11/14/2022

Endura Women's MT500 Spray Baggy Trouser II Review

Today it is time to talk winter kit. The weather up here has changed and we have more wet and windy days than anything else. So that means one thing it's time to get the winter kit out. I am going to do a series of these winter kit reviews as I know a lot of us wonder what to wear in winter. 

I like to think living up here in the Highlands having Fort William as my locals I know a thing or two about riding in all weather but up here we spend more time in our winter gear than most people. My go-to winter riding trousers have been the Endura Women's MT500 burner pants if you look at my Instagram you will see I have lived in these over the years. I love them. After years of not being able to find a pair of mountain biking trousers that fit me. I had found a pair that not only fitted but that looked incredible and kept me warm. Thanks to one of my close friends for the recommendation. 

I am super lucky to have got my hand on the newly released Endura Women's MT500 Spray Trouser II in cayenne. They also come in Black.



First the elephant in the room. The Endura MT500 baggy pants look a bit crumpled on me and that is because this ride was some of the worst rain showers I have ever ridden in but I really wanted to put these trousers to the test. Standing for these shots I was very blue and I completely forgot to adjust them. My cameraman couldn't even see the screen so we just had to hope we actually got some photos for you all. 

The Endura Women's MT500 spray trousers are favoured by some pretty special women riders like Mikayla Parton and Rachel Atherton. So I knew they would be good and I have of course been wearing an older version for years but just how good are they and can they hold up in a Highland storm? 


The design 
The Mt500 spray baggy trousers have been designed with expertise and precision. Endura has spent a lot of time developing these new woman's spray trousers. They are the ultimate all-rounder trouser. Designed to excel in damp and changing conditions. 

This trouser features a waterproof taped seat panel. Which I put to the test this day and it kept my bum nice and dry considering the conditions I am not sure how that was possible. The waterproof seat panel helps save your bum from water spraying up from your rear wheel. Or your friends trying to soak you in the puddles. We all have that one friend, right? 

The spray trouser is made from durable stretch nylon fabric giving comfort and complete moveability on the bike. The front panel is made from a 4-way stretch front panel allowing better movement on the mountain bike. The women's spray trousers are finished DWR coated to help water to just bead on the non-waterproof parts of the trousers. This means the water will not soak through the trouser and should just bead off and that is what it did for me.

DWR is a ground-breaking treatment that is environmentally friendly and non-toxic, PFC free and is part of Endura's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. Yes, Endura go you. I could go on and on about Endura as a company and all their amazing policies but If you have a few mins go and read it here

The sizing 
I am a size 6/8 I am wearing a size xs. When I was a size 10 I wore a small. Hopely that gives you an indication of sizing.  I am also wearing the Endura women's single track liner underneath. The women's MT500 Spray baggy trousers II have the Clickfast poppers feature so any of Endura's Clickfast liners can be worn with them also. 

The Women's Spray trouser comes in a size XS to XXL. This gives a UK dress size range from 8 to 20. With XS being 8/10 and XXL being 18/20. Which I am loving! You might not know this about me but I have been on the larger side having been a size 22 in the past. So I love seeing an inclusive sizing range.
 
Adjustments 
The Women's MT500 Spray Trouser have quite a few adjustment features. There is a velcro waist adjuster Which acts like a belt to keep the trouser in the right place. I normally have them on the tightest fitting and they work great for me. The waist at the front has a zip and popper fastening to really make sure there is no way of your pants falling down. I mean that would be pretty embarrassing. 
 
The baggy spray trousers also have lower leg adjustment so you can easily get your trousers on and off. These make the trouser a really nice shape on the bike and allow a lot more freedom of movement and no change of any material catching on your bike. 



The Endura woman spray trousers also have some thigh vents for some extra ventilation. 
 

Knee pads compatible 
Of course one of the most important thing about any mountain biking trousers is do knee pads fit underneath them. I have tried all my Endura knee pad under these from the bulkiest Endura's MT500 hard shell knee pads to the slimmer line one and they all fit like a dream and still allows you to have full freedom of movement on the bike. You can actually see the water beading in these photos. 

