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The Endura Engineered Baselayer is a clever bit of kit. The fit is absolutely spot on, sitting close to the body without being restrictive, and the knitted yarn feels pleasant against the skin. The differing knit patterns not only help with the fit, but also mean temperature regulation can be controlled, making it versatile across a wide range of conditions.
When it comes to being comfortable on the bike, your baselayer is often the first line of defence – for the top half of your body at least – and while you can pick one up for around 15 quid less than this Endura, it is worth investing a decent amount of money for one that delivers the right balance between warmth and breathability.
While it feels weird writing a review for a long-sleeved baselayer in the middle of a heatwave, just a few weeks back Jack Frost was still making himself known for my early morning rides.
With the air temperature around the freezing mark, I wore the Endura with a long-sleeved jersey over the top and was very impressed with the amount of warmth on offer.
The Engineered Baselayer is cut to fit close to the body when in a race position on the bike, which helps with warmth. You can feel it fitting excellently around your torso, and should any draughts get in through the neck of your jersey or jacket, they aren't getting underneath the Endura.
The attention to detail on the shape of the baselayer is impressive – it uses various knitting patterns to allow the whole top to mould to your body.
For instance, the elbows are shaped to suit the bend when you are holding onto the handlebar, so there is no bunching of fabric. You have the same sort of detailing down the sides of the body and at the shoulders.
Basically, Endura has achieved a tailored fit without having to use a load of panels and therefore eliminating the need for loads of seams. There are a couple over the shoulders and at the top of the arms, but they are flat and smooth, so irritation isn't an issue. The build quality throughout is top notch too, so you'll be getting many rides and washes out of it.
Varying the knit pattern is also intended to aid breathability too. Under the arms the knit creates a light mesh, and you get a much more open mesh pattern running down the back panel.
On those early morning rides the temperature would sometimes increase quite rapidly, and on all but the steepest of climbs the Endura dealt with the heat build-up. A few times I returned home and the baselayer was a bit damp from the efforts, but I never noticed it while actually on the bike.
I can see the Endura getting a lot of use through autumn, winter and early spring.
At £44.99 it's not as cheap as some, such as the £34.99 Craft Intensity CN LS M, but when you look at what else is out there with similar performance or technologies, it doesn't look too bad.
The Cube Baselayer Be Warm Race Long Sleeve had some issues with the hem riding up according to Jon. Not what you want from a top that costs £70!
I tested the GripGrab Freedom Seamless Thermal baselayer and it uses the same sort of ideas, with varying knit patterns to help fit and breathability. It worked well, if no better than the Endura, to be honest, but it costs double at £90.
For a slightly cheaper baselayer than the Endura, the Lusso Merino costs £39.99 but Jamie wasn't overly impressed with its breathability.
Overall, I think the Endura Engineered baselayer delivers a lot for the money, both in terms of performance and overall quality.
Very impressive three-season baselayer that delivers on performance, comfort and fit
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura Engineered Baselayer
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Endura says, "DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
A good base layer is the foundation of any technical layering system. The engineered construction on this garment provides incredible stretch and minimal seams while the varied panels of fabric density delivers extra wicking or warmth where you need it most.
This garment uses 3D knit to provide a soft, thermal barrier; perfect for when days are short and the air gets nippy. The rapid wicking yarn offers unrivalled moisture management, and the panel technology is designed to avoid chaffing allowing you to layer up yet stay comfortable.
The athletic skin-tight fit prevent gaps which cold air can flow down, providing you with a natural feeling thermal layer."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rapid wicking yarn
Varied knit for balance of warmth, wicking and reshaping without additional seams
3D knit that reduces jersey contact with skin
Seamless panel technology to prevent chafing
Athletic skin-tight fit
Nylon 88% / Elastane 10% / Polyester 2%
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Sizing aligns with Endura's chart. One thing to bear in mind is that it is designed to fit when on the bike, so the arms and body might feel quite long when initially trying it on. Once you're stretched out on the bike, though, it all fits right.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I followed Endura's washing recommendations and had no issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A very good balance between warmth and breathability.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The tailored fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I didn't really dislike anything about it.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There are a few long sleeve baselayers on the market for less, like the Craft and Lusso, but the Endura delivers the same design ideas and performance as the GripGrab I mentioned but at half the price.
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 overall score
A well-made, close-fitting and comfortable baselayer that just works really well.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!