The Endura Pro SL race jersey is a good option for those looking for a lightweight summer jersey. The materials for both the front and rear panels are great, and the fit is close too, although very much on the small side. Not everyone will get on with the arm grippers though, so it's a good job the clothing comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.
Comfortable fabrics throughout
Perfect pocket space for summer riding
Price undercuts other brand's range-topping clothing
Arm grippers felt constricting
Sizes up on the short side
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With heatwaves becoming seemingly a less and less rare occurrence, making sure you have the right summer kit is more important than ever. Clothing choices can really affect performance in the hotter weather, so it is essential to make sure you are staying cool, which can be achieved with one of the best summer cycling jerseys.
Endura's SL Pro Race jersey is a pretty good option - it provides impressive build quality, and premium fabrics through and through all at a price that undercuts the likes of Le Col and Rapha. It does size up on the small side, however, and the sleeve grippers won't be to everyone's taste - here's how I got on with the new jersey.
Endura Pro SL race jersey: Construction
The Pro SL clothing line is Endura's range-topping clothing family. I tested these in conjunction with the matching Pro SL EGM bib shorts, which impressed me with the quality offered at a lower price point than the competition. The same can nearly be said for the jersey, but I feel the top half of this kit set may be slightly more polarizing than the bottom.
Fabrics for the Pro SL race jersey are a mixed affair. For the front and rear body panels, Endura has used a lightweight flat knit fabric which it says is extremely fine. This gives the body panels great breathability and sweat-wicking properties which should help to keep you cool on hotter rides. For the sleeves, 3D knitted fabric is used. This is much lighter mesh, which I found did a great job of staying cool, as and was a good length too.
A 1.5cm hem at the bottom of each sleeve is responsible for making sure the jersey doesn't ride up. Made of the same fabric as the rest of the sleeves, the design, due to the stitching pattern means that there is a lack of stretch to the grippers - more on that later. To supplement the tight hem, Endura has also opted for a lightweight silicon pattern to keep the jersey firmly on your arms.
A point of praise for Endura is that this jersey is made from recycled fabrics in an attempt to minimize the impact on the environment. Though there isn't any further information on how much of the fabrics are used, it is good to see a step in the right direction from Endura here. There are many eco-conscious clothing brands on the market now, and with an increasingly eco-conscious market, brands will only have to keep pushing to stay competitive in this space.
Endura also offers a 90-day satisfaction guarantee with the new SL race jersey. This means that if you are not entirely satisfied, a 'quibble-free' full refund or replacement will be offered.
Endura Pro SL race jersey: The ride
Overall I was impressed with the Endura Pro SL race jersey. I was able to test out the new threads in a particularly hot couple of weeks (for the UK...), which meant I got to put the lightweight fabrics to full effect in humid 30-degree weather.
In the heat, the lightweight fabrics certainly did a good job of wicking sweat away. The main front panel in particular feels great and is flexible enough not to be constricting whilst still offering a tight race fit. The sleeve material too felt great, offering a healthy amount of breathability - although I just couldn't get on with the sleeve grippers, more on that later.
As far as pockets are concerned, the three rear pockets are about right for summer riding. A healthy size, they easily swallow up my larger smartphone, and still left room for plenty of food, though they are not as pouchy as what you would get on a winter jersey. The tighter fitting pockets do somewhat hinder storage space, but on balance, this is probably about right for a race-fit jersey, as you don't want the pockets to be cumbersome and cause unwanted drag. One thing I would say is that some elastic wouldn't go a miss on the top of the pocket lining - I never had anything fall out of the pockets while using the Pro SL race jersey, but they weren't quite as secure as others I have tested.
Let's get into the fit - I already mentioned that the jersey comes up on the small side (just like the Pro SL EGM bib shorts), but how exactly does it fit?
As a 6ft rider who normally sits between 65-67kg, the main issue I had was in the torso length. As a slighter build rider, I always opt for an XS, which in Le Col and Rapha's sizing has served me well, but here I found myself wishing I had got a size Small.
Other than the torso length, however, I was impressed with the fit. The jersey is cut much shorter on the front panel allowing for an aerodynamic close fit when adopting a more aggressive riding position. The sleeves too offered plenty of length and didn't ride up, though that did come at a slight cost to comfort.
The double thickness hem, coupled with a seam cover that runs down the length of the sleeve meant that I always felt a slight hard spot on the jersey's gripper. Take this away, and I would have been able to forget it - but due to the position of this stitching, I just found myself noticing each movement of my arm more than I would have liked.
Endura Pro SL race jersey: Value
Sitting at $139.99 / £99.99, the Endura Pro SL race is very much at the premium end of the jersey market. That said though, Endura has still managed to significantly undercut the likes of Le Col and Rapha, with the formers Hors Categorie summer jersey coming in at $220.00 / £165.00. A closer comparison is the dhb Aeron-Lab summer jersey which retails for $150.00 / £120.00.
There is, for me at least, a comfort disparity here though, and not having gotten on with the fit, I don't think this alone is enough for me to recommend the Pro SL over other premium jerseys.
With a 90-day comfort guarantee however, the new threads from Endura are still very much worth considering if KOM hunting and average speed chasing is your game.
Endura Pro SL race jersey: Specs
|XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
|Mustard(pictured), Ink Blue, Pomegranite
|Row 3 - Cell 0
|Row 3 - Cell 1
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