Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Does A Base Layer Keep A Rider Cooler in Hot Weather

Notices
Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Does A Base Layer Keep A Rider Cooler in Hot Weather

Old 07-29-20, 06:54 PM
  #1  
colnago62
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2,041
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 557 Post(s)
Liked 228 Times in 134 Posts
Does A Base Layer Keep A Rider Cooler in Hot Weather

I have always felt that a base layer holds your sweat closer to your body which helps regulate cooling. You do see a lot of riders who do not use a base layer when its hot. I wonder if it doesnt make a difference.
colnago62 is offline  
Old 07-29-20, 06:56 PM
  #2  
Sy Reene
Advocatus Diaboli
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 6,139

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3113 Post(s)
Liked 471 Times in 350 Posts
Only if there's wind or airflow
Sy Reene is offline  
Likes For Sy Reene:
Old 07-29-20, 07:08 PM
  #3  
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 3,985
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 609 Post(s)
Liked 146 Times in 92 Posts
Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
I have always felt that a base layer holds your sweat closer to your body which helps regulate cooling. You do see a lot of riders who do not use a base layer when it’s hot. I wonder if it doesn’t make a difference.
It was either a podcast with the lead technologist from Pearl Izumi or a VeloNews tech podcast where the point was made that most cooling comes from sweat evaporation due to the large energy required to evaporate water. Therefore, having water evaporate as close to the skin as possible rather than clothing is best. A base layer transports water from the body to the outer jersey layer and so reduces cooling. That’s good in cold weather, bad in hot.
asgelle is offline  
Likes For asgelle:
Old 07-29-20, 07:57 PM
  #4  
Iride01
Senior Member
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 4,297

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1615 Post(s)
Liked 511 Times in 391 Posts
I'd think a base layer will just keep more sweat in which in turns means that you are holding more heat next to your body. For anything over 70F I'm only wearing one layer.

Even if the sweat isn't evaporating at a fast rate, just the fact it can drip off of you means it's carrying heat away from you.
Iride01 is offline  
Likes For Iride01:
Old 07-29-20, 10:46 PM
  #5  
Dean V
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,626
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 932 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 120 Times in 80 Posts
I have always found that a base layer is hotter.
You can still ride with one in quite warm temps, but it is definitely cooler when removed.
Dean V is offline  
Likes For Dean V:
Old 07-29-20, 11:03 PM
  #6  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 21,344
Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12372 Post(s)
Liked 3,722 Times in 2,086 Posts
Opinions are split something like 50/50 among the people I've talked to about this. Including a lot of hikers and climbers.

I have a few base layers with high tech yarns that spread moisture out over a large area to evaporate more quickly. Now I haven't done anything scientific like measure my skin temperature with and without, so all I can really say is it's comfortable even on hot days.

Also a lot of base layers are UPF 25 to 50, so you don't have to use chemical sunblock (or reapply on a long day). I don't like the way it feels on my skin.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Likes For Seattle Forrest:
Old 07-29-20, 11:42 PM
  #7  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,422
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4370 Post(s)
Liked 1,424 Times in 795 Posts
Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Only if there's wind or airflow
there's always an 18+mph airflow when I ride(unless I have a tailwind).

Last edited by noodle soup; 07-29-20 at 11:46 PM.
noodle soup is offline  
Likes For noodle soup:
Old 07-30-20, 06:53 AM
  #8  
shelbyfv
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,172
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1810 Post(s)
Liked 1,182 Times in 672 Posts
Never worked for me, I was much hotter when I wore the base layer. Not aero but I cool off by unzipping my jersey most of the way, let the air flow. Very humid here, not much evaporation, that probably makes a difference.
shelbyfv is offline  
Likes For shelbyfv:
Old 07-30-20, 08:31 AM
  #9  
Iride01
Senior Member
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 4,297

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1615 Post(s)
Liked 511 Times in 391 Posts
Base layers make sense for hiking and slower outdoor activities where you might want a more rugged outer clothing to deal with environmental factors. I used to always be particular about my base layer when I used to do a lot of hiking, rock climbing and other such in the woods. Not so much anymore as those activities have gone by the wayside.

You certainly don't want sweat piling up next to your body, But the looser outer clothing you wear to avoid abrasions from limbs, thorns and other such you might rub against won't rid you of the sweat if it's not touching your body. So that is where a base layer comes in.

