At A Glance
Scottish brand Endura have been creating clothing for British conditions for many years, a staple of which has been the MT500 range. Made from ExoShell60™ 3-Layer waterproof fabric to keep things dry, these are a fully waterproof short with taped seams and stretch panels which help keep the fit neat and comfortable. A reinforced Cordura panel on the seat provides protection against the inevitable wear and tear associated with wet weather riding. Other features include draw cords on the waist and hems, along with a rear pocket which can be used to stash the shorts inside when the rain finally stops. As with other shorts in the Endura range, they are Clickfast compatible, meaning liner shorts can be clipped in and held in place.Buy Shorts on
On The Trail
The fit on the shorts is very tailored and slightly snug, the large size I tested I found to be almost too tight around my thighs, and the less than generous in-seam length meant they sometimes came dangerously close to leaving a gap between my knee pads and shorts! Obviously a major fashion disaster. If you are tall, it's well worth considering sizing up to get the extra length and space for knee pads. Despite the neat fit, they are cut well and once on they were quickly forgotten about, and long days pedalling in the saddle were comfortable and I had no issues with them riding up or restricting movement. The rear pocket is big enough for a mobile phone or a set of keys, but that's the only pocket on offer, Endura have kept it simple and sleek, which no doubt helps keep the water out.
Luckily, I have had a winter of significant rainfall and although lightweight, they have done an admirable job of keeping me dry in some truly horrendous wet weather. The reinforced seat panels do help to protect them from wear, but after a few months of fairly heavy use in the mud and rain they are starting to show some signs of fatigue, but are still going strong. The lightweight nature of these shorts means they are best suited to days riding wet trails, rather than a full winter of abuse. The ability to pack them away in the rear pocket means they are ideal for taking along on rides as an extra layer to help maintain a dry bum if the weather turns on you. If they are used as an over-short, consideration needs to be made when selecting your standard shorts from the wardrobe, as again the shorter length wont work over a more baggy short.
The MT500 shorts are a set of well made, lightweight waterproofs, and plenty of thought has gone into the design with nice features such as the draw strings and pack-away pocket. As a work-horse winter short, riding several times a week, they're not quite robust enough and are better for those damp days on the trail, or to pack as a just-in-case short, which is what they've really been designed for. Being so lightweight, I found them ideal for stashing in the pack if the gathering clouds had me doubting whether the weather would hold as I set off on a ride.
By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.