Home
Verdict: 
A great way to bring baselayers back to life and remove nasty smells
Weight: 
300g
Contact: 

Nikwax BaseFresh is a deodorising conditioner for baselayers and it works really well, removing smells and restoring breathability.

  • Pros: Effectively deodorises, helps restore breathability
  • Cons: Nothing

At this time of year baselayers are, for most of us, an absolute necessity regardless of when or where you're riding. The problem is, after a few rides they will begin to smell no matter how often you wash them. This is where Nikwax BaseFresh steps in. As a deodorising conditioner, its aimed at removing the bad odours and renewing the qualities that made your baselayers great when you first bought them.

> Find your nearest dealer here

It's simple to use: you can add it in like a fabric conditioner with your regular wash or use it as a separate treatment. I tried it both ways and was impressed with the results.

It's quite remarkable how baselayers I previously avoided because they smelt or would begin smelling quickly, suddenly didn't. I used it on different materials, from 100% synthetic baselayers to merino wool, and it worked really effectively on all.

Nikwax claims it increases breathability and wicking, too, and I did notice an improvement in both, though I can't put a number or percentage on this. Given that you tend to lose this over time, it was more noticeable on older garments and really was an 'Oh yeah, this is what it used to be like!' moment.

> Buyer's Guide: 15 of the best cycling baselayers

That makes the £4 for a 300ml bottle (I tested sample sachets) a really good price, not just against the price of normal fabric conditioners but because you don't need to replace your favourite baselayer because it stinks. It is honestly difficult to find anything bad to say about it. It's a really good product for anyone who likes to wear a baselayer.

Verdict

A great way to bring baselayers back to life and remove nasty smells

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Nikwax BaseFresh deodorising conditioner for base layers

Size tested: 300ml

Tell us what the product is for

A conditioner for baselayers which aims to bring back breathability and wicking while also removing the smells that build up over time.

Nikwax says: "Deodorising conditioner for all technical underwear and wicking clothing worn next to the skin.

"BaseFresh® effectively deodorises, inhibits the build up of body odours, accelerates drying and improves cooling efficiency of all base layers."

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

Nikwax lists:

Nikwax BaseFresh® refreshes your base layers by deodorizing and maintains freshness by preventing odor build up when in use.

Nikwax BaseFresh® enhances and revitalizes the wicking properties of base layers and everyday clothing, increasing breathability. This helps the fabric to spread sweat, dry quickly, and keep you more comfortable in all conditions.

Nikwax BaseFresh® treated fabrics are more resistant to stains and day-to-day soiling. Should soiling occur, fabrics treated with Nikwax BaseFresh® are easier to clean.

Nikwax BaseFresh® allows base layers to be cleaned with standard laundry using conventional detergents, removing the need for a separate wash.

Nikwax BaseFresh® allows the use of aggressive detergents and cleaners to remove stubborn stains, such as chain oil, without compromising the performance of base layers.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Does exactly what it says it would: removed all smells from my baselayers and brought back breathability and wicking ability.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

In terms of the effect on clothing, it lasts well – baselayers that previously began to smell quickly, didn't.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Slightly more expensive than regular fabric conditioner, but when it saves the much larger expense of a new baselayer, the value improves dramatically.

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

Very well. It got rid of all smells and brought back breathability and wicking capabilities nicely.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The way it removed smells from baselayers that I have used hundreds of times.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

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

Does exactly what it sets out to do with whatever material I threw at it, very impressive.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Mercian King of Mercia or Cinelli Gazzetta  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.  

8 comments

Avatar
kevvjj [429 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

"The problem is, after a few rides they will begin to smell no matter how often you wash them."

What an absolute load of bovine excrement!

Talk about gullible. How much did Nikwax pay you for this 'ad'?

Avatar
olic [77 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes
kevvjj wrote:

"The problem is, after a few rides they will begin to smell no matter how often you wash them."

What an absolute load of bovine excrement!

Talk about gullible. How much did Nikwax pay you for this 'ad'?

I have to say I've never had a merino baselayer have any odour to it - Even when you can see white patches from a sweaty ride! Synthetic baselayers are another matter though

Avatar
Tass Whitby [63 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

olic wrote:

kevvjj wrote:

"The problem is, after a few rides they will begin to smell no matter how often you wash them."

What an absolute load of bovine excrement!

Talk about gullible. How much did Nikwax pay you for this 'ad'?

I have to say I've never had a merino baselayer have any odour to it - Even when you can see white patches from a sweaty ride! Synthetic baselayers are another matter though

I've thrown away a couple of synthetic running tops that I couldn't get the horrible smell out of. Another is borderline so I might give this a go cos I really like it. I'll report back. 

Merino baselayers are definitely better... though I do find it depends on how many rides between washes!

Avatar
kevvjj [429 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
olic wrote:
kevvjj wrote:

"The problem is, after a few rides they will begin to smell no matter how often you wash them."

What an absolute load of bovine excrement!

Talk about gullible. How much did Nikwax pay you for this 'ad'?

I have to say I've never had a merino baselayer have any odour to it - Even when you can see white patches from a sweaty ride! Synthetic baselayers are another matter though

 

It's just glorified, overpriced fabric conditioner. I have used every type of fabric as a base layer and never had an issue with getting the odour out.

Avatar
DrG82 [244 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
kevvjj wrote:

"The problem is, after a few rides they will begin to smell no matter how often you wash them."

What an absolute load of bovine excrement!

Talk about gullible. How much did Nikwax pay you for this 'ad'?

I can centainly see the use for this product if it works.

Have you ever used a Helly Hansen lifa? They work brilliantly but haven't gained the nickname "Smelly helly" for nothing. I've some other polyprop base layers that have a similar issue.

Yes you can get garments that are more pong resistant (merino, MeCo or silver impregnated) but they are often more expensive and the natural fibre alternatives like merino are not as effective in shifting sweat and keeping you dry.

Avatar
pedalpowerDC [380 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

I've used this product, and I would suggest that the biggest "con" of it is that, if used as directed, puts an incredibly strong lemon scent into your kit, which I personally cannot stand.

I'll try it again using much, much less product than directed, but one load of kit with this wash additive made my whole bike room stink. Use with extreme caution!!! particularly if you aren't into strong scents.

Avatar
TheScotsman [37 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

Simple and cheap solution to garments that take on a honk that washing won't remove - add a cupful of white vinegar to the dispenser drawer along with your detergent & wash as normal. 

 

No more stink and no residual vinegary smell either - just clean, fresh-smelling clothing.

 

 

 

Avatar
mike the bike [1116 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
TheScotsman wrote:

Simple and cheap solution to garments that take on a honk that washing won't remove - add a cupful of white vinegar to the dispenser drawer along with your detergent & wash as normal. 

 

No more stink and no residual vinegary smell either - just clean, fresh-smelling clothing.

 

I too have found this to be very effective, although people keep dipping their chips in my sweat.