The Endura FS260-Pro SL Classics Jersey keeps wind and rain off while being supremely breathable and offering a modicum of insulation. While it isn't tape-sealed, so can't officially be labelled waterproof, I didn't detect any water ingress over the test period. Does this mean you don't need a shell as well, should the heavens open? In my experience, correct. But you do want a baselayer underneath if it's below 10°C.
At first glance it looks like a long-sleeved top, but what you get in the bag is a short-sleeved jersey plus arm warmers in the same fabric. This is no afterthought or compromise – the system works perfectly. The seal between warmer and jersey is borderline hermetic – you can't spot the join unless very close up, and certainly no wind or rain gets through the generous overlap.
The arm warmers feel a bit like wearing a rubber balloon on your arms, but not uncomfortably so. They come out slightly rippled – not as tight as, say, Castelli's Nanoflex arm warmers, but in no way a detraction from performance. Things stay firmly in place thanks to the silicone grip strips on both the warmers and sleeves.
They roll or fold up very small too, being not as thick as Nanoflex, nor notably insulating – rather, they're wind/water blocking.
The jersey's zip is easily worked one-handed with double gloves on, and the storm flap behind it did its job, making sure no wind was felt.
Three generously deep pockets all have laser-cut drain holes, but there's no zipped valuables pocket – maybe Endura figures you'll use a properly waterproof pouch for such things as a phone or remote-fob car keys. My phone was dripping with condensation in the pocket, so you definitely want to use a waterproof phone case even in dry weather to prevent moisture vapour damage.
Under the pockets there's a hidden drop tail secured by four pop-fasteners when not in use, with reflective trim to match that on the pockets. The length is such that it actually hung below the rear of my saddle to the extent that I could feel it pull slightly when standing to climb or sprint, though it never snagged. When not in use it's invisible, storing up out of the way of the full silicone gripper strip around the hem.
The collar is reasonably stiff, contoured to offer maximum protection and a little bit of space for natural ventilation through body movement. Aiding ventilation and comfort are small Roubaix-fabric patches under the armpits.
Out for 90 minutes going hard (87% of max heart rate) in torrential 7-9°C rain (enough to utterly soak my winter boots) with a 150gsm long-sleeved merino baselayer underneath, I never felt cold; one or two fingers didn't warm up, but then I have avowedly useless circulation. The contoured neck worked perfectly – not a drip felt down the back – while the slightly loose collar let a bit of air in/out, so I didn't need to vent at all. The drop tail provided full coverage, and afterwards, what was a filthy top washed out clean.
A contrasting long, fast ride in 10-15°C sunshine with a little bit of wind showed this top's versatility. Wearing it over a lightweight long-sleeved merino mesh base, I had to use the zip to vent on climbs but never felt clammy or sweaty. The arm warmers felt cool at first but warmed up. I set several personal bests on 2 to 3-minute climbs without feeling too hot.
What's really noticeable is when zipping up for descents – the top is totally windproof. Even at maxed-out 50x11 there was zero flapping, but the fit isn't super-skintight.
Much colder, wetter, windier 2-5°C conditions did call for another layer (in this case the matching Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell, review here), but I could probably have gone for a thicker layer underneath instead of a shell over the top and been just as happy.
Endura collaborates with the pro team Movistar, who had a hand in the FS260 range development. As such it's a racy, 'athletic fit' garment designed to be ridden hard, not one to hide an excess of pie or pints. If that's your bag, for £130 the FS260-Pro SL Classics jersey should be high on your options list. It's a crackingly good jersey that deserves to become a classic in its own right.
Worth every penny – Endura has redefined clothing for riding fast in bad weather
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura FS260-Pro SL Classics Jersey
Size tested: 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?
It's for slimmer people wanting to go fast in inclement weather, and not have to carry a hard rain jacket but remain warm/dry-ish.
Pro Style All Weather Protection
Short sleeve construction with separate arm warmers for adaptable pro style protection
Developed and tested by Movistar Team
High stretch, lightweight, waterproof, windproof and highly breathable softshell fabric
Thermal Roubaix underarm panel for added comfort
Athletic non-flap race fit
High visibility drop tail
Triple rear pockets with laser cut drain holes
Full length zip with strung puller and zip guard
Cosy touch inner collar
If you think the Spring Classics are bad, try Scotland!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The fabric is 10,000mm waterproof and 30,000G/M/day breathable.
Excellent, only marked down by lack of taped seams, if that's even possible in a soft fabric jersey.
After a few months of washing, still looks like new.
Very 'athletic' as Endura says. Not skintight on me, but close.
Sized perfectly on me.
331g for the versatility is very good.
Never felt uncomfortable, even in miserable conditions.
£130 is a lot of cash, but you're getting two garments in one that will keep you out there when it's nasty, and you'll enjoy it.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Fine – no issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed. Can't fault it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The cut – it looks fab and fits so well on the bike, front, arms and back.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
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
The only things I can think to mark the FS260 down on are the lack of a valuables pocket, audio cable port and zip garage. At £130 it isn't 'cheap', it's a hefty investment, but once you're over that, it's damn near perfect.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking and Dutch bike pootling