The Endura FS-260 Pro Thermo Bib Knicker is an excellent performer, offering good warmth down to single digit figures, a very comfortable pad, and great nighttime visibility. The fit is mostly good, though you might want to check before you cut off any labels.
If you're not a fan of the bib shorts and leg warmers combo, or just want something that's more seamless and comfier, three-quarter bibs are an essential item in your cycling wardrobe. Endura's FS-260 Pro Thermo 3/4s are perfect for bridging the gap between mild and freezing weather, and have plenty of other features that make them a standout choice.
They're essentially a cut-down version of the ones we reviewed a while back on road.cc. Back then, we said the longer versions were good down to about 4°C. In this case, the 3/4s are suitable for around 7°C.
The fleecy material on the inside cossets your skin and helps to retain warmth, while the high waist gives you good coverage against the cold around your midriff. Helpfully, Endura has included a front zip to assist you at toilet breaks, and the padded garage at the top prevents any discomfort from the zip.
The bib straps are a decent width and the brushed fabric on the inside is very soft, which feels great on the shoulders. I did find that the bib upper got pretty wet after an intense ride, but then that tends to be an issue with any cold weather tights that I've tried, when there are several layers on top to contend with.
Overall fit is good – fitted, but not race tight – although in a size Large as tested, I did find that at 6ft 4in I could have done with slightly more length in the legs (as usual) and just a smidgen more length in the straps.
At the bottom of the leg you get raw edge, grip rib cuffs with a grippy material on the inside. I did find that the cuffs were a little on the generous side, meaning that they didn't quite hold on to my skin and tended to ride up a little on my calves early on in a ride, and sometimes the bottom edge of the material would even fold over slightly on the right-hand side.
It could just be that I need to beef up my calves, but given the amount of stretch available in the cuffs, I would have thought that Endura could have designed them to better accommodate smaller calves as well as bigger ones.
I also noticed that there was some bunching of the knee fabric – a small complaint, but irritating nonetheless. Jamie's review of the full-length version highlighted that they weren't quite tight enough around the calves and ankles, too.
One thing I do really like about the cuffs is the two thick strips of reflective material on the rear of each leg, which is great for helping your legs to ping out at night, further aided by the reflective Endura logo on the right of the backside and the sizeable logos on each side of the leg. I'd certainly be just as happy wearing these on miserable commutes as I would on sunny training rides.
There's no windproofing on offer here, but when you're working hard you'll be thankful of the extra breathability, preventing your legs from getting sweaty even when the temperature gets into double digits.
A non-toxic PFC-free DWR coating gives you a small amount of protection against the weather if it turns, with the water beading up nicely on the fabric to start with, but it quickly starts to saturate if you encounter heavy rain.
The material is, then, ideal for withstanding light rain and road spray rather than prolonged bouts of heavier rain. On several grimy off-road rides, the FS-260 Pros kept me warm for many hours and afterwards still looked in a pretty good state considering the amount of wet mud that had been hurled against my legs.
One of the standout features of the FS-260 Pros is the seat pad. It's Endura's long-distance pad, the 600 series, which the Scottish company says is designed for rides over four hours long, with a 'Continuously Variable Profile' (CVP) with gel inserts and antibacterial finish.
The pad isn't super thick, but it certainly feels as capable as any other premium pad I've tried from the likes of Rapha or Pedaled, and I can happily ride for many miles without discomfort; I have particularly pronounced sit bones, so clearly the gel inserts underneath are doing their job.
Price-wise, the FS-260 Pros are at the lower end of the scale, looking at what we've tested previously on road.cc. You can get cheaper – for £15 less, Primal's Dawn Bib Knickers were highly rated by Stu, and they appear to fit better around the knees too. But Ashmei's winter merino 3/4 bibs, which also performed very well, cost over twice the price, and even the 'affordable' 3/4 bib tights in Assos's range, the Mille GT Spring/Fall Knickers, are over £65 more expensive, and don't seem to offer any advantages that I can see.
Overall, it's hard to fault these 3/4s. Sure, they don't have that high-end premium feel or look that you get with some brands' offerings, but given the price tag of £89.99 there's no reason to expect it, and they do everything else really very well. They're comfortable, with a great pad, good in poor weather and offer decent visibility for nighttime riding. You might just want to try them for size before buying, though, if you can.
Excellent performing 3/4s at a competitive price, but check the fit around the knee/calf area
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura FS260-Pro Thermo Bibknicker
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Endura's 3/4 bib tights are perfect for bridging the gap between mild and freezing weather, offering greater comfort than a bib short and knee warmer combination.
Endura says the FS-260 Pro Thermo bib knickers offer "essential winter warmth".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Luxurious Thermoroubaix® fabric with DWR M™ treatment provides insulation, comfort and water repellence
PFC-Free, non-toxic durable water repellent finish
Supportive, cosy touch bib upper with high stretch y-form binding
600 series pad, computer cut 'Continuously Variable Profile' (CVP) stretch pad with gel inserts and antibacterial finish
Ergonomic multi panel construction
Raw edge, grip rib cuff
Not super-premium fabric design, but good quality nonetheless.
Warm, even around 7°C, with good protection against light rain and road spray and a very comfortable pad for long rides.
Ridden in all kinds of weather and washed plenty of times – none of the reflective wording appears to have been affected, even when tumble dried.
Good overall fit, aside from slightly bigger cuffs which appear to be made for larger calves. Some bunching around the knees too, though that could be because of the length of my legs.
I'm normally a Large or Extra Large in bibs, depending on the brand. Large fitted me quite well, but they could have been a little longer (I am 6ft 4in though).
Not superlight, but not particularly heavy either. You do get extra protection around the midriff and the insulation keeps you warm, mind.
Very comfortable overall, and the pad is perfect for longer rides without discomfort.
There are some cheaper options out there, but others that are a lot more expensive, and it's fair to say that the FS-260 Pros do offer a lot for the money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems here – came up looking like new again after each wash, and fine even after being tumble dried.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They kept me warm and comfortable on rides in cold (but not freezing) weather, and they're able to withstand a lot of abuse from the elements – perfect in poor weather on road or off.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfortable seat pad.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The leg cuffs being a bit looser than I would normally like.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Not the absolute cheapest 3/4 bib tights we've tested (that award goes to the Primal Dawn Bib Knickers), but their price tag of £89.99 makes them highly competitive given just how good they are. You can spend £65 more for the Assos Mille GT Spring/Fall Knickers and not have any reason for justifying the additional outlay.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Aside from the fitment issue around the knees/calves, which might not be a problem for others, the FS-260 Pro 3/4 bib knickers come highly recommended. They're warm, keep you well protected in foul weather, have good nighttime visibility, and the seat pad is very comfortable for long rides.
About the tester
I usually ride: Steel audax bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,