Designed for mountain biking, but versatile enough for commuting too, the Endura Singletrack II Women’s MTB Trousers are a surprisingly effective piece of kit for winter riding. The wind may be blowing, the temperature may be dropping, but if you have no intention of staying at home then these will protect you from the elements (and vicious attacking bramble bushes).
These full-length trousers are based around the highly popular Endura Singletrack Shorts, which are more or less ubiquitous on the trails. They may not be the most stylish or striking, but when it comes to practicality, they really are hard to beat. The Singletrack II Trousers add a great option for winter riding and, dare I say it, commuting.
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The Endura Singletrack II Women’s Trousers are constructed from tough looking nylon cordura, and it’s as robust in practice as it looks. Riding through brambles and with the occasional rocky tumble, bar some mud you’d never know the trousers had been out for a ride. Given that my lower legs usually end up a scratched mess after riding through autumn undergrowth, the benefits of choosing trousers over shorts were felt immediately.
At the knees and up the side of the thighs, the cordura is stretchy, which combined with the articulated knee designs actually makes these comfy for long pedally sections, which was a bit of a surprise. The knee section is supposed to be wide enough to allow you to pop on kneepads underneath, but there wasn’t quite enough room in the size Medium I tried, so it would be a case of either wearing more lightweight knee protection or going up a size. The velcro pull tab at the waist, and the stretchy waistband, mean there are some fit adjustments you can make.
Sizing overall is an important issue. The size Medium was a bit tight over the thighs and bum of my UK Size 14 lower half, but was still comfortable to ride in. If you are towards the upper end of 14, or curvy of bum and thigh, I’d go up to a Large. Sadly, that’s the biggest size that Endura do for the Singletrack Trousers, but they do go down to an Extra Small.
The length was good though, with the ankles staying in place even when pedalling (I’m 5’8 for reference). The ankles opening can be secured snugly with a velcro pull tab, and vecro and zips up the side of the lower legs is handy for pad, shoe and sock removal.
The Singletrack II Trousers don’t come with an integral liner, which means you can wear your own favourite. They do have the ‘click-fast’ compatible poppers so if you choose Endura liners you can secure them in place.
If you like pockets, you’ll be well served with these trousers; I counted 5, but some are more useful than others. There are two hip pockets with magnetic closures. These aren’t particularly deep, so personally I didn’t find they were secure enough for something like a phone, but for smaller items they’d be fine. One has an additional zipped pockets for things like keys and change. Finally, there are two side entry pockets across the bum and down the thigh, and I’m afraid I couldn’t work out what they would be useful for as surely having something in a pocket you might sit on isn’t comfortable or practical?
One other feature that I have mixed feelings about is the thigh vent. Not the vent itself, which is handily located on the front of the leg, easy to open, and does help waft heat and moisture out, but the fact that for some reason the mesh lining is baby pink. There is no pink anywhere else on this garment, so it’s a bit odd, but personally although unnecessary, it wouldn’t put me off getting the trousers.
Pockets and mesh aside, these were surprisingly wind resistant and warm, and I actually liked wearing these trousers. To be honest I’d never considered trousers for mountain biking previously. They do have some great selling points; protecting your legs from undergrowth and crashes, giving protection from the elements, and being pretty versatile. I’ve been wearing mine for general cycling and commuting, as well as mountain biking, as they don’t look too bikey.
Price: £61.74 (RRP £64.99), available from Evans Cycles.
Size: XS, S, M, L
More info: Endura.