If you like performance fabric but don’t really like wearing a Lycra jersey for mountain biking, then a technical tee could be the way to go. Enter Fox with the 2013 Tech Tee.
I had a 2012 version of the tech tee and it was pretty much my favourite riding top, so I was eager to see what had changed for 2013. The answer was a fair bit, some for the better, and some not so much.
Positives first, though.
Let’s kick things off with the graphics. Getting women’s riding tops with striking looks is pretty hard, particularly in the world of tech tees. There seem to be dozens of men’s tees with various slogans, logos and motifs with just a handful for women.
The women’s Fox Tech Tee sports a distinctive slogan across the front; ‘Pretty Dirty’, picked out in a contrasting colour. Granted, this slogan will be marmite to a lot of people, but personally I like it – it’s bold and interesting, and I think it’s quite fun.
Secondly, the fabric for the 2013 version is much finer and lighter weight than last year. This means it hangs really nicely, and it’s quite long on the body – on my 5’8 frame it sat comfortably over my hips. The fabric is fairly stretchy but not massively so.
I tried a Medium, and I’m a curvy lady, towards the upper end of size 12. The tops are cut with the female form in mind, and medium was great if you want a fitted look. If you prefer the top to be loose, go up a size.
It’s made of a technical cotton fabric with DriRelease, which is designed to make it dry a lot faster than normal cotton. If you’ve ever ridden any distance in a clammy sweat-sodden t-shirt you’ll know it’s not fun. In practice, it performed well and did indeed dry off nice and quick. It’s a good trade off between casual tee shirt and performance wear.
The Fox Tech Tee was comfortable for blasting round trails on for most of a warm day. I found the length was long enough that it didn’t ride up too much under my rucksack, and I’d also be more than happy wearing it casually, if it weren’t for a couple of the downsides.
A big downside to this tee, in my opinion, is the colour – although it’s called ‘silver’ it looks more like the colour a white tee shirt goes after you had it a fair while, and maybe washed it with some blue socks accidently. Off-white maybe?
Following on from this, one of the problems of having a riding t-shirt in this colour, technical fabric notwithstanding, is the issue of sweat marks. There’s no nice way of putting this – after about 30 minutes of riding, there were big obvious sweat marks around my armpits and back.
Although the damp patches did indeed dry quickly, they sadly left behind a noticeable tidemark, which wasn’t really the look I was going for.
This shirt is also available in a black and teal colour way (black tee with teal slogan) that matches several other items in the Fox women’s range. I suspect that the sweat patches and tide marks may be a lot less obvious on that colour way, so if that’s something you are concerned about, look out for the black version.
In terms of cut and performance, this would make a great top for hitting your local trails in warm weather, then heading straight to a barbecue afterwards – depending on how muddy you are. It's let down by the choice of fabric colour, and availability.
- Striking graphics
- Technical fabric
- Sweat marks were obvious and left a mark
- Availability; it's very hard to find this on sale anywhere
Price: $26.95 (approx. £17)
Size: S, M, L
More info: Fox Head
Available from: It’s hard to find, but it’s available on the Fox Head US website. I’ve also seen it at various local bike shops and trail centre shops, so it’s worth looking locally if you are after it.
We've got some more Fox kit in on test; here're our First Impressions of it - stand by for more reviews!
What Fox say about the ‘Pretty Dirty’ Women’s Tech Tee:
Permanent Performance – DriRelease fabric is built and won’t wash or wear our. Superior moisture wicking properties keep you dry and comfortable. Fabric dries out 4 times faster than cotton. “STR" Skin Temperature Reduction keeps you up to 6 degrees cooler. Built in Fresh Guard won’t retain body odour and is chemical-free and eco-friendly. Ultraviolet Protection Factor rating of 22. Quick drying. Moisture Wicking. Fresh Guard.