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    rapha base layer guide 2018

    Base Layer Guide

    The first layer of your cycling wardrobe

    01 May 2018

    A base layer is the foundation of a cyclist’s wardrobe and key item of clothing for comfort on the bike. Sitting next the skin, it wicks sweat away to help regulate your body temperature, insulating you against the cold on winter rides and keeping you cool in summer.

    Rapha has a wide range of base layers with different fabrics and fits for riding in all conditions. This guide highlights how to choose a base layer that is perfectly suited to the conditions you ride in, giving you everything you need to make the right choice.

    How to wear a base layer

    As the name suggests a base layer should always be your first layer of clothing, positioned next to the skin. With fabrics specially designed to wick sweat, dry quickly and remain odourless, a base layer is only effective when worn as intended. When paired with bib shorts, it should be worn underneath the bib straps so that it remains in place and does not protrude at the bottom of your jersey.

    Fit

    Base layers are generally slim fitting so that the fabric sits immediately next to the skin and wicks sweat effectively. All Rapha base layers are made with high stretch fabrics for an assured feel while the fit varies slightly to suit different types of riding. For riding in the city, a slightly looser fitting merino wool base layer is ideal for wearing under a shirt while our Pro Team base layers feature stretchy side panels for a race fit.

    Whatever the weather

    The key consideration when choosing a base layer before your ride is temperature. Different base layers are constructed from different fabrics depending on whether they are designed to keep you warm or cool you down. For cold winter rides a thicker base layer made of merino wool are highly insulating and conserve body heat. Finer merino wool fabrics make for excellent all-round or mid-season base layers while super lightweight mesh base layers are most efficient in the heat.

    From tropical heat and humidity to biting cold, Rapha’s range of base layers is designed to keep you comfortable in all conditions. Build the foundations for your next ride and find a base layer suited to the conditions.

    Temperature Control

    Moisture wicking and heat regulating.

    Advanced Fabrics

    Tested to extremes.

    Perfect Fit

    Next-to-skin comfort.

    Merino Base Layer

    Made with Rapha’s pioneering merino fabric, this base layer is as versatile as it is comfortable. It will keep you cool on scorching hot climbs in summer and warm on freezing descents in winter. Naturally anti-bacterial and odour resistant, the merino base layer fabric is so soft that it’s ideal for wearing off the bike too.

    Fabric

    Fine New Zealand merino

    Fit

    Slim, for training or racing

    Conditions

    Cold to warm

    Merino Base Layer

    Available in short sleeve, long sleeve & sleeveless

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    V-neck Base Layer

    An incredibly lightweight layer for city riders, the V-Neck is constructed of a finer merino fabric than our other base layers. It is Ideal for wearing under a shirt, or a jacket.

    Fabric

    Fine merino

    Fit

    Relaxed

    Conditions

    Warm to hot

    V-neck Base Layer

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    Merino Mesh Base Layer

    Another staple for every season, this lightweight layer combines the comfort and performance of merino with the ventilation of a mesh base layer. Made from a second generation merino-blend fabric woven exclusively for Rapha, the Merino Mesh is designed to be worn all year round. Equally effective worn underneath winter clothing as a summer jersey, short sleeved, long sleeved and sleeveless options make it the perfect partner on any ride.

    Fabric

    Lightweight merino blend

    Fit

    Slim, for training or racing

    Conditions

    Cool to hot

    Merino Mesh Base Layer

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    Brevet Base Layer

    Our first base layer to feature a fabric with a permanent antibacterial finish, the Brevet Base Layer is designed specifically for the rigours of long-distance riding. Constructed with silver coated ion yarn, the fabric inhibits the growth of bacteria to keep you fresh and odour free, day after day. Our first base layer to feature a fabric with a permanent antibacterial finish, the Brevet Base Layer is designed specifically for the rigours of long-distance riding. Constructed with silver coated ion yarn, the fabric inhibits the growth of bacteria to keep you fresh and odour free, day after day.

    Fabric

    Polyester, elastane, silver coated ion yarn

    Fit

    Slim

    Conditions

    Warm to hot

    Brevet Base Layer

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    Pro Team Base Layer

    An exceptionally lightweight layer, the Pro Team Base Layer is made for competition. The main panels are constructed of a highly breathable and quick-drying mesh fabric to rapidly wick sweat away from the body and regulate body temperature. Stretch side panels ensure a streamlined fit and make this base layer the summer choice of our professional riders.

    Fabric

    Polyester, elastane

    Fit

    Close, race cut

    Conditions

    Warm, racing

    Pro Team Base Layer

    Buy now

    Souplesse Base Layer

    Mesh body fabric and stretch side panels combine to make the super lightweight Women's Souplesse Base Layer the choice of the CANYON//SRAM team for training and racing. The stretch panels make or a close fit and maximum efficiency in wicking sweat and regulating body temperature.

    Fabric

    Polyester, elastane

    Fit

    Slim, race cut

    Conditions

    Warm weather racing

    Souplesse Base Layer - Sleeveless

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    Women's Winter Base Layer

    This is the base layer that’ll keep you riding through the winter weather. Made of a thicker merino blend, it is warm and insulating without compromise on breathability and odour resistance. The thicker fabric combines with a roll neck to lock heat in and keep you warm on even the coldest rides. Added elastane creates superb stretch for a comfortable fit.

    Fabric

    Merino / elastane mix

    Fit

    Slim, roll neck

    Conditions

    Cold to freezing

    Women's Winter Base Layer

    Sold out

    Medium Support Bra

    Sleek and designed specially for women's cycling, the Medium Support Bra has a flattering cut, with a slim underhand and structured cups. Cut from a technical, high-stretch fabric the bra is designed to keep you secure during hard efforts and races, yet still feel barely there. Laser-cut holes in areas of high perspiration create exceptional ventilation and a light, mesh lining works to increase heat transfer on hot days.

    Fabric

    Technical, high-stretch

    Fit

    Medium compression

    Conditions

    Racing and training in heat

    Medium Support Bra

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    Light Support Bra

    For longer adventures and warmer days, the Light Support Bra is cut from a soft, high-stretch, sweat-wicking fabric. This seamless cycling bra is designed to give generous coverage whilst providing just the right level of compression and support demanded by cyclists.

    Fabric

    Technical, high-stretch

    Fit

    Medium compression

    Conditions

    Racing and training in heat

    Light Support Bra

    Buy now

    Riding tips

    For rides with a coffee stop, pack a folded base layer into your jersey pockets. Your sweat cools quickly once you stop riding so a fresh, dry base layer can help keep you warm. In order to adapt in changeable conditions, opt for a short sleeved base layer paired with arm warmers for versatility rather than wearing a long sleeved base layer. For multi-day rides pick a base layer that will stay fresh despite repeated use. The Brevet Base Layer is made of silver coated ion yarn for a permanent antibacterial finish. Wearing a base layer beneath your jersey can keep you cooler even on the hottest of days. Base layer fabrics are more effective at wicking sweat away from the body and regulating temperature.

    Whether you’re a complete beginner or a prolific race winner, a base layer can be the difference between a great ride and an uncomfortable ordeal.

    Tales from the road

    While we don’t recommend wearing one base layer for every ride like Gino Bartali did, his story goes to show how important a base layer was to him. As any experienced rider will tell you, a good base layer is the foundation of a comfortable ride.

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