With a fast-wicking fabric and modest styling, Rab's Cinder Crimp T Shirt is about as understated as you can get for a mountain bike jersey. conscientious

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 7

Rab Cinder Crimp T-Shirt


  • • Good shape for cycling with dropped tail and five size options
  • • Simple and effective bit of kit
  • • Sustainabilty credentials
  • • Runs warmer than some open-weave jerseys


  • • Rear pocket is pretty small
  • • Runs warmer than some more open-weave jerseys
  • • Stays wet and heavy when soaked for longer than some tops


I love the subtle styling and conscientious manufacturing of Rab’s Cinder Crimp T Shirt, but there are better jerseys for a really hot ride


Price as reviewed:


In case you didn’t notice, leading UK outdoor brand Rab started a new cycling range last year offering pieces for MTB, gravel and bike-packing. The firm is already well established and respected for hiking and outdoor kit, so it’s not surprising to see it use its fabric and clothing know-how to develop this new ‘Cinder’ range and target the best mountain bike jerseys on the market.

Cinder uses key selected pieces from Rab’s regular line up as a starting point and is designed by a team of employees (many of whom are riders using the brand’s kit anyway) who set about refining and perfecting the brand’s technology specifically for cycling.

Coming in five sizes, this Cinder Crimp T Shirt is quick-wicking tee with a bike-specific cut and represents a basic staple in Rab’s cycling line-up.

Rab Cinder Crimp mountain bike jersey shot outdoors

Rab has reinforced the collar on the Cinder Crimp jersey.

Design and specifications

Equally at home on a gravel or adventure ride as an MTB enduro, Rab’s Cinder Crimp Tee foregoes flashy graphics and go-faster stripes for a simple, mono-block, colour scheme in three separate shades.

The Crimp’s subtle styling is a bit more mature than some logo-heavy mountain bike jerseys ,and the shape is equally restrained too, with a slightly closer cut and dropped tail that blends a road bike jersey look with a boxier traditional T-shirt. Following the roadie theme, there’s also a small zipped pocket at the hem lined with a soft fleece lining that doubles up as a lens wipe.

Rab Cinder Crimp mountain bike jersey shot outdoors

The subtle, hidden lens wipe on the Cinder Crimp jersey is a nice touch.

The jersey uses a fabric called Tencel, which aims for the comfortable, natural feel of cotton against skin, and the quick-wicking properties of a technical synthetic fabric. Tencel claims around 50% faster absorption of moisture, which then gets evaporated from the outside, which is a reason it’s frequently used for pyjamas, underwear and even bed sheets.

Rab’s jersey is cut with extra detailing compared to a regular tee, including additional panels underneath each armpit, the back of the neckline being reinforced, and all seams triple-stitched internally for longer life.

Typically for the brand, there’s clear information about the garment’s sustainability to help consumers make an informed choice. The Crimp uses 84% recycled content, and there is no fluorocarbon used in either fabric or hems, but the brand admits some PFAs could be involved in the ZKK zips, and “are working hard to eliminate this as soon as possible.” All this points to a piece that’s much better than most throwaway fast-fashion, but the extra efforts and sophistication do add cost over a bog-standard cotton tee.

Rab Cinder Crimp mountain bike jersey shot outdoors

Rab has added a zip pocket to the Cinder Crimp jersey, which is useful, but it’s too small for much more than a multi-tool or a car key.


Rab sees the Crimp working as either a base or outer layer, depending on conditions and workout intensity, but I used it exclusively as an outer layer for mountain biking. The Tencel fabric is really soft next to skin (arguably cosier than regular cotton) and the fit is close, but still not so athletic or body-tracing it’s verging on a Lycra top.

At 190g, the Crimp is reasonably lightweight and thin, but it also feels pretty cosy and has enough wind-proofing and warmth to keep drafts and chills to a minimum while rolling along at faster speeds. For this reason, I found it works best in the 10-20ºC zone, rathe than above 20ºC, where I’d prefer a jersey with a bit more permeability to let air and a breeze through.

Rab Cinder Crimp mountain bike jersey shot outdoors

Extra panels around the underarm area help the fit on the Rab Cinder Crimp jersey.

Loads of multi-directional stretch in Rab’s material means great freedom of movement, so the Crimp never feels restrictive or grabby, and this is without it veering towards being too floppy and shapeless like some skinny roadie jerseys. The rear hem pocket is tiny and will only fit a set of keys, bank card or a small snack/tool, but at least whatever is in there doesn’t swing about too much, thanks the reinforcing aspect of the fleecy lining.

In terms of wicking and heat management, the Crimp is decent, but I there are other jerseys I’ve tested that feel airier and seem to pump sweat and heat build-up from the interior faster – one of them being Rab’s own Cindercrino jersey. That top is more than double the money, however, and also has a more gravel than MTB styling with its long-zipped neckline. The Crimp isn’t the best if you really soak it through with sweat or a shower, because it gets a bit heavy and wetted out and takes longer to try than many other tops I ride in.

Rab Cinder Crimp mountain bike jersey shot outdoors

The Tuscan Red is the brightest of three colour options for the Rab Cinder Crimp jersey.

This Crimp has a further significant advantage over the Cindercrino, and many other tops for mountain biking, in how the tighter weave of the Tencel fabric resists pulls and plucks from vegetation and stays looking fresher longer. Yes, the more open weave of Rab’s £110 jersey breathes and vents better, but also means that it’s much easier to damage brushing up against foliage.


If you’re after an effective, fast-wicking, subtly-styled MTB jersey with impressive sustainability credentials, Rab’s Cinder Crimp totally fits the bill. It’s not the coolest or fastest-drying top I’ve ever used, so less suited to the hottest conditions, but the cut is great and the soft-to-skin Tencel material appears hard wearing and washes well, making this a solid everyday staple.


Sizes:Light khaki, Tempest Blue, Tuscan Red 
Colours:S, M, L, XL, XXL