Vulpine's Merino V-neck is a comfortable, bike-specific T-shirt – but not so bike-specific that it looks out of place when you're not riding.
Essentially, this is a V-necked version of Vulpine's original merino T-shirt (same price) that is still available. I've been using that shirt regularly since reviewing it last year and it's still doing fine job with no pilling or anything like that. It looks almost as good as new.
So, this is made from 180g Tasmanian merino wool which does a great job of wicking moisture away from your skin and staying odour-free even after getting a bit sweaty. I think this is a real strength of this shirt. You can use it to ride into work, to the shops or to the pub and, as long as you haven't sweated buckets, carry on wearing it comfortably without reeking to high heaven like you would in a synthetic top.
As well as a bike-friendly fabric, the shirt comes with a slightly extended tail and it is stitched with flatlock seams that you can't feel, not even if you're wearing a rucksack or a messenger bag. There are no labels to scratch you either; the care instructions and whatnot are printed inside.
You get a little buttoned pocket around the back that's handy for your wallet, phone or keys, and that has reflective Scotchlite piping across it to help you get seen at night. It just looks like a grey stripe in daylight.
The styling is subtle – just small, embroidered logos on the sleeve, pocket and back of the neck – and the cut is slim without being tight.
Washing is easy. You just bung it in the machine on a cool wash with the rest of your bike stuff.
Comfortable bike-specific T-shirt that doesn't look out of place when you're off the bike.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Vulpine Men's Merino V Neck
Size tested: Medium, Astral Blue
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Here's Vulpine's full write up:
"Our superbly reviewed Merino T, with a V. Simple.
A V Neck adds a certain smartness to a T. Weird that. A V. We like Vs.
These Ts are made with our favourite 100% highest grade luxurious 180 gram Tasmanian merino wool, with beautifully flatlock contrast-stitched for comfort against the skin.
The cut is slim, but not body-hugging. Go down a size if you want your guns on display, or up a size if you prefer a looser fit. The back is cut long for a cyclist's position over the bars.
There is a single pocket for a phone or valuables, fastened by a single engraved button. The pocket is finely finished with a strip of extremely reflective Scotchlite, to aid night riding.
Merino Sheep created their wool just for cyclists. It's uncanny. Incredibly comfortable, with loads of stretch and superbly soft, it is also naturally odour-resistant. Try wearing it for days on end if you don't believe us! Antibacterial sheep.
Merino wool also keeps you warm in the cold and cool in the heat. How so? Merino is hydrophilic, drawing water from the skin quickly and allowing it to evaporate, cooling your body. When it is cold merino traps warm dry air next to your skin, keeping you toasty.
Smarten up your casual riding and get the maximum comfort on and off the bike."
We'd say it's most useful for urban and leisure riding.
£55 is obviously expensive for a standard T-shirt, but it's not a ridiculous price for a merino shirt that's way, way more comfortable than a cotton option when you're riding. It's a high-quality top.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performs really well, wicking sweat away and staying odour-free.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The cut and the fact that it looks good when you're off the bike as well.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.