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Endura's Pro SL Biblongs are excellent: they're windproof, fit superbly, and the pad comes in three widths, offering a little customisation.
At the core of the longs is the four-way stretch windproof, breathable fabric with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish front and seat panels. This panelling of fabrics gives the longs a very comfortable fit. On the bike, they fitted me perfectly with no bunching of material at the back of the knee.
The windproofing is very effective and kept me nice and toasty down below zero. The density of the fabric is brilliant and results in no cold spots where the material is stretched. With others, my knees can get quite stiff in the cold; no such problems here.
Endura has included Thermolite rear panels with DWR finish to 'provide insulation and comfort'. Windproofing isn't as important on the back of your legs, so this is an area that allows a little more breathability. A little water resistance, on the other hand, can be very useful, especially if you don't use mudguards. For the most part, I used these with mudguards, so the only water to hit the DWR fabric were splashes and a little rain, and it coped easily with no water getting through. The real test came when I was warming up for a cyclo-cross race: I caked the legs and rear section in really wet mud and can happily say they weren't troubled by that either.
The pad is something that Endura has looked at as an individual component rather than a 'one size fits all' solution. The 700 Series pad is computer cut with a 'continuously variable profile' (CVP). The pad features an antibacterial finish and is available in three widths. My test pair came with the medium width pad which fitted well (for reference, I use a Specialized Toupe saddle in the 143mm width), with a firm, supportive core. The channelling meant I experienced no folds in the pad and the fabric remained soft after several washes.
Towards the top of the bib longs, Endura has added a lot of 'supportive cosy-touch' fabric to complement the close-knit Lycra mesh that makes up the back panel and straps. There is also a handy front zipper to assist those mid-ride pee stops. With no fabric backing the zipper, I was concerned that it would get very cold and possibly also cause irritation, but had no issues, and in fact didn't even notice it was there.
Rear-facing reflective strips on the ankle aid visibility – a good place to put some shiny material, I think, as the pedalling motion helps highlight you, especially if the car behind has its headlights dipped.
Endura is so confident in its bib longs that it offers a 90-day 'Comfort Guarantee'. Don't like them after the best part of three months? Take 'em back. That also gives you a great amount of time to test them for wear. Ours have been washed many times (but not tumble dried; I've ruined too many water resistant coatings in the pursuit of faster drying) and are faring well. Left to hang, they will dry overnight.
Although £139.99 is a lot to invest in Lycra, when you consider the performance of the tights I would say it's okay value. They are £40 more than dhb's Aeron Deep Winter tights, while Castelli's NanoFlex Pro Bibtights are £150.
The Endura Pro SL Biblongs are really, really good. The basics of fit and fabric are spot on, and they perform superbly, even in the nastiest conditions. If you can afford them, they're worth it.
Windproof, water resistant and thermal with brilliant fit, enhanced by the pad width options
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura Pro SL Biblong
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?
From Endura: "Definitive windproof legwear with multi-width pad precision."
It's a short statement but these deliver: windproof and with three different pad sizes.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
4-way high stretch Windproof, breathable fabric with DWR finish front and seat panels
THERMOLITE® rear panels with DWR finish provide insulation and comfort
700 Series pad, computer cut 'continuously variable profile' (CVP) stretch pad with antibacterial finish available in 3 pad width options
Ergonomic, pre-shaped panel construction
Supportive cosy-touch mesh upper with high stretch Lycra® bound straps
Rear facing reflective on ankle
90 Day Comfort Guarantee
If it's good enough for Nairo and Valverde ...
Can't fault it.
They're windproof with a water-repellent finish and have kept me warm and dry for hours. The pad is brilliant.
I've had no issues. They come out of the wash looking good as new.
The Lycra is supportive enough to keep everything in place without restricting movement.
The mediums on test came with about a 32in leg which was just right for me.
350g is respectable for bib longs.
I was concerned about the zip, thinking it would be cold. I didn't have any issues though. The Lycra is soft, the pad is comfy for well over four hours and the straps are well proportioned.
£139.99 is quite an outlay, but you do get a lot of performance for that.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No shrinking or loss of water or wind resistance that I could spot.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very windproof, warm and keep out quite a lot of rain.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
When you forget you're wearing them, it's a very good sign.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There's no gripper on the ankle but it's only a possible issue for the very tall and skinny.
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
They are pretty much faultless.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!