A base layer provides the foundation for any effective cycling ensemble – even in summer.
Having worn a base layer through winter, logic would dictate that, once the weather warms up, it’d be the first layer to forgo but that’s not the case.
Instead, the fabric the base layer is made from and its construction changes.
A lightweight, polyester summer base layer, like the Craft Cool Tee, will wick sweat away from your skin, helping to keep you dry.
Wearing a base layer will also stop the straps of your bib shorts chafing against your nipples.
Many summer base layers, like the De Marchi SL undershirt, will have a mesh-like structure designed to offer rapid moisture transfer in the hottest weather, while a sleeveless base layer, like that from Rapha’s ProTeam range, made from the same fabric will keep you cooler still.
While merino reigns supreme through winter – and still has its place in the spring and summer, particularly on the cooler days we are inevitably likely to encounter here in the UK – a man-made, polyester base layer will be most effective in moving moisture away from the skin.
A base layer should have a slim fit; the fabric needs to sit close to your skin in order to do its job effectively.