Posts Tagged ‘bib shorts’

Endura MT500 Bib Shorts

Posted: January 7, 2011 in 2011, Product Reviews
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I have had a pair of Endura bib shorts for some five years now, they are extremely heavy duty with two layers of fabric on vulnerable areas (hips etc) and with a nod to some sort of padding in these spots too. They have been fantastic in every respect except for the chamois. Constructed in days before the advent of  the “anatomical” chamois, it is like a stuffed mattress, maybe even a stuffed naan, and about as much use. I learned to live with it and even accepted that things would always be this way.

Time has passed however, and while the old ones are still providing sterling service, it was time for Santa to bring me a new pair for Christmas! The MT500 is the new version of the old shorts but with several differences. Whereas the old pair were almost like a tri-suit, these are more traditional in style. They are heavyweight…. but decidedly skimpy next to the original version with none of the quaintly reassuring padding on the hips. The chamois looks like something out of a spacesuit, ridges everywhere, different materials and decidedly hi-tech! To regurgitate some of the blurb on the packaging, the shorts have a combination of “super durable Cordura Lycra outer for strength with polypropylene inner for fast drying” Stitching is “flatlocked” but most importantly, it has a seamless inner leg. For those of you new to cycling shorts, seams and ridges are about as popular as a VAT inspection… you just don’t want to go there! The rest of the blurb waffles on about the cut, the drying qualities etc but none of them tell you what they are like to wear.

The old shorts felt like you were donning a suit of armour – heavy, robust, supportive and confidence inspiring. The new shorts do not give that sort of feeling. To extend the armour analogy, whereas the old ones might have been medieval , the new shorts would be more akin to protective garments worn by the “Culture” – apologies if you don’t read Ian M Banks- you hardly know they are there. The exception to that comment is the chamois. It feels large, obtrusive and nappy like… When you clamber onto the saddle however, it becomes invisible which is how I like my chamois to be. It does everything you want a chamois to do but without you even knowing it is there! Fantastic! Another thing… the leg grippers were like limpets clinging to a rock, I almost had to prise them off to adjust them – once again…fantastic!

The one mistake I made with these  shorts was to grab them for a turbo session. While I leak profusely when I turbo, nothing prepared me for this. The shorts were so hot I had a true “boil in the bag” experience.

To summarise, so far  they have done everything a pair of shorts should do. They haven’t fallen apart and I love them.

The downside is the cost. Expect to pay around £70.00 a pair but if they last as well as my older ones, it will be money well spent.