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The Endura GV500 Foyle T is part of a brand new gravel and adventure range, and uses a variety of fabrics to great effect. It's cut for a more hunched position than most technical-yet-casual t-shirts, and while it's not cheap, it's spot-on for gravel use and you do get a lot for your money.
The Foyle T uses different fabric blends on different parts, and this is what makes it stand out. The main body is a lightweight 40% merino blend, the sleeves are a harder-wearing stretchy fabric, and the armpits feature mesh panels for sweat management.
Merino keeps the sweat stink at bay for quite a bit longer than man-made fabrics, but on its own it's really not that good at wicking sweat. This blend strikes a good balance; it's reasonably good at moisture management, and stays smelling fresh for a fair while.
I managed to get some odour going after an all-day effort in 28°C heat, but it was still far better than I'd expect from a non-merino top – anti-bacterial treatment or not.
When you first put on this t-shirt, the sleeves feel slightly odd; lean into a set of drop bars, though, and that feeling goes away. They're very well cut for gravel (or road) bikes.
The hem at the back is well-shaped too. It's a wide band of double-thickness fabric (with four horizontal silicone grippers), and that thickness stiffens up the fabric and gives it a bit of weight; combined with the grippers, it stops the back riding up. Both features usefully separate this from more mountain-bike oriented technical t-shirts.
On the other hand, the chest pocket seems kind of pointless to me – I can only assume it's there for aesthetic reasons.
The zipped rear pocket on the right is more useful, and it's big enough for a phone. I didn't like putting one in there, though, because the loose fit means the t-shirt then hangs all wrong. Still, it works well for things like credit cards, cash or gels.
If you don't like the rust red, the Foyle T is also available in olive green.
My 39inch chest puts me between small and medium on the Endura sizing chart. A medium is what I'm reviewing here and it feels right for me.
It's a relaxed fit, but slim enough not to be baggy or flap while riding. I'm 178cm tall, and the length – front and back – feels right too.
I'm reasonably sure the small would work for a tighter fit, but then if you want tighter, a regular jersey might be better anyway. Do you think I look pale? I think I look pale.
£59.99 is not cheap, though it should be clear by now this is no ordinary t-shirt. You can easily find cheaper options – for example Endura's own Singletrack Short Sleeve Jersey is £20 less with similar features. However, it's more mountain bike-oriented and its fabric blend lacks merino.
Similarly, Rapha's Technical T-Shirt, which we reviewed last year, is a fiver cheaper but made from 100% polyester.
Technically, the Endura isn't expensive either – Ashmei's Men's T-Shirt is £75, while Assos's Trail SS Jersey is even more at £80. None of them, cheap or expensive, quite match the Foyle T's impressive set of features for gravel riding, though.
If you're after a relaxed top that still performs on serious drop-bar rides, the Endura GV500 Foyle T fits the bill very well indeed. The cut, fabrics and fit all suit gravel riding brilliantly. I like it.
Relaxed yet very effective technical T-shirt that works well – especially on drop-bar bikes
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura GV500 Foyle T
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Endura says: "Endura has been makeing no-nonsence kit for off and on road for over 25 years so we know a thing or two about gravel riding." Luckily they know more about gravel than spelling.
"The GV500 Foyle T packs a casual look and a tonne of tech. The stand out feature of this gravel top is the merino blend fabric that is a lightweight, rapid wicking knit that keeps you fresher for longer.
"The cut of this tee has been expertly engineered to suit the slightly more aggressive position beknown to gravel bikes and adventure riding compared to more traditional mountain bike orientated baggy tops. With forward set, articulated sleeves and a standard slim, yet relaxed, flap free fit, this is sure to be your go to adventure riding tee.
"A zipped security pocket has been included at the rear of the jersey to keep your valuables close to hand."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rapid wicking, lightweight merino-blend knit main body fabric
Super-stretch woven fabric on sleeves for extra durability
Critically positioned mesh panels for great ventilation
Zipped rear side security pocket
Articulated sleeves for bike ready fit
Standard slim, yet relaxed, flap free fit
Material: Elastane 5%, Recycled Polyester 5%, Nylon 15%, Polyester 35%, Wool 40%
£59.99 is not cheap for a t-shirt, but this is well made, has a pocket and uses technical fabrics that work better than most.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Despite taking no notice of the washing instructions, this still looks fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Foyle T feels comfortable on a drop-barred bike, thanks to both the cut and the fabric choices.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The mix of fabrics, the slightly weighted back.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The chest pocket is pointless.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Endura's own Singletrack short sleeve jersey is cheaper at £39.99, but does not use the same mix of technical fabrics, while Rapha's trail technical t-shirt costs £55, but has no pockets and includes no merino.
You can spend more; Ashmei's men t-shirt costs £75 and Assos's short sleeve trail jersey is £80.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Foyle T works well for gravel riding – or any other riding on a drop-barred bike. The cut and the fabric work particularly well, even on longer or multi-day rides. It could score higher if it were cheaper, but it's still very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Ribble Endurance SL disc
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, mtb, Zwift