Rapha's new MTB tops are made from Performance Merino Off Road Wool

Rapha Trail Merino Short Sleeve T-Shirt
(Image credit: Rapha)

Rapha has added a few more items to its ever-growing Performance Trailwear range. The new t-shirts use Rapha's proprietary Merino fabric which is claimed to be off-road specific, delivering the thermo-regulating properties that Merino is known for whilst still being tough enough to deal with the rough and tumble out on the trail.

To make this material, Rapha has taken renewable fiber from the wool of merino sheep and blended it with synthetic fibers to increase durability. The mix of materials, that Rapha is calling Performance Merino Off Road Wool, is balanced at 52 percent Merino Wool and 48 percent Nylon. This is the same blend that is used in Rapha's Explore Merino t-shirt which we found to be very comfortable.

Merino isn't just a great thermo-regulation, it has a few other qualities that make it a good material to make the best mountain bike jerseys from. The natural fibers not only manage temperature well, but they also maintain these properties when wet too, merino also resists unpleasant odor build-up as well. That should make this jersey perfect for sweaty climbs and wet winter rides.

Rapha includes a set of color-matched iron-on patches to repair the jersey, just in case you do have a patch a hole in your top.

Rapha Trail Merino Short Sleeve T-Shirt

(Image credit: Rapha)

The range consists of a short and long sleeve jersey in a men's fit and a tank or three-quarter length sleeve women's cut. Rapha says that the jerseys have a 'regular fit', sitting off the body to be unrestrictive and ventilation, and are said to be optimized for mountain biking and long-distance gravel rides.

Both men's t-shirts come in three colors, Dark Grey/Black, Pale Green/Black, and Deep Blue (t-shirt) or Ultramarine (long sleeve). The women's tops have two color options for each. The tank comes in Deep Blue/Black and Pale Green/Black while the three-quarter is available in either Dark Grey/Black or a rather nice fading Pale Green/Black.

The women's tops might have fewer colors but there are more sizes, a spread between XXS and XL while the men's don't get the smallest size.

The tops are certainly on the premium end, with the price incrementally increasing the longer the sleeves get. The pricing starts at $90 / £65 for the tank top, $115 / £85 for the t-shirt, $130 / $95 for three-quarter sleeves, and $130 / £95 for the long-sleeve top. 

For more details on Rapha's new Merino Trail t-shirt, or Rapha's other jersey options, head over to Rapha.cc (opens in new tab).

Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. Based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK right on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.


Rides: Canyon Strive, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg