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Summer shredding with Endura MT500 MIPS helmet, Singletrack Core Tee II & Lite Shorts

Endura kit, SF, M.I.
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While we mountain bikers are a tough bunch, comfort is always of key importance when you’re out on the trails. This spring I received Endura’s MT500 MIPS helmet, Singletrack Lite shorts, and Singletrack Core Tee II to test, and after a few months with these pieces, I’m still quite happy to toss any of them on for a ride.

I did have some small issues with the helmet’s fit (but nothing preventing me from wearing it), and found minor gripes with the shorts and jersey, but I would still say all three pieces are solid choices for MTB riders.

Endura MT500 MIPS Helmet:

Endura MT500 MIPS helmet

For complete details on the MT500 MIPS check out my launch article from this spring, but here are some key specs: Its in-molded shell is built around lightweight and highly ventilated Koroyd protection. A MIPS liner pairs up with Endura’s dial-operated retention system, and the adjustable visor offers three positions.

Overall I find the MT500 MIPS pretty comfortable. The shape of the shell fits the top of my skull nicely, and the interior padding keeps anything rigid from touching my head. For this updated model Endura increased head coverage from the previous MT500 helmet, and on my shallow head it just clears my ears, sits low on my forehead, and covers the back of my skull entirely.

The Koroyd core provides excellent ventilation – and not just from the front, but from any angle. Even at low speeds air flows through the shell and the Koroyd easily, so the MT500 is good to go for hot summer rides. 

Endura MT500 MIPS helmet from back

The MT500’s retention system offers four height positions, and since the shell fits quite deep on me I’ve kept mine in the second-highest setting. In this position, the rear dial sits low enough to provide a secure fit. The straps’ Y-shaped adjusters are easy to set up, and I am perfectly happy with the traditional chin buckle.

The MT500 MIPS is not the lightest open-faced helmet out there at 416g, but it’s not heavy enough to provoke any soreness in my neck. I’m all for lighter helmets but frankly, the MT500 MIPS fits me well enough to carry its weight comfortably. 

riding in Endura MT500 MIPS helmet

In my launch article, I mentioned how the helmet fit a bit large on me, due to my 56cm head lining up with the smaller end of the size medium’s 55-59cm range. After riding it, I’m pleased to say the retention system does keep the shell feeling more secure than I expected. Front-to-back the MT500 fits me OK, but there is more width in the shell than my narrow head needs. However, once I hit the trails with it I forgot all about the width; with the retention system clinched in, I didn’t notice the shell flopping side-to-side at all.

Endura MT500 MIPS helmet from front

Because the MT500 MIPS’ shell fits so deep on me, compatibility with eyewear is a problem. I have several pairs of sunglasses on hand and none of them work with this helmet, as there’s not enough space on my forehead. I tried my smallest pair of goggles with the MT500 and they pushed the helmet upwards by more than an inch, so there’s no way I could ride this lid with goggles.

As mentioned in my launch article, the MT500’s visor only provides shade in its lowest of three positions. In that setting it’s already barely visible, so I never moved it upwards. The upper positions are likely there to carry goggles, but I never tested this because the deep shell couldn’t accommodate a pair on my shallow head anyways. The MT500 MIPS retails for $239.99, and sizes S/M, M/L, and L/XL are available. Color options are White, Olive Green, Black, Concrete Grey, and Blueberry.

Singletrack Lite Shorts:

Endura Singletrack Lite Shorts

The Singletrack Lite shorts are made from a blended Nylon/Elastane fabric that’s light, breathable, and durable. The fabric offers four-way stretch and is coated with a PFC-free water-repelling finish. Vent holes down the insides and outsides of the legs provide some airflow.

Endura Singletrack Lite Shorts back

These shorts feature a zip fly with a two-button closure and fairly slim and small Velcro waist adjusters. The large Endura logo and stripes inside the waistline act as a gripper to ensure a solid fit. The Singletrack Lite shorts are Clickfast compatible with Endura’s chamois, so you can snap the two layers together to keep them lined up comfortably.

