Rapha Fixed Long Sleeve base layer – £65
As the winter clasps its icy tentacles around us, there are many vital items of clothing to keep you warm, but none more so essential than a quality base layer. London-based Rapha already produce some fine Merino wool base layers, but the Fixed Long Sleeve is a new addition to the range.
The Fixed baselayer complements the growing range of clothing aimed at urban riding, whether that’s commuting to work or heading for the local. Like Rapha’s other baselayers, 100% pure New Zealand merino wool is used which means you’ll be toasty warm and dry, all day long.
Merino wool is a lovely material. If you’re only used to the modern synthetic base layers, you won’t be familiar with the feeling of natural wool next to the skin. Its wicks sweat jolly well, is naturally anti-bacterial and never smells bad which, in this incarnation is handy thing because you might find it being worn for the ride to work, then a day sat behind the keyboard.
As ever, Rapha’s styling is discreet, with just a black-on-black logo affixed to the rear of the base. The fit is generous and isn’t the tight layer that some second-skin affairs can be, so if you’re wearing it off the bike, which is a perfectly feasible proposition, you won’t look out of place. It’s a little longer than most, which ensures there’s some underlap with your Fixed shorts.
A care label is stitched on the inside, and following the recommendations there have been no problems with regular washing. Various sizes available.