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Don't let that overwhelming design disconcert you: underneath the loud print Cycology's 8 Days men's baselayer is an excellent long-sleeve option for cold days in the saddle.
The 8 Days features a mid-weight fleece interior with 92% polyester, 8% spandex fabric. You'll notice that there's no mention of merino – this is synthetic materials only – but it certainly feels soft. While the fabric is significantly thinner than you'll find used for a typical jersey, it's still noticeably more substantial than summer-specific baselayers. Build quality appears very good, too, with seams looking sturdy enough for the long haul.
Aside from the technical details, the main talking point has to be the awesomely colourful design. That funky print is a bit of a double-edged sword, though. As much as you might like to show it off, the colourful pattern doesn't help as much as plain darker shades to hide love handles. Obviously everybody reading this has the body of a Greek God, but just in case you don't, be aware. While this feels like a bit of kit worth flaunting, in the case of less taut riders, a coquettish partial unzipping of the jersey might do you more benefit than a full reveal.
Despite my body-conscious concerns, by avoiding the mirror I am happy to say the 8 Days felt like it fitted me well. Cycology says it uses "high stretch super soft fabric for streamlined body fit" and that's a fair summary. The body is suitably long, so there are no worries about it coming untucked or your lower back being exposed. Arm length is good, too, while the snaking seams down the arms are classy and relatively subtle touches compared to the rest of the design.
From first wear, the 8 Days is really very comfy. I'm constantly amazed at how next-to-skin garment manufacturers can ruin things with a misplaced tag or label, but no such problems here. Its fleece interior and flat-stitched seams are used to great effect with no areas of complaint. Because of the fabric thickness and weight, you are aware you are wearing it, though.
In winter you'll be thankful to be wearing it, too. For cold weather, it's the perfect foundation for your ride wardrobe. On milder winter days – where temperatures were only approaching double digits – I've used it with just a T-shirt and the very lightweight Howies Drizzler jacket (full review to come). Team it with a proper jersey and warmer jacket and you'd be surprised how low the thermometer can go before you start yearning for an extra layer. In short, this can be your go-to winter baselayer without worry.
Moisture build-up hasn't been a concern and even after a hard session on the bike I've come home feeling dry. However, despite these excellent wicking properties, once spring weather sets in you'll probably find yourself storing it away until late autumn unless, as Cycology suggests, you decided to wear it on its own.
Ashley tested the technically similar Craft Active Intensity CN LS M, which performed well and costs only £34. He felt that was just about good value. On the other hand, the admittedly far more technically proficient GripGrab Freedom Seamless Thermal baselayer costs a whopping £90. Next to that, the 8 Days looks like a bargain.
Personally, I think £40 doesn't seem extortionate for such a uniquely fun bit of kit that also does its job well. However, cold, hard calculating eyes may take me to task, especially as it is a synthetic product rather than a merino wool offering. To some extent, I suppose it depends how much added value you place on that print design but it's hard to argue that this is a very decent all-year baselayer with a bit of aesthetic zing.
And if you really like the design that much, why hide it under layers? Cycology will happily allow you to show the world how bright and colourful you are with matching jerseys starting at £60, caps for £14, and socks for £14.
Visually exciting baselayer that backs up the design with great performance
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Cycology 8 Days Men's Long Sleeve Base Layer
Size tested: XL
Tell us what the product is for
It's a very colourful long sleeve baselayer that's most effective in winter months.
Cycology says: "Technical long sleeve base layer designed for year round comfort. Ideal for both hot weather worn alone or cool weather with a jersey and anything in between."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Cycology lists these features:
Mid-weight fleece interior winter base layer.
High stretch super soft fabric for streamlined body fit and freedom of movement.
High moisture absorption and sweat wicking properties.
Flat stitched seams for comfort.
Fabrication: 92% polyesters, 8% spandex.
Made in China.
Very nicely made – the seaming in particular is a highlight.
Superbly warm in cold weather and keeps you dry even when you're working hard.
Material is thick and seams are sturdy, so I have no worries.
Good: very long body and long enough arms.
Quite tight, even in XXL form, although maybe that says more about me...
Quite heavy for a baselayer.
Very good. Other than its weight there's nothing to moan about.
It's perhaps a smidge more expensive than rival products but personally I'd accept the premium for the funky design.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Officially the instructions say hand wash only, no tumble dry, etc, but I've stuck it in the washing machine on a 30-degree sports wash and it's coming out fine (at least, so far...). I do hang it up to dry, though.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent – for cold weather riding it's just about perfect.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The printed design – it's bold!
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's not particularly flattering for fatties.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The technically similar Craft Active Intensity CN LS M costs only £34. On the other hand, the more technically proficient GripGrab Freedom Seamless Thermal baselayer costs a whopping £90.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
While Cycology's range of cycling kit is bold and bright, that propensity for loud design doesn't hide a shortfall in technical performance. With this 8 Days men's baselayer, you can have both style and substance.
About the tester
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking, leisure