Assos iJ.haBu5 Jacket | Outside Online) leans toward the Assos being a versatile garment for 50 degree days with a thin base layer down to sub freezing with a warmer base.

I never ride when it's below 20F, our weather seems to hover around 20-40 with no humidity. LOTS of wind!

I have sleeveless base layers, merino arm warmer, poly arm warmer, vests, s/s summer jerseys, the aforementioned eVent, a Icebreaker 260 non-cycling specific base. It's all been great with layering, but I'd like to cut out a layer or two because it is a pain getting to the jersey's pocket underneath a shell and midlayer; I'm missing a long sleeve cool/cold weather top with pockets and would rather NOT spend $$$$ for the Habu5 even with discounted mailorder or eBay prices of about $200.

With spring around the corner now is the time to bargain shop highend winter apparel. Do you have a favorite cold weather non-rain jacket that rivals the Assos Habu jersey/jacket I should consider?
 

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I bought a Gore Bike Wear Xenon 2.0 Windstopper jacket to fit the slot you've described. It lists for $250, but can be found for less--I paid about $160.00. I have a Gore Phantom 2.0 jacket, which has zip off sleeves and works for a lot of rides--even into spring. But in the winter it needs a warm jersey underneath. The Xenon Windstopper 2.0 is warmer, no zip-off sleeves. Also has a couple of front zippers that act a little bit like mini-pit zips, to dump excess heat/moisture. I have worn it in 20's with just a base layer.

I'm not an expert, but I do have one Assos jersey and I think the higher-end Gore stuff is certainly in the same quality range. Assos fans might disagree and YMMV, etc.

STP

STP
 

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Bianchi-Campagnolo
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The Habu jacket is expensive, but very very good, and in my opinion unrivalled. I like it because:
It fits long armed skinny me without bulk and flap and with wrist coverage. Assos is the only brand I've tried that manages that. Gore certainly doesn't.
It's light.
It has this great combination of windproofing/water repellency and warmth in the right places. Blocks the wind and lets the moisture out.
It's very versatile. I've used it from 2 C to 12 C with different base layers.

Notes:
Needs in my opinion long armed base layers. The windproof textile doesn't work well directly on my skin.
It has 3 standard pockets plus 2 zippered pockets now. The "pre facelift" ones had 1 standard pocket and 2 zippered ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for taking time for input.

I noticed the longer arms. Trying the Habu on and getting into cycling position the extra wrist coverage was a surprise. My current garments need to have a little tug in order for gloves to go over. Not with the Habu.

The one I tried had pre-face lift pockets but I like the two zippered and one standard. Nice and roomy, don't know if the 3 standard would mean anything to me although one side access would be nice.

Dealer is making room for warm weather inventory and blowing out his last large Habu jacket for a screaming deal (pretty much eBay blowout price). I'll look at the Gore Xenon if it's in town.
 

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I have had good luck with Castelli winter clothing. The big online sites usually have the jackets about $100 off this time of year down to $150-$250 from the $300 -$400 range. Windproof, thermal, good fit, etc. I will go out under 20 degrees with a base, thermal jersey and their winter jacket and keep warm. Since you can get them on sale vs. some brands they might be in your range. ATMO
 

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I'm an Assos fan, have almost everything they sell.

That being said I think the Habu jacket sucks. I sold mine, I won't wear one.

It is NOT a winter jacket or even a cold weather jacket really. I didn't find any more warmth at all over the iJ.

The airblock material is inferior. It's the stratagon light which, in my opinion, is quite inferior to the stratagon ultra they use now a days. Keep in mind the Habu jacket is many years old now. Not only is the material inferior, the shaping of it is ridiculous. If you look at the old prosline jackets, the airblock material comes straight down and covers the whole front of the arms. On the Habu it has the ridiculous wavy cut where in it leaves half of your arms exposed to the air. Oh, and the stratagon light material feels terrible against the skin where as the ultra feels great.

And their RX material they use, the waffled thermal stuff, is so thin I can see right through it. Like can literally hold it up to the light and see right through it. How is that going to stop any wind?

I get cold easy, very easy. I need jackets that actually keep me warm, warm enough to sweat when working hard and be warm still when descending. The Habu jacket fails on both accounts. To me it's worthless seeing how the iJ is in their lineup and far superior.

Let's tackle fit too. The iJ allows for many different baselayers due to it's stretch fit. The better fabrics allow it to stretch to fit much better than the Habu. The Habu has almost no stretch to it. I cannot comfortably get a thin merino baselayer under a Habu where one fits perfect under an iJ. The cut is the same but the material is much more ill fitting on the Habu. I wear the iJ next to skin or with a baselayer and it fits wonderfully, can't say that for the Habu, it's just too restrictive.

And what's the deal with the stupid arm pocket? Does anyone actually put an ipod in it? Come on now.

My opinion is that the Habu is a failure of theirs and stay away from it.

