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New for 2009, these 3/4 length versions of Endura's well respected FS-260 bibshorts will give you the extra warmth you need when the temperature drops. They're not full on winter gear but great for cooler conditions and early starts.
Choosing bibs that fit can end up as an uneasy compromise between your height and waist measurements. Fine if you're a 6' tall racing snake, less great if you happen to be of average height and fond of the occasional pie. According to Endura's sizing chart I'm a size L but Endura sent us an M. This made my heart sink because, as a longstanding fan of the bibshort version, I was really looking forward to trying these. Happily they fitted perfectly and without bursting any stitching. In fact, they have to be the most comfortable pair of 3/4s that I've worn and I'll be sizing down for any future purchases.
At £70 these are at the higher end of the scale for 3/4s although way short of the bonus-busting likes of Assos. That said, you get plenty for your money. Fieldsensor fabric is of a higher class than standard lycra, the seams are all flatlocked and you get lightweight mesh panels on the back, the straps and down both sides. The styling is racy and distinctive but without being over the top. I particularly liked the way that the white stitching which runs down the back of each leg holds in place a strip of reflective material. It's a nice touch, especially as these 3/4s are likely to be used on dark mornings and evenings. As an added bonus there are reflective logos on each thigh, showing that these are a well thought out product in their own right, not just race shorts with six inches of extra leg. I wasn't sure about the pocket in the middle of the back though. It's cute, but unless you wear a pocketless top it's of limited use.
The pad is perhaps the only aspect of these bibs which could be improved. That's not to say it's bad – it fitted perfectly and was very comfortable – but there are more technical pads out there. For example dhb's Finchdean 3/4s cost a fiver more but have a pad with antibacterial properties and gel inserts.
Endura describe these as having "Coolmax double layer knee panels" but our test versions only had a single layer. That said, with all that mesh these bibs are a little on the light side for full winter use but unless you suffer really badly with the cold they should be fine for short blasts, club runs and commutes.
An excellent addition to the range, perfect for cool weather rides and an excellent fit.
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Make and model: Endura FS260 Pro bibknickers
Size tested: L
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 don't say, but their FS260-Pro kit tops the range and has a snug racing fit.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fieldsensor fabric, silicon hem grippers, reflective piping. Nothing new, but it's well known and well proven stuff.
I've had trouble in the past with Endura stitching, but despite being stretched over my sturdy physique, these have held up well.
Excellent. The fit is superb, they feel great on the bike and you get enough extra warmth to make a difference without running the risk of being cooked in a full winter weight pair of tights.
So far, so good. Stitching around the arm and neck holes has been a weakness on previous pairs of FS260-Pro shorts, but these have held up well.
Just lovely. Being modest of stature (5' 8") and sturdy of build I sometimes have trouble getting bibshorts that fit but Endura's FS260-Pro range seem to fit perfectly.
At £70 these are as high end as many cyclists will want to go but they are well worth the money. For comparison, dhb's Finchdean 3/4s are a little more expensive but have a slightly more advanced pad. Of course you could pay twice as much for the likes of Assos...
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit. Reflective piping neatly integrated into the seams
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, definitely
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?
Superb fitting 3/4s that should see you through from Autumn to Spring.
Age: 40 Height: 5\' 8 Weight: er....86kg
I usually ride: GT Rave - singlespeed conversion My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
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: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,