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Roses undershirt is a remarkably competent polyester base layer thanks to its sculpted fit and efficient moisture management, leaving an arid, comfortable and odour free inner climate-even worn beneath less sophisticated materials. However, I'd forgo the fabric softener if you're throwing it in with the regular wash and of the two colours, I’d plump for the black every time.
Base layers are supposed to be close but this is the most precise, yet comfortable I’ve used to date. The large hugged every contour of my torso with adequate length to safeguard against lumbar chill when stretched out on the tri bars for prolonged periods in unforgiving winds. The arguments for and against short sleeves could rage for centuries but to my mind, they’re the most practical for four seasons use whether riding intervals on the trainer or beneath a summer jersey and arm warmers during the spring and autumn.
Get beyond the marketing buzzwords and the Moisture Transport System (MTS) translates into a very thin, yet surprisingly rugged polyester blend. (60% Dacron to speedily wick moisture from the skin, whereas the rest is a tightly woven micro-fibre ensuring unrestricted movement). Whether on the road or confined to the static trainer, there’s the characteristic lag between the body perspiring and the wicking process kicking in but this shouldn’t be a problem for most riders-especially given the UK’s climate.
The sensation is best described as a warm glow before the fibres get busy. Sure, it doesn’t compare with the seamless wicking of wool but then it’s around a third of the asking price. Personal hygiene allowing, there’s no hint of socially awkward odour retention, meaning it can be worn with confidence down the pub after a hard day in the saddle.
Refreshingly good polyester base layer with a very keen price tag
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Make and model: Rose undershirt
Size tested: L
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"MTS underwear material, extended back, crew neck, flat seams.
Material: MTS (Moist Transport System) functional fibre: 60% Dacron polyester by DuPont, 40% micro polyester fibre
Sizes: S - XXL"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Basically a moderately sophisticated polyester short-sleeve base layer.
Surprisingly efficient for a Polyester garment.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For a Polyester garment, the Rose undershirt is one of the better I've used, especially considering the very modest price-tag. Cut is close and but the fit fairly generous- I'm usually a large but medium fitted every contour perfectly and in turn flatters the fit of other garments. Performance doesn't quite match that of Meriono but very good nonetheless.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
One of the best fitting base layers I've ever used and very keenly priced too.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)