Other notable features
The Endura Spray trousers also feature two zip pockets to secure your items.

My Review

I was at first completely drawn to the colour of these. They remind me of team Atherton. Now I am not saying if you buy these you will be able to shred down a trail at Rachel or Gee's speed. These MT500 spray trousers were built for riders who are not afraid to hit the trails in any weather and we know that is me. 

I really like the cut of these trousers I like that they are baggy but not too baggy. Being overly baggy just wouldn't work for me on the bike. I would be all tangled and headfirst in a bush. These are a great shape for me. 

They fit me really well which is no mean feat as I am an unusual size. I am pretty small thanks to all the cycling and training I do. I am over the moon with Endura sizing range in these trousers.  

They are so comfy to wear you forget you are wearing MTB trousers. I have complete freedom of movement on my bike. I move around my bike a lot, especially when riding wet loamy trails. It is always best to be able to do some crazy moves on the bike than fall right and that is me. I will use my body to save me sometimes. 

The Women MT500 spray Baggy trousers II have been crashed in and they survived. As I said I like to move about the bike that doesn't always mean I ain't coming off. The trouser held up really well without any marks or anything. 

So the storm test. They might not be fully waterproof but they did help keep me on the trails when the weather was wet and awful. I get cold really easily and these kept me drier for long enough to stay out on the bike even in a hoolie. The waterproof back panel is a god send and just amazing for winter and autumn riding. 

So all in all I would highly recommend the Endura MT500 Spray trousers II to any woman who is looking for winter riding pants that will keep you pedalling for longer this winter season. Plus the red colour is amazing. 













11/07/2022

Enduras new MT500 MIPS Helmet Review

Today we are going to talk about a very important subject, mountain biking helmets. I have had many helmets over the years. I have been biking for quite a few years now. I have had everything from stupidly heavy full facers to extra light roadie helmets and I like to think I know a thing or two about the subject. 


I am a massive advocator that all cyclists should wear a helmet. I have been unfortunate enough to see some horrendous crashes and I can promise you helmets should be mandatory. I, like a lot of us bikers have had a couple concussions in the past and thank goodness I was wearing a helmet. 


Quite a few years ago, was one of my worst to date.  I was going down a trail I do at Nevis Range. I do it all the time, every ride there in fact. But this time all I know is I woke up on the ground with a pain in the head. I had fallen off and my head had smashed off a massive rock. I had passed out and had a terrible concussion from it and a nice big dent in my helmet. But thank goodness I was wearing one. I dread to think what would have happened if I hadn't been. So wear helmets kids. Big crashes can happen anywhere from trails you know like the back of your hand to new trails. It is so important we protect our noggin right? 


Endura MT500 MIPS Helmet. 

I have been very lucky and got my hands or head even on one of Endura's MT500 MIPS helmets. I have had the predecessor to the helmet and loved it so what is new and is this better than its award-winning predecessor? 


The Endura MT500 MIPS Helmet comes in 6 colour ways. Which is an amazing amount of colours and gives everyone an option for one they like. The colours are black, concrete grey, olive green, spruce green, white and paprika. Paprika is the one I am wearing today. 

Sizing
Before we go into the design let's talk sizing. The Endura MT500 Mips helmet comes in three sizes S-M which is 51-56cm, M-L 55-59cm and L-XL 58-63cm. A really good range of heads can be covered with the Endura MT500 Mips helmet.
 


I am a bit of a pea-head. I will not lie to you my head is small. I have in the past really struggled to get helmets that fit me. I have been biking for many years and in the past I had to wear children's helmets. No I am not joking. Pea head problems. But thank goodness for mountain biking development and the range of helmets getting better and better with each and every year.

Enter Endura into my life and I have found their helmets fit me the best. But I have to say the Endura MT500 Mips is the best fit I have ever had the new adjustment cradle incorporated into the MIPS design has a massive range on it and you can tighten or loosen it to your needs.  with a super easy chin strap system too. I wear an S-M.   

