Endura MT500 II Trousers

They aren't cheap, but Endura's MT500 II Trousers are hard to beat during muddy warm-up laps.





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The folks at Endura know a thing or two about mud: The company’s headquarters is just outside of Edinburgh, where the national bird is the raindrop. Okay, not really, but Endura makes gear that stands up to the rigors of the gnarliest conditions you’ll find yourself in as a CX racer, and the MT500 waterproof Trousers are a lifesaver during warm-up laps.

The 3-layer ExoShell60 material is waterproof, and Endura says it’s breathable too; perhaps that’s so, but when we’ve worn these for fat-biking, it’s totally realistic to go from freezing to overheating, in which case breathability is a tough category to gauge because we’re wearing so many layers. Still, even in rapidly-changing temps, I never found myself with that swampy sauna feeling between base layers and the pants themselves.

Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com
Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com

The ankle cuffs feature TK 12 ½ -inch zippers so you can slide the pants on and off over your shoes easily. When zipped, the pant legs taper toward the ankles to keep them from getting tangled in your crankset. A drawstring waist snugs things up so the pants stay in place while pedaling; it’s a low-tech solution that works exceptionally well, and you can untie them easily even when wearing bulky gloves.

And when you’re done with warm-up laps, the pants are light and packable, so you can stow them easily in your dry bag.

At $199 they aren’t cheap. We justify the investment because they double as mountain bike pants or an awesome shell for winter fat bike rides, and because being wet and cold before races is a drag. If you’re only wearing these on cyclocross warm-up laps, there are plenty of other options. But if your agenda also includes long, sloppy training rides and winter mountain bike rides, these trousers are a good investment in warmth and comfort.

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