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Endura's Windchill Biblongs are a sophisticated mid-range bib tight designed to keep the elements at bay, so we can focus on racking up long, steady miles. They're generally well thought out and should last a good while too.
Materials-wise, we have the classic nylon/polyester/elastane mix, but detailing and quality of construction is of a very high standard. Ours came with their 600 insert but there is a version without, which shaves a tenner off the ticket price and allows rider-specific customisation.
Not that there's anything wrong with the 600. It's a medium-density gel affair with the usual Coolmax fibres and silver threading to keep the crotch temperate and hygienic. Lumps 'n' bumps seemed broadly compatible with my own. This certainly helped when drumming one's unique patina into a particularly hard leather perch.
However, padding density around the peripheries proved a little on the thin side when riding my mountain-bike-framed Univega further than 35 miles, leading to some minor, localised chafing. A moot point for many, but something to consider if you alternate between genres of bike, or switch to mountain bike derivatives during the depths of winter.
Staying in this region, roadside bladder stops are at best undignified in bibs, but a zippered fly allows direct access. That said, the Lycra braces proved a little too supportive and demanded I adopt a slightly self-conscious stoop while answering nature's call.
'Ergonomic' thigh, crotch and shin sections employ low-density Teflon-coated windproof and breathable membranes. These supposedly retain heat when wind-chill sends temperatures tumbling, while dispersing unwanted warmth. Breathability is a relative term where polyesters are concerned, though, especially wind repellent versions, so I wasn't surprised by some faint, lingering clamminess when the temperature was in double figures.
Panels offered just the right levels of support and blocked cruel coastal blasts, and that additional warmth will be welcomed by riders who suffer from tendonitis or similar knee problems.
Water repellency is also good, with even relatively heavy rain beading up and rolling away. Eventually, though, these do turn soggy and I wasn't surprised to find they take a good while to dry when right royally soaked. Then again, despite several hours in the rain, my legs have never felt cold and miserable, which bodes well for bitter midwinters.
Summing up, I'd probably plump for the cheaper version and use my own shorts/inserts, and a little more give in the shoulder straps would be appreciated. Otherwise, they deliver, and at a very competitive price too.
Competent and generally very comfortable winter longs
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Make and model: Endura Windchill Biblong (with pad)
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?
Endura seems to feel the title is self-explanatory. I'd say they are high quality training tights that should cope handsomely with the typical British winter.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Knit fabric with windproof/breathable membrane on front leg and shin panels
Teflon HT treated Thermolite provides insulation and comfort
Supportive mesh upper with high stretch Lycra bound straps
600-Series anti-bacterial Silver Dry multi density stretch pad
Slimline ankle zip for ease of access with snapdown puller
Ergonomic body panelling
Rear facing reflective on ankle
Du pont Teflon fabric protector
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Minor imperfections aside, the Endura Windchill bib longs meet their design brief handsomely. However, while good, the 600 pad didn't work for me in all contexts and I would have appreciated a little more give in the shoulder straps.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
High quality, weather cheating construction and freedom of movement.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing in particular, although I'd probably opt for the unpadded version.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Overall, a superb pair of winter longs. However, the shoulders could do with a little more give, and while good, the pad wasn't quite right for me.
Age: 41 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)