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It's All About The Base
Baselayers are an important part of your cycling wardrobe, no matter the season. Whether you prefer the classic merino wool or the latest developments in tech fabric, we've got all the details on how to choose the right layer for your adventure.
The right baselayer serves as a foundation for the rest of your cycling apparel, making it a great layering piece no matter the season. This thin layer of fabric wicks perspiration away from your body to keep you warm in chilly temps, and cool during hot, sweaty rides. Many people opt for a base layer made of merino wool for winter conditions. The merino fibers are smooth, making them naturally resistant to smell. Wool is also a great choice for anyone preferring natural fabrics, and often comes in different weights, so you can choose your garment depending on the degree of warmth needed. Synthetic and tech fabrics can be woven of different types of fabric, but perform the same job, wicking away moisture to keep you comfortable. Some newer fabrics come with carbon or antibacterial treatments to help fight off funk, but most garments will need to be washed after a few rides. Avoid cotton at all costs, since its fibers don't wick and will hold in sweat, making you feel clammy.
Tiny details like flatlock and raglan seams do a great job of sliding across the skin, rather than rubbing against it. Long sleeves can be a good choice for the coldest weather, but a sleeveless or short sleeve top is more versatile while still keeping your core warm. A good baselayer is barely noticeable and shouldn't rub or chafe the skin. Some designs may even have body-mapped zones, with different stitching designed to complement and move with certain areas of the body. To care for your baselayer properly and keep it in good condition, always wash according to the manufacturer label--most fabrics are machine washable, but avoid fabric softener since it interferes with the natural or technical coatings of the fabric. Hand washing or delicate wash cycles are a good idea to minimize tugging and friction on clothing, and be sure to check if your garment can be tumble dried, as fabrics like merino wool are often hang dry only.
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