Endura Singletrack Lite Shorts waist

With a waist that’s a tad under a 32, I’m wearing size small shorts and they fit great. The waist and hip area are slim but not snug, and I’ve only had to cinch in the Velcro waist adjusters by a bit. That leaves hardly any bunching at the back of the waist, which goes totally unnoticed while riding. It seems the waist gripper is doing its job as the shorts stay in place very well. The cut of the shorts allows for full mobility, to the point that the fabric’s stretch rarely needs to come into play.

Endura Singletrack Lite Shorts in use

For this short Endura offers options for shorter or longer leg lengths, and I chose the longer option. The longer leg is generous but not overkill. At 5’10” the longer shorts just cover my knees, and the legs are not baggy but loose enough to hang freely over kneepads.

Endura Singletrack Lite Shorts front

The Singletrack Lite shorts offer two zippered leg pockets and one zippered rear pocket, which I like – why worry about losing things while you ride? The front pockets don’t feel very deep, but they’re big enough to fit my smartphone. My only issue with the pockets is that they are pretty square in shape, so after some riding my phone winds up shifting around and sits diagonally or horizontally across my thigh instead of staying vertical. This doesn’t limit mobility or get uncomfortable, but perhaps a deeper, narrower pocket would keep a phone lined up with your leg better. I keep a decent-sized keychain in the other pocket and it’s never felt uncomfortable during rides, and for one ride I tossed my wallet in the rear pocket and totally forgot it was there! The pocket kept my wallet completely off my saddle.

Endura Singletrack Lite Shorts detail

In terms of coolness, the Singletrack Lite shorts are pretty average. Aside from the laser-cut vent holes and breathable fabric, there’s no mesh paneling, zip vents, or anything else to make these an ultra-cool option. I wouldn’t hesitate to ride these shorts on any summer ride, but I have cooler pairs in my closet. 

I haven’t had any spills in the Singletrack Lite shorts, but I have put a decent amount of mileage on them. There is definitely no damage or excess wear to report on my shorts.

The Singletrack Lite shorts sell for $119.99, in men’s sizes S-XXXL and women’s sizes XXS-XL. Endura offers five color options for women and nine colors for men.

Singletrack Core Tee II:

Endura Singletrack Core Tee II

Keeping things light, the Singletrack Core Tee II is just a simple and thin T-shirt style top – No pockets, no goggle wipe, no zippers, just enough to keep you covered up. The thin grid-style body fabric allows for plenty of airflow and manages moisture well, so this jersey is a good choice for hot weather rides. The 80% recycled polyester fabric offers a slippy feel, and there are no nasty seams or anything else causing comfort issues.  I’m a fan of rounded collars and happy to have one on this jersey.

Endura Singletrack Core Tee II in forest

At a slim 5’10”, I’m wearing a size small tee. The jersey fits me well in the chest and shoulders. The body is just long enough to keep me fully covered in riding position; I’d take another inch or two in length but it is OK as is. I like the arm length, which nearly reaches my elbows providing good coverage and sun protection.

Endura Singletrack Core Tee II back

The Singletrack Core Tee II passes the base layer test, as it’s not too baggy in the body or sleeves to comfortably wear under other layers. It worked perfectly well under my snug-fitting Dainese AWA wind jacket.

Endura Singletrack Core Tee II wear

Every jersey I review gets the pack test too, and unfortunately, the Singletrack Core Tee II isn’t proving to be particularly durable.  After just three rides with my camera pack, I noticed wear and tear on the fabric at my hips where the waist strap sits, plus some slight wear on the lower back. Endura did leave seams running across the jersey’s shoulders, but they’re small and don’t get uncomfortable under shoulder straps.

MSRP for the Singletrack Core Tee II is $54.99. Men’s sizes range from S-XXL, and they come in Aubergine (as tested), Black, Blueberry or Tangerine colors.


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