The Italian radio in the sewing department hums away in the background, chatting inanely with itself. The long and animated conversations of the presenters merge into a blur of words, interrupted only by the hum of a sewing machine as it kicks into work and the very occasional song. In an equally as rapid manner as the radio presenters, Nadia, head of ASSOS Repairs, chats away good-naturedly, as her needle and thread skilfully repairs someone's prized shorts.
‘It depends on the season as to how much we get, but at this time of the year, with the summer vacation ahead of us, we get a lot of shorts, either damaged by a crash or just excessive wear, ’ Nadia explains, peering up over her glasses, pulling the thread tight with one hand, whilst checking her handwork is firmly in place with the other.
Crashes are commonplace within the world of cycling. Whether you’re battling in the world’s biggest bike races or tackling your daily commute, it doesn't matter how careful you are−one day, gravity will win and throw you to the ground.
Nadia has been in this light-flooded department at ASSOS for 17 years, so she’s seen her fair share of damaged kit. She smiles wryly: ‘The worst is always any damage to a winter jacket, because we basically have to open a seam in one arm, reaching through the whole jacket to repair the damaged area. That takes time. Each repair is different and ASSOS products are highly technical, hence why they come in here from all around the world. ’ That sort of international presence is why the department is so important at the HQ, with deftly trained staff and instant access to the ASSOS fabric archive.
ASSOS products are highly technical, which is why they’re able to deliver the sort of high−level performance that enables riders to suffer in so much comfort. But this technical nature also means that when they need repair−like any fine watch or premium car−you wouldn’t take them to anyone but an expert and it is Nadia’s expertise that get these products back out on the road. ASSOS apparel is sold in many countries around the world but all the repairs are carried out at the HQ. The reasons are multifold: this gives ASSOS the luxury of retaining their high standards; it means that quality controls are easily carried out; the skills needed to carry out these often intricate repairs are honed on-site, surrounded by specialists in the field.
‘Sometimes it can be hard to find certain materials. We order them for the original production in batches that give us little, if any, spare material. As our products last so long, we often have to substitute unavailable fabrics for their present-day equivalent,’ Nadia outlines, her eye moving up meticulously as she finishes the cut of the panel to be replaced. In an instant, her other eye returns to the shorts as she follows the next cut line.
The pace of Nadia’s work continues, from a replacement zip in a long-sleeve women’s jersey, to a new chamois in an S2 generation of shorts (we’re currently a year from our S9 generation launch), to a few replaced panels in shorts that have obviously slid down the road. With each piece finished, it is clear that these specific, well-loved pieces of apparel have served their riders well, taking them down new roads to create new stories.
So what happens if you have a piece in need of Nadia’s expert TLC? Well, follow our guide below and you’re soon be back on the road with your favourite piece of ASSOS apparel.
Step 1 − If you’ve had a crash or damaged your prized ASSOS product, begin by filling out our customer service request form. We’ll need to know the following: how old the product is, the condition of the fabric, and the kind of damage it has suffered.
Step 2 − Wait for a reply and then mail the product via your local distributor back to the ASSOS HQ in Stabio, Switzerland.
Step 3 − Upon receiving your product for repair it will land in Nadia’s postbox, who will wield all of her skills and experience to repair the product in the best possible way. If, by some rare chance, we are unable to repair your product, our customer service team will contact you with the next step of the process. (Don’t worry, you’ll get out riding soon).
Step 4 − Once complete, the product is sent to our internal quality control department to make sure that the product meets our stringent repair standards.
Step 5 − We box it up and mail it back to you for many more amazing rides, experiences and memories.
Repairs in numbers−
- Crashes (35% of issues received in 2016 were caused by crashes)
- Stitching (22%)
- Zip (16 %)
- Pilling (less than 3%)
- Discolouration (less than 3%)
- Lycra deterioration (Less than 1%)
- Others (for example, change of insert, alteration, sizing issues, 20%)
- Average repair time is 4 weeks
- 90% of repairs are done free of charge. Customers have to pay the shipment through HQ/SBO office/distributors/dealer and then, if necessary they might need to pay custom duties too. A payment may be required on occasion, for example when doing size alterations (reducing the leg length etc), insert replacement or repair service after the warranty period has expired.
And what do our customers say when they get their products back?
Thank you for your help. I am delighted and surprised that this service is available. It endorses my opinion that buying the best quality kit is the way to go and I will continue purchasing Assos clothing in the future.
Many thanks again
Just a short note to say thank you to you for sorting my bib shorts out and for the extra wash/cut gels.
Whilst it would be great to think most companies deliver great service, it is in fact very refreshing when one actually does − trust me, this is something we do as a business :-) and as usual it is people like you that decide to sort something out and deliver an unexpected result..
Needless today I was a fan of Assos before, and am an even bigger one now − FYI my daughters bought me a Rapha top, it’s not a patch on Assos!! − and I have already bought more from your range.
So thank you again for getting the repair sorted
All the best
“Katie, just to say that the new jacket arrived. Many thanks.
I haven’t used it yet: thankfully the weather still requires summer kit to be worn!
PS I just did a post on my cycling club Facebook page. I know that it’ll be seen by loads of people. Excellent service deserves to be known about.
It arrived perfectly 23/1. It’s his birthday tomorrow.
Thank you for everything The jersey arriving when it did is absolutely perfect.
Fantastic wonderful amazing personal service.
so so unexpected so so appreciated