Endura GV500 Reiver bib shorts review
Built for adventures, how do the Endura GV500 bib shorts stack up on long back-country rides?GBP £120.00 RRP | USD $170.00 Skip to view deals
The Endura GV500 Reiver has been built with gravel and adventure riding in mind, taking in Endura’s experience of designing both road and mountain bike kit.
The bib shorts feature pockets on each thigh, as well as a pair of pockets on each side of the back, roughly in the kidney area.
Paired with their baggy GV500 Foyle shorts, the thigh pockets can be accessed thanks to the Foyle’s zipped access vents.
Endura GV500 Reiver Bibshort features
Broad, stretchy and soft braces combine with a ‘lumbar support panel’ that wraps around the rear portion of the short to ensure that the bibs stay up with minimal pressure over the shoulders.
The braces tie into reinforced panels on the front, and into an open back panel.
The front of the shorts is high, with a looped-over hem at the front.
The front is constructed from Lycra, while side panels are built from a high-stretch woven fabric. This feels comfortable next to the skin. These are double layered, to provide additional protection against gravel rash in a crash.
Endura uses its 600 Series Pad II in the short. It has gel inserts and features its ‘Continuously Variable Profile’ stretch technology. Endura says this means the chamois only has padding where required, with additional material removed to reduce bunching.
Silicon grippers are in place around the lower leg to prevent the legs from rising while pedalling. Instead of a continual band, it’s formed from a series of vertical strips around the leg.
Silicon grippers are also found on the rear of the shorts to help stop jerseys riding up while riding – a nice touch.
The mesh thigh pockets are deep and broad, and feature a well-elasticated hem to ensure security.
There are two mesh pockets on each side of the rear of the shorts, though no central pocket. The inner of each pocket is deeper than the outer – deep enough for a mini pump. Their entrance is roughly three fingers wide.
Endura GV500 Reiver Bibshort performance
The GV500 shorts use high-quality materials and have nice features that wouldn’t be out of place on shorts costing considerably more.
The legs are a good length, and offer reasonable compression, so feel comfortable on rough surfaces.
The vertical strips of silicon around the hem irritate less, and seem to avoid pulling on leg hairs when compared to a full ring of silicon around the leg.
Though double-layered, the woven side panels are supple and stretchy.
The leg pockets are excellent. They’re big enough to hold a phone and the tighter elasticated hem holds cargo securely. Despite this, I never had issues getting access to smaller items lower down in the pocket.
I found the pad comfortable on a wide variety of rides, and it remained a pleasant place to be when wet from rain or sweat.
Overall, despite a high front, the shorts feel well-ventilated and performed well on hotter rides.
The rear pockets aren’t quite as useful. Their entrance is narrow, and thus makes fishing out smaller items (such as a small multi-tool or GoPro battery tricky, especially when wearing gloves.
They’re also too small to stuff a tube into. A single pocket in this location would be preferable.
That said, their location on the body is good, and they don’t interfere with baggy shorts, as they’re higher up the body than some storage bibs’ pockets.
My main issue, and the reason for the low score, is that of all the storage bibs I have recently tested, their high-fronted hem is uncomfortable.
It’s located just over my diaphragm, at the top of my tummy.
As the short’s hem is fairly tight (all the shorts I tested were a size medium and I have a relatively athletic build), it presses on the diaphragm while riding.
It’s not really possible to relocate it either, as it just returns to that position immediately.
As such, even on short rides, I was often left wishing for a different pair of bibs.
The other issue with this higher front hem is that it requires quite a pull for comfort break access. The colour of the bib also makes post-comfort break drips visible.
Endura GV500 Reiver Bibshort bottom line
There’s a lot to like about this pair of bib shorts – the lower half is excellent, as are the braces.
However, in my experience, the rear pockets fall short in terms of performance compared to the best, with their limited ease of access. More significantly, they’re uncomfortable, thanks to that high front portion.
I don’t feel sizing up would greatly reduce this, either, as the position of the hem is still likely to be in the general area of the diaphragm, and would migrate to that area anyway, as it’s a natural ‘crease’ in your torso when bent forwards on the bike.