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Endura Pro SL Classics Jersey II review

31 Oct 2017
Verdict:

Resilient form-fitting protection that’s low on bulk and high on function

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£150
For 
Great looking, readily convertible insurance against mixed-weather
Against 
Not as snug or comfortable as some alternatives

The idea that a single jersey might serve across the range of conditions that would previously have required an entire kit bag’s worth of clothing isn’t a particularly new one. Kickstarted by the introduction of materials that were simultaneously waterproof yet retained the ability to stretch so as to provide comfort and mobility, they’ve eroded the need for any kind of jacket in situations other than the brutally cold and diluvian.

The Castelli Gabba might be the most famous example but many brands now have something similar in their line ups. The Pro SL Classics Jersey II is Endura’s.

Having started out as a small cycle clothing maker back in 1993, the Scottish brand is now a major player. Endura’s clothing range has morphed too, no longer focusing predominantly on more budget options.

Sponsors of the Movistar mega team, the Spanish squad’s riders have used this jersey throughout the season.

Clever fabrics

Made predominantly of something called ExoShell25ST, Endura claims this thin, soft shell material has a waterproof rating of 30,000mm/24h and a breathability of 25,000g/m2/24h.

For non-geeks what those numbers mean is that the jersey's main panels should be really, really waterproof and really, really breathable.

In fact they put it up there with the very best you can buy, including Gore-tex.

Our non-scientific experimentation with a shower head proved that it does indeed remain seemingly impervious to water, even under significant pressure and when stretched.

These findings appeared replicated out in the real world, where having initially seen off light showers it took a decently long time to wet-out.

Breathability is harder to measure. On test rides it certainly appeared to do well, especially compared to a more conventional packable shell jacket, the sort of thing that you’d normally have to resort to to achieve similar protection.

If nothing else the amount of condensation that quickly built up on my phone screen when placed in the rear pocket proved water vapour was exiting the jersey at a pace.

Cut, fit, features

Materials aside, the whole assemblage is fairly svelte, from the race-orientated cut, to the thin fabric, and neatly cut and welded hems.

The cumulative effect is that the jersey sits flush against the rider with a minimum of superfluous material to flap around and catch the wind.

At the top its collar is uncommonly tall, assumedly to lock out the draught. However, devoid of a fleecy lining there's no additional insulation, meaning it’s definitely one to pair with a warm base layer.

Under the armpits are small sections of lighter, stretchier, material to improve fit and breathability. These appear to have a hydrophobic coating, but won't keep the water out forever.

Equally the seams aren’t taped. That's because the intention, despite the jersey's waterproof main fabric, isn’t to completely seal out the elements but instead keep the rider within comfortable.

A little bit of moisture won't hurt you, and being hermetically encased won't be enjoyable either. Instead a top that’s breathable, repels water, and dries quickly is the aim.

Features wise there are three pockets and an additional zipped compartment to secure your carry-along items. Given the robust nature of the fabric and their extra deep length there’s little chance of anything going astray once jammed in place.

Extending below the pockets is a low hanging flap. Easily tucked back up underneath in dry conditions, when the rain is pummelling you, or your back wheel is throwing up spray, you’ll be glad it’s there to reinforce the junction between jersey and shorts.

It, along with the lower panel, feature reflective printing to help you stand out to passing traffic. The flat-sitting zip is guarded by an external storm flap.

Additional arm warmers

If you’re spending this much cash it’s reassuring to know that the garment you've paid for is going to be useful in the maximum number of situations.

Helping achieve this are the included arm warmers, which are rendered in the same fabric as the jersey itself. A far neater option that removable sleeves, you’ll likely find yourself using them on most rides.

Easily stowable in one of the pockets, despite being a little stiff, dexterous riders shouldn’t have much trouble pulling them on or off while still rolling.

On first trying them I was worried my climber’s [read - scrawny] arms weren’t quite filling out their tops or the jersey's sleeves.

However both stayed in place without any unwanted movement, possibly due to the robustness of the material combined with the minimalist silicone grippers on both cuffs.

For more, see endurasport.com

Conclusion

Available in the dark blue and high-visibility orange or all black, the Endura Pro SL Classics Jersey II is a great option for speedy riding in mixed conditions.

Although much tighter and infinitely more waterproof it’s not quite as comfortable as some more conventional bulky fleece-lined alternatives.

Also while it'll keep you dry, don't rely on it to provide any insulation. You'll need to generate your own heat through high-tempo riding.

One for the race-heads then, and those happy to head out and push on, regardless of what the weather might threaten.

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