Endura has partnered with physiotherapist and ergonomist Phil Burt to produce new women’s bib shorts for riding comfort and performance, thanks to breaking taboos around women’s saddle sores by having open discussions with female testing groups.
“The aim of this partnership is to develop products that provide superior comfort and wellbeing on the bike through a collaborative process from concept through development, refinement and rigorous testing,” says Endura.
Products that have been successfully created through this process will bear an “Ergonomistry” mark and the first to do so are the new Women’s Pro SL EMG Bibshorts with a new women’s 800 Series ConForm EGM pad that’s claimed to be revolutionary.
Two years in the making, Endura says its approach was to confront the taboo around women’s saddle discomfort, with a rider centred design that underwent rigorous testing by female cyclists.
Phil Burt has worked for 12 years as the Head of Physiotherapy at British Cycling as well as five years as Consultant Physiotherapist at Team Sky.
“If you are thinking of your saddle pain you can’t focus on your training or race performance," he says.
“If saddle injuries are preventing you from training back-to-back days you can’t develop to your full potential as a rider.
“A lot of people adopt a riding posture that is suboptimal to alleviate saddle pressure – pushing back in the saddle or sitting in a more upright position.
“Good shorts allow you to sit where you want to sit and achieve the position that allows you to perform to your best.”
Saddle sores are caused by heat, water, pressure and friction, explains Burt, and the new shorts are said to be a complete system approach to this problem.
The new short pad with medical-grade silicone elastomer is said to avoid pressure.
“It is much more effective at dissipating pressure than foam or traditional PU gels, thereby protecting the skin and underlying soft tissues by spreading pressure across a wider area and reducing frictional forces,” says Endura.
It sits within a foam pad that promises to wick away sweat and aid breathability.
To reduce friction, Endura has also developed a pad cream and a post-shower moisturiser to maintain skin health. Endura’s Ride Skincare solutions are launching later this year.
Gel at the back is used to support the sit-bones, but Burt explains that women tend to have problems further forwards. This is why Endura’s new shorts have more gel at the front as women’s hips rotate slightly forwards which is transferring weight onto the vulnerable soft tissue.
Gel doesn’t wick away sweat and foam doesn’t fully protect against pressure so you need both, Burt notes.
To house the gel and foam together Endura has used a chamfered edge designed to prevent you from feeling where the gel begins or ends.
“By designing pre-formed reservoirs in the pads and carefully controlling the manufacturing conditions, the liquid elastomer penetrates the foam cell structure at its interface, accurately securing the gel in place and providing a smooth transition between the pad and the elastomer sections,” Endura says.
Even the best pad is no good if it’s inside a poorly fitted short. Endura says it has ensured that the pad and short fit work symbiotically.
“Unparalleled attention to detail has been applied in every aspect, from gripper to seam placement, delivering a consistent fit that positions and holds the pad on the rider for optimal all-day ride comfort.”
The construction combines wide elastic crossover back straps and a supportive front mesh panel that promises to be high wicking.
Endura’s unique zipless DropSeat function has also been included for quick and low hassle comfort breaks.
Available for £129.99 in sizes XS to XL, the new shorts come with Endura’s 90 Day Satisfaction Guarantee.
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.