Very comfortable and well-made shorts, great for serious all-day riding - not cheap, but good value for the quality
Weight: 216g Contact: www.endura.co.uk
Endura make all sorts of cycling clothing, with their high-end road gear branded separately as Equipe, these Endura Equipe Team Replica Bibshorts come in between the lighter Criterium version and the range-topping Uber Bibshort. According to the company's website they're exactly the same as those used by the professional riders in the Endura Racing team. And there's no doubt about it, these shorts are a top-level piece of kit. The build-quality is excellent, and from the very first mile of my test-ride they felt extremely comfortable all over.
But enough gushing. Let's have a closer look what these shorts have to offer.
First, the fabric. The main part of the Team Bibshort consists of around 10 separate panels, meaning a snug fit all over, with very little creasing of the material. The panels on the front and back of the shorts are a medium density Lycra, while the side panels are slightly lighter (and more shiny) Lycra. On the side of each leg there's also a small inverted V-shaped panel of mesh - presumably for practical reasons (cooling), or maybe just for style. The bib is also mesh, and definitely has a practical purpose: you sweat less under mesh then you do under normal fabric.
The mesh also continues across the top of the front of the shorts - the bit that often crunches up when you're down low on the bars - which means slightly less clamminess and more comfort in this area. The mesh is also a bit more flexible for doing the necessary when it comes to male pee-stops. (As far as I'm aware, Endura Equipe shorts are not available in a female version.)
The build-quality is excellent. Very neat flatlocked seams keep the panels in place, while on the inside there's not a thread out of place.
Next, the pad. The Endura Equipe website says it's from Italy but is coy about the actual manufacturer. Close inspection of the pad (after washing) revealed some wording: '800 series - sculptured density', but no more information. Nonetheless, it's a good one. As with many high-quality pads it stretches in all directions and consists of several separate padded sections - dense where the bulk of your body-weight presses down on the saddle, thinner around the edges - with grooves in between for airflow.
More unusually, the pad is made from two separate sections, joined with a lateral seam. Conventional wisdom would dictate that a seam across the middle of the pad would be an absolute no-no, but it's in one of the grooves between the thicker padded sections and is totally imperceptible when you're riding.
The whole pad is also dimpled, again to improve ventilation and comfort. I've used the shorts on a couple of major training rides, and they've been comfortable all day. As well as riding on the road, I tested them during an indoor turbo session, when perspiration is at its highest, and can verify that all these breathability features definitely work.
Around the base of each leg is a very wide elasticated strip (34mm wide to be precise). Together with silicon grippers on the inside, this strip holds the shorts absolutely in place on your thighs. There's not a glimmer of movement up or down.
Other features on the shorts include a small pocket in the base of the bib above the small of the back. This is apparently for race radios, although you could use it for carrying an emergency item (a gel, or maybe a credit card, depending on the nature of the emergency), but nothing you're going to need to reach when actually riding.
There's also a stiff plastic tab sewn into the seam on the back of the shorts, but I'm not sure what it's for. Possibly something else to do with race radios, but for the rest of us mortals not in the pro ranks, it's irrelevant.
When it comes to colour, these shorts are available only in black. Being team replica, they have a large 'Endura Racing' logo across the back of shorts - although this will be covered by all but the shortest of jerseys. There also a large 'E' in lime green across the side panels on each leg.
And finally, the price. These shorts retail at £99. Nigh-on a hundred quid for a pair of shorts is a lot of money, but given the quality and comfort these Endura Equipe shorts provide, and the fact that you can spend double that on top-notch shorts from some other high-end brands, it represents good value.
Very comfortable and well-made shorts, great for serious all-day riding - not cheap, but good value for the quality.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura Equipe Team Bibshort
Size tested: Black - Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Endura Equipe website is surprisingly reticent. Here's what it says about about these shorts' features: 'Classic ergonomic 8 panel bibshorts in Italian Power Lycra. Features our Italian 2 piece multidensity moulded stretch pad.' I've got no argument with any of that. Maybe the lack of blurb is deliberate and Endura prefer the shorts to speak for themselves.
The main 'key performace indicator' of a pair of shorts has to be comfort above anything else, and these shorts perform very well in this area.
It's too early to give a long-term report, but the build-quality is excellent. And going by the quality of some other Endura Equipe kit we've tested on road.cc previously, I'd be happy to guess these shorts will last a long time.
These are not the lightest of shorts, but they're not designed for short time-trails or other areas where every gram counts. They are built for all-day riding, and the sturdy construction and slightly higher weight reflects that.
As mentioned above, these shorts are very comfortable indeed.
Just shy of 100 quid is not cheap, but for the quality you get it's a very good price
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, but only for personal reasons. Firstly because I'm old fashioned and like my shorts plain black. Secondly because even if I didn't mind a bit of pro-logo on my kit, we all know that shorts and jerseys have to match, and I haven't got a thing in my wardrobe that goes well with the big big lime green Endura logos on each leg. But from the descriptions on the the Endura Equipe website, the Endurance Bibshort seems to be very similar to the team replica version, but without the big logos; I would definitely consider buying a pair of those.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes (or the Endurance version, as per comment above)
About the tester
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,