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.
Comfortable base layer with good wicking properties, quality construction and a whiff free material
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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
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.
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,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.