The excellent fitting Endura Women's Pro SL bib shorts, have high comfort, functionality, and form all for a reasonable price; and with Endura's 90 day's return policy, allowing you to send back the shorts if you don't get on, you really can't go wrong.
Multiple pad width choice
Drop tail zip
Money back satisfaction guarantee
Coldblack heat reducing and UPF 50+ fabric
Chamios discomfort off the bike
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Sometimes it’s not just about the tangible product, it’s about the whole experience. While there was no denying that the Endura Women Pro SL bibshorts delivered an excellent pair of shorts on their own, it’s the very fact that they went beyond the ‘one size fits all’ approach, that landed them a spot in Editors Choice 2019.
Endura has been busy these last few years. It's almost unrecognisable from the small Scottish brand that was set up some 26 years ago, now supporting several professional bike teams in some of the most technically advance cycling apparel on the market.
The Pro SL range of cycle wear has been a direct collaboration with the road teams, boasting input and testing in some of the toughest riding environments from the likes of Movistar and Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Teams, with the Endura Women's Pro SL bib shorts being on of the key out comes of the collaborations.
The last pair of Endura shorts I wore were the FS260 Pro-SL, looking at the spec list for those and these newer Pro SL shorts, and you'd be forgiven in to thinking not much had changed.
There's still the three sizes option in the women’s-specific 700 series pad across all sizes, that allows you to choose a pad that best corresponds with the width of your pelvis to help reduce pressure peaks.
A fantastic guide to help you calculate the right size for you based on your saddle brand and size can be found on the Endura website. Endura say the pad width is determined by matching sit bone measurement and saddle width to a measurement matrix or for the most accurate results by being measured using the Endura-gebioMized® PadFit™ System (patent pending).
The Endura Women's Pro SL bib shorts also keep the Dropseat comfort function. A zip that runs across your hips to allow for swift loo breaks without the requirement to completely disrobe your top half, as standard bib shorts require.
Finally, the ‘Power’ Lycra, which is created to help compress muscles, and therefore aid recovery still features, complete with the Coldblack treatment, which is designed to dramatically help reduce heat build up, as well as providing UPF 50+ protection.
But look beyond the headlines, and you'll see that Endura has in fact been working hard behind the scenes tweaking and improving these features with the outcome taking the Endura Women's Pro SL bib shorts to the next level, with all but the award winning women’s-specific 700 series pad getting a makeover making the ride an impressive one - and if you're not impressed, Endura will give you your money back.
Pulling the Endura Women's Pro SL bib shorts on for the first time and it's clear its now really nailed the race fit. I'm a UK size 8 and the XS were very snug. If you're a size 10 that's wondering about the XS (UK 8/10) or the S (UK10/12) then certainly have a look a the full sizing chart, and perhaps size up if anything.
Once on, level of quality and detail that's gone in to making the shorts is clear. The fit is indeed race tight, without being over constricting. It's an easier said than done task with creating a pair of tight shorts, while balancing the top and bottom elements to bib shorts, especially as I often find that some brands assume 'small' also means short in height, so while the shorts fit, they fall in to the 'short shorts' category, with the upper verging on too tight. So full marks to Endura for nailing this aspect.
The leg element of the Endura Women's Pro SL bib shorts is the best I've seen from the brand. It's comfortable, compressing and, thanks to the silicon back detailing, immovable once on, even when rev'ing out at 120rpm+. The raw cut edge gives a seamless transition from short to leg, and combined with the minimal panel design, keeps the short's weight to a reasonable 160g.
It's not the lightest pair of shorts on the market, but considering there's a full hip width of zip included in that weight, weighing just 4g more than the Ale Ibiso, which don't feature any form of zip or clip, isn't bad.
Talking of the zip, I was really apprehensive to see it's inclusion on the Endura Women's Pro SL bib shorts. It's a feature that, for me, has previously let down the shorts that feature it. So I was delighted to discover that all fit issues seem to have be dealt with. Using a new slightly stretchy zip has clearly been the key to unlocking the potential of this feature, and when on I honestly totally forgot about it, which is a significant improvement on previous versions.
Testing shorts in early spring in the north of the country has meant a fair bit of indoor training, or pairing up with leg warmers. This has meant a restriction on testing the Coldback and UPP 50+ protection feature, but it's a fabric we know and love well, so have no doubts as to it's capabilities on the Endura Women's Pro SL bib shorts.
I've also ridden and rated the muscle compressing ‘Power’ Lycra before, and the same compliments still apply. There's no truer test of a shorts compressing abilities when sitting on an indoor trainer in the garage with no view to take your mind off the intense pain you're feeling during a session. Feeling 'held together' after a few tough back to back sessions was yet again incredibly welcomed.
The same goes for the pad in a pair of shorts, an hour and half on the turbo can somewhat draw unwanted attention to possible backside discomfort, and yet again the women’s-specific 700 series pad nailed the on bike comfort. Off the bike however, I found this aspect of the Endura Women's Pro SL bib shorts the only uncomfortable one, with an instant full undercarriage wedgy as soon as I was off the bike and walking. I'm still in two minds as to weather this is important or not, as on the bike the shorts are perfect, but it's so uncomfortable as the chamios folds up that even going from bedroom to bike feels awkward.
Costing around £125, the Endura Women's Pro SL bib shorts are middle of the road price wise for a drop seat pair of shorts, with their own FS260 at £90, and the recently landed Rapha Souplesse Detachable bib shorts £190. The later might weigh 24g less, at 136g, but bar the dropped seat is somewhat limited in its other functions - making the Pro SL shorts seem like great value. And if you don't agree, even after a few rides - simply return the shorts, so you really can't go wrong.
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