RRP: $239 (SHORTS), $79 (TECH TEE)

“I reach for the same few pieces of kit each time I’m headed out to the trails; the cream rises to the top…”

Even though I have a fair mountain of riding kit in my cupboard, I’m beginning to realise how little of it I actually regularly use. I reach for the same few pieces each time I’m headed out to the trails. The cream rises to the top and, provided I’ve done my laundry, then it’s unlikely I’ll delve too deep into the pile to use anything other than my unintended favourites. Recently, a new set of kit has made its way into my rotation, though: the Trek Evoke tech tee and the Trek Evoke shorts have become some of my regulars for trail riding.


Trek has stepped up its game and featured a lightweight two-way stretch material on the outer short, that’s not only made up of 65% recycled materials but tested for harmful substances through the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® test as well. It’s soft to handle and plush against the skin.

There are two main hip pockets up front and a zippered one on the back – ideal for car keys or small Allen keys, but nothing much more considerable. Up front, a domed closure is paired with a zipper to keep things tidy. I’m a pretty strict 32” waist so went for a Medium. I reckon they’re slightly on the larger side but, with a small adjustment of the Velcro adjusters on each side of the waist, they’re spot on. The fit is listed as ‘semi-fitted’, which seems pretty accurate as they’re reasonably roomy through the leg without being baggy.

The leg length is what will probably be the kicker as to whether you like these shorts or not. I’m slightly below average when it comes to leg length for my 176cm height, and the Evoke’s sit a little above my knees with their 11-inch inseam. In the grand scheme of MTB shorts, this is on the shorter side of things; most shorts sitting in excess of 12 inches. I reckon this length hits the nail on the head for their intended use as a trail short though, ideally sans-knee pads. The overall silhouette is equally at home on a trail ride as at the gym or local swimming spot – they’d even be sweet for a drop-bar gravel ride. With subtle branding – just a small woven label above the rear pocket – they don’t scream “I’m a mountain biker!” at all… which makes a nice change.

Wearing liner undershorts has become normal for many riders these days, and we’re seeing fewer and fewer people hiding bib shorts beneath their baggies. There are a heap of liners on the market these days but, from what I’ve experienced, most fall short and are merely ticking a box rather than offering the ideal solution. The fits are off, chamois are bad and the overall experience leaves me wishing I’d just purchased a good pair of bibs instead – then hidden them under baggies, of course!

Trek has knocked it out of the park with this pair of liners though – I’m impressed. Let’s start at the top and work our way down: the waistband is a wide, soft number – think, a comfy boxer-short style – and there’s no narrow elastic cutting into your stomach as you’re doubled over, chewing your stem whilst grunting up a steep climb. A couple of different recycled nylon and spandex blends on the main panels help the shorts form nicely to your body, with no discernible bunching or rubbing. The legs feature a similar band to the waist, but with rubber grippers on the rear – finally, a liner the legs won’t creep up on – and they’re awesome for holding up knee pads too. The liner can be used snapped into place, attached to the shorts, or worn completely independently – i.e. under another pair of shorts. Not by themselves… although we’re not ones to judge.

All the good features of a liner are easily let down by an inferior chamois but, after lots of saddle time, my undercarriage is happy to report that the chamois lives up to the rest of the short. No dramas here.


The Evoke Tech Tee’s main body fabric contains 85% recycled polyester blended with cotton, and passes the same OEKO-TEX® tests the shorts do, so no nasties are hiding in the fabrics.

Wearing a size large (normal for me) the semi-fitted cut is plenty comfy and leaves room for movement. I’m impressed that Trek used some panelling down the sides to help shape the form, not just a standard tee-styled cut. The rear has a slightly dropped tail to help avoid a public builders crack.

The fabric feels reasonably lightweight but not to the point I’d be concerned about tearing it any more than other riding shirts. It breathes well and doesn’t hold on to sweat but helps it evaporate off. Although I’ve been riding this off-white colour over the early winter, the mud seems to clean out of it much easier than some shirts I’ve used.

As with the shorts, this top doesn’t stand out from a casually-dressed crowd and, again, subtle branding helps you stay low-key; just a small chest logo hit proves that you are in fact a cyclist.


Like most of the Trek kit (or, previously, Bontrager) I’ve used over the years, the quality of both the shorts and the shirt appears to be top-notch. So far, it seems these garments will stand the test of both time and trails. If you’re searching for some versatile trail-riding garb with subtle style, and don’t want a baggier style ‘all-mountain’ look then the Evoke shorts and tech tee will likely be right up your alley.

This article is taken from:NZ Mountain Biker, Issue #111

Considering SubscribingPurchase Issue #111