Design 
After chatting with the lovely people over at Endura I know the amount of development that went into this New MT500 helmet. To say they have really put the work in would be an understatement. When you have already built an award-winning helmet the pressure is on with any new launch but wow the MT500 MIPS helmet is cram packed with features. 

Built with increased coverage along with Koroyd and Mips protection and large vents this really has had an overhaul in the design and style whilst still keeping all endura style and flare. 


Koroyd 
So if you are new to Endura helmets. You might be wondering what is Koroyd. Well, you know on Endura helmets where you see what looks like a honeycomb. That is not just a nice-looking design feature. It is in fact 3D formed Koroyd insert which provides lightweight and breathable protection for your head. But this is not just any protection this is highly tested superior and award-winning protection. If you have ever picked up an endura helmet you will be surprised by just how light they are and this is in part down to Koroyd. For more info on exactly what Koroyd is click here


MIPS
I think most mountain bikers are aware of MIPS. We have all been amazed by the videos on this invention. MIPS brain protection system is basically designed to reduce the rotational motion which is transferred to the brain when you crash. Which in turn helps when you take big impacts. 

So the New Endura MT500 MIPS helmet has both Koroyd and MIPS in my opinion making it one of the safest enduro helmets on the market. I mean if you were to design a helmet after learning about both these systems you would want to have them both right and that is exactly what Endura have done. 

Other notable features 

The MT500 MIPS Helmet is super lightweight and breathable. With lots of nice large vents for increased airflow which also included a top airflow vent to help with getting increased airflow in your helmet.  To help stop your head from getting too hot.

Speaking of getting too hot all the padding in this helmet is super soft fast wicking, quick drying and removable. 


Extra features 

Goggles and Glasses compatible

Designed to be goggles friendly and with a built-in rear strap gripper. Dont worry if you are more of a glasses wearer like me. Endura has also taken this into consideration and the front vents act as a nice place to store your glasses on climbs too. 
 

Visor 
The visor on the MT500 MIPS Helmet is removable. It also has some of the best adjustments I have ever seen in a helmet meaning goggles straps fit nicely for the climbs too. 

Accessories
The Endura MT500 MIPS helmet also comes with an accessory mount, accessory clip and light mount. 

Endura Crash Replacement 
The MT500 MIPS Helmet is covered by the Endura crash replacement policy. This means if you have a crash in your helmet. All you need to do is send the damaged helmet to Endura with proof of purchase and you can get another at 50% discount. This is off the same model if available. 


My Review
I have never had a better-fitting helmet. Endura helmets have always fitted me but this one hits different. It really has that range of adjustability and feels like it was made for my head. I feel so comfortable in this helmet. It is super lightweight and easy to use. Now I know what you are thinking but bear with me. I hate an over complicated helmet. I have had a few that are just too fiddly to put on my head. You know the ones you spend half your time trying to work out the clips or how the adjustment works. This one is made for me. Put on your head and ride whilst feeling safe. 

I love that I can use it with goggles and glasses. I wear glasses a lot on most rides as my eye runs a lot and I find helmets are either made for one or another and this is good for both. So Thanks Endura. I really feel like this is a helmet built for actual riders. It is built to look good, yes but to protect your head most importantly. I am over the moon with this helmet and I love wearing it knowing how well-protected if the worst does happen to me. 

I hope you enjoyed this little review. Do let me know what you would like me to review next you can comment here or head to my Instagram





9/26/2022

Mountain biking in Tignes France all you need to know before you go.

After a lot of options were debated about where to travel to this year, we decided to head to Tignes in the French Alps. I tried to do as much research about mountain biking in Tignes as I could and to be honest there was so little information about it that I thought I would share my trip with you all.

