The Endura Xtract Bib Tights are a middleweight model that the Scottish brand reckons is equal to that of some costing double the price. A big boast perhaps, especially given that the Xtracts are its baseline model, but I'm pleased to report they've ticked all my boxes when it comes to fit, middle-distance comfort and durability. For more options, check out our guide to the best winter bib tights.
The main fabric is 82% nylon and 18% elastane, with a thin-pile Roubaix fleece lining for warmth and flat seams for comfort. The bibs are cut nicely, but although there's a decent amount of give in the fabric, there were times when I would have preferred a lower cut front for bladder stops.
Endura's sizing guide doesn't include inside-leg measurement. I'm not overly tall at 181cm but I am proportionately long in the leg (33.5in/85cm) and short in the torso. Consequently, while most brands tend to be a decent fit, some mediums are more compatible than others. I'm pleased to report, Endura's fell into the latter category. The microfibre lining hugged my contours while still offering complete freedom of movement.
The ankle cuffs are elasticated rather than zippered, which I prefer, with silicone to hold them in place. The legs also play nicely with waterproof, mid-calf technical socks, which I gravitate to in the early season to avoid cold, wet feet.
And there's been plenty of cold and wet during the test period, but the Xtracts' middleweight fabric has done a decent job of keeping it at bay.
Much to my surprise, though there's no DWR (durable water repellent) treatment to the fabric, it still took about an hour and a half before dampness from light showery rain became apparent against my thighs and knees, and about an hour in more persistent rain (riding with mudguards). Crucially, in both contexts, I stayed warm.
Rides in colder, drier conditions were pleasant, the fabric doing a decent job of blocking chill January winds and maintaining a comfortable inner climate.
The bib section is similarly effective at blocking chill but with a decent baselayer wicks efficiently, so I've never felt soggy around the back and chest.
I've been comfortable when the mercury's slid to zero and a little below, but I tend to gravitate to lower gears and higher cadences, so legs tend to stay warmer by default.
Wicking and general comfort was also good around 12°C, on the few occasions when things turned unseasonably mild. Yes, there was a little more dampness at key points for around 20 minutes before the fibres began wicking duties, but I remained temperate and dry for the duration of my rides.
Endura's in-house 400 pad is a notch better than most I've used at this price point. Like most, it employs a wicking, anti-bacterial finish and has gender-specific contouring. Sensibly proportioned, it's 15mm at the thickest point and enhanced with localised gel inserts.
It took a few miles to level out initially but quickly moulded to my shape, proving plenty of support without feeling like the proverbial slab of bread. There was no hint of numbness or tingling, let alone chafing or soreness on mixed terrain outings.
I'd say it's good for rides of around the three-hour mark, although pads are a very personal thing. I've gone longer without complaint, but the Xtracts wouldn't be my first choice for endurance rides – a century, for example.
The tights' outer texture is very conducive to subtle shifting of position, regardless of saddle covering but, crucially, without annoying surf.
After 500 mixed terrain miles and regular washing, there are no obvious weak spots. There's been the odd brush with brambles when whizzing through narrow singletrack, but no bobbling or similar signs of wear.
I've washed these in the machine at 30 and 40 degrees (the latter to replicate those accidental in-with-the household loads) and they've emerged looking and smelling fresh. Drying times vary, but in a stiff breeze on a sunny day it's taken around 70 minutes on the line, nearer three hours indoors at room temperature.
At £74.99 the Xtracts represent solid value for money.
Donda's Principal Bib Tights are a tenner less, and impressed Stu with their warmth, pad and value, but the bib section might be a bit thin for some.
Stu also liked Lusso's Classic Thermal Bib Tights, reviewed back in Feb 2020. However, he felt these had the opposite problem: the solid bib section could prove too warm when riding hard. They have since been revised to address this point, but are a bit pricier at £85.
Van Rysel's RCR Winter Cycling Tights are reckoned good between -3 and +10°C. They also feature a water-repelling layer, and a two-year warranty. However, Ali found the pad a bit wide and irritating when off the bike. They're also £5 more than the Xtracts.
I'm inclined to say Endura's boast about the Xtract Bib Tights rivaling more expensive models is more than advertising bluster. They've delivered excellent comfort in freezing and milder conditions, keep light rain out surprisingly well, and feel lighter than some traditional winter weight models.
Well-executed, wallet-friendly bib tights for general winter riding
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Make and model: Endura Xtract Bib Tight
Tell us what the product is for
Our Xtract collection punches well above it's weight on performance. This thermal bibtight over-delivers with a level of quality often found in products at double the price.
400 Series Pad
A moulded stretch pad in a plush microfiber face fabric for luxurious comfort with strategically positioned gel inserts. Maximum thickness of 15mm with antibacterial and wicking finish and dimpled structure to improve comfort on pressure points.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High stretch insulating durable Roubaix fleece
400 series antibacterial, multi-density gel pad with micro-wick technology
Silicone leg grippers
Elastane 18%, Nylon 82%
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Seem very well made and show no signs of wear in 500-odd mixed terrain miles.
Rate the product for performance:
The pad is good for 3-4 hours of steady riding, its density providing plenty of support without feeling like the proverbial loaf of bread.
The main fabric's middleweight density is less restrictive than some traditional thermal models I've used, without any loss of warmth. At the other extreme, they've never left me feeling overheated when the temperature has crept into double figures. It also repels rain very well for a non-DWR-treated fabric.
Rate the product for durability:
No sign of a loose thread, let alone bobbling or similar deterioration despite regular washing and wearing.
Rate the product for fit:
Very accurate. Snug and contour hugging without feeling restrictive, but could be a touch lower at the front.
Rate the product for sizing:
Rate the product for weight:
Reassuring without feeling weighty.
Rate the product for comfort:
Very good in the main. Being picky, I would have welcomed a lower front for pee stops, but not overly problematic.
Rate the product for value:
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy. Not so much as a loose thread, let alone shrinkage or deterioration.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Comfortable on and off-road. I'd say they are best suited to middle-distance duties – three or maybe four hours.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fit, cut, pad, and excellent freedom of movement.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not a dislike per se, but bolder retro-reflectives would be welcomed.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Donda's Principal Bib Tights are a tenner less and impressed Stu with their warmth, pad and value, but the bib section might be a bit thin for some folks.
Stu was also impressed by Lusso Classic Thermal Bib Tights, reviewed back in Feb 2020, though he felt these had the opposite problem: the solid bib section could prove too warm when riding hard. They have since been revised to address this point, but are pricier at £85.
Van Rysel's RCR Winter Cycling Tights are a fiver more than the Xtracts. They feature a water-repelling layer and a two-year warranty, but Ali found the pad a bit wide and irritating when off the bike.
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
They're very good: well-executed winter bib longs that live up to their hype. DWR coatings on the leg sections are perhaps a missed opportunity, but with mudguards, I've never felt soggy or cold even in persistent rain.
Age: 49 Height: 1m 81cm Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
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