Endura’s SingleTrack II trousers have been designed to be tough and incredibly versatile – you only need to take a look at the packed feature list to understand this.
That means whether you’re winching up the hills to simply bomb back down or heading out for an all-day epic, the SingleTrack IIs should, according to Endura, have you covered.
But just how well do they compare to the best mountain bike trousers out there? Are all those features necessary, and will their cut work as well as the best of the best? I hit the hills to find out.
How we tested
The SingleTrack II trousers were tested as part of a trail pant group test. As such, I rode back-to-back in these and 10 other pairs in a bid to find the best pants out there.
The favourites from the test were the Specialized Trail Pants, which have a more slender cut than the SingleTrack IIs and fewer features, too. That said, they cost a considerable amount more.
Also on test:
For me, a great halfway between the two would be the Nukeproof Blackline Pants, which offer a slightly looser fit (when compared to the Specialized) but cost less than the SingleTrack IIs. They’re lighter too (300g for the Blacklines versus 410g for the SingleTrack IIs) and arguably more comfortable. There are fewer features, but still enough to make the ride experience top notch.
Endura SingleTrack II Trouser details
Endura offers the SingleTrack IIs in six sizes, which is impressive, though despite sizes going all the way up to XXXL, there’s no XS in the line-up. As a guide, Endura says its size small garments are aimed at 31-33in waists. That means smaller riders may struggle with the SingleTrack IIs. There’s no female equivalent either.
If the bright green and yellow pants seen here are a little too much for your liking, there are two other colours (black and Cocoa) to choose from.
The SingleTrack IIs are constructed from a robust nylon fabric that feels as though it’s clearly built to last. Stretch panels have been placed in key areas in a bid to ensure they articulate well when you’re sat down pedalling.
Unlike some competing brands, which use a very tapered, tailored cut on their trousers, Endura has opted for a straighter leg and baggier fit.
There are two Velcro adjuster tabs to help cinch the waistband in nice and tight, along with a double popper, zipped fly and hook and bar closure. If you’re worried about the SingleTrack IIs falling open, you really shouldn’t (though you may curse just how secure they are if you’re desperate for the loo).
If you’re still struggling to get the SingleTrack IIs comfortably tight enough around your waist, there are belt loops here, too, though at no point during testing did I ever feel the need to use these.
The waistband raises up at the rear to help keep your lower back covered, while the large silicone print on the inside helps to grip onto your underwear or short liner.
Endura has also included its ‘Clickfast’ poppers inside so you can connect the SingleTrack IIs directly to an Endura Clickfast liner.
The features don’t end there, though. Rather than add perforations to panels in strategic positions, Endura has used two zipped vents that run down the outside of each thigh. Unzip these and you’re greeted with a mesh backing to prevent anything unwanted creeping in.
Three zipped pockets ensure there’s ample room on the SingleTrack IIs to stow essential belongings while you ride. All three pockets sit high up on your hips towards the front of the trousers, with the smaller of the three being well-sized for a smartphone.
Endura SingleTrack II Trouser performance
Locked in place
The SingleTrack II trousers feel robust and very practical from the outset. They’re sturdy and baggy rather than light and racey, which is no bad thing if you’re looking for a pair of trousers that’ll likely last a lifetime.
Slip them on and getting the waist cinched up snuggly is easy and quick thanks to the two Velcro adjusters. Despite Endura’s size chart stating that the size smalls are best suited to those with a 31-33in waist, I found the fit (once adjusted slightly) excellent around my 30in waist.
In fact, the SingleTrack IIs feel great around the waist, hips and thighs. They offer free and easy movement, too, thanks in part to the in-built stretch, which helps to keep them exactly where they need to be when you’re sat, spinning the pedals.
At no point during testing did I suffer from them dropping down or leaving my lower back exposed, even when they were fully laden with thick mud.
Thanks to the baggier fit, there’s more than enough room for knee pads (even bulky downhill-style numbers). More importantly, though, when pedalling, the SingleTrack IIs glide over the knee pads (I wore Troy Lee Designs’ Stage pads throughout testing) smoothly, never tugging at them as you turn the pedals.
That means it’s highly unlikely (assuming your knee pads normally stay put) that you’ll have to readjust your pads when out on the trail, which is always a plus.
Less is sometimes more
While the baggy fit means movement is completely unobstructed, there are some downsides to using a less tailored cut.
As my legs aren’t the longest (30in inseam), I often find trousers will bunch around the ankles to varying degrees.
The size small trousers I tested had an inseam of 31in, but coupled with the wider cut of the lower leg, I found that the excess material not only bunched but continually rubbed on the crank arms as I pedalled.
While this isn’t massively irritating, it’s hard to ignore when the other trousers I was back-to-back testing these with didn’t have the same issue.
When the SingleTrack IIs get a soaking, this is exacerbated. Unlike tighter trousers with a more tapered cut to the lower legs, because the material is baggier and freer to move, once caked in mud, the lower legs do tend to flap about while on the move. Slimming down the cut would certainly help prevent this.
It’s fair to say taller riders (or at least those with longer legs) are unlikely to find this as much of an issue as shorter ones. I’d have tried an extra-small if the SingleTrack IIs came in that size because it may have helped minimise the bunching at the ankle, but sadly this isn’t an option.
Yes, this may sound like a petty, minor niggle, but when riding for hours on end, it’s those small irritations that you tend to really focus on, and I found this one hard to ignore.
The SingleTrack II trousers boast a serious amount of features, especially considering their more than reasonable price tag. Of course, more features results in a higher cost. So, are all of the SingleTrack IIs’ necessary? Possibly not.
The three zipped pockets are all well-sized and will hold their contents securely against your legs. I can’t say I was desperate for three pockets, and didn’t use them all continuously (I normally find two to be enough), but having the extra one available is handy in certain situations – though I tended not to use it.
And in a similar vein to the belt loops that I never used, at no point during testing – even on milder autumn days – did I feel as though I really needed to use the thigh vents. Yes, they’ll help shed some heat, but I never felt too clammy and in need of any extra cooling. If you run hot while riding, though, they may well come in handy.
While I’d pare back the features here, I’m sure there are others who would appreciate every single one, and they do work if you need them.
Endura SingleTrack II Trouser bottom line
If you’re a taller rider who’s looking for a solid pair of trail trousers packed full of features, then the SingleTrack IIs are worth a look.
That said, I didn’t find the need for some of the extras featured here, which did leave me wondering whether they were all 100 per cent necessary to include.
I found the fit around the waist, hips and thighs to be impressively comfortable, and had no issues with how well the SingleTrack IIs articulate while riding.
With short legs, though, I found the trousers a little too long, causing excess material to bunch up around the ankle and continuously rub the cranks.
Despite that niggle, there’s no getting away from the fact that these are a comfy yet tough pair of riding trousers. You’ll want to try before buying to ensure the cut works for you, though.