Endura MT500 Spray Baggy ¾ shorts £72.99
It wasn’t until I first rode Endura’s new MT500 Spray Baggy ¾ shorts in muddy conditions that I realised just how good they were, and any initial scepticism was quickly blown away. Their waterproof panels and longer leg length makes so much sense for much of the British winter that I don’t know how I managed before without them in my life.
The key to their brilliance is a waterproof 3-layer fabric used for the back half of the shorts, with fully taped seams ensuring moisture from the constant riding through puddles doesn’t penetrate through to your under layers. In essence, your butt stays nice and dry, and that means massively increased ride comfort.
Meanwhile, a light Cordura 4-way stretch fabric is used for the front panels. Now being waterproof means you stay you warm and with increased breathability less overheating. Comfortably warm. The final detail is a tougher waterproof fabric found on the crotch; apply a liberal coating of mud and grit to your saddle and all that sliding back and forth just acts like sandpaper on your shorts.
The combination of these three materials works wonders. I tested them through some of the muckiest, muddiest and wettest rides that I’ve known in a long time, and I stayed dry and warm. I would usually expect to get a soggy bum in such conditions, when in the saddle for 4-5hrs, but this wasn’t the case. It was quite a revelation. They’re obviously not going to keep you as protected as a full waterproof short, but for most typical British winter riding they offer all the protection you should need.
As for the length, I’ve never been a fan of three-quarter length shorts in the past, but these have changed my mind. The excellent fit is the reason, with a good length that falls nicely below the knee, keeping your valuable knee joints well protected from the cold and wet. Thankfully there’s no restriction when pedalling, thanks to the articulated knee. Velcro tabs at the ends let you taper them in a bit to cut down the bagginess if it’s too much.
There’s plenty of zipped pockets, a zipped and buttoned waist closure and they use Endura’s Clickfast feature to clip Lycra shorts into the baggies around the waist lining. There’s belt loops around the waist if you need a little extra help holding them in place, but I found they sat just nicely around my hips and didn’t slide about at all.
I’ve done a handful of rides so far in conditions ranging from dry and mild to wet, cold and soggy, and they’ve excelled. The only area of possible concern is durability, but so far they’re holding up just fine, and that includes surviving a mighty crash into a hard gravel track at speed. The Cordura fabric is intended to be resistant to tears and scuffs and this is the case, as they show no signs of crash damage.
After a handful of muddy rides the shorts are holding up well, and continue to impress greatly. They’re more expensive than regular baggy shorts, but considering the average weather in the UK, they’re a great investment for the frequent mountain biker.