Specialized Enduro Pro Review
Cons: Not the best quality control
Our Analysis and Test Results
Specialized is one of the biggest brands in the cycling industry, making everything from road and mountain bikes to shoes and apparel. Specialized has latched onto the Enduro moniker for a variety of their products, most notably their mountain bikes, to denote their versatile and enduro race capable gear. The Enduro Pro shorts are undoubtedly good for enduro-ing, but throughout our testing, they proved to be a tester favorite, offering a fully-featured design with a functional performance fit and versatility for all riding styles.
Testers found the Enduro Pro shorts to be incredibly comfortable both on and off the bike. The fit is designed to work with the included 3D Mountain chamois or Specialized's SWAT bibs when worn together. The outer shorts are made from a slightly thicker and tougher material than the super soft fabrics used on several other models we tested, but it still feels good against the skin. The shorts offer a good amount of stretch and allow for plenty of freedom of movement.
The 3D Mountain chamois liner has a comfortable pad and a stretch mesh body that breathes quite well. These shorts used to come with SWAT bibs, which are now sold separately and worth splurging on, in our opinion. Testers did feel that the ventilation of these shorts was a little lacking and could be improved, but the Vaporize material dries quickly.
Fit and Pedal Friendliness
The Enduro Pro shorts have a slimmer fit that seems oriented towards function and performance as opposed to the way they look off the bike. The size 34 waist test pair fit true to size, and the waist adjustments offer several inches of adjustment. We found the articulation of the waist to be spot on with a very comfortable fit when seated and pedaling, a stretch panel on the back below the waistband also provides some additional give in that area. The shorts sit just above the knee when pedaling and don't add any resistance to the pedal stroke.
The fabric isn't the softest or the stretchiest in our test, but it was very well suited to any length of pedaling mission you could throw at them. The slimmer fit gives the shorts a lower profile reducing wind resistance and preventing any material from flapping around at speed. The shorts also have a high cut crotch that never hangs up on your seat, which is nice when descending. The Enduro Pro shorts are available in even waist sizes 30 through 40 inches.
The Enduro Pro shorts are nicely featured, and it seems Specialized has thought of just about everything. They have external waistband adjustments, a comfortable 3D Mountain chamois, a classic zipper fly with velcro backed snaps, and well-designed pockets.
The liner shorts have a well made 3D Mountain chamois that is impressively comfortable. The chamois is attached to a stretch mesh liner short that conforms well to the body and breathes impressively well. This liner isn't quite as impressive as the SWAT bibs that these shorts used to be sold with, but it is still far better than most liners that are included with competitor's shorts.
The Enduro Pro shorts have two zippered pockets, one on the top of each thigh, which are well designed to hold items while riding. Flat items, like a cell phone, are ideal and are held securely against the thigh, so they don't move around. They have also incorporated a vertical zipper on the side of the right thigh that opens to access the SWAT pocket on the leg of the bibs or can be used as a vent.
External velcro waist adjustments are another thoughtful design feature on the Enduro Pro shorts. They are very easy to access on the fly during a ride and offer several inches of waist adjustment and a very secure velcro attachment. The shorts have a zipper fly, and two velcro backed metal buttons as a closure. The liner shorts also have fabric loops that snap onto the waistband of the shorts that also help to keep them in the right spot.
There isn't much in the way of ventilation on the Enduro Pro shorts, but there are some small laser-cut holes on the inner thigh in the crotch area. It isn't much, but it works better than nothing at all.
When these shorts arrived for testing, we were a little unimpressed with the quality. There were a lot of loose thread ends on both the outer shorts and the liners.
It was a bad first impression, but we simply trimmed off all the loose thread ends, and we've monitored the stitching ever since. Over the course of a couple months of testing, the stitching held up well, and there hasn't been any additional loosening or pulling of threads.
The 4-way stretch "water repellant Vaporize woven fabric" that Specialized uses for the main body of the shorts feels sturdy and durable. It offers a decent amount of stretch and so far has held up to all the abuse we can dish out, including a crash or two, with no tears or noticeable abrasion to the fabric.
With a 13.5 inch inseam, the Enduro Pro shorts hang right at the knee and have a slimmer more functional and performance-oriented fit.
They aren't tight by any means, but they fit on the slimmer side of the spectrum. When seated and pedaling, the shorts sit just above the knee. Off the bike, these solid colored shorts have a very comfortable fit and a casual look, you wouldn't know they are mountain bike shorts just by looking at them. They come in two colors, Aqua and Black (tested).
The Enduro Pro shorts offer pretty good protection with the durable and tough material that shrugs off contact with trailside hazards like branches and bushes.
The shorter inseam of the shorts offers good coverage down to the knee, but not below it, so your knees are exposed while riding. The Enduro Pro shorts work with knee pads, but the smaller leg openings work best with thinner less bulky styles. If you want to run a more substantial knee pad, some of the bigger gravity style shorts may be a better option.
At a retail price of $130, the Enduro Pro shorts are a great value. Not only do they come with a quality liner short, but they have a great design, performance fit, and excellent features. These shorts are great for a wide range of riding disciplines and styles, and they will enhance your riding experience. The other great thing about them is that the liners and shorts can be worn together or separately, giving you even more options.
Don't be turned off by the name of the Enduro Pro; these are an incredibly versatile and well-designed pair of mountain bike shorts that are great for almost all types of riding. Testers loved the functional performance fit and features, pedal friendliness, and value of these shorts. We love them, and we think you will too.
— Jeremy Benson