As its name might suggest the Morvélo Tech Cycling T-Shirt is a casual top impregnated with a bit of science so you can ride in it without getting sweaty and smelly. It's another addition to the ever increasing wardrobe of clothes that you can comfortably pedal about in without having to look like A Cyclist, which has got to be a good thing.
Morvélo are well known for both their bike themed t-shirts and their riding kit and this Tech Cycling T-Shirt neatly bridges the gap between the two. It's made out of DriRelease fabric which is a blend of 50% post-consumer P.E.T. recycled polyester and 50% ring spun organic cotton, it's soft like cotton but has the wicking and drying abilities of a synthetic fabric, with claims that it dries four times faster than regular cotton. As well as all that the fabric is infused with Freshguard odour prevention to stop it getting stinky. No harmful chemicals are used in the manufacture, it's pre-shrunk and all the seams are flatlock twin-stitched. That's a lot going on for a t-shirt.
For a technical garment it feels refreshingly just like a normal t-shirt, soft to the touch and comfortable on, although it 's a bit lighter in weight than a regular cotton t-shirt, which is another thing that swings in its favour when things get warm.
Sizing is on the casual racer side of things, it's slim without being too tight, roomy without being baggy, the perfect mix of not being too flappy on the bike and being still loose-fitting enough for the pub. That said if you're more of a, um, sprinter's build it might be a bit snug. It's cut just like a t-shirt too, with no extra length at the rear, or a higher cut at the front to ensure it fits better on the bike, and it doesn't have any decorative but mostly useless little pockets either as a knowing nod to cycle couture, Morvélo want it to look just like a normal t-shirt for when you're off the bike, so that's what it looks like. The care instructions inside the neck are printed right on the fabric rather than on a label to stop any annoying neck rubbage and there's a nice little Morvélo 'Keep Riding' tab on the sleeve. Details. The Morvélo logo on this one is one of the pair of designs available on the Tech-T Shirt that says you're a cyclist without needing to shout it.
The Morvélo Tech-T Shirt is for those times you need, or want, to get somewhere on a bike but don't need, or want, to dress up in specific cycle clothing because it's not far enough away or you don't want the hassle of carrying and changing clothes once you get there. That could be for when you're just jumping on the bike to run some errands, or just riding to the pub for a beer or the park for an ice-cream, the sort of cycling that lots of people do, it's probably not even cycling, it's just riding a bike about the place. You might not even put a helmet on. (Flails arms in mock panicky horror).
It's not a magic garment and you will get hot and sweaty in it but unlike a cotton t-shirt, or any other kind of 'normal' top it deals with personal humidity issues a lot better. If things do get a little moist under the arm-pit or that big dark patch on the back appears where the courier bag or rucksack rests, the one that gets you funny looks in the '10 Items Or Less' queue, it takes very little time for the damp bit to evaporate and for it to look like an ordinary t-shirt again. Any soggy areas that would linger on a cotton tee disappear completely and you look like a respectable member of society once more. And thanks to the Freshguard odour prevention it doesn't smell sweaty stinky bad either.
The Morvélo T was often worn on what would previously be called 'Three T-Shirt Days', hot summer's days where a bit of bike related activity is involved and that combined with general ambient warmth and a sudoral disposition means that several standard-issue t-shirts are worked their way through as time progresses. That didn't happen with this Tech T-Shirt, it managed to survive full days of casual exertion and pleasing radiant heat with any problems, not needing to be thrown aside halfway through in sweaty disgust, and come bedtime it didn't need to be wrestled into the washing basket like a damp, smelly and angry badger. Fantastic.
You don't have to ride your bike at some point in the day to wear a Morvélo Tech Cycling T-Shirt though, it works just as well simply wearing it out and about when things might be a little sticky and it stops you looking a sweaty mess. Another bonus to its technical and informal prowess is that it's a great t-shirt for traveling in, letting you spend a lot of time in clammy, uncomfortable confined spaces without acquiring that unsavoury Travel Funk and a fear of putting your luggage in an overhead locker. It also dries pretty quick after washing so if you're traveling light it saves on clothes packing too. Genuinely useful.
The Morvélo Tech Cycling T-Shirt is a practical bit of clothing if you see cycling as part of your everyday life. As a t-shirt it fits well and looks smart without screaming 'cyclist' at anyone, you'll just get a wink from those that know thanks to the Morvélo logo. As a technical garment it works very well too, dealing with the sweaty and smelly residue of an active lifestyle better than a normal t-shirt. At thirty quid it could be said that it's a lot to spend on a t-shirt, but if it means you don't have to change into a fresh top at any point during a day then it's got to be worth it.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Morvélo Tech Cycling T-Shirt
Size tested: M
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?
The Morvélo Tech Cycling T-Shirt is a blend of technical performance with a cotton touch. That just about covers it, it's a t-shirt that you can ride a bike in without getting sweaty, damp or smelly.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* 50% post-consumer P.E.T. recycled polyester
* 50% ring spun organic cotton
* Dries 4x faster than regular cotton
* No harmful chemicals used
* Super soft
* Pre shrunk
* Twin stitching
* Seamless collar
* Taped neck and shoulders
* Screen-printed design
* Woven arm label
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a t-shirt, it did that well, it's made from a material that dries four times faster than cotton, it did that too. It didn't smell either.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit, the soft cotton feel, the made from recycled and organic materials, the ability to deal with awkward and unsociable bodily moisture.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, I actually want to buy another one please.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he’s not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he’s not doing either of those he’s pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he’s agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours doesn’t. He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.