In cycling on a road bike usually the clothing is form fitting and snug. There is no need for a base layer. Unless, you like to wear loose clothing when you ride your road bike. IMO of course!
Iride01 is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 09:37 AM
  #10  
rubiksoval
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 3,652

Bikes: Felt AR

Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2126 Post(s)
Liked 750 Times in 380 Posts
All a base layer would do in the southeast is hold more water. I can wring out my gloves and socks after an hour. Another layer to hold even more sweat is completely pointless. And nasty.
rubiksoval is offline  
Likes For rubiksoval:
Old 07-30-20, 09:47 AM
  #11  
msu2001la
Senior Member
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 710
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 215 Post(s)
Liked 95 Times in 65 Posts
I almost always wear a base layer. I tend to "run cool" and rarely feel like I'm hot or overheating on the bike. I mostly like the additional compression and feel of a base layer, plus it keeps jersey seams and bib straps from chafing on my skin.
When I ride without one now in hot weather, the jersey feels like it's sticking to my skin more.

I do all my riding in the early morning, so I rarely ride in temps much above 80F. I suppose if I were riding in mid-day summer sun with temps in the 80F+ range, I'd likely ditch it.
msu2001la is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 09:57 AM
  #12  
mpath
Recusant Iconoclast
 
mpath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Tsawwassen, BC
Posts: 2,539

Bikes: Look 695, Wilier Izoard

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 238 Post(s)
Liked 42 Times in 20 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Opinions are split something like 50/50 among the people I've talked to about this. Including a lot of hikers and climbers.
This. I always wear one, but it doesn't get particularly hot in the PNW.

OP try it, if it doesn't work for you, don't wear it.
mpath is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 11:04 AM
  #13  
popeye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Newport Beach, CA
Posts: 1,609

Bikes: S works Tarmac, Felt TK2 track

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 198 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 53 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
I have always found that a base layer is hotter.
You can still ride with one in quite warm temps, but it is definitely cooler when removed.
Same here. Todays ride will be 62-98 deg. I will start with base and then remove ~ 85deg.
popeye is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 11:07 AM
  #14  
oris
I like speed
 
oris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Eastvale, CA
Posts: 37

Bikes: Orbea Orca, Ridley Ignite, Cannondale SuperSix Hi Mod

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I almost always wear a base layer. I tend to "run cool" and rarely feel like I'm hot or overheating on the bike. I mostly like the additional compression and feel of a base layer, plus it keeps jersey seams and bib straps from chafing on my skin.
When I ride without one now in hot weather, the jersey feels like it's sticking to my skin more.

I do all my riding in the early morning, so I rarely ride in temps much above 80F. I suppose if I were riding in mid-day summer sun with temps in the 80F+ range, I'd likely ditch it.
Same deal here. I always ride with a baselayer and sunsleeves.

My rides are typically in the evenings on weekdays and early morning on weekends, so I ride anywhere from 60 - 90 degrees in SoCal. I too like the feeling of the compression and the extra layer between the jersey. However I'm the type of guy that always wears an undershirt.

I don't feel overheated or overly sticky. One thing I do like is the wind hitting the baselayer and the mild cooling sensation, but it's entirely subjective.
oris is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 11:09 AM
  #15  
colnago62
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2,041
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 557 Post(s)
Liked 228 Times in 134 Posts
Originally Posted by mpath View Post
This. I always wear one, but it doesn't get particularly hot in the PNW.

OP try it, if it doesn't work for you, don't wear it.
It might be a regional thing. I live in the PNW. I would consider an 80 plus degree day very hot. Many places in the country 80 degrees is on the cooler side of summer temps.
colnago62 is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 11:12 AM
  #16  
MinnMan
Senior Member
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 3,405

Bikes: 2020 Salsa Warbird GRX 600, 2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX disc 9.0 Di2, 2020 Catrike Eola, 2016 Masi cxgr, 2011, Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1463 Post(s)
Liked 705 Times in 420 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I'd think a base layer will just keep more sweat in which in turns means that you are holding more heat next to your body. For anything over 70F I'm only wearing one layer.

Even if the sweat isn't evaporating at a fast rate, just the fact it can drip off of you means it's carrying heat away from you.
I'm not taking a position on base layer or no, but you've got the physics wrong. The cooling effect comes from the heat of evaporation - the energy required to transform liquid water to vapor - resulting in a net decrease in heat (well, really, enthalpy) on your skin. Just dripping off has no effect on your skin temperature.
MinnMan is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 11:50 AM
  #17  
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 3,985
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 609 Post(s)
Liked 146 Times in 92 Posts
Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
When I ride without one now in hot weather, the jersey feels like it's sticking to my skin more.
Which is what you want for maximum cooling.
asgelle is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 11:53 AM
  #18  
Iride01
Senior Member
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 4,297

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1615 Post(s)
Liked 511 Times in 391 Posts
Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I'm not taking a position on base layer or no, but you've got the physics wrong. The cooling effect comes from the heat of evaporation - the energy required to transform liquid water to vapor - resulting in a net decrease in heat (well, really, enthalpy) on your skin. Just dripping off has no effect on your skin temperature.
You are only looking at one aspect of physics, cooling from evaporation. There is another aspect of physics too, moving the heat away from you.

