Creating new products is one of the best parts of the job. Coming up with new designs is creatively satisfying, and seeing other people use and love them is even better. But we never release a product unless WE love it first.
Our upcoming DIRT SHIRT is a perfect example. Aimed squarely at the gravel / bikepacking and touring crowd, I think we're onto something great with this one...
The DIRT SHIRT solves a problem I came across while touring across Eurasia several years ago. I wanted something that didn't seem to exist - an effective technical top that was lightweight, breathable and moisture wicking, but still looked casual enough for off-the-bike activities.
Here's me in Kyrgyzstan, sweating in my 'outdoor gear' and probably wishing for something better...
This isn't quite as simple as it sounds. We tested several iterations of this shirt before deciding we're onto something good.
Firstly - the cut. Not so tight that it hugs the body, but not so loose that the fabric can't do it's job (material needs to contact the skin in order to draw moisture away).
Secondly - the front/back 'drop'. Cycling jerseys are a bit longer at the back than the front right? And they generally have some kind of grippers to keep them from riding up your back. The drop on this shirt needed to be longer, to make up for the lack of grippers (as it's not fitted enough for them to work) but not so long that you accidentally sit on it while riding. We also vary the drop length according to the shirt size to make it perfect.
Lastly, the fabric. Having tested a version of this shirt that had heavier fabric (like a regular MTB shirt) I can attest that this is 1000x better in warm conditions. We ended up using the Hi-Flow mesh fabric from our PERFORMANCE line jerseys and it works beautifully.
It breathes, it wicks, it looks great and we couldn't be more excited to release this thing.