The Endura Thermolite Winter bib shorts are seeing almost daily use. I'm finding them both warm and comfortable for keeping me riding in autumn, but I have a couple of concerns about their longevity.
Thermal shorts are the business. They allow you to keep the tan topped-up gently over the winter and let's be honest, it just looks more Belgian wearing shorts than tights in the chillier weather, with or without knee warmers.
I became converted to thermal bibs through a review on here a couple of years ago and have been massively enthusiastic about them since then, so when the Endura Thermolite Winter Bibshorts landed on my step I was excited to get out and start putting the miles in to them.
I can confirm they are warm and comfy, having been out without any adornments down to about 11 degrees, and paired up with knee warmers down to about 6 degrees. They've kept the leg heat in well, and stopped any undue chills settling in and making early morning rides too uncomfortable.
They go a little higher up the stomach and back than summer shorts, keeping the midriff warmer, but making comfort breaks a touch more difficult.
The fabric has a Repel Teflon coating to provide some level of protection against rain. This works pretty well in drizzle and light rain, but if it's torrential it won't take long to get overwhelmed. The brushed fabric retains heat nicely even when wet.
The pad is a 600 series stretch unit, complete with anti-bacterial finish and gel inserts for comfort and improved blood flow. It's certainly very good, no discomfort after 100 miles. In the chillier weather it's unlikely to get much more use than six hours in the saddle; it stands up well during this time.
Wide straps ensure it stays comfortable over the shoulders and the high back keeps a little more warmth in. The silicone grippers hold the legs snugly, without being overly aggressive. With flat-locked seams (although they are not actually particularly flat) everything seems to be in order.
There are however a few niggles.
The shorts feature the nigh-on mandatory reflective decals, but after four washes they started to peel off. That may or may not bother you, but I think the visible bobbing of the reflective legs is a great safety feature. Without them I'm less inclined to use the shorts in low light - that is, most of winter.
The shorts are already starting to wear out at the front of the pad. It's more than just a little bobbling: a hole is starting to wear through. I've not changed saddle or position and I'm not seeing this on any other pair of shorts so there are certainly some concerns about the longevity of the shorts.
Speaking of longevity, a couple of threads started to come loose within about 10 hours of riding. Again not a massive matter, but it certainly doesn't bode well for the future.
Despite all this however, they are still a great pair of shorts: warm, weather resistant, and comfortable on the saddle and against the cold. At £69.99 they are not overly expensive for the comfort level. My only concern really is the longevity, which knocks the overall score down.
Comfortable and warm, with good water repellency; slight concerns about longevity though
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura Thermolite Winter Bibshort
Size tested: Medium, Black
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 Thermolite Winter Bibshorts are ideal for 3 season road riding, CX, and MTB, and can be teamed with leg/knee warmers for a practical, versatile solution to the cold. They do a stand-up job at protecting legs from the elements, staying warm down to 6 degrees.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Thermolite uses hollow-core fibre technology to create an insulating layer of warm air, and they have a Repel TEFLON fabric protector for durable water repellency. They feature a 600 series computer cut continuously variable profile (CVP) stretch pad with gel inserts and antibacterial finish, helping to keep fresh and bug free.
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Threads started to come loose within a few hours of use.
Rate the product for performance:
The bibs have provided warmth and comfort on longer rides down to 6 degrees with knee warmers and 11 degrees without.
Rate the product for durability:
With reflectivity starting to fall off rapidly and a hole wearing through in front of the pad there are concerns about the shorts' lifespan.
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Comfortable both in the wearing and against the elements is firmly positive.
Rate the product for value:
I would wear them more, but the reflective decals are an issue. £70 is too much to spend on shorts that will only last 1 season!
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The pad is comfy, the shorts are warm, so in that respect they do a grand job. But, they are not lasting long enough, so very mixed feelings indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
A love wearing shorts in the colder weather, these allow me to do just that.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Reflective's falling off and holes wearing through are concerns.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Comfy and practical in use, but this comes coupled with concerns about lifespan.
Age: 37 Height: 176cm Weight:
I usually ride: Rapide RC4, Raleigh SP Race, Hoffman BMX My best bike is: Rapide RC4
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, Adventure-packing, crossing-countries
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