Base layers are THE most crucial piece of upper body equipment you can buy, even if you ride in less ideal circumstances like the ones we now have here in the UK. It is impossible to determine what is good and what isn't based on widely recognized performance metrics like waterproofing and breathability ratings.
Despite the fact that this article is meant to be an opinion piece, I suppose I had to add some form of purchasing guidance if I was going to talk about the significance and worth of base layers. I do that, and leaving you hanging wouldn't have done much to help you understand the value of inner warmth that I keep harping on about.
In terms of mobility and heat management goals, 3D structured synthetics range from base layers with thinner parts for added stretch to ultra-complex knits that are more advanced than most outer layers - but are priced correspondingly. Consider wool mixes if you want more constant warmth when your body temperature changes and don't mind becoming damp for an extended period of time. Additionally, wool blends are excellent under inexpensive waterproofs that don't breathe well. Unlike cotton, wool retains its warmth even when wet, which explains why. Thus, you won't experience the unexpected shivering and shaking you sometimes experience at the summit of a climb or when the weather changes and the synthetic bases are still wet. Wool also resists odours better than most synthetic materials, and since it doesn't seem odd when worn as a shirt, it is suitable for bike packing and adventure. Because it retains moisture, it does not dry as quickly as synthetics, and further shell layers will not be able to "breathe" as well. It can shrink or stretch over time depending on the blend and how carefully you launder it, and durability varies greatly as well.
The clothing that is next to your skin is the most crucial. Many riders, including me, prefer to wear jackets like the Castelli Gabba or Perfetto in the winter. These coats' low thermal properties, especially when wet, are an issue, as are some specific winter jackets. We end up using three to four layers underneath them. Despite being sponsored by prestigious apparel companies, I have trained as a professional cyclist for much of my life and have often wondered why, after a few hours of winter riding, I am cold, damp, and uncomfortable. It appears that no base layer has been created from scratch exclusively for cycling in cold climates. we created the BASEZ with my own yarn selection and tailored weaves, where air pockets are captured by the fabric pattern to meet the requirements of that specific body area. Each part of the body has unique thermal, wicking, and comfort requirements during riding. As the chilly wind slashes through your jacket, the BASEZ's chest region and the front of the arms are thicker and warmer to protect against wind chill. The BASEZ has a lowered back part that extends all the way down to the saddle, covering and insulating the kidneys and lower back. Thumb loops keep the glove/jacket junction warm and a longer neck stops drafts, keeping the neck warm and mobile.
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