Earlier this summer I received the entire Singletrack outfit from Endura, which includes a softshell jacket, trail pants, bib liners and a jersey. I spent the summer riding in each piece as much as possible, and while I found some things that could be improved upon, I’m still pretty impressed with Endura’s clothing overall.
All the Singletrack pieces fit me quite well, and they offer a comfortable cut that’s ride-friendly but not skin tight. Endura has mastered the art of producing well-fitting, ergonomically friendly garments for cycling, but since it’s my job to nit-pick, I’ll tell you what revisions I think would make the Singletrack kit perform even better.
Singletrack Softshell Jacket
Endura’s Singletrack Softshell jacket is, in my opinion, one sharp lookin’ piece. I find this jacket is sporty enough to ride well, but it also doubles as a casual ‘around town’ layer too.
On my slim, 5’9” body the size Medium jacket I have fits very well. Its torso and sleeves are slender enough to not flap around while you ride, but it’s not a body-hugging garment. The cut leaves a bit of room inside, and the shell fabric offers some stretch to ensure full mobility.
The large hood easily fits over a helmet, and the softshell fabric has proven pretty durable – I usually ride with a hydration pack, and I can’t see any wear and tear on the shoulders or back panel.
For storage there are two zippered front pockets and an inside chest pocket with a media port. Endura has included Velcro adjusters on the cuffs and cinches at the waist and hood so you can batten down the hatches in really nasty weather.
So how does the softshell fare in crappy weather? Earlier this summer I headed out for an hour-plus ride in steady rain. My shoulders and back were dry when I got home, but the sleeves looked like they got soaked and my arms were wet. Initially I thought the rain had defeated the sleeves, but after riding on a dry day I realized it was my arms sweating inside them.
Because of this, I can’t give the softshell high marks for breathability. There are a few small vent holes in each armpit, but the shell fabric doesn’t allow for enough moisture to escape. Unzipping the front will dump enough heat that you can keep the jacket on for an entire loop, but the sleeves trapped in heat and made my arms really sweaty. Bigger armpit vents might improve ventilation, but I felt I paid a price on the breathability side for this jacket’s water resistance.
Ventilation would be less of a concern if the jacket was more packable, but you’ll need a decent sized pack to stow this layer. While I was impressed with the waterproofing and styling, the Singletrack Softshell’s ideal temperature range is a bit limited. It seems to fare best on cooler rides, where you’d plan to keep it on the whole time and hopefully not sweat too much inside it. The Singletrack Softshell Jacket sells for $169.99 USD and comes in Black or Navy. Sizes range from S-XXL.
Singletrack Trail Pants
Some riders are anti-pants, but as a guy who hates being cold I always wanted to try out a pair. After my test period I’d say Endura’s Singletrack Trail Pants are a great piece to have, especially when things gets cold, wet and muddy.
The trail pants’ legs are heavily articulated and their pedalling mobility is totally unrestricted. Flex panels above each knee help the pants move freely, but they’re already shaped so ergonomically that I didn’t notice these panels stretching much, if at all. The pants offer a relaxed fit, but their tapered legs keep the hems on top of your shoes and your pant legs away from your chain.
There’s plenty of storage available between two zippered front pockets and two rear cargo pockets. The rear pockets’ Velcro closures securely held my wallet, and kept it to the side of my saddle.
The leg vents look small but work well – I opened them up on a warmer ride and felt my legs cool down right away. The pants are warmer than shorts of course, but they are comfortable in a pretty wide temperature range (and unquestionably ideal for colder rides).
After a good wet ride I noticed water had beaded up on the DWR-coated pants. I came home with my legs completely dry, and realized that sometimes it’s also nice to keep mud off your body! Endura used durable Nylon outer materials and twin-stitched critical seams to ensure these pants can survive a few crashes.
