This extremely comfy Sportwool base layer comes at an incredibly affordable price. The particular variety of Sportwool used here is a lightweight mix that’s 39% merino wool and 61% polyester. As with all Sportwool, you get the wool on the inner face next to your skin, and the tougher polyester on the outside for extra durability.
The wool used is super-fine so it feels really soft and smooth, and it does a good job of absorbing moisture and wicking it away when you sweat. This base layer isn’t nearly as light as some purely synthetic ones and it can get weightier when you sweat heavily, but it stays comfortable because it doesn’t feel cold when damp – well, not unless you stop for ages.
We prefer a man-made fibre next to the skin for rides when we know we’re going to sweat a lot, but for low intensity rides where warmth is all-important, Sportwool is a great option. It provides plenty of insulation which is why we tend to use it most in the off-season. That’s a personal preference, though – we know plenty of people who prefer the feel of wool whatever ride they’re doing, and it’s certainly better at resisting odours than most synthetic options. Even with the polyester content of this Sportwool, the B1 smells reasonably fresh when you nip into a garage for a mid-ride Snickers bar – although it isn't as odour-resistant as pure wool.
The cut of this base layer is slim and there’s enough give in the weave for it to feel comfy even if it’s a snug fit. The slightly extended rear keeps your lower back covered when you’re stretched out on the bike while the collar is a typical T-shirt style. We’d actually prefer it a little higher to keep draughts off the neck but, again, that’s an individual choice.
All the seams are flatlock stitched so you can’t even feel them let alone be annoyed by them, and although after a few washes the cuff and hem bands aren’t quite as white as they were, the B1 can go through the machine without any worries. The same goes for the tumble dryer – no problems there.
It’s available in white with black bands too.
Very comfortable Sportwool base layer at an excellent price – basic design but it works
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Make and model: Torm B1 Base Layer
Size tested: Black, large
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?
Torm say, "Vital in the depths of winter, the B1 base layer provides much needed warmth when the mercury takes a tumble.
"Premium SportWool™ combined with detailed finishing snugly envelope you in ultra fine Merino wool making the B1 feel much more expensive than its price tag suggests.
"A superb high quality shirt that looks great on or off the bike."
The B1 is a fairly basic design – it doesn't try to do too much – but it's none the worse for that. It's comfy, wicks sweat and keeps you warm – job done.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yep
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, exceptional value
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yep
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.