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review

RedLevel Short Sleeve Ceramic baselayer

8
£46.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Comfortable base layer with good wicking properties, quality construction and a whiff free material
Weight: 
89g
Contact: 
www.redlevel.it

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RedLevel's Bioceramic base layer uses technology from the health industry to promote your body's performance while you wear it. More importantly, though it's well-made and very comfortable.

The Bioceramic isn't a cycling-specific garment being more of a generic sports item; RedLevel suggest you can use it for skiing, snowboarding and horse riding too. The fit, surprisingly for an Italian designed and manufactured garment is rather generous with a medium fitting more like a Castelli large or even X-large. The size range is pretty good with XS – XL options in either black or white and there are also long sleeved and sleeveless versions available.

The material is 90% Tactel, a microfibre which has plenty of elasticity for a form fit and allows it to move with you without bunching. It seems pretty breathable and is also hydrophilic meaning that that material absorbs sweat away from your skin quickly by spreading it over a larger surface area before passing it to the next layer or atmosphere. When you remove it you can feel how damp the base layer is but it isn't noticeable when you are actually wearing it.

The remaining 10% are ceramic particles that have been fused to the fibres before being woven. This innovation has been used to treat things like arthritis and poor circulation by increasing blood flow to soft tissue in turn promoting regeneration and faster healing, both also beneficial when you're pushing your body pretty hard.

How does it work (you probably didn't ask)? It's to do with far infrared light rays, those ones from the sun that make you feel warm which have been proven to offer therapeutic benefits as your body absorbs them. The Bioceramic compounds used are naturally occurring minerals which also give off these far infrared rays and only require normal body temperature, 36-37°C to start emitting them.

Does it work? Well its hard to tell really. The first half of the test period I knew nothing of the material properties so wasn't looking out for anything in particular. Once you know what you're looking for any performance benefits are hard to quantify due to so many variables to be fair but I will say this for it, wearing it on the time trial bike has seen fewer aches in the shoulders and lower back after an hour on the tri-bars. I reckon its also ideal used as a recovery garment where you can feel the natural warmth of the material as you rest post ride.

One thing that is noticeable is the antibacterial effect of the material; it doesn't get stinky. Even after a week of heavy commuting you could get away with not washing it.

Overall the RedLevel Ceramic base layer does a good job thanks to decent wicking and great comfort next to the skin. The cut is good with both the torso and arms being of a sensible length when in the saddle and the overall quality looks to be pretty impressive.

Looking back at previous base layers we've tested the £46.99 rrp, while at the upper bracket doesn't seem like an unrealistic price. Add to that even a small amount of benefit from the ceramic material and it's a worthy addition to your wardrobe.

Verdict

Comfortable base layer with good wicking properties, quality construction and a whiff free material

road.cc test report

Make and model: Redlevel Short Sleeve Ceramic baselayer

Size tested: S/M, Black

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?

The RedLevel is a multi sport baselayer that uses bioceramic technology to promote body repair and improve circulation while you wear it.

Any benefits are hard to pin point but there was some improvement with regards to aching muscles.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Bioceramic fabric incorporating Siluran and silver technology:

*the next generation of protection against UV-A and UV-B

*hydrophilic properties improve evaporation

*maintains body temperature even in extreme situations

*inhibits spread of odour producing bacteria

*saves energy on cool washing

Base layer clothing for serious athletes - cycling, skiing, snowboarding, outdoor pursuits, equestrianism and even horse riding.

Bioceramic fabrics are made by fusing bioceramic molecules to fibres which are then woven. When this fabric contacts your skin, the bioceramic crystals absorb body heat and return it as Far Infrared Rays which can safely activate various biological functions of your body

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It wicks away sweat and keeps you warm just as any good base layer should. The therapeutic benefits are harder to quantify though.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The soft material

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I'd like to be sure I could feel a noticeable difference after using the bioceramic material.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: Whatever needs testing or Genesis Flyer, fixed of course!  My best bike is: Kinesis T2 with full Centaur Red

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

 

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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5 comments

Avatar
VecchioJo | 10 years ago
0 likes

indeed i've got a variety of base layers i spent well over £50 for, and that was over ten years ago, they still work, they still don't smell, they've been good value for money

Avatar
crikey | 10 years ago
0 likes

It's a base layer.
It's £50.
£50.
For a vest.

If £50 for a vest isn't unrealistic, perhaps you provide me with a price and a garment that is unrealistic.

Avatar
crikey | 10 years ago
0 likes

A base layer for £50?
8/10 for value for money?

Come on road.cc, fish in barrels spring to mind...

Avatar
ajmarshal1 replied to crikey | 10 years ago
0 likes
crikey wrote:

A base layer for £50?
8/10 for value for money?

Come on road.cc, fish in barrels spring to mind...

Did you not bother reading the review?

"Looking back at previous base layers we've tested the £46.99 rrp, while at the upper bracket doesn't seem like an unrealistic price."

Avatar
stuke replied to crikey | 10 years ago
0 likes
crikey wrote:

A base layer for £50?
8/10 for value for money?

Come on road.cc, fish in barrels spring to mind...

Did it perform? yes. Is it well made and durable? yes. Would I spend £50 of my own money on it? yes I would, Why? because the returns of the product are worth the initial outlay hence 'value for money'. Something doesn't have to be cheap to be considered good value.

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