Endura launch industry first with new FS260 Pro SL Drop Seat Women’s bib shorts which are now available in three different seat pad widths. Here’s a first look…
by Magdalena Schoerner
Endura’s men’s bib shorts have long been celebrated for their quality, fit and innovative design, much of which can be credited to the brand’s impressive in-house production facility and working so closely with the Movistar pro team. Now the women’s equivalent of their top-of-the-range model, the FS260 Pro SL has received a make-over and, with offering a choice of seat pad widths (narrow, medium or wide) to fit your saddle and physique, just like the men’s, Endura have launched an industry first and further strengthened their position as industry leaders.
Where the men and Endura’s design team have been benefiting from feedback from the Movistar pro team with the likes of Quintana and Dowsett, the design of the women’s road range now has direct input from the Women’s World Tour Team Cervelo Bigla and exceptional riders such as Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio.
But what about a less professional environment? Will I be able to notice a difference? Well, I was lucky enough to get to test them throughout recent weeks..
Nice packaging may not be up there on your must-have bib shorts feature list but it definitely made for a pleasant surprise to notice the extra attention to detail when I first received the garment.
Just to be picky, personally, I am no big fan of signposting women-specific items with the colour pink and I wasn’t sure about the caption ‘Love at First Sit’ BUT I was very pleased to see that this was only the case on the cover of the box and I was then very positively surprised with the gender-neutral colour-scheme of the actual shorts, including a green seat pad. (The medium pad is red and the wide option is blue.)
Let’s stick with the seat pad, after all this is where the real revolution of the new FS260 Pro SL lies. The shorts use a 700 series pad which has been developed with gebioMizedⓇ (and with input from a range of pro riders) and, according to my saddle width (143mm) and previous experience I opted for the narrow pad option. The pad feels substantial yet still relatively thin on first inspection. Later on the bike, I did feel that the pad was a more precise fit compared to some other bib shorts models I own and there certainly wasn’t any excess pad material which can move around and cause pain.
The other feature which I was really intrigued by is the Drop Seat design. This isn’t a brand new concept but I have never used a pair with this type of ‘comfort break’ feature as I had previously thought it may be a bit awkward (this isn’t an area I’d usually like to expose so quickly and readily!) but the design really convinced me! The Drop Seat construction means that there is a zip running all the way from the the top half of one thigh via your lower back to the other thigh which makes it possible to drop this part of the garment for quick loo breaks.
As I am not currently racing my initial thought was that it may be a lost extra on me but I cannot stress enough how much easier this makes (female cycling) life, particularly when wearing several layers as was the case when I first started to test these.
I didn’t feel the feature affected the design or fit in any way negatively, my only comment would be that I felt quite a bit more wind chill coming through the zip when riding in them during cool, late winter/early spring conditions.
The raw edge hem with super fine, wide silicone leg gripper is also worth mentioning as it’s incredibly lightweight and there was no uncomfortable ‘digging in’ at all (as experienced with other high-end bib shorts models) while still fitting perfectly tight.
The straps were also light, stretchy and fitted my body shape well with no pulling whether in bike position or standing straight.
The fabric – made from Italian ‘Power Lycra’ – feels smooth yet durable. Ideal for riding in hotter, sunnier conditions (I’ve not had the pleasure yet this season), it comes equipped with coldblack® technology which guarantees a minimum sun protection of UPF 30 and reduces heat build-up on dark fabrics. The straps and upper back panel are made from a stretchy, lightweight mesh.
The FS260 Pro SL women’s bib shorts are an industry first from market leaders Endura by being available in three seat pad widths for a more precise fit. Yet it was the comfortable leg grippers and the Drop Seat design feature which impressed me the most and, for me, very much justify the slightly higher price point (currently £94.99).