First off I found out about the Mytignes card if you are staying in one of the official partner hotels in Tignes you get this card for free. This gives you access to a range of activities including and most importantly mountain biking. But also the big swimming pool all the La Lac water sports etc but mostly mountain biking. This is after all that we were going for. I am riding my Hope Tech HB130 and fully kitted by The best biking kit on the market Endura. Super Lucky to be an ambassador for both brands. 


Hotels

First I will be honest with you throughout this post. It was hard work to find a hotel in Tignes it was not as simple as I am used to that is for sure. We found a few good deals and booked Résidence Inter-Résidences Pierre and it was lucky we did. This is in the Val Claret area of Tignes. 

This hotel is a typical ski part hotel with one main living room that has a little kitchen area. With two hobs, a microwave, fridge, and a dishwasher. This had room to sleep 4 with two in a bunk bed and a little bath with a shower overhead. This is important as we could not find the information anywhere it was not apparent if we had a shower. Our room had a balcony where the bikes could be stored. It also had a swimming pool and sauna. That makes it sound super posh but it was an average hotel. Nice enough for two bikers and lots of biking kit. It also has free parking across the road. 


We later found out that our second choice of a hotel does not let bikes in your room. Hence why I said it was lucky we booked this one. Defo check you can take bikes to your hotel before booking. 

The biking 
First things first I must say there are so many trails here it is incredible and all included in MyTignes card or 16 Euros your a day.  Under MyTignes card, you have access to 160km of trails. Ranging from green to black and purple. There are specialised Ebike trails too. They class some trails as enduro and some downhill. I will be focusing on the trails we did and spent most of our time on. 

I need to mention here do not book the last week of uplift. They shut all but the Toviere gondola and the whole village it would seem. After the 28th very very little was open and there was no information anywhere about this. Anyways back to it. 

There are two main gondolas and three chair lifts. 

Here is a rundown of what grades are off which gondola. First I need to mention the difference between the UK and Tignes. On a green trail, there can be big jump options in Tignes take a run down every trail before committing to anything. There are massive gap jumps on routes you would not expect here in the UK. Dont worry there are chicken lines. They are just options but sometimes they look ok but are big jumps and gaps. So ride with caution people. 


From Tignes La Lac 

Palafour chair lift which is accessed from right beside the main village. This seemed to be where we saw the most families and beginners. This chair lift is the only front wheel scoop you put your bike on yourself here. 

This has the following trails 
  •  Green smoothie -super fun for every levels. 
  •  Blue jump- around fun fun fun 
  •  Red Red hot - a bit techier with lots of loose rocks and a couple little drops
  • Purple Palaf which appeared to be a black trail to us here in the UK - Epic techy step-sided rocky with some incredible step berms 

These all return you back to the Palafour chair lift. 

There are also a couple of extras from this chairlift. 
  • Blue Tarte A Lognan is a great blue which ends in Val Claret so perfect to end on if you are staying over in Val Claret. It does have step berms and some loose rock sections. 
  • Red Called Rocky trail. This trail is epic and would be black here but I do not say this lightly this has a very very long push over a walker's trail to get back to the chair lift. If we had more time I would have loved to do this again but the pushback was a lot and I am a fit person. it was very steep and not bikeable
  • Black SV Salon de La Vache this one takes you to Tignes Les Boisse where you need to get a bus uplift back so we didn't do this as it would have taken a lot of time out of the day. 

Toviere gondola (La Lac)  

This is a smaller gondola which fits two bikes and bikers in it. 
 
From here you have the following trails that take you back to the bottom of the gondola 
  • Black Karmasutra is a great black trail with techy features including jumps steep sections and techy corners and rock
  • Black Gypsy accessed via a blue called gun powder -one step techy corner with rock overhang techy 
  • Black Black metal accessed via gun powder further down good black with techy steep sides and big steep berms 
  • Black Moustache The techiest trail here with severe steep sides and no get-off points, not for the faint-hearted 

Other trails can be accessed but you need to ride back (only about 5 minutes mostly downhill) over to La Lac or head back up Tufs chairlift 
  • Blue Gun powder big fun berms
  • Blue Funky Tufs super fast and flowy blue has small red option. 
  • Red Kangooride this one is just a tighter version of the blues. 
A trail that takes you to Val d Isere from Toviere and Tufs 
  • Blue Borsattack fun blue which links into Val blue.
From Val Claret 

Tufs Chairlift here your bike is put on the carrier by the chairlift operators. 

