From the flagship mountain bike range hailing from Endura, the women's Singletrack Lite shorts offer a 'barely there' feel with plenty of welcomed pocket space. However, the garish colour, poor zip-toggles and pocket location hold back what could be the perfect summer trail short.
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Endura Women's SingleTrack Lite Shorts
Endura uses a blend of Elastane (15%) and Nylon (85%) to construct the SingleTrack Lite shorts. This design results in a lightweight and stretchy fabric offering unrestricted movement on the bike. To top things off, the shorts are coated in a PFC-Free, non-toxic, durable water repellent finish to help keep spray at bay.
The SingleTrack Lite shorts have a few cool features, such as perforated thigh vents to promote airflow, an adjustable wicking waistband with Velcro tabs to dial in the ideal fit and pockets... plenty of pockets! Suppose you wear padded shorts under your baggy ones. In that case, these also have Clickfast™ poppers on the inner waistband, which allow you to securely fix any Endura Clickfast™ liner shorts inside. However, I prefer not to wear padded shorts, so the SingleTrack Lites have been tested without using this feature.
Available to fit waist sizes ranging from 27" to 36", the Endura women's SingleTrack Lite shorts come in three colour options and two different lengths, standard and short. I have a size small on test, which is suitable for a waist of 29-30", and in a hard-to-miss 'saffron' colour, which is reminiscent of a fast-food uniform, to me anyway.
Endura Women's SingleTrack Lite Shorts - How they ride
Beginning with how they feel in hand, the quality of the fabric, the seams, and the attention to detail are excellent. The material is stretchy, and the waistband has both mesh fabric to wick away moisture, as well as silicone grip to adhere gently to your padded shorts, if you wear them, or jersey if you tuck in. I was delighted to find three spacious zipped pockets, which all fit my 7" mobile phone with ease. There are two pockets located on the front of the shorts and one on the rear right-hand side. While I loved the choice and size of all the pockets, I didn't use the rear one very much because I'd be sitting directly on its contents when in the saddle. As a minor niggle, the rear zip pull is corded, making it easy to use and locate, even with gloves on. The front two pockets have stubby plastic zip pulls that aren't as easy to use with gloves on - like I say, minor niggle.
There is a zip fly secured by two sturdy popper buttons, which I had no issue with throughout the testing period. While there are Velcro tabs on the waistband to cinch in the fit, I didn't need to use them as the fit was pretty spot on from the get-go.
Riding is really where these shorts come into their own as the light and stretchy fabric provided free movement while pedalling, in and out of the saddle. Assisted by the perforated air holes on the outer thigh, I didn't find myself overheating or feel stuffy in them on warmer rides.
It's also excellent to see that Endura offer the women's SingleTrack Lite shorts in both a standard and short length. Historically, the brand has always been on the short side of things, especially when paired with knee pads that presented the dreaded 'thigh gap' of exposed flesh. However, even with my preference for a longer length of shorts, I was very happy with the coverage. My small size shorts had a measured inseam of 13.5" from groin to cuff.
Endura recommends washing at 30-degrees and avoiding the tumble-dryer. After numerous rides and washes, the logos remain intact, along with the colour and zip toggles. However, due to the horrendously bright saffron colour, I expect they would be prone to very obvious staining should you suffer from oil marks or ride in particularly grim muddy conditions. However, these are designed for summer/fair weather conditions, so I would be mindful about wearing this colour in anything but.
Value and verdict
When compared to other fair-weather lightweight women's shorts on the market, the Endura women's SingleTrack Lite sit snug in the upper price range with a £70 tag. This is compared to the Madison Zena shorts at £60 and the Fox Racing Felxair Lites at £65, with the latter not having any zipped pockets. On the other hand, the SingleTrack Lite are more affordable than the Dirt Roamers from Patagonia, which at £90, I mentioned in my review, are very expensive for what they are.
There's little to fault with the Endura women's SingleTrack Lite shorts other than the saffron colour, which is really unappealing. Still, that's a personal preference, and thankfully, different colours are available as well. The zipped pockets on the front could do with proper toggles, and the location of the rear pocket would be better suited on the side of the leg instead of where you sit. Saying that, they are really comfortable to ride in, and once they're on, I didn't give them a second thought. They wear well on the bike and through the washing machine and will undoubtedly come in handy for when the UK is graced with warmer weather - fingers crossed.