You don’t always need to stick to cycling-specific brands to get a quality piece of kit that’s comfortable to ride in. The Sherpa Rinchen short sleeve base layer is a case in point. It’s soft, comfortable and well made. It’s not such a close fitting as some, making it useful off the bike too.
Good weight for cooler rides
Very soft fabric
Built in odour protection
Not as close a fit as many cycling-specific base layers
A good quality base layer is a great start to keeping warm and comfortable when on the move. That’s true of most outdoor sports, not just cycling. So although the Sherpa Rinchen short sleeve base layer is billed as 'adventure gear' rather than being cycling specific, it nevertheless serves well as a cycling undergarment.
The Sherpa Rinchen short sleeve base layer is made of a soft, thin, synthetic fabric. It has flatlocked seams too, so it’s very comfortable to wear under a cycling jacket. Sherpa has built in underarm panels so that the fit is good, although it’s not quite as tight as many cycling base layers. Nevertheless, it fits well under a cycling jacket or jersey and the tail is long enough to avoid cold spots on the back when riding. There’s nine per cent Spandex in the weave, so there’s plenty of stretch.
An advantage of the more relaxed fit is that the Sherpa Rinchen short sleeve base layer has other uses, not just for cycling. It would be comfortable to wear on its own as a T-shirt in warmer conditions or could be used when running too. It’s also UPF 40 rated, so if you did wear it on its own you shouldn’t get sunburnt too easily.
The Sherpa Rinchen short sleeve base layer incorporates silver ions in its fabric. These should help protect against odour build-up and Sherpa says that it is incorporated into the weave and will not wash out. In practice, I did find that the Sherpa Rinchin short sleeve base layer got a bit whiffy after a ride, although definitely less so that some other base layers that I’ve tested.
The Sherpa Rinchen short sleeve base layer is also very resistant to dampness from sweat, wicking perspiration away effectively and remaining comfortable even under less breathable outer layers. It washes up well and dries quickly too.
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Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.
He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.
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