From here the trails go back to the bottom of the chair lift and also to Val d Isere and over to the Borsat chair lift. So this has a lot of access from staying in this area. 

The first trails that loop back to Val Claret mentioned above too as Tufs and Tovieve gondola top station are the same. So gun powder, Funky Tuf and Kangooride. 

Borsat chairlift 
Which is called Bellevarde on the park map and counted as part of Val d'Isere area. This is another chairlift where your bike is loaded for you.  These trails take you to Val d'Isere
  • Purple Very bike trip - Epic black one of my favourites long techy with some climbs but views to kill for totally Instagram territory. 
  • Blue Blue Lagoon -  nice long flowy bermy blue links into Val blue 

Trails which take you to Val Claret 
  • Green Bollinette -fast and flowy 
  • Blue Tarentaise - Steep-sided blue trail
  • Red might be a blue Fresse Tagada - tight berms like gunpowder. 
  • Black Scarefresse - has a massive drop to start 

Val d'Isere

Olympique gondola 

This is the far the biggest gondola it has space for a few bikes and bikers and has a bike mount on the floor. I do not recommend using these unless you want a mechanical. The trails from here are some of the longest in the park. 

The trails from here take you back to this gondola 
  • Green Popeye is the easiest and beginner-friendly trail nice and long at 13km 
  • Blue Val blue 8.6km of fun fast trails with options of jumps but super chill. 
  • Red Fast wood accessed via Val blue start this has nice drops and jumps 6km
  • Red Tabasco more natural in nature 
  • Purple Rock n Ride Awesome super rocky trail very different in nature to others. 
  • Black Bellev'hard was closed when we were there

So that is all the biking in Tignes and a quick overview of the trails. I will be putting up a few Youtube videos on Tignes and you can follow me on Instagram for more biking stuff. 

Another couple of insights about Tignes

Bike shops 
The biggest bike shop was in Bourg Saint Maurice called Labo. There are Intersports through all the villages in Tignes. Not a whole lot of options for kit but enough that should get you through. You will defo be able to pick tyres etc but I would stock up in brake pads especially if you run Hopes Techs like me. I mean why wouldnt you, they are the best brakes. I only found one store that had Hope items and no brake pads when I was there. So pack spares. 

Food
Restaurants and food shopping here are expensive. This is something to bear in mind. It is more expensive than other areas of France I have stayed. If you want a large supermarket stop in Bourg Saint Maurice on your way. We went to the Super U but there is a lot in this area. The biggest bike shop was in Bourg Saint Maurice called Labo

Best crepes
I sampled a few but the best I found 
Val Claret - Creperie Le Planté de Baton sweet savoury just all amazing 
Tignes La lac - The Break which is located beside the Palafour chairlift. 
also Croq Burger super lovely service here and good prices. 

Waffle/ Ice cream Val Claret 
Really good place just past the sherpa supermarket but I can't find the name. They make waffles and ice cream with handmade waffle cones. 

Pizza 
Takeaway. There are two SOS Pizza in Val Claret and one in La Lac great pizza both are really good takeaway pizzas. 

Restaurant Brasserie du Petit Savoyard is expensive but nice food and great service. 

Bakery 
Rogers run by brits good bakery for your pastry fix. 

Mid Trail lunch
Le Trifollet This one is located halfway down Val blue. Excellent for hotdog and beer and a lovely view. There are signs on the trail which say the snack bar is worth a stop for sure. 

I hope you have enjoyed this little round-up of a trip to Tignes If you have any questions I can help with please do let me know either here or over Instagram. 




