Endura FS260 Pro SL bib shorts review
The Endura FS260 Pro SL bib shorts have been the best on test in both our Cycling Active and Cycling Weekly grouptests. Here is our review based on long term use.
The Endura FS260 Pro SL bib shorts are supremely comfortable bib shorts that are great for all sorts of riding, all will last a long time too. Plus, the choices of pad size and leg length mean that they will fit perfectly whatever your body shape.
Three different pad sizes
Two different leg lengths
Irritating internal label
A comfortable pair of bib shorts is an essential piece of kit. In creating the Endura FS260 Pro SL bib shorts, the Scottish clothing company has realised that the current ergonomics applied to bib shorts does not suit everyone. For example, just because you are 6'4" and 100kg, does not necessarily mean that you have really wide sit bones.
>>> Buyer's guide to bib shorts
To put it another way, an XL pair of shorts is likely to have a huge chamois, regardless of whether the wearer needs it or not. Conversely a small rider can have wide sit bones and require small shorts with a wide chamois.
Endura has teamed up with bike shops to offer their gebioMized®-Endura Pad Fit™ System. The first shop to partner with Endura was Cyclefit, so I headed down to see for myself. The system is designed to quickly match a rider to the correct seat pad, based on their physiology, riding style and saddle.
>>> Buyer's guide to road bike saddles (video)
I took my existing saddle along, but you could also take your complete bike into the shop. The fitters attached I saddle to a jig, where upon that placed a sensor mat over the saddle. Endura then provides a pair of test shorts with no chamois.
The jig can be set up to your exact bike measurements, or alternatively you can just use your complete bike and a turbo trainer. This is important, as it means you replicate and assess your normal riding position.
>>> Saddle height: how to get it right, and why it's so important (video)
You are then instructed to pedal on the hoods, tops and drops at your normal cadence. The sensor mat detects where the pressure is being applied on the saddle and identifies hot spots. The software analyses the results and matches to the pad width that will offer optimum performance and comfort.
There are three different sized pads, with my test suggesting a size small (green). I then repeated the test sitting in a different part of the saddle, validating the original result.
The shorts are available in two different leg lengths too, should you wish to opt for the Bradley Wiggins-style long leg (a design which could potentially offer some aerodynamic benefits). My recommended shorts were a size medium, regular leg with a narrow pad (green).
Watch: How much speed can you buy?
How well do they perform?
The next step was to try on my new Endure FS260 bib shorts and ride them to see how that affected my pressure mapping. Endure describe the shorts as 'love at first sit'. And I would agree with this! They just felt right as soon as I started pedalling in them.
Since then I have used them longer term, including several century rides in the Alps and UK. On long rides the comfort offered by the pad is easily amongst the best of any shorts I have tested, more than matching that of shorts twice the price. The only gripe I had (and it is minor) was the inside label on the back. It was a little irritating, so I removed it.
>>> Buyer's guide to bib tights
Although the pad fitting system is available in some shops, it is by no means necessary. The bib straps work very well and don't dig in and wide grippers are very comfortable too. After long term use and many washes, the shorts stood up well too. Owing to heavy use there are signs of wear, but compared to other premium shorts the durability just as good and in many cases, better.
For more information, head over to Endura.
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Oliver Bridgewood - no, Doctor Oliver Bridgewood - is a PhD Chemist who discovered a love of cycling. He enjoys racing time trials, hill climbs, road races and criteriums. During his time at Cycling Weekly, he worked predominantly within the tech team, also utilising his science background to produce insightful fitness articles, before moving to an entirely video-focused role heading up the Cycling Weekly YouTube channel, where his feature-length documentary 'Project 49' was his crowning glory.
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