Successor to the extraordinarily popular FS260 Pro SL Bibshort, we've got our hands on Endura's newest top-level bibshort. Read on to find out what we thought of the Pro SL II Bibshort.
Bibshorts are an essential piece of kit for roadies, but by their very nature are notoriously difficult to get right - ask around your club for recommendations and ten different people will come back with ten different shorts which they absolutely swear by. The reason for this is simple, in that us cyclists come in all different shapes and sizes and like different fits, support and features. While for some, aero is everything, some prefer a little more comfort; some may have wider sit bones, while others will prefer shorts that provide a bit more warmth. Despite all this, with their latest Pro SL II Bibshort, Endura might just have broken the mould to come up with a short to suit everyone.
Founded in Scotland in 1993, Endura have grown exponentially over the last twenty-five years with a no-nonsense commitment to advancing the performance and function of cycle apparel for all. Setting out back in the nineties with more of a tilt towards the off-road side of the sport, recent years have seen Endura's road gear come on in leaps and bounds in no small part as a result of their long running partnership with the Movistar Team and its associated team of superstars including Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, and Britain's own Alex Dowsett.
If the PadFit's
The stand out feature of the Pro SL II (and continued from the previous generation FS260 Pro SL) is the ability to choose from three different pad widths to best match the geometry of your pelvis (named PadFit by Endura), so you can find the best pad for you rather than just muddling on with whatever the shorts come with. An astoundingly simple idea, this just hasn't been an option before, and should be something that roadies the world over should get excited about, particularly for those with a more discerning rear end. In addition, the Pro SL II comes in two different leg lengths, standard and long.
Being distinctly average (both in terms of on-bike performance, and in stature), a medium with standard leg length was a pretty much ideal fit for me, while a quick glance at Endura's handy saddle width guide suggested that a medium width pad would match up nicely to the Fizik Antares I typically ride. At first glance I'll be honest and admit that I wasn't expecting too much from the pad - I'd usually go for a more structured, denser pad, whereas the 700 series pad in these shorts felt a little on the thin side. I needn't have worried though, as within the first few miles I felt very much at home. The simple exterior hides a complex internal design, cut by a computer in a Continuously Variable Profile which creates smooth, rounded contours created in collaboration with pressure mapping experts gebioMized�. With plenty more miles in the pad since, including a long slog around a drizzly Peak District, I'm yet to experience any discomfort.
Beyond the pad, these are a smart looking pair of shorts. An understated combination of matte (and slightly shiner) Italian power Lycra fabrics are tied together with muted Endura branding comprising just a black-on-black vinyl print on the leg with a small white logo on the rear, so you can easily wear these shorts with any other kit. The main fabric of the shorts is lovely, providing a nice close fit while the inclusion of coldblack� technology keeps you cool. I'm yet to test the shorts in weather that can be described as anything other than middling, but they've provided a good balance of breathability thus far. The panel lay-up is fairly uniform but does its job excellently, providing plenty of comfort with no bagginess.
As you'd expect with shorts at this level, the hems are cut with a raw edge, and constructed from a polyester/nylon blended fabric with a high elastane content they provide a really firm compression fit without you ever really noticing that they're there. The hems are finished with a strip of silicone with the 'Pro SL' moniker cut into it. Nice touch! The only point of note is that the seams are finished with a more traditional overlock stitch rather than being flatlocked or bonded - this hasn't affected me in any way as the finish is of an exceptionally high standard and so there was no risk of irritation, but it may be something to consider if you're more affected by these kind of things.
Up top, the Pro SL II is finished with broad, breathable straps which find their place comfortably and quickly without any pinch points, while still providing plenty of support to keep the shorts in place. On the rear, you get a large cut out in the centre of the back which does an excellent job of keeping you cool, even on the turbo trainer. And then, you get that radio pocket which instantly makes you a thousand times faster (*not proven).
Having put a good few miles into Endura's new Pro SL II bibshorts now, what do I think? I think very good things indeed. Perhaps the best endorsement you can give of a bibshort is that, once you've put them on, you don't think about them again, and that is very much the case with these shorts. They look great, feel great, and the comfort is off the chart and, thanks to the PadFit system, that should be the case for even more people that before. The Pro SL would be a good addition to any wardrobe at twice the price, so to hit around the £100 is simply stunning value. They've very quickly become my go-to shorts, and I'll be putting a good few more miles in them!
Endura Pro SL II Bibshorts
Game changing precision fit bibshorts ready to make life more comfortable in the saddle.
- High quality Italian power Lycra fabric
- 700 series pad available in three pad width options
- Coldblack� technology reduces heat build up and provides UPF50
- Ergonomic, pre-shaped multi panel construction
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