Product: Endura Singletrack II Shorts
Price: £47.99 RRP (you won’t often find much of a discount on Endure kit)
Review Type: Medium Term (6 months)
A good pair of baggies are a must-have piece of kit for the mountain biking wardrobe. They need to look good, be comfortable, perform well, be hard wearing and reasonably priced and the Endura Singletrack II Shorts meet all of these criteria.
The manufacturer blurb says they are made from “Cordura nylon fabric with durable water repellent finish” which, in the hand feels good quality without being too heavy duty. In practice, the material works well too – after six months of regular use and washing, they look pretty much as new with no noticeable wear in the seat or seams and no rips or threads from brambles etc. The water repellent finish works as expected and you can get away with wearing these in light drizzle with the water beading off. Anything heavier or in extreme wet/muddy conditions, I would go for a pair of dedicated waterproof shorts although these will dry relatively quickly after a soaking.
The fit is on the more fitted side of “baggy” and perhaps a touch shorter than some other shorts. I typically wear 34″ waist rousers and am wearing a size M in these. Personally I prefer the fitted style as it makes for a much more comfortable short for rides lasting more than an hour or so. I also find the rubbing you get from shorts that come right down onto/over then knee generally annoying (unless they are a 3/4 winter short), so these are also good in that respect.
The leg openings have velcro adjustments so you can get rid of the knee flap you sometimes get on baggy shorts with no adjustment – particularly annoying if the material also starts rubbing on your top tube on each pedal stroke. It also means that you can adjust them if you are wearing knee pads – if they reach down long enough for this to matter – as I say, they are slightly shorter in length than some other shorts.
Other notable details that help these shorts fit well are the elastic waistband with good quality velcro adjusters on each side. The velcro adjusters combined with the elastic part of the waistband mean you can get a really good fit with no need for a belt, although belt loops are included if you prefer this. Up front is a zip fly and a single button fastening. Again, I much prefer a button fastening to poppers which can come undone. Inside, there are popper attachments if you own a pair of compatible Endura “clickfast” inners.
In terms of comfort, the shorts have “Stretch thigh and back yoke panels” which means the sections on the inside of each leg and the top of the back, just below the waistband. It’s difficult to see on the black shorts, but have a look on the other colours and you will see them as black panels. In practice, these really help with comfort and the inner leg panels definitely help prevent bunching. I can wear these for anything from a quick blast on the trails to a 3-4 hour more XC oriented ride.
On the front/outer edge of each leg is a ventilation zip with mesh backing to increase airflow if things start getting a bit warm – a useful feature although the shorts are not overly warm despite the quality material.
Colour choice is fairly limited to black with white detail, back with blue detail and olive green. The Endura site shows a green option but these don’t seem to be for sale anywhere. So nothing to really appeal to the current “enduro” trend of bright fluro colours.
The only area that really lets these shorts down is the pockets. There are two front hand pockets with neat, trick, magnetic spot closures. However, I wouldn’t personally keep anything valuable in a pocket that didn’t close securely over the full opening. The left hand of these pockets also has in inside zipped pocket which is more secure but not huge.
There are two further “cargo” pockets to the rear, kind of down the back of each leg, held closed with a velcro spot. I find these pockets rather bizarre and intuitively just weird as they seem completely the wrong place to have pockets! Anyway, the pocket situation is largely irrelevant for me as I always wear a backpack.
Overall, I would say these are an essential addition to any mountain biker’s wardrobe: great quality, good fit and the icing on the cake is that they are reasonably priced too.
Further reading: Endura Product Info