Endura Pro SL Cycling Kit Review: The Best For a Great Price
The top shelf stuff.
Remember when we used to ride with other people? Whenever I was showing up to test my mettle with a friend, I liked to dress the part as well. I have cycling kits I wear at home on the trainer, or maybe in a pinch on a lone ride outside, but I also have the kits I wear when I am out with a friend. I’m not riding with anyone right now but the Endura Pro SL Cycling Kit is what I would wear if I was.
Endura doesn’t cost a lot but the quality is superb.
The Endura brand was never at the forefront of my mind. If I gave it much thought I always thought of Endura as being a bargain brand. After spending some time with a bunch of pieces in the Endura Pro SL lineup I’ve started to pay attention. Everything I tested from Endura feels like the kind of quality you often have to pay a lot more for. I took a look at pieces from the line covering both spring/fall and summer and it was impressive
The Endura Pro SL cycling kit consists of pieces that are a bit more relaxed than some of the most race-oriented gear on the market. The fit is form fitting but not quite as tight as you’d find in an all-out aero jersey. At the same time the fabric is thicker than what you’d likely find in a lightweight hot weather design. None of this is a liability to the design just pieces that make up the flavor that Endura is cultivating.
One of the stand out features is Endura’s use of ultra-soft fabric.
My favorite feature is the same fabric I described as being a bit heavier. Some kits are so thin that they feel flimsy. In contrast, the Endura Pro SL cycling kit feels silky and substantial. The difference is subtle but it makes a difference. It’s the same way there’s a subtle difference between that perfect T-Shirt with the just right fabric vs the cheaper ones that are good enough. In fact, that’s the story of every piece from the Endura Pro SL cycling kit. Subtle details that come together to make a comfortable, and great looking piece.
The first piece in the lineup I want to talk about is the Translite short sleeve base layer. It’s the only piece that’s not part of the Pro SL collection. Despite not being part of the collection, it does feel, similar. You’ll find that same soft and silky fabric and it’s even nicer as used in a base layer. I’m picky about base layers. I always prefer short sleeves and I want it to be form fitting without anything to cause wrinkles. The Endura Translite nails all the elements. It feels great against your skin, wicks well, and it’s not a hassle to get it situated under the jersey. It’s also worth mentioning that Endura has gotten the length right. I can’t stand an overly long, or short, baselayer and Endura has hit the mark.
I am picky about how a base layer feels and the Endura is a good one.
I had planned to begin testing these pieces in the late spring when a gilet and long sleeve jersey make sense. Unfortunately, with COVID lockdowns in effect I didn’t have the opportunity to do a lot of outdoor riding at that time. Oregon being what it is though there were opportunities in June. The Endura Pro SL Lite Gilet is light enough that you can pack it into a jersey pocket when the weather changes. It falls in that zone where it’s more than an emergency piece but less than the heaviest of storm gear that some brands carry. The fit is noticeably slack in a way that works well for layering without having to size up. Perhaps most importantly, for a gilet, it has pockets. Too many offerings on the market don’t include pockets and it’s a hassle.
The Endura Pro SL long sleeve jersey is also somewhat unique on the market. Many long sleeve jerseys include some amount of wind protection. Endura has gone in a different direction. The Pro SL long sleeve jersey uses the same extra soft fabric you’ll find elsewhere. The sleeves are tight and feel a lot like arm warmers. The sleeves are also extra-long so that there’s never any pull at the shoulders. It’s just enough to take the edge off a chilly ride and it pairs well with the gilet if you need wind protection.
The Endura Pro SL long sleeve jersey feels a lot like the short sleeve jersey paired with arm warmers.
When it comes to the Endura Pro SL short sleeve jersey you again find the super soft fabric as well as a collection of thoughtful details. I love at least a nod to the classic collar of bygone cycling jerseys. On the Endura Pro SL short sleeve jersey that’s exactly what you’ll find. It’s not a huge collar but it completes the look and it feels great against your neck.
Under the arms there’s small perforations to release excess heat. At the sleeve ends you’ll find a raw cut edge and silicone grip strips on the inside. The length of sleeves is about midway down the bicep. It’s a more traditional length compared to many aero offerings. As you move around back the pockets come from a single piece of fabric with extra ventilation. This keeps your low back from getting hot under extra layers of fabric. There’s also a zippered valuables pocket. The pockets are my only critique as I’d like to see them all cut a bit larger.
Little details are what make Endura Pro SL cycling kit great.
The final piece I evaluated are the Endura Pro SL bib shorts with the narrow pad. The story with the bib shorts is definitely the pad sold in sizes based on saddle size. Initially this did not make much sense to me and I didn’t notice any real difference. It’s not until you get into the details that this design makes sense. Most of the chamois padding is very thin. Then at the contact points it’s one of the densest pads I can remember testing. Because the padding is so targeted the placement is more important than usual. Taking this direction with the design gives good padding where it’s needed without excess bulk.
There’s no extra bulk on the chamois.
The fabric on the Pro SL bib shorts also has a reassuring density and is highly compressive. As the legs come to the end, they don’t have a separate gripper section, but there is a nice wide section with silicone grippers. Some bib shorts are more like shorts with straps while others come up well above the waist front and back. The Endura Pro SL bib shorts fall into the shorts with straps camp.
They do come above the waist in the front though and the fabric at the edge has a fold for comfort and compression. In the rear the straps come together high on the back then quickly taper to a narrow single section. The transition between the lower shorts and the strap happens low down and is also narrow. The feel of the straps themselves are a high point of the whole piece. It reminds me of the Assos design in many ways but I prefer the Endura chamois.
The dense, silky, fabric used on all of the Endura pieces gives everything a similar feel.
The Endura Pro SL cycling kit carries a cohesiveness between all the pieces. The fabric is dense and silky and there are thoughtful details everywhere you look. It’s available in simple color designs without a lot of overwrought design details. When it comes to pricing Endura brings it all home far undercutting well-known brands on the market. If you are like me and haven’t given much thought to Endura before now is a great time. The lineup has everything you need for all four seasons and I have no doubt it’s all as high quality as the Endura Pro SL.