Posts Tagged ‘endura’

In my book, six months is a long time for a pair of track mitts; they seem to dissolve before my eyes once the three month mark is hit.

As you should be able to see from the photo they have lasted pretty well, retaining shape, colour and well, just about everything. The proof of the pudding, as the saying goes, is in the eating so how do they feel when in use?

Tough to get on, they are very snug on the hand. The ones shown are XL and while my paws are quite large, they aren’t huge. A snug fit is good as far as I am concerned, I hate gloves that flap about and twist round your hand.

On the back of the glove there isn’t a dedicated ‘snot wipe’ so you have to make do with smearing nasal dribblings on the back of the glove, functional but not fantastic; having said that, a dedicated wipe can get pretty minging after a while. There is an area of reinforcement between thumb and forefinger and this has lasted really well. If you do any sort of milage on a road or CX bike, this area takes a beating, thus far, these gloves have taken it all and come up smelling of roses! The velcro….yes the velcro; this has to be the Achilles heel. I can’t put this in too fine a way…it is crap! Too small and not ‘sticky’ enough, as soon as I rest my hands on the bars it pops open. If the gloves were not so close fitting it would be a real problem. Note to Endura – bigger, stickier velcro please….like now!

So to the palm, there are three areas of padding/reinforcement. The two grey areas are a sort of rubberised concoction and to be honest, I can’t see that they help at all. The pressure point padding that sits on the heel of your hand stands proud of the glove and seems too small to actually do much. When I first got the gloves I thought they were probably going to be inadequate however, all I can say is that I rode the short loop (100k) of the Bucks Offroad Sportive a couple of weeks ago and I forgot I had any gloves on. They did their job in a quiet and unobtrusive way, caused me no grief and by the end of the ride I had no issues with pain or numbness at all. The back was soaking wet but that is another story!

The ‘fingers’ are made of a quite thin material, backed with some sort of nylon (the red section in the picture). There is a single row of stitching and this is something I want to take issue with. A single row of stitching is not enough, gloves always fail around the fingers and these are no exception. The fingers are beginning to fail particularly because of another shortcoming. Getting these darn gloves off is a pain, a real pain. They are very snug but Endura have seen fit not to include any loops for you to pull on – loops which help you get some purchase on the glove: because there are no loops, you have to pull at individual fingers in sequence, giving a series of little pulls to free the rotten things from your hands. Inevitably, this means you pull at the ends of the fingers, the area with least reinforcement. Note to Endura – loops please!

I wash these gloves after every use – well they sit in the bottom of the shower and get paddled about with muddy, soapy water. From day one they have been cardboard like in feel and this has never improved. A proper wash in the washing machine made no difference. Softer gloves would be nicer but I suppose they would not last as long. A trade off them between longevity and comfort.

I can’t remember what I paid for these but they were not what I’d call ‘budget’ gloves but there again, nor were they that expensive.

On balance then, a decent pair of mitts for use on and off road. A bit tough to get off but if you can put up with that, a thoroughly worthwhile purchase. If Endura could sort out the velcro and the loops they would be pretty near perfect.


Endura Knee Warmers

Posted: February 4, 2011 in 2011, Product Reviews
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Another piece of kit in the winter rider’s armoury – the knee warmer. Best suited to autumn, spring and the warmer winter ride these are designed to do what they say on the tin. They keep your knees warm, preventing localised hypothermia (a condition invented by myself!) and ultimately preventing injury. If it gets too warm, they are easy to slip off, if it is too cold…pedal harder!

On the back of my experiences with the Assos leg warmers I was expecting a similar problem but Endura have been sensible with grippers all around the top of the leg. I haven’t tried it but I bet if you worse them without cycle shorts over the top, they would stay up on their own.

The fabric is what I would call heavy duty with a double layer on the impact points. This will not stop you bruising yourself or breaking bones but if you come off and slide, there will be some protection from road rash as the top layer deforms and moves under the bottom layer. There are reflective patches here and there but not enough to be that noticeable, particularly if you are covered in mud!

The cut is fine and the fabric behind the knee thin and flexible enough not to cause irritation or bunching.

At about £20 or so a pair these are an excellent buy and thoroughly recommended.

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.