Autumn and Winter Base Layer Guide

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Most winter training philosophies suggest the off-season is all about base-building, and the basis of any winter training outfit starts with a good base layer. Once you get that right, the rest will (hopefully) follow. With this in mind, we look at the conditions you are likely to face out on the road this winter and which of Rapha’s base layers to reach for.


Pro Team Base Layer

Definition:
Ultra-breathable string vest with a close fit and synthetic fibres.
Conditions:
(Designed to keep your body comfortable on hot days, fast-paced race conditions, or climbing mountains. However, works well on mild days or in changeable conditions when you want to layer up.
Rider:
Tough-guy racer who doesn’t feel the cold but may be allergic to wool.
Wear with:
Short Sleeve Pro Team Jersey (with arm warmers) or Long Sleeve Pro Team Jersey. Add a Wind Jacket or Rapha Gilet for a long day out. Pro Team Jacket if it’s cold.

See the Pro Team Base Layer »


Merino Base Layer

Definition:
Our original and arguably most versatile, 100% merino under-vest. They work well as T-Shirts too.
Conditions:
Multiple. If you are layering up for a cold ride, trying to stay lightweight on a mild day or simply cruising to work with a jacket on top, insulation and breathability never felt so comfortable.
Rider:
Racers, commuters, tourers, paper boys… Everyone needs one or two of these.
Wear with:
(Pretty much anything, but for example: Winter Jersey/ Long Sleeve Jersey/ Classic Softshell/ Pro Team Race Cape and so on…

See the Base Layer »


Women’s Base Layer

Definition:
More elegant shape and cut for female riders. Has a finer feel and can be worn as a T-shirt/ casually.
Conditions:
Multiple (as above). Excellent for layering up on a cold ride, mild and sunny days or insulation for commuting.
Rider:
Road riders, commuters, anyone who appreciates the finer things in life.
Wear with:
Long Sleeve Jersey/ Wind Jacket/ Long Sleeve Souplesse Jersey.

See the Base Layer »


V-Neck Base Layer

Definition:
Designed for City riders wearing button up shirts in a lighter weight merino than the standard Merino Base Layers. But can also be used as an alternative to the Pro Team or Merino Mesh Base Layer.
Conditions:
(Layering up for cool rides, commutes or drinking beers at the bar.
Rider:
He or she who regularly commutes but needs to look good straight off the bike. Those who don’t like synthetic materials or the ‘racier’ fishnet style…
Wear with:
Rapha Merino Polo/ Rapha Long Sleeve Shirt/ City Rain Jacket/ any jersey.

See the Base Layer »


Merino Mesh

Definition:
A lighter weight and even more breathable version of the Merino Base Layer. Works exceptionally in both cold and warm weather. Does not work well as a T-shirt, however.
Conditions:
From the heat of summer to cooler conditions where you are layering with heavier weight jersey and/ or outer shell.
Rider:
Those who heat up quickly but dislike the synthetic feel of Pro Team Base Layers. One who does high-tempo winter training and needs maximum breathability and comfort.
Wear with:
Long Sleeve Pro Team Jersey/ Winter Jersey/ Hardshell Jacket/ Pro Team Jacket/ Classic Jersey and Arm Warmers.

See the Base Layer »


Winter Base Layer

Definition:
Turtle neck merino long sleeve number that works as a base-, mid-layer or alternative to a jersey under a jacket or gilet.
Conditions:
From cold to freezing temperatures. Perhaps also on a mild day as an outer layer/ pullover.
Rider:
(A keen winter rider, who rides whatever the weather. Also, someone who really feels the cold.
Wear with:
LS Brevet Jersey/ Hardshell Jacket/ Softshell Gilet / Rain Jacket.

See the Base Layer »


Deep Winter Base Layer

Definition:
Extremely insulating base layer for extremely foul weather, long-cut sleeves with thumb loops and a close-fitting hood give absolute insulation.
Conditions:
Freezing, Arctic, ‘post-apocalyptic’.
Rider:
(Anyone who knows the true meaning of winter.
Wear with:
(Deep) Winter Collar/ Long Sleeve Jersey/ Hardshell Jacket/ Pro Team Race Cape/ Rain Jacket and Winter Glove System.

See the Base Layer »

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