Here’s the thing about baselayers, with the regularity of bad weather and the fitness levelof the average cyclist, we don’t just need them to keep the wind at bay and to be breathable; we also need them to move the sweat from the body – or more importantly, to move the sweat in such a way that your body benefits properly from the sweating, regulating and helping you to stay at the right temperature. Regulating temperature means we drink less and perform better – marginal gains remember.
Yes, the design of baselayers has changed from simply being a woollen weave, to now drawing on the technical thinking for fabrics that was once reserved for one or two ‘out there brands’. Italian brand Alé like to be at the cutting edge and these clever people from Verona have definitely taken the design of their long sleeved cold weather base layer up a notch. The materials have changed and they’ve even added carbon to the mix for extra strength. The weave has changed, now bringing in several different weaves within the one garment, to move the sweat away from one area in such a way that it benefits your whole body as it wicks, and ensuring that it doesn’t simply soak into the cloth in that one place. No, this Alé baselayer is technicity in action, performing as a true temperature controller.
Testing this baselayer has been a joy over the winter so far. I’ve even used it on the rollers in the garage, doing my best to generate some personal moisture and to see how it worked. Ordinarily, when I’m pedalling away indoors, dreaming of winning on Alp D’Huez, my eyes are eventually closed with salty beads of sweat and I’m forced to stop before falling off sideways. No such sweaty cyclist with this new baselayer however, as it works so efficiently and effectively. The only drawback being that I now have to cycle for longer in the garage gym. Thankfully though, the carbon within the material is designed to help capture the aroma produced by the hard working cyclist 😉 Does it work … you’ll have to ask my family!
On the roads of the Yorkshire Dales and the Vale of York, where the cold winds blow and bite at the rider, this well thought out body hugging baselayer from Alé has kept the cold at bay, with its high cut rounded collar and tightly woven cuffs at the sleeves. It caresses the body, yes … it truly does and makes you feel kind of special simply to be wearing it. The material is soft, very stretchy and very strong, able to be pulled in all directions, ensuring movement isn’t restricted and yet feeling simply very nice underneath your winter jerseys and jackets as it touches and stays put. The rest is up to you on how good you look, but this baselayer is definitely made to hug.
If you buy one base layer for colder rides, then this excellent garment from Alé ought to be on your list. It works across a varied spectrum of temperatures, from a warm winter day, to those with an icy chilling wind. On the style front, it’s typically Italian, being made from quality materials, all well cut and superbly sewn, with a simple design that oozes style and balances this with excellent body fitting comfort. It almost makes me want to ride in the snow … now calm down and don’t get carried away!