The iJ jacket though is far superior in every way, a triumph for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not only is the material inferior, the shaping of it is ridiculous. If you look at the old prosline jackets, the airblock material comes straight down and covers the whole front of the arms. On the Habu it has the ridiculous wavy cut where in it leaves half of your arms exposed to the air.
I noticed the arm wave thing. Kept trying to turn it. Thanks for the honest input.
I'm on the fence. Dealer wants the pre-facelift Habu gone and wants $140! Probably a loss leader and way to get me back for more expensive purchases. But with your input maybe it's $140 better spent elsewhere with season ending closeout pricing.
 

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That's the iJ, yup.

It is also not a winter jacket, it's a sort of an in between jacket or jersey. I wear mine as a jersey by itself when it drops below 75 degrees and down to 55. Next to skin at 75, ultralight craft long sleeve baselayer starting at 65 and merino wool baselayer at 55.

The iJ does not have windstopper fabric on the sleeves, that's why I wear the long sleeve baselayers. I find though that the fabric does just as good of a job keeping me warm as the waffled stuff on the Habu.

I know a guy in the UK who works for Assos and he says that the iJ is the garment he wears the most, wears it more than any summer jersey due to their climate. I wear mine a lot too, all spring and all autumn long.

I hope you get the perfect size, I emailed and talked to someone about size before I got mine and I got the right one for me. It fits tight, stretch fit, but it is very comfortable and non-restrictive. It doesn't flap at all in wind anywhere so it's also quite aero.

I believe that they consider it a summer jersey with an airblock front but i wouldn't wear it above 75. Well I have many times and it's fine but I ride with it almost all the way unzipped. It doesn't overheat me or anything but at that rate I mise well just wear a summer jersey zipped up. Personally I don't wear it below 55 or maybe 50 if it's sunny. In that case I switch to the Prosline Airblock jacket (like the 851 jacket) which is a true winter garment. I know guys though that will wear this iJ and a pair of knickers when it's 40 degrees out. They're a special kind to me, I can't handle that.
 

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I noticed the arm wave thing. Kept trying to turn it. Thanks for the honest input.
I'm on the fence. Dealer wants the pre-facelift Habu gone and wants $140! Probably a loss leader and way to get me back for more expensive purchases. But with your input maybe it's $140 better spent elsewhere with season ending closeout pricing.
I would buy it, sell it on ebay for $250 or so and then buy an iJ with the money. Or if you need a winter jacket I'd get an 851 airblock one from the outlet. I think the Habu is for people that don't like to sweat and generally keep warm on the bike. Same with their new S7 line of tights. Not really made for people like me that get out there and work hard and sweat but still need to stay warm.
 

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It fits long armed skinny me without bulk and flap and with wrist coverage. Assos is the only brand I've tried that manages that. Gore certainly doesn't.
Just a note from my experience: the Xenon 2.0 Windstopper jacket definitely has wrist coverage. I too am skinny (finally!) and have long arms: 6,' 173 lbs. Dress shirts arm are 35"-36". If anything, the Xenon jacket is a tiny bit TOO long on my arms. It also has zips on the arms which make it easier to pull on/take off.

That said, I've never seen the Assos jacket being discussed, and I might well agree with you if I ever get a chance to try one!

STP
 

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I should add that I also have very broad shoulders. I'm 183 cm tall and my "wingspan" is 207 cm. Bloody monkee.

I find it amusing that MMsRepBike and I are so totally opposite in our assessment of the Habu jacket. On the other hand we both like the lighter Intermediate (or iJ*, as MMsRepBike calls it) jacket just as well.

*iJ actually is Assos speak for insulator jacket. They have a few:
iJ.Intermediate
iJ.Tiburu
iJ.Habu
iJ.Bonka

Me, I don't get the Tiburujacket. In my opinion it only works with a shell.
 

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Me, I don't get the Tiburujacket. In my opinion it only works with a shell.
Another piece of theirs I'm quite disappointed in. It's basically just a fleece jacket. That's it. Basic fleece jacket that you'll find from just about any brand. And the graphics on the sleeves bleed, the black into the white, just like they do on any other brand. I had a Giordana jacket that was quite similar, both are gone. In my experience it has to have a windblock panel at least on the front or it's not worth it to me.

Can't comment on the BonkaCento jacket for it's one of very few pieces I've yet to pick up. Their previous Airblock jacket just works too well for me to replace it yet.

Intermediate is just the previous generation of the S7 iJ. Also good but outclassed a bit by the newer iJ.
 

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I would put the Tiburu jacket in the category of an insulated jersey not a jacket - I have a couple PI insulated jersey's that are about the same weight warmth. It's a nice jersey though IMHO.

For a Winter jacket - I have both Gore and PI. With proper layering I've ridden with these at and just below Zero F comfortably.
 

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Can't comment on the BonkaCento jacket for it's one of very few pieces I've yet to pick up. Their previous Airblock jacket just works too well for me to replace it yet.
I like mine a lot. Beware that it uses the same RXQ textile for the back as the Habu and Tiburu jackets.
Intermediate is just the previous generation of the S7 iJ. Also good but outclassed a bit by the newer iJ.

iJ.Intermediate_S7 is the current one, and the one I have been referring to.


iJ.Intermediate_EVO is the previous generation.


Intermediate Jersey was the first. Is the Intermediate a jersey or a jacket? That's the question.
 
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