I picked up a pair of assos shorts and Rapha shorts over the summer. I also own Rapha, and Pactimo bibs.
I would rate them
- assos shorts
- Rapha classic II bibs
- Rapha shorts
- Pactimo bibs
I really like the assos shorts. They are very comfy and are more compressive than the raphas. I like their padding for the same reasons you mention. The one thing I don’t like is their emblem being hard rubber on the left thigh and right hip/butt cheek. I tend to fall to the right when mountain biking and they will certainly leave a mark. I have not tried their bibs yet.
The Raphas really wick the sweat away from the skin as do their flyweight jerseys ( if you don’t own one, grab one on sale. It is by far the best summer jersey I own.). I like the classic bib better than their shorts. They do fit differently. I wear the bibs a few times a week and a year later, they still look and feel good. I have done many 40+ mile and 2-1/2 to 6 hour rides with minimal irritation.
My Pactimo bibs are mesh and fit under mountain bike shorts and are nice under thermal tights. The padding is made for mountain biking as you sit more upright. They do a nice job wicking away sweat too.