Endura FS260 Pro-SL women's bib shorts review

We test the women's versions of Endura impressive top-end bib shorts

Endura FS260 Pro-SL women's bib shorts
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Endura FS260 Pro-SL women's bib shorts have a very comfortable pad that comes in three different widths, and are also perfect for hot weather rides. However I wasn't sure about the zipped drop tail design and the cuffs were a little tight.

Reasons to buy
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    Chamois size option

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    Power Lycra

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    Race radio pocket

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Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Uncomfortable zip

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    Slightly tight leg cuff

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Building on Endura’s FS260 Pro platform, the Endura FS260 Pro-SL women's bib shorts gain several high-end design features, notably the three sizes option in the women’s-specific 700 series pad across all sized shorts. By choosing a pad that best corresponds with the width of your saddle, an guide to help you calculate the right size for you can be found on the Endura website, does away with superfluous irritating padding for each rider. The end result is, as with the men's version, a very comfortable chamois, that stays put throughout the ride.

>>> Women's cycling shorts: a buyer's guide

The heavyweight fabric of the standard version remains, but this time is upgraded to ‘Power’ Lycra, which is said to help compress muscles, and therefore aid recovery. A Coldblack treatment and being UPF 50+, means that these, in theory, are ideal for hot sunny weather rides. While I can vouch for Coldblack and the ultraviolet protection factor, it’s slightly harder to assess the muscle recovery, but I certainly felt held firmly together throughout the ride.

Endura FS260 Pro-SL women's bib shorts chamois pad

I went for the narrow version of Endura's pad

However for all the technical gains of the Endura FS260 Pro-SL women's bib shorts, the zipped dropped seat, for swift loo breaks, remains and with it does the constant tight band feeling across my legs and lower back. It’s an irritation that I just couldn’t ignore all ride.

>>> Are female-specific bikes necessary?

I also wonder if the extra generous raw edged leg hem, a tapered leg band going from 6cm on the inside leg to 10cm on the outside, has also been slightly tweaked on the SL version. Previously I’ve found this incredibly flattering on the thigh, but this time it was ever so slightly over restrictive.

Endura FS260 Pro-SL women's bib shorts zipped dropped seat

The zip for the dropped seat was uncomfortable

A good pair of shorts with some excellent professional design features, there’s even a race radio pocket, but these just don’t marry up with the requirement to include that quick stop pit stop zip. A version sans dropped seat would be verging on perfection.

For more details visit Endura (opens in new tab).

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Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.

Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.

For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas. 

She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.