Specialized Enduro Pro Short ReviewApril 20, 2017
- Great storage
- Good durability
- Easy, effective size adjustment
- Too warm for hot weather riding
- Bibs are short in the torso
The Specialized Enduro Pro shorts are as close to perfect as you can get for an endure style short, meaning some substantial descending. They’ll work very well for cross-country riding, too, especially in cooler temps. Hate riding with a pack? With sprinter van-levels of storage, these are the shorts for you. Given the quality of the included chamois bib, the Enduro Pro shorts were the best value in the test.
The Enduro Pro shorts fit like you expect them to—not too baggy and not so loose that they’ll snag on the bike. They have a full range of sizes (30-42”) to fit most size riders. My quibble is that the shoulder straps on the mediums were a bit short and my torso isn’t particularly long. For good protection, the hem length is long (a 13.5-inch inseam in the 34s), but they don’t feel constrictive. The fabric is plenty stretchy. The Velcro tabs used to adjust the waist size are impressively grippy, but also easy to adjust. I’m a big fan of bibs, I think they just fit better—so I loved these shorts.
These shorts look like they mean business. They have a very athletic design that’s more function than form. They come in turquoise, black, red, and carbon, so let your color be your style. The laser perforated venting looks a lot better than zippers in the inner thigh.
Again I think bibs are more comfortable, especially if they fit right. The short fabric stretch is great—I never felt constrained, especially in more descent-oriented riding. The pad is substantial, which is fine as it’s not meant for cross-country all-day pedaling. I loved the lazer perforations in the inner thighs—much more durable overall than zippers, which can eventually wear out your liners and/or break. That being said, it’s a warm short and trying to ride in temps in the 80s with the Enduro Pro short might leave you pretty saturated.
The Enduro Pro stands out for its storage options. In addition to two zippered front pockets, there are elastic pouches on the outer thighs of the chamois that can secure bars, goo, or a phone/camera to your thighs very nicely without anything bouncing around. Best of all are the three elastic pouches on the back of the bib that can swallow snacks, extra tubes, and tools in a more secure fashion than jersey pockets. If heavily loaded, they’ll overlap the waistband of the shorts in a non-intrusive way. Zipper pulls are also big enough to operate easily with gloves on, but still tuck away under the zipper flaps.
It’s a long short and a burly short, meaning lots of good protection against rocks, sticks, or even cactus spines. The fabric has enough stretch, though, that you won’t feel impeded.
Our testing team tested the shorts in and around Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota; Sedona and Tucson, Arizona, Jackson, Wyoming and Moab, Utah over a period of two months on asphalt, gravel, and singletrack in temperatures ranging from the low 40’s to the mid-90’s and on distances that ranged from six miles to 56. Our testing team did not intentionally set out to test the durability of each pair of shorts in a crash. Instead, to judge the shorts’ ability to withstand impact, they scrutinized their construction materials, the weight of the fabric and the stitching. Though, there may have been some crashes anyway.
Frederick Reimers was the editor of Canoe and Kayak Magazine from 2007-09 and has been writing for Outside, Men's Journal, Skiing and Powder ever since.