Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or new to it all, it’s easy to get caught up in the notion that if you ride a bike, you have to wear lycra. On my commute to work each day I tend to see people dressed one of two ways: either head to toe in lycra, or in their work clothing.
But cycling clothing manufacturers have been making clothing for the ‘inbetweeners’, and they continue to do so. The latest being the Urban Range by Endura.
What’s so special?
The Endura Urban Range is aimed at cyclists who don’t want to go for the all out lycra look, but who want to be comfortable on their bike – as well as not looking like a cyclist off it. The Urban Range consists of products that are designed to be worn on and off the bike, aimed at city cyclists who want “clothing that performs like bike wear that doesn’t look like it”.
The range consists of everything from jackets and trousers for the winter, to shorts and polo shirts for the summer, as well as accessories like gloves and socks. We’ve put a few of the items to the test.
Urban Short-Sleeve Polo
The urban polo shirt is made of a blend of merino wool and coolmax, meaning it is cool when worn on the bike, as well as being ideal for the warmer days off the bike. As with other cycling apparel, it’s fitted with a longer hem to keep you covered on the saddle, but Endura have managed to keep it looking trim so it can easily be worn in the pub without the wearer being on the receiving end of any dodgy looks. And the shirt still has the usual rear pockets we’ve come to expect on a cycling top, but they’re well concealed.
The short-sleeve polo is practical and comfortable, but only seems to come in black – which isn’t the best colour to keep you cool. It’d be nice to see more colours available.
(Update: Endura have since added new colours to the range for Fall/Winter 2013: They will come in an additional silver grey and checkered.)
Urban short and belt
The urban shorts and belt surprised me: they look like normal shorts but the material is a lot more durable, allowing for a stretch over the frame when getting on and off the bike. They come with jeans style pockets on the front and zipped pockets on the rear so there’s plenty of room for your keys and phone, making them ideal for a short ride to a friend’s place or a ride to meet someone at the local.
I tried them out on my commute, which is six miles long, and that was a bit too far for them. I’m so used to shorts with padding, but these understandably don’t have any as they’re for on and off the bike, and I became a little bit uncomfortable towards the end of my ride.
That said, the crotch gusset is seamless to make them as comfortable as possible, and assuming you’re not aiming to cycle as fast as possible then they’re perfect for that. And they look pretty good too, with the belt helping in that department.
As with the polo shirt, the shorts only seem to be available in black.
The Argyll sock doesn’t just look great – reminding of Endura’s Scottish roots – but is designed for comfort and practicality too. Made of coolmax, the sock allows for fast wicking of sweat, with a durable nylon toe and heel section too.
The socks cost £12.99 and you get two pairs in the packet – I have to be honest I’m yet to wear a pair of socks designed for cycling that convince me that I should give up on my cheap, everyday sports socks but it’s good to see these socks being reasonably priced.
The Endura Urban Range consists of a good variety of products for cyclists who don’t want to look like they’re in training for the Tour de France, and considering they’re designed for use both on and off the bike, the pricing seems – for the most part – reasonable too.
Other items are available, such as the Urban leather glove, allowing riders to look good and feel comfortable too.
- A wide range of products available
- Comfortable both on and off the bike
- Reasonable pricing
Not so good points:
- Lack of colour available (Update: I’ve been informed new colours will be added to the Fall/Winter range).
We’ve rated the products individually, but overall, it’s a solid range of clothing that genuinely looks decent, is comfortable, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg – 4/5.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.