The Singletrack Trail Pants are designed to fit over knee pads, but I found my trail pads just fit through the bottom hems. Pedalling with the pads was fully unencumbered, but I found it tricky to wriggle my knees into position or re-adjust them inside the pant legs. I had hoped to use these pants for bike park riding, but my DH kneepads are too bulky for them.
The Trail Pants include Endura’s Clickfast buttons to connect them to their Singletrack Bib Liners, which I was also testing. Since the buttons are on the back of the bibs, I tried snapping the trousers and bibs together before putting them on. This worked out OK, but means you have to slip your kneepads on from the bottom. The best way to put together the pants, knee pads and bibs would be to put on the bibs and knee pads first, then pull the pants on. My issue with this technique is that the buttons aren’t easy to snap together without some serious twisting.
My other issue with the Clickfast buttons is that they didn’t stay connected to the bibs. The snaps on the pants are positioned in four horizontal rows of three, but on the bibs you’ll find just two vertical rows. By the time I pedalled to the trailhead, the two small buttons would come apart (Note – Endura’s non-bib liner shorts have four horizontal rows of buttons and would likely hold much better). Although their connectivity was a moot point, the pants did layer well over the Singletrack Bib Liners and my other chamois shorts.
Despite the Clickfast connectors not holding onto the bibs, I’m quite happy to have these pants in my closet. Pedalling in them presented no mobility issues whatsoever, they’re warmer than shorts but vent well when needed, and they will keep you dry and clean in sloppy riding conditions. The Singletrack Trail Pants sell for $124.99 in sizes S-XXL. They come in Black only.
Singletrack Bib Liners
After many rides with the Singletrack Bib Liners, I plan on doing many more rides with them! I found the size Small pair I’m testing fit my body well – The back and shoulder straps matched up with my upper body and most crucially the seating area offered a tailored fit. The leg hems are a bit snug, but they’re wide and comfy on the thighs.
The lightweight mesh panelling on the outsides of the legs and upper body of these bibs keeps your body fairly cool and wicks moisture well. The only ‘hot spot’ I noticed is the front panel that covers your lower belly. I wonder if Endura could use the same mesh for this piece as they have elsewhere… perhaps they favored a stronger fabric for that area?
I found Endura’s 500 series chamois pad very comfortable, providing a lot of cush in the saddle without feeling too thick. I’ll give major kudos to Endura for including an access flap in the front of the men’s bibs! With most bibshorts it’s quite a task to relive yourself during a ride, but with these bibs’ clever ‘fly’ it’s as easy as ever to answer nature’s call. This one’s Ferda Boys!
The Singletrack Bib liners have a pocket on the right leg for stashing gels, and a larger pocket on the back panel for small items. I found the rear pocket was a bit awkward to reach into, as it sits quite high up on my back. The red buttons that connect the Bib Liners to the Singletrack Trail Pants also sit pretty far up, but the high rear waist of the pants does line up with them.
I had no issues whatsoever with the fit and feel of the Singletrack Bib Liners, whether paired with the Singletrack Trail Pants or any of my baggy shorts. I’m also happy to have a very comfortable chamois between me and my saddle. The Singletrack Bib Liners retail for $84.99. Sizes S-XXL are available in Black only.
Singletrack Lite Tee
The Singletrack Lite Tee is a simple looking jersey, with a very casual style that works well on or off the bike. It has a fairly relaxed fit with more room in the body and longer sleeves than sportier jerseys would have, so it’s great on hotter days but isn’t my first choice when I’m riding with a snug-fitting midlayer.
This jersey is made from a durable and slippery pack-friendly fabric, but Endura did leave one seam running across the back of the shoulders. It’s actually not too noticeable while riding, but I’d prefer to see a seamless construction on the back panel.
I was happy enough with the jersey’s breathability and moisture-wicking abilities. The 88% polyester, 12% Elastane blend performed just like my other poly-heavy jerseys, feeling slick on the skin, breathing well and soaking up my sweat.
The Singletrack Lite Tee sells for $47.50, and comes in Grey or Petrol colors. Sizes range from S-XXL.