I’m not sure it’s something I’d mention at a party, but I’m a bit of a base layer aficionado. I never go without a base layer, no matter the weather. I’ve got cold weather base layers for the winter and warm weather base layers for the summer. I’ve got a base layer that I only use on the rollers. And even when I run, which doesn’t happen often anymore, I’ve got base layers for running. Despite having experience with base layers, I never really put much thought into it. That is until I had a chance to experience some really good base layers. The Rapha Pro Team Base Layer is definitely one of those. It might actually be the best I’ve ever ridden with.
The foundation of what makes the pro team base layer great is the fit. It’s definitely a race cut. Rapha recommends buying your jersey size versus going down a size like some brands recommend, but it never feels tight or stretched. It’s just perfectly form fitting. And it doesn’t just feel great relaxing at the coffee shop. Working hard, down in the drops, it’s the same story. No bunching or pulling to be found. Shoulders move with ease.
What helps with the great fit is a combination of open mesh and lycra. There is lycra at the side panels, under arms, and a patch between the shoulders, and the main body is open mesh. The mesh helps keep air moving, as well as helping to keep the weight of the fabric minimal, while the lycra adds stretch to help the fit. There are flat locked seams everywhere and no tags against your skin. Everything combines to help it almost disappear once you’ve put it on.
Rapha recommends the pro team base layer for hot weather riding, and it definitely does a good job in the heat. It’s very thin, light, and well vented. Even when you’ve done enough climbing that it eventually soaks through, it dries quickly, and you never feel like a chocolate in the wrapper on a hot day.
Bottom line is that the pro team base layer is very typical of a Rapha product. The fit is exceptional, the materials excellent, and the price is appropriate for what you get. I’m looking forward to riding with this for a long time to come.
|Chain Reaction||Wiggle||Cayclestore||Evans Cycles|
|ProBikeKit||Rutland Cycling||Hargroves Cycles||Merlin Cycles|
|Ribble Cycles||AW Cycles||Biketart||Cycle Surgery|
|Leisure Lakes Bikes|