The Endura GV500 Reiver Bibshorts proved highly comfortable and include useful features such as silicon grippers to help stop your jersey from riding up and the use of robust materials. Although the mesh panels for the cargo element of these shorts are quite large, stitches down the middle make them a lot smaller than the pockets of other shorts of this style.
Very comfy chamois
Robust fabrics for crash protection
Tenacious leg grippers
Stitched dividers makes the pockets very small
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Endura’s new gravel and adventure range seeks to bridge the gap between road and mountain bike clothing. The GV500 Reiver Bibshorts are intended to be efficient and comfortable over long distances but robust enough to cope with the rigours of off-road riding.
The construction: GV500 Reiver Bibshorts
True to the billing, the material of these shorts certainly feels robust. The side panels even benefit from a doubling up of the fabric to provide some extra protection—for both you and the shorts—should you have a bit of an ‘off’.
But for all that, there’s still a good amount of stretch to the shorts, not pinching or cutting in, but instead being gently compressive. With the back of the shorts rising quite far up to provide space for the rear pockets, you even get the benefit of a little lumber support.
Coming now onto the pockets, there are four mesh panels which make up the cargo capacity of these shorts. All bar one of these panels have stitching down the middle partitioning them in two halves. This makes seven pockets where there might overwise have just been four—but it does mean that six of the seven are really quite small.
The pad is Endura’s own 600 Series pad II, which is the model down from the top end 700 series pad that features in the Pro SL Bibshort, which we gave a 10/10 in our review. (opens in new tab) But we have still been impressed by the comfort of the 600 series in the past.
The leg grippers are of a particularly grippy silicon and the leg length is reasonable, not fashionably overly long, but still quite modest. It also has grippers on the back of the shorts to help keep your jersey from riding up.
Pulling the GV500 Reiver Bibshorts on, although the robust materials still have quite a lot of stretch to them, it feels like a bit more force is required for this, compared with a lightweight set of road shorts.
Although I’m not against exploring past my limits from time to time, I haven’t yet fully tested how well the shorts stand up to a crash—but should that change, I’ll make sure to update this review.
The robust fabric didn’t cause any problems and the fit was pretty much spot on, with the wide and flat elasticated bib straps keeping everything nicely in place—far superior to the mesh sort which have hardly any stretch and can dig in if not wide enough.
The silicon grippers in the legs and on the back kept the shorts and jersey locked in place, even when having to walk up a near vertical bank due to a short cut gone wrong. The chamois has been perfectly comfortable even one rides nudging four hours in length over the bone jarring surfaces of the South Downs Way.
The mesh pocket on the right-hand side was excellent, easy to stuff a phone, gloves, or anything into, with just the right amount of stretch and compression being offered by the mesh.
The other six pockets I could hardly use due to them being halved in size by the stitching down the middle. They work quite well for each holding a singular bar or gel, but I couldn’t get much use out of them for much else. The small size also meant I found it quite difficult to actually fish out items that sat lower in the pockets.
The Specialized RBX Adventure Bib Shorts (opens in new tab) are £100 and have much more useable pockets, as well as a chamois that is pretty much equal in terms of comfort. The RBX shorts do have the downside of the bib straps being a little short and not so stretchy, and so aren’t so suitable for taller riders with skinny hips.
The Rapha Core Cargo bib shorts (opens in new tab) are £110, so £9.99 cheaper than the Endura ones and they proved to be very comfortable, both in terms of the chamois and in the construction of the shorts themselves. They also have very useable and large cargo pockets.
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After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back.
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