Apollo Shirts: Cycling Shirts Made with NASA Technology

Image showing Apollo shirts long and short sleeve.

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Amongst the general population these days, cycling tends to have the sort of rep that speaks of lycra, that speaks of heads down, bottom-up pedalling. Discerning Cyclist is here to prove that, for most people, this isn’t the kind of bike riding they actually do!

Nonetheless, cycling can be a strenuous activity, even when riding an electric bike, so keeping cool, smelling fresh and looking the part can be a worry – especially if using two wheels to get to work.

Here’s the good news. With the advent of new materials and new manufacturing processes, it’s possible to produce smart apparel that works on the bike but still looks dapper off it.

In this area of smart, technical clothing, Ministry of Supply have a fair bit of history and with their Apollo range, they’ve embedded some surprising technology to help make their clothing the ultimate multi-discipline wardrobe item.

Staying Cool while Cycling to Work

Choosing to cycle to work instead of using a car or public transport, isn’t an easy decision – we get it. There are plenty of factors to mull over before ditching four wheels for two. How long it will take, how to carry your belongings – even where to store your bike during your shift.

One that might seem inconsequential to some, is how to keep cool while cycling to work. Even a leisurely pedal can leave you hot under the collar, and sometimes bringing a change of clothes for the workday isn’t possible.

Plus, depending on the nature of your work, looking smart and on-point may be a requisite part of your job. Getting your personal appearance right in the workplace can quickly give you the right first impression or the correct level of professionalism for your company or role.

Office-Friendly Cycling Shirts

This is where office-friendly cycling shirts enter the fray. Comfortable enough to button up in the morning whilst running through the day’s pitch in your head for the thousandth time. Cool enough to meander through town in the heat of a summer’s morning. And crucially, smart enough when you’re closing the pitch with that new client.

Office-friendly cycling shirts will probably have a collar and should be breathable to some extent. The best will have an element of stretch in their material, making them comfortable to ride a bike in. Last of all on our cycle-to-work shirt feature wishlist is the shirt to be crease or wrinkle-resistant.

NASA-Inspired Bike Shirts

With a name like Apollo, Ministry of Supply has given us some clues as to the origins of this clothing range. Regulating the body temperature of astronauts in space is crucial. They will face temperatures from a bone-chilling -250°F to a stifling 250°F.

As part of a range of measures to cool those brave souls that head into the ether, Nasa developed a material to use in astronauts gloves that helped keep them at the right working temperature.

Nasa explains the material like this: “If the wearer became too warm or cool, the material could automatically respond by absorbing or releasing heat. At a designated high temperature, the material absorbs and holds heat to produce a cooling effect. At a designated low temperature, the fabric releases stored heat to produce a warming effect in an area.” Cleverly, Ministry of Supply decided to incorporate these Phase Change Materials (or PCMs for short) into a brand-new fabric for their Apollo range of shirts.

Let’s bring this back to earth and how these NASA-inspired shirts can be used for something as humdrum as cycling to work. Whilst the wearer of an Apollo shirt wouldn’t be tinkering with the ISS on a space walk, they’d still want to keep cool and ensure the garment doesn’t hold onto odour or creases.

Ministry of Supply’s Apollo Range

The Apollo shirt was the first garment Ministry of Supply ever produced. Launched via a wildly successful Kickstarter. Today, there are both men’s and women’s versions of the shirt, plus a men’s polo shirt too.

1. Ministry of Supply Apollo Dress Shirt

apollo dress shirt in blue background
apollo dress shirt
apollo dress shirt different colours
  • US Flag $138

Prices are approximate

Material: Recycled: 57% Recycled Polyester, 43% PCM-infused Polyester

Sizes: XS-XXL

Fit: Slim & Standard

Smart, breathable shirt

Button cuffs

4-way stretch

One shirt to rule them all.

The Apollo Dress shirt is technical enough to ‘perform’ when cycling to work. The material is laced with technical yarns from NASA, quickly enabling heat to dissipate from your body as you start to spin the pedals.

A stretch in the material helps you reach the handlebars of your bike without feeling like it’s pulling at your elbows or shoulders.

On arriving at the office, the shirt looks great when worn with a pair of jeans or chinos – just make sure they’re great biking to work pants! Plus with both slim and standard fits available (and 6 sizes) you can tailor the garment to your favoured look or that day’s style.


  • Machine washable
  • Can be tumble dried
  • Wrinkle resistant


  • Knit design won’t be to everyone’s tastes

2. Ministry of Supply Apollo Polo

apollo polo shirt in blue background
apollo polo shirt different colours
apollo polo shirt
  • US Flag $98

Prices are approximate

Material: 66% Recycled TCD Polyester, 34% PCM-infused Polyester

Sizes: XS-XXXL

Fit: Slim

Smart-casual polo

Four colours available

3 button closure

After the success of the long-sleeved Apollo shirt, Ministry of Supply translated it into a casual polo top and for our money it’s one of the best cycling polo shirts around.

Although it uses a slightly different blend of polyester to the dress shirt, the polo does include the NASA Phase Change Materials that keep the wearer cool, calm and collected. Nineteen times more breathable than traditional fabrics, the polo is an ideal top for cycling to work during the summer.

The polo is lightweight and falls nicely, giving the right impression at an important meeting or after-work occasion.


  • The collar doesn’t warp
  • Machine washable
  • Can be tumble dried


  • Only slim fit

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