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The updated Endura Women's FS260-Pro Bibshort DS feature a zipless drop seat feature and beautiful colour options, but the new design alters the fit of the previous shorts, making them looser – and the overall quality isn't quite what it used to be.
Made of recycled polyester (20%), elastane (30%) and nylon (50%), the shorts offer a non-restrictive fit, even in a more aggressive road riding position, and the open back and front design are good for warmer temperatures.
The straps are a mesh fabric with plenty of stretch, allowing the drop seat (DS) feature to function properly – although this adds to the looser fit.
This easy-pee solution is quite similar to Velocio's FlyFree design. Basically, the stretchy straps and overlapping panels on the lower back make it easy to pull down the shorts without putting any strain on the seams.
As good as it sounds, and as easy as it is to use, this is not my favourite easy-pee design. I own not just one but two pairs of Endura's earlier design of these bibs, featuring a zipped drop seat, and I love those shorts and how easy they are to use. The only downside is that on long rides the zip can feel uncomfortable on the hips – an issue I (and, presumably, Endura) thought this new design would remove, but it didn't.
The new drop seat design – Endura says this is the third iteration – adds unnecessary fabric to the lower back, and makes these bibs feel loose in the area where a little bit of compression would be good and help to keep them in place.
I could possibly have sized down to an XS for a snugger fit, but I've usually always been small in Endura kit. Endura does offer these bibs in sizes ranging from XXS to XL, so a good range to choose from. (And they come in neon pink or black, as well as the 'Kingfisher' on test.)
The looseness aside, or because of it, the fit is pleasantly non-restricting, but I did find myself having to adjust the pad while riding, as it has room to move.
It's Endura's Women's 600 Series Pad, which has a Continuously Variable Profile with gel inserts and an antibacterial finish. I really like it, although it is quite wide and comes up a little higher at the front than some, which isn't for everyone. I found it great, including on longer rides, plus it also washes well and dries quickly.
Endura shorts tend to come up slightly shorter than some, I find, but the length fits me perfectly and that's the case here.
Because of their width and stretch, the leg grippers are very comfortable, with silicone strips inside ensuring they won't creep up. They also feature two reflective stripes, which are great for added visibility.
The bibs have more seams than many, which doesn't affect performance, it's more an aesthetic consideration, but I have already seen a few loose threads in these. After just two rides, the stitching around the chamois started to unravel, and there are loose threads and rather patchy finishing in other areas.
The Endura logo on the upper thigh has also started to peel off with regular washes. I'm not against branding, but maybe the logo should be placed elsewhere or its material redesigned so it'd stick a little longer. The shorts also feel like they're getting looser after washing.
You can pay a lot more than the £89.99 of these bibs for ones with an easy-pee design and a comfortable, long-distance pad. Velocio's Ultralight bib shorts, with a similar drop seat design, are now £201, and Assos' UMA GTV C2s are amazing in terms of quality and comfort (I reviewed them just last month) – and £210.
However, you can find bib shorts with easy-pee solutions for a lot less than that, such as Pearl Izumi's Women's Attack Bib Shorts for £99.99. We haven't reviewed those, but Anna thought the 3/4-length versions were excellent.
Though the Enduras are £10 cheaper, there is room for improvement in the finishing quality. I also think you need to be careful with the sizing as the drop seat feature seems to make these a looser fit – a lot looser than the previous zipped DS version, anyway.
Assuming the fit is good for you – you might want to size down – these are comfortable bib shorts, with soft and stretchy fabrics and a good long-distance chamois. The drop seat functions well but I don't think it's as good as the previous zipped design, and the quality – of this pair at least – wasn't up to Endura's usual standards.
Comfy, with a good easy-pee solution, but the fit is on the loose side and the finishing quality variable
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura Women's FS260-Pro Bibshort DS
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
In essence, these bibs are the drop-seat version of Endura's best selling FS260-Pro bibs that the brand describes: "Now in its third generation, FS260-Pro Bibshort has become the go-to-garment for the discerning rider who recognises quality. This bibshort ranks highly in reviews, frequently outperforming more expensive alternatives from other brands. This is thanks to its focus on performance, comfort and sharp styling."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
These bibs have Endura's 600 Series Pad, engineered using computer cut 'Continuously Variable Profile' (CVP) process which delivers a stretch pad with antibacterial finish and integrated gel inserts for added comfort. To eliminate any chafing and bulk the hems are finished with a raw edge power band with an inner silicone print for optimal grip. Low bulk Y-form binding is also used on the mesh upper. Reflective twin stripe detailing on the rear hem helps keep you safe on night rides.
Endura says this product is in a 'pre-curved race fit' and yet is supportive and comfortable for the larger rider.
After a few wears, some of the stitching was already showing signs of unravelling. They also feel like they're getting looser after washing, and the Endura logo has started to peel.
A bit loose because of the drop seat design.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The bibs wash well – in terms of coming out clean – but they felt even stretchier/looser after a wash, and the Endura text on the thigh has started to peel off.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The materials feel soft to the touch, and the shorts have a very comfortable pad suitable for long-distance rides, but I found it needed some adjusting while riding because of the looser fit. The drop seat functions well though – they're easy to pull down for a pee break with a jersey on.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I like the colour (Kingfisher), the chamois and the wide leg grippers.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I am not a fan of the redesigned drop seat – the zip one performed a lot better without compromising the fit of the shorts.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're a tenner cheaper than Pearl Izumi's Women's Attack Bib Shorts – we haven't reviewed those, but Anna thought the 3/4s were excellent.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The colour options are great, and the chamois is very comfortable on long rides, but Endura has updated the drop seat from a zip to a stretchy panel, which has compromised the fit to an extent; they feel almost too loose on the waist and lower back and offer nearly no compression. Also, after a few wears some of the stitching was already showing signs of unravelling. They're quite good, but room for improvement...
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Tarmac Sl6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, general fitness riding, Ultra-distances
Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.