Endura Women's GV500 Reiver Bibshorts have been made with off-road endurance riding in mind. The quality chamois offers comfort for long rides and they have a lot of extra pocket space making them an ideal consideration among the best cargo bib shorts.
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Endura Women's GV500 Reiver Bibshorts - Technical Details
Endura has made the Women's GV500 Reiver Bibshorts with physiotherapist and ergonomist Phil Burt to create a “great fitting, high performing pair of bib shorts tailored to meet the demands of adventure and gravel riding.”
Made of Elastane (15%), Polyester (35%) and Nylon (50%), these bibs feature double-layered side leg panels to reduce potential gravel rash from crashes. They also have mesh cargo pockets on the thighs and additional mesh storage on the waist.
The bibs are female-specific with a Drop-Seat function, and now, the third iteration is zip-free. The chamois is a women’s 800 Series Conform EGM, which features medical-grade elastomer (material used in prosthetics) in key areas. Endura claims this is much more effective at dissipating pressure than foam or traditional PU gels, thereby protecting the skin and underlying soft tissue. This elastomer in liquid form is present in the pad’s continuous variable profile (CVP), which aims to create a seamless interface between the elastomer and foam.
The bibs are available in black (the men's version has an olive green option) and Endura offers a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.
Endura Women's GV500 Reiver Bibshorts - On Test
Cargo bibs are my favourite type of bibs to ride in, regardless of the discipline. I was excited to get my hands on these Endura GV500 Reiver Bibshorts. They have been with me on mini bikepacking excursions, and I have comfortably racked up several hundred kilometres in them during the testing period.
Endura bibs have always fit me well and these were no exception, but figuring out the right size took some thought. I tested XS which is the smallest option in a range that goes up to XL. I would usually be happy in S (which I also got to try on), but the new drop seat design (which now doesn’t feature a zip) utilises the stretch of the straps and crossed-over fabric on the lower back, which means the bibs are a little looser on the waist. The looser waist doesn't affect the performance of the bibs and for some might be the preferred fit, but I like my bibs snug and so the XS was best. I would recommend sizing down or, if possible, trying two sizes before making up your mind.
The new Drop-Seat design works great for pee breaks and although I was a little apprehensive about the design, it really does make those breaks easier.
My maiden ride in these bibs happened in 36°C heat that left me with very defined tan lines, but credit where credit is due, these are only a few bibs that I could have pulled on and forgotten about from the first ride, especially in such extreme conditions. Much of the comfort of these bibs is due to the soft, quality-made chamois, but the overall fit of the shorts helped as well.
The leg grippers on these bibs are the only aspect I struggled with. They are wide, but on my thighs, they felt a little too grippy and tight. I prefer less grip so that pulling the shorts on is easier.
The cargo pockets on these bibs are placed in a slightly different position than for example, on the Rapha Core Cargo Bibs - they are more on top of the thigh. This was at first strange, but it really doesn’t affect the way the shorts feel or function - quite the contrary; I think it’s better to have the pockets away from the scuffs that the sides of the thighs can experience. And talking about scuffs, it was interesting to see Endura has used a different material on the side panels to really make these bibs durable for off-road. The double-layered sides don't feel different, and you won't notice them, unless that is, you crash (which I thankfully didn't get to test).
Size-wise the pockets are decent; they fit a phone, keys or gels easily. The mesh material is nice and stretchy and didn’t lose its elasticity during the testing period. The smaller pockets on the back/waist don’t fit as much, but they’re great for smaller items. Overall, the pocket space allows you to ride with a regular t-shirt but still carry the necessary tools and spares with you.
Endura Women's GV500 Reiver Bibshorts - Verdict
The way Endura has worked with industry experts in designing these shorts is obvious. They’re not just a copy of other cargo bibs. They offer a thoughtfully executed garment, with a high enough waist and comfortable, robust materials.
The cargo space in these bibs is ample. The female-specific Drop-Seat design makes pee breaks a lot easier, and the reinforced sides are a nice addition, making these bibs more durable for off-road conditions.
Value-wise, these bibs are hard to beat. Despite the overly grippy leg grippers, these bibs are some of the cheapest cargo bibs, retailing for £130. In comparison Castelli’s Free Unlimited Women's Bib Shorts that I've been testing alongside the Endura ones, retail for £195. Endura offers nearly every aspect of those bibs - except for the leg grippers, but at a considerably lower price.