A cyclist enjoying the benefits of wearing a cycling base layer.

Baselayer, Cycling, WinterWhy Every Great Ride This Season Starts With the Best Cycling Base Layer

2 Min Read


As the temperatures drop, do yourself a favour and pull on a cycling base layer under a cycling jacket or cycling vest. You’ll be more comfortable from the beginning of your ride to the end, whether it’s a 45-minute hammer fest in a cyclocross race, a steady two-hour cruise in the rain, or anything in between. The reason? A high-quality, high-performance base layer plays a more important role in your body’s performance than any cycling shell or cycling jacket. Why? Well, it all comes down to the Four Rules to Base Layer Superiority.


Cycling Base Layer Superiority Rule #1: STAY DRY


Whether your jam is riding through rain, sleet, or snow or logging miles on a sub-freezing winter’s day, keeping your skin dry will determine how hard and long you ride. A well-designed sweat-wicking fabric won’t absorb water or water vapour. Instead, it pulls moisture off your skin, transfers it through the fabric, and expels it into your next layer of cycling gear. This textile technology helps you avoid the clammy feeling of wet material against your skin, which in cold temperatures chills the skin, forcing your body to divert blood away from your hard-working muscles and to your skin surface to warm up.


Cycling Base Layer Superiority Rule #2: STAY WARM


A high-quality base layer does more than keep you dry; it keeps you warm. It does this via the way the fabric is knitted together. Any base layer that feels both sleek on the outside and soft against your skin can create enough insulation between your skin and the outside of the garment, allowing you to hold onto some of the heat generated by your body (but not sweat or water vapour!). Megmeister base layers do one better by strategically placing heat-retention sections across the front, chest, and sides of the torso — key spots that face into the wind — and heat-elimination vented sections in the middle of the back to let heat escape and better regulate your body’s core temperature.


Cycling Base Layer Superiority Rule #3: STAY LIGHT


A go-to base layer should feel featherweight and light — like a second skin. And this is where many base layer offerings diverge. Many offer wicking properties and insulation to keep you dry and warm (a key benefit of merino wool layers) but can’t deliver on the promise of lightweight, especially if the fibres get wet from sweat. Megmeister can. Its ultra-lightweight fibre with 4-way stretch results in a base layer that looks smaller than it fits. When you pull it on, you know you’re wearing something thanks to the way it hugs your body, but that’s it. And that’s a good thing.


Cycling Base Layer Superiority Rule #4: STAY TIGHT


Think of a base layer as the core structure of your cycling kit, the foundation of your layering strategy. As a core element, a snug-fitting garment (note: we didn’t say ill-fitting garment or one that’s a size too small) keeps your chest and stomach and other jiggly parts secured. This compression can help reduce fatigue and, anecdotally, reduce or delay muscle soreness. But more than anything, a form-fitting base layer stays out of the way. It doesn’t bunch up around your waist, underarms, or chest and stays in place from the first mile to mile 40 and beyond. This stability lets your cycling jersey move freely against the base layer, not your skin, reducing friction and the eventual discomfort that friction can lead to. 


The best cycling base layer delivers on all four rules above. Some fabrics and weaves can check off two or three rules (Looking at you, wool and nylon). Rare is the base layer that can check off all four and do it well. With their innovative blend of fibres, revolutionary knitting technology, 100% seamless construction, and body-mapped fit, Megmeister’s DRYNAMO line sets a new standard for base layer performance.


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