While the approach of winter promises a drop in temperature and a rise in rainfall, it isn’t always that simple. With most of the UK generally free of extreme weather, full on thermals and waterproofing can be a touch OTT. Particularly if the conditions are changeable and the pace high. The USP of the Endura MTR Spray bib shorts aims to split the difference. They feature a waterproof rear half, combined with a more conventional front section. The theory being the rear of the shorts will keep you dry from tyre spray during breaks in the rain.
Fit & Finish
As with the MTR Adventure jersey, the Spray Bib shorts are only available in black, not that adherents of Rule #14, or indeed anyone else for that matter will mind. The spray section looks and feels slightly different to standard lycra, but you have to be really close to notice. Once in the saddle and pedalling it’s impossible to tell they aren’t just standard shorts, there are no tell-tale waterproof rustling noises! The branding is subtle and mostly in-obtrusive. Only a small white logo on the rear stands out. The logos themselves are rubberised and don’t look likely to peel off. The only thing worse than excessive branding is partially missing branding! Compared to the average medium size the Endura shorts feel a touch roomier, which for me at least, was welcome! The spray section is still stretchy like standard lycra and the internal face has a soft waffle pattern. Obviously stitching fabric makes the business of waterproofing more difficult. Endura’s solution is novel. By using stretchy shaped sections and a floating-pad (attached only to the waist of the shorts) there is only a single seam that needs taping to seal it.
In the saddle
Being waterproof is all well and good but it doesn’t count for much if you’re not comfortable. Despite my initial fears, the thin 700 series pad doesn’t move around, or need adjustment while riding. While not an endurance pad per se the MTR spray shorts have proved comfortable on both multi-day and six-hours seated rides. Quite remarkable considering just how low-profile the pad is. The bib straps are made from a mesh fabric that breathes well, and at the opposite end the raw-edge hems use silicone grippers to stay put. While the internal seams aren’t particularly flat you can’t feel them and they don’t leave marks. The recent weather has proven ideal for testing the MTR’s signature feature. Spray from puddles is shrugged off, and any dirt ground in from a few hundred KM of riding hasn’t left its mark on the fabric.
The MTR Spray bib-shorts have been something of a revelation. The waterproofing provides the necessary protection from spray without the overheating or irritation that wearing full waterproofs can often entail. Weather resistance hasn’t been achieved at the sacrifice of comfort either. With an RRP of £120, the MTR Spray bibs even represent good value, it’s not uncommon for comparable quality standard shorts to be at this price-point. Between now and spring I expect I’ll be wearing these shorts a lot!
Last modified: 26th November 2019