Buyer’s guide: Tech tees | Cyclist

Buyer’s guide: Tech tees | Cyclist

A tech tee is a great alternative to a tight-fitting cycling jersey. The rise of gravel riding and the more casual apparel riders tend to wear when doing it has lead to the design’s increase in prevalance. No brand’s clothing range is complete these days without one.

Technical T-shirts offer a more casual style and relaxed fit, meaning they can also be worn for a range of activities outside cycling too, including running, hiking, going to the gym or even the pub.

With the advent of the bar bag, tech tees not having rear pockets isn’t an issue. Their design can be pretty simple and versatile – most good designs are quick-drying, comfortable and look like a normal activewear T-shirt.

That said, as the tech tee is such a new type of garment you may be unsure what marks the best out from the rest, so we have collated all you need to know about the best tech tees currently on the market.

What to consider when buying a tech tee?

Buyer’s guide: Tech tees | Cyclist

Many tech tees are available in a unisex cut so it is important to consider the size, especially if you are a woman, as typically you will need to size down.

Another key consideration is the fit, as a tech tee will be a much looser cut than a cycling jersey.

Tech tees need to be quick drying and have good sweat-wicking and odour-control properties, so you can stay fresh.

Finally, it is important to consider the look of the tech tee. That is, whether it has a sporty design or a more casual one like a normal T-shirt.

Why should you trust us?

We’re cyclists who know and love cycling kit. We hit the road, the trails, we commute by bike and we enjoy chilled leisure rides too. And that’s how we test products: out riding.

We also enjoy other sports like tennis and running so have tried these tech tees out in a range of activities to check their versatility.

Our guide takes you through the best tech tees on the market listed in alphabetical order and all have been tried and tested by the Cyclist team.

7 of the best tech tees for cycling

  1. Castelli tech 2 tee (£70)
  2. Lead out! technical t-shirt (£62)
  3. Le Col workout t-shirt (£65)
  4. Maap Alt_Road tee (£65)
  5. Rapha explore technical t-shirt (£65)
  6. Under Armour tech t-shirt (£22/£26)
  7. Universal Colours mono bio unisex tech tee (£60)

Products appearing in Cyclist buyer’s guides are independently selected by our editorial team. Cyclist may earn an affiliate commission if you make a purchase through a retailer link. Read our reviews policy here. 

Castelli tech 2 tee


Made from a microfibre multi-filament piqué fabric, the Castelli tech 2 tee is stretchy and comfortable with a loose cut and understated design.

The T-shirt has a long back for good rear coverage when cycling and has bonded hems on the sleeves which our tester felt was a classy touch. 

Our tester found the T-shirt to be a great cut, and not too baggy, and whilst the material is a little thicker than others, this wasn’t in a bad way. Our tester also felt the Castelli tech 2 tee doesn’t hold odour like some synthetic fabrics do.


There is one drawback with the Castelli tech tee. As the fabric is soft and stretchy, brambles can catch easily and pull threads loose. Other T-shirts might be more robust to that, but then again may not be as comfortable.

Both the men’s and women’s options come in three different colourways, and the men’s in sizes of XS-3XL, while the women’s comes in XS-XL. Of note is that the men’s T-shirt costs £1 more than the women’s…

  • Buy the men’s Castelli tech 2 tee (£70)
  • Buy the women’s Castelli tech 2 tee (£69)

Lead Out! technical T-shirt


All the way from California comes Lead Out! with this unisex technical T-shirt. Whilst you might not have heard of this brand, this T-shirt deserves its place in this guide.

Made from Polartec Delta fabric, which reduces wet-cling and has excellent thermoregulation properties, the Lead Out! tech tee is a good choice for hot weather.


With subtle split sides and thermo-bonded hems the Lead Out! tech tee is ideally cut for riding and a major plus point is that it is made with 73% post-consumer recycled plastic.

Our tester found this to be a great technical T-shirt – comfortable, effective at sweat-wicking and a good length. It is a looser cut than most others in this guide and the only downside was that this has a tighter neckline than most.

It come in five different colours and in sizes XS-XL.

  • Buy now from Lead Out! (£62)

Le Col workout T-shirt


This is a multi-purpose lightweight T-shirt which is ready for pretty much any activity, from cycling, running to the gym and yoga.

