Flannel comes as part of the territory with mountain bikers, right? Isn’t it that you’re not a mountain biker truly unless you’ve got a flannel shirt. Of course, that’s a load of old rubbish but I can’t help but enjoy a good flannel shirt all the same. I find that of all the shirts I have (and I have a few because of my day job), my flannel choices are my favourites.
When I was unsuspectingly browsing the mountain biking sales this summer I happened across this lovely offering from Dakine. Their Reid Tech Flannel Shirt. In green and black. Initially, I was put off by the £35.99 price tag (down from £59.99) but I had a bit of a read about it anyway – the ‘tech’ keyword in the name suggested there’s a little more to this than first meets the eye.
This shirt isn’t simply a shirt. It’s not an M&S shirt either… but it is a water resistant, stretch, and anti-microbial piece of kit which is actually designed to be ridden in. The dropped back and slightly longer sleeves allow the shirt itself to sit comfortably on the bike and it’s more than smart enough to get away with popping out for a bit of grub after a ride in, or being that hipster dude on the gravel bike. I can’t vouch for the properties which suggest this won’t smell after a few wears because I’ve actually washed it after riding in it. I can, however, vouch for the water resistance. It’s held up pretty well. More than keeping me from getting soggy, it’s kept me from getting nipped at by the wind. The make-up of the shirt feels thicker than simple fabric and, because of this, seems slightly wind-resistant too – although I’d be quick to point out that’s not a feature Dakine label it with.
Pretending that the local trail is actually the finest Canadian single track comes easy in flannel and I think it looks pretty decent out on the bike. The real genius in this is that it also looks decent when popping out. Even my mum commented on my “nice new shirt” and she knows her stuff. For £60 I would’ve probably simply scrolled past. But, for £35, having a riding shirt and a Sunday dinner shirt seems like good value.
Cheers to flannel shirts.