Base Layer Essentials: The Fully Sublimated Base Layer
Over time, cyclist learn the value of a really nice base layer worn under your jersey. There are many weather specific base layers of various material composition that have either long, short,or sleeveless options. Almost all cycling clothing manufacturers offer their own base layers, you can also find them in many sporting goods stores and ski shops. Base layers are essential to an enjoyable cycling experience.
Base layers are items of clothing which are used as a foundation, upon which an effective warmth or cooling providing layering system can be built. They are made from technically advanced fabrics, they will be close fitting to the skin to make them as effective as possible. These layers are designed to draw sweat away from the skin in order to make the you feel cool/warm, dry, and therefor more comfortable in hot or cold weather. By transference of moisture, a base layer works by a process known as wicking. When the moisture moves from the skin into this layer, it has a greater surface area and will therefore evaporate quickly leaving the wearer drier/cooler and more comfortable than they would otherwise be. The faster this transference of moisture occurs, the more effective this layer will be.
I have a lot of different base layers and wear them all depending on the weather conditions. I have a mock turtleneck cut off sleeve merino wool one for when the weather is 60-70 degrees with low humidity. If you research the various base layer materials, you will see that there is a base layer for almost every possible weather condition. Some of my friends just wear jerseys in the summer, they say they are cool (jersey material is designed to be very breathable) yet the science says they could benefit from a nicely engineered base layer worn underneath.
As our company moved toward finalizing our product line, we realized that we needed some unique garments that our competitors didn’t have. We already knew that our designs would be unique but we needed a few signature garments that would really set us apart. We looked into many different items like road rash resistant shorts (still in development), long sleeve skinsuits with short fingered gloves attached to them etc. Being that we are always thinking of ways to integrate kit design elements throughout the various garments, we thought, “what about a base layer that is fully sublimated?”. By using a full sublimation approach to our base layer garment, we could take advantage of an up until then, underutilized design space.
We did research and found that no other company was offering a base layer using Italian technical fabrics, combined with full sublimation specifically for cycling. A lot of cycling companies were offering sublimation options for custom base layers but the area of sublimation was limited to just below the neck opening on the front and back of the garment. They basically offered them in black, white, and gray. At that point, we knew we had to move forward with this idea.
We sourced some of the best material available for this application, we began to develop a summer baselayer that was fully sublimated on the front and back. The garment was field tested for a few months, feedback was very positive in regard to the base layers comfort, fit, and wicking abilities. Production moved forward and the result is our Fully Sublimated Base Layer.
The custom version of this garment is a must have for the team manager that wants to retain sponsor visibility when jerseys are zipped down, promote sponsors while riders warm up on trainers prior to races, and to add to the team issued clothing for post-race events. Add a base layer to your cycling garment repertoire, it can essentially change your riding experience.