Made from Drirelease fabric, which has a fresh cotton feel and is very soft, the Le Col workout tech tee has flat locked seams and underarm and side panels which the brand says prevents chafing.


Our tester found this T-shirt to be very versatile with a nice cut, and is quick drying. It is a great option if you are looking for one to wear on your bike, but also to the gym and the shops.

With this comes one downside in that it doesn’t have extra rear coverage compared to others in this guide.

The men’s version comes in four different colours and sizes XS-3XL whilst the women’s comes in two colours and sizes XS-XL.

  • Buy the women’s Le Col T-shirt (£65)
  • Buy the men’s Le Col T-shirt (£65)

Maap Alt_Road tee


Made from Polartec Power Dry, the Maap Alt_Road tee is a lightweight technical T-shirt which offers great moisture management and sweat-wicking properties.

Like the Lead Out! tee, the Alt_Road tee benefits from side hem slips and thermally bonded sleeve hems. It also contains 50% recycled PET fibre content.

Our tester really liked the cut of this tee, found it particularly lightweight and easy to wear. They also found it was quick-drying and the cloud colour showed a minimal amount of sweat.


In terms of the cut, our tester found the women’s version to be shorter on the body than the other T-shirts in this guide which made it a more flattering fit.

However, they also felt that the design of the Maap Alt_Road tee was less versatile than others in this guide as its design feels very gravel-focussed.

The men’s version comes in teal and eggplant and in sizes XS-XXL, and the women’s comes in cloud and olive green and in sizes XXS-L.

  • Buy the women’s Maap Alt_Road tee (£65)
  • Buy the men’s Maap Alt_Road tee (£65)

Rapha Explore Technical T-shirt


The Rapha Explore tech tee is specifically made for gravel and adventure riding. It is lightweight, quick drying and the brand says it performs best in hot and humid conditions.

The T-shirt has turned and bonded sleeves and hem.

Our tester found the Rapha tee fitted well, and was a closer body cut than others in this list but still a very comfortable T-shirt.

The material is soft and feels good against the skin, and the women’s T-shirt is longer in length than the Maap Alt_Road tee.


Our tester found that the one downside of this tech tee is that it shows sweat quite obviously.

Of note is that the men’s version has eight colour options to choose from, whilst the women’s only has three. Rapha says that it is working on adding more colours for women in the upcoming years.

The women’s version is available in sizes XXS-XL and the men’s in XS-XXL.

  • Buy the women’s Rapha Explore Technical T-shirt (£65)
  • Buy the men’s Rapha Explore Technical T-shirt (£65)

Under Armour tech T-shirt


The Under Armour tech T-shirt is a multi-purpose sports tee with high breathability and is made from a lightweight, sweat-wicking fabric.

Under Armour says the tech tee is made with recycled, traceable polyester & re-uses about 5 bottles per shirt.

Our tester found this T-shirt quick-drying and soft against the skin. It has a looser fit compared to the Rapha Explore tech tee and a similar feel to the Lead Out! technical T-shirt.


To note is that the Under Armour tech T-shirt is similar to the Le Col workout tee, in the sense that it is not specific to cycling so does not have extra rear coverage.

Both the men’s and women’s options come in a variety of colours, the men’s comes in sizes XS-XXL and the women’s in XS-XL.

The Under Armour tech tee is the cheapest in our buyer’s guide.

  • Buy the women’s version (£22)
  • Buy the men’s version (£26)

Universal Colours mono bio unisex tech tee


This unisex technical T-shirt from Universal Colours is made from castor beans, which the brand says are 100% renewable and don’t compete with arable land.

The fabric is a blend of bio-based polyamide made from castor beans and 16.2-micron merino wool which the brand says will keep you dry and help you stay fresh.

Plus apparently the manufacturing process uses 20% less water and 20% less CO2 emissions than the equivalent fabric created with standard polyamide.


Our tester found this tee has a relaxed fit, didn’t show sweat and was very comfortable.

It has a very cotton feel to the T-shirt compared to the rest of the tees in this guide. Because of this and the tee’s design, our tester felt this was the type of T-shirt you could wear anywhere.

This tech tee comes in basalt purple or canopy green, and in unisex sizes XS-XXXL.