Flannel is so hot right now. The apparent rise of the “Lumbersexual” means flannels are more popular than ever, with heritage style officially declared “in”. This usually signals the peak of the trend, but on the bright side it also means we have quite a selection in flannel shirts suitable for riding bikes.
Whether it’s casual rides or digging trail in the woods, the following flannel shirts are surprisingly up for the job. And while they wouldn’t be our first choice for high intensity XC riding, the use of technical fabrics that aid in wicking sweat make it possible to ride in casual comfort.
Dakine Oakridge MSRP: $75.00
Dakine’s Oakridge Flannel was the first “ride” flannel that came across my radar, and I had to scoop one up. (I own one in red, and am quite fond of it) It’s pretty much a typical flannel in appearance, but made of 100% polyester fabric so it dries much faster than cotton and is treated with an antimicrobial treatment to fight odor. This year it’s offered in a green color.
Dakine’s added additional flannel models to their line as well. The Pitch changes out buttons in the front for snaps, while the Buckshot adds technical features including using a poly/ spandex blend for additional stretch and mobility. It’ll cost you a bit more though and lists for $110.00. Dakine also offers a flannel for women, the Cypress.
Zoic Tradesman Flannel Riding Shirt $84.99
Zoic’s Tradesman flannel is offered in four colors and boasts the most in terms of features we’ve found. Quick-dry polyester flannel? Check. It also has internal sleeve cuffs to keep wind out, two front chest pockets and a huge 9″ wide rear pocket that appears big enough to hold the contents of your fanny pack.
Club Ride Jack Flannel $89.95
Any piece on plaid button up riding tops would be remiss without a mention of Club Ride, a company that made their name with casual button up riding apparel. They recently began to offer a riding flannel as well. Available in four colors, I recently acquired the plaid in the Raven color. Bike specific tech features include polyester quick dry flannel fabric, under arm vents, front snaps and a low profile rear zipper pocket. A chest pocket is also secured with a zipper for those that like to ride with a media player. It is even rated for UV protection at UPF 30. It’s also offered in a women’s version, the Liv’n.
Sombrio Vagabond Riding Shirt $99
Sombrio’s Vagabond Riding Flannel is made using a stretch fabric (fabric content isn’t listed on their site, but it is safe to assume its polyester with some spandex woven in) with mesh underarm panels to help control overheating. Metal snaps at the front make it easy to add additional air flow. It also has a front snap on the chest pocket and a wipe hidden inside the cuff. It’s also offered in a women’s cut, the Silhouette.
Kitsbow Icon Shirt MSRP: $195.00
The most expensive item on our list, the Icon from Kitsbow is made from Pendleton Wool woven in Washington. While on the pricey side, these are sourced and manufactured locally. (They’re sewn in SF) If you rock one of these, odds are there are only a few hundred other ones out there. Bike specific features include gussets at the shoulders and strategically place Schoeller panels to aid in longevity and abrasion resistance. Its available in gray
Check it out: Kitsbow Icon
Royal Cutter Hoody Jacket $90
The Cutter Hoody Jacket almost doesn’t qualify as a flannel to make the list, but it’ss definitely more shirt than shirt-jacket. The addition of a hood sets it apart from the rest of our picks here, but it does feature a DWR coating for water resistance, and the fabric is lighter than it might appear. It’s available in three colors, with snaps at the front and two chest pockets.