Laura 

























4/28/2022

Endura Mt500 Burner Pants review

Today we are talking mountain biking trousers. I did a poll over on my Instagram on what you would like a review of and the trousers won. So today we are talking about my all-time favourite mountain biking trousers. 


The Endura MT500 Burner pants. I have had a few pairs of mountain biking trousers over the years and have always not really been happy they never fitted me right some were a very strange fit or style. I even had one pair that got caught on my bike every time I wore them. How one earth these got through the design process I have no idea. 


To be fair this was early on in my mountain biking journey. This was all before I had tried any Endura trousers. It was one of my closest friends who started to rave about Endura trousers. She had the MT500 spray pants and convinced me to buy some and I have never looked back. If you look carefully at my Instagram over winter I lived in them but today we are going to talk about my new addition with it being spring summer I have swapped out my Endura MT500 spray pants for the Endura MT500 burner pants



These are the Women's Endura Mt500 burner pants in spruce green. When I was little I was obsessed with this colour and I think I am now living out my childhood dream of being dressed head to toe in this colour along with my now favourite pink of course. The colour of these might be amazing and worth buying them for just that but wait till I explain some of the very clever features these mountain biking trousers have. 



Sizing 
Sizing wise I am a 6/8 and I am wearing a size XS when I was a size 10 I wore an S. I hope that gives you an indication of the sizing. I am also wearing the Endura women's single track liner underneath. The MT500 Burner Pants have the Clickfast poppers feature so any of Endura's Clickfast liners can be worn with them also. 

The Mt500 burner pants are made out of a 4-way stretch fabric. Meaning that there is complete freedom of movement and your feel comfortable on the bike. These are a close fit style of trousers meaning no extra material to get in the way of your riding. They are described as a pre-curved contemporary silhouette I would agree with that. 

These are worn by the likes of Rachel Atherton and Mikayla Parton. So you know they are good. I mean if they are good enough for the podium they are more than good enough for me. Plus both these ladies' race kits are always phenomenal.  


Adjustment
They have a waist adjuster to help keep them in place. I really like this feature. I tend to have mine on the tightest setting. This is a velcro fastening and it makes them really adjustable tighter or looser. 


The waist at the front has a zip, popper and velcro fastening to really make sure there is no way of your pants falling down. I mean that would be pretty embarrassing. 


Knee pad compatible
They are also Knee pad friendly I am wearing the Endura's MT500 hard shell knee pads which are the biggest in the endura range and these look slimline under these Mt500 Burner pants. It's almost like magic how slim they look under these. 

Other notable features
The Endura burner trousers also feature two zip pockets to secure your items. They also feature some ventilation holes for extra comfort on sweaty rides. These are on the knees and crotch area. 

My review
I was first struck by the colour I am not going to lie about that I was a bit superficial. I mean being Endura I know they would be great but I don't think I was ready for just how great they are. They fit like a dream and I do not say that lightly. I am a small person and finding things to fit me can be so hard. I am not saying this to be boastful as I have been a UK size 24 before and I know the struggle on the other end too. I am just stating it as a fact for me right now. I am also 5ft6 if that helps. 

There is so much adjustment on the waist and this really helps people of my shape. I am an hourglass so I carry my weight on my hips bum and boobs. 

I love that my knee pads fit so nicely underneath. The trouser material stretches and this really does help with freedom of movement on the bike. It is also nice and lightweight and perfect for summer and spring biking. 

Have I crashed in them? Yes Yes I have I am currently learning clip pedals and I have had a few falls in these pants and there has been not a scratch on them. Considering one of the crashes was knee onto a very large rock I have no idea how I didn't rip the trousers. 

Unlike normal people, I have put clips on and headed to my normal trails in Fort William. I mean I am sure most people learn on greens and blue but there is a normal way and my way. At least I can hand on heart say these women's burner pants are durable. I have definitely put them to the test on my trail bike and on my downhill bike. 

I am really impressed with Endura Women MT500 Burner Pants and I am sure you will all see me in these time and time again.