So I went down the tried and tested route of Assos. I've ridden various versions of their shorts and I've never felt short changed in the comfort department. So out I pulled my S13 shorts (S5 pad). It would be the first time I'd have ridden Assos over the pavé as I've tended to use a Roubaix (brushed) short for the extra warmth on those cold April days. This year with projected temperatures of 22*c I went for a summer weight option and would have to man up for when it was colder at the start.
So as a well used product I was really impressed that I had no bruising or sores afterwards. It felt like a normal ride, the excellent Assos/Cytec pad doing it's job without missing a beat. These are the reasons you pay more for your shorts, an average of 85 revolutions a minute, 5,100 in a hour and a total of 28,050 across the duration of the ride means the fabric and pad needs to be of a high quality, and thankfully it is.
The downer I normally ride with a really small seatpack, enough for 1 tube, tyre levers and a micro tool. But as part of the start list I had to use a larger Velcro mounted pack to hold the four recommended tubes. I was gutted to find out at one of the stops that it'd worn a hole in one side of my shorts!! In disgust I emptied my pack and packed my pockets and threw away the offending seatpack, never to be seen again. Gutted to ruin an expensive pair of shorts I'm hoping that Assos may be able to fix them, we'll see but I'm sure it's worth asking & I hope the cost isn't too much.
But all in all the legendary comfort prevailed again and apart from the incident mentioned I couldn't be any happier.