The Endura Pro SL EGM bib shorts impressed me for the comfort they offer at a price that undercuts the likes of Le Col and Rapha. They offer a great build quality and a comfy chamois. Just be aware, they size up smaller than most shorts on the market.
Exemplary quality and stitching finish
Super comfy chamois
Quality leg grippers and bibs
90 day comfort guarantee
Fit is smaller than other shorts on the market
Lacks sustainability focus which other brands are pushing
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Bib shorts are perhaps the most important part of any cycling outfit to get right. Whether you're just setting out on your road riding adventure, or a seasoned rider heading out for just another 100 mile, ride comfort is key.
Having put a lot of hours into testing the new Endura Pro SL EGM bib shorts, I am happy to report that they certainly pass the comfort test. Premium fabrics, a nice fit (though pretty snug!), and seamless grippers make these bib shorts genuine competition for the best bib shorts on the market.
Endura Pro SL EGM bib shorts: the construction
The Endura Pro SL EGM bib shorts sit at the top of Endura's range and feature the brand's flagship clothing technology.
The shorts have a multi-panel construction, which Endura says makes for a closer-fitting product. The 'anatomical design' features standard pre-shaped lycra panels and a lumbar support panel that runs around the waist, designed to keep the shorts firmly in place.
Endura has also got everybody covered in terms of short length. Shorts riding up is often a point of contention for taller, more slightly built riders, so Endura offers the new Pro SL EGM's in standard and extended length (4cm longer) options for those who prefer more coverage - though as a taller rider, the leg grippers did a brilliant job of keeping the standard length shorts in place!
Leg panels are a one-piece fabric design, which I really like. Instead of a separate gripper made of different materials, Endura has opted for a non-invasive silicone pattern on the inside of the leg panels. These grippers still hold the shorts well in place, but look that little bit more 'seamless' if you will, than the likes of Le Col or Rapha.
Looking at the build quality, I have been all around impressed by the new shorts from Endura. The finish on the shorts is clean, and I haven't had any issues with stray threads, or itchy labels and seams. No issues arose either with regular 30-degree washing.
It can be a little tricky to test shorts over a relatively short time scale compared to their expected life, so I also always pull around all seams when testing. This allows me to spot any potential weak points in the design, which the Pro SL EGM passed with flying colors.
I will say though, Endura doesn't make any claims from a sustainability standpoint. We always like to give eco-friendly credit where credit is due here at Cycling Weekly, and Endura just falls behind the likes of Rapha and dhb, without using sustainably sourced fabrics. It isn't something that will phase all customers, but certainly, something to bare in mind in an increasingly eco-conscious market.
Endura Pro SL EGM bib shorts: the ride
The test period of the new Endura Pro SL EGM shorts fell through the last heatwave in the UK. This not only meant great weather for plenty of long rides but also a great opportunity to test out how well the shorts handled the 30-degree heat as well.
The overall performance of the Endura Pro SL EGM shorts was really solid. The build quality mentioned before translates to a comfortable ride, with no irritation - but I did find one or two nit-picky points with these shorts.
Firstly, the fit - I am 184cm, and weigh around 65-67kg, which for almost every clothing brand puts me in a size small. The Endura shorts, however, in the same size small, came up pretty tight. While overall proportions of the clothing, in terms of length and space, were pretty consistent, I found myself wishing I had asked for medium - these definitely size up on the small side compared to Le Col's Hors Categorie bib shorts. For reference, the leg length was pretty good, and I was using standard-length shorts, but the overall fit was quite tight.
Beyond the size quibbles, I also found the shorts to be on the warmer side. On the more humid days we have had here in the UK, the Endura shorts just felt slightly less breathable on the legs, I think, due to the quite glossy fabric finish. The fabric was very comfortable but didn't seem to wick sweat away quite as well as the likes of the Rapha Core Cargo bib shorts, which I tested at the end of last year. That said though, if the weather was cooler, this would be something I would have praised - so something to bare in mind rather than worry about.
Aside from these slightly more personal gripes, however, I can say that the chamois was one of the best I have ever tested. The new 800 series Conform EGM pad provided not only a great fit but thicker padding where important. This, coupled with the aforementioned quality stitching meant I always remained comfy, even when the shorts weren't quite the right size.
Another standout feature for me was the lumbar panel and the bib straps themselves. The shorts really do stay in place well, and are supported from the waist. The lumbar panel did a great job of making the top of the shorts feel secure, and the perforated panel on the back of the shorts also really helped with adding some breathability to the shorts. The bibs too are a heavier weight elastic, but are about 30mm wide, which I found to alleviate any pressure points, making for an unnoticeable fit, possibly the best compliment any clothing can receive.
Endura Pro SL EGM bib shorts: Value and conclusion
Endura has really taken the fight to the bigger players in the kit market with these new shorts. The quality is undoubtedly up there with the likes of Rapha, Santini, and Le Col, while the price undercuts them. For example, Le Col's Hors Categorie bib shorts retail for $280 / £210, a whole $61 / £60 more than the Enduras which are priced at $219.00 / £149.99. For this price, I would argue that personal preference would be the only real obvious factor when choosing between these shorts. Yes, these aren't the coolest shorts on the market, but they do make a great all-rounder, especially for the changeable weather here in the UK.
Endura also offers a 90-day comfort guarantee, which is brilliant - especially bearing in mind the sizing quibbles. All things considered, the Endura Pro SL EGM shorts are well worth considering for your new bibs, but just be careful about sizing!
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