So letting the sweat which contains a lot of heat drip off of you will keep you from getting hotter instead of retaining all that heat around you. I suppose if you are going to get me on a technicality, then that isn't cooling per se, but simply a way to get less hotter..
Iride01 is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 12:00 PM
  #19  
MinnMan
Senior Member
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 3,405

Bikes: 2020 Salsa Warbird GRX 600, 2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX disc 9.0 Di2, 2020 Catrike Eola, 2016 Masi cxgr, 2011, Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1463 Post(s)
Liked 705 Times in 420 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
You are only looking at one aspect of physics, cooling from evaporation. There is another aspect of physics too, moving the heat away from you.

So letting the sweat which contains a lot of heat drip off of you will keep you from getting hotter instead of retaining all that heat around you. I suppose if you are going to get me on a technicality, then that isn't cooling per se, but simply a way to get less hotter..
No, sorry, that's not right. The sweat and your body are at the same temperature, so moving it away does not cool you. The sweat, sitting on your skin, is not transferring heat to your body, so removing it has no effect. If we adjust for the fact that your skin temperature is a little lower than your internal temmperature, we'd have to adjust for the fact that the sweat temperature is also lower than your internal temperature for the same reason

The heat of evaporation, on a mass normalized basis is enormous.

Trust me on this one, it's my profession.
MinnMan is offline  
Likes For MinnMan:
Old 07-30-20, 12:04 PM
  #20  
MoAlpha
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 6,227

Bikes: Shmikes

Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4225 Post(s)
Liked 1,543 Times in 851 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
You are only looking at one aspect of physics, cooling from evaporation. There is another aspect of physics too, moving the heat away from you.

So letting the sweat which contains a lot of heat drip off of you will keep you from getting hotter instead of retaining all that heat around you. I suppose if you are going to get me on a technicality, then that isn't cooling per se, but simply a way to get less hotter..
Sweat cools to below skin temp the moment it's secreted because evaporation, and remains much more efficient at conducting heat from the skin than air or your jersey.
MoAlpha is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 12:08 PM
  #21  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 21,344
Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12372 Post(s)
Liked 3,722 Times in 2,086 Posts
Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
It might be a regional thing. I live in the PNW. I would consider an 80 plus degree day very hot. Many places in the country 80 degrees is on the cooler side of summer temps.
When it's hot here, it's usually because we have wind blowing in from east of the Cascades where it's pretty arid. So our hot days are dry ones where our sweat does the job it evolved for, cooling by evaporation.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 12:11 PM
  #22  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,422
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4370 Post(s)
Liked 1,424 Times in 795 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
When it's hot here, it's usually because we have wind blowing in from east of the Cascades where it's pretty arid. So our hot days are dry ones where our sweat does the job it evolved for, cooling by evaporation.
Yep, and keeping a wet cloth on your skin, helps keep you cooler.
noodle soup is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 12:15 PM
  #23  
guadzilla
Pointy Helmet Tribe
 
guadzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Offthebackistan
Posts: 4,168

Bikes: Venge, R5, Shiv, Lynskey and a few more

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 416 Post(s)
Liked 508 Times in 236 Posts
I live and ride in the hot part of Asia. No, base layers dont help keep you cool.
guadzilla is offline  
Old 07-30-20, 12:22 PM
  #24  
genejockey
Klaatu..Verata..Necktie?
 
genejockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,151

Bikes: Canyon Endurace, 105; Battaglin MAX, Chorus; Bianchi 928 Veloce; Ritchey Road Logic, Dura Ace

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 559 Post(s)
Liked 664 Times in 364 Posts
Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Yep, and keeping a wet cloth on your skin, helps keep you cooler.
Which is why I have occasionally,on hot (>90) days dumped water down my back and on my head on sun-drenched climbs, to augment my already copious perspiration. I was amazed how well it worked the first time I did it. You just have to remember which bottle is water and which is sports drink!
genejockey is offline  
Likes For genejockey:
Old 07-30-20, 12:37 PM
  #25  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,422
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4370 Post(s)
Liked 1,424 Times in 795 Posts
Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
I live and ride in the hot part of Asia. No, base layers dont help keep you cool.
Yes it does
noodle soup is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.