With the temperature having been knocking around the high 20s centigrade for the past few weeks, a simple, effective baselayer has been a godsend to keep you cool and dry. That's exactly what the Alé Intimo Velo Active has achieved, and while it might not be the cheapest out there, it offers decent quality and a good close fit.
The Intimo has a sensible cut where it fits relatively close without being like a second skin for those of us who aren't racing whippets. In fact the sizing is rather generous, as I often find myself going up to the next size in Italian made garments, but here this medium fits absolutely spot on. It's available in a size range of small, medium and extra-large.
Alé has created a bit of shape to the baselayer by adding side panels where a lot of companies don't, and this stops any bunching or rucking of the material under your bib shorts.
The fabric is a composition of 93% polyester and 7% elastane, so it has a bit of stretch to keep it close to your body. It is also very soft and feels great as a first layer against your skin.
The material is woven into a mesh which has quite a wide weave to it and it does a really good job of wicking the sweat away from your skin and out to your jersey.
Work hard on the really hot days and it can get overwhelmed, but ease off the pace a bit and drop your jersey zip and you'll find that the Alé soon dries.
Despite being man made, it doesn't start smelling after just one wear so you don't have to keep washing it. I could easily get three or four decent rides out of it before it started to whiff. For such a flimsy, lightweight product it feels plenty durable enough, so passing it through the washing machine regularly shouldn't cause any issues.
The rrp for the Alé is £35, so okay it's not the cheapest, but it certainly isn't the most expensive either. Castelli's Pro Mesh Sleeveless anyone, for £55? It's also very well made and follows Alé's usual attention to detail when it comes to the finish. You won't find any stray threads or rough edges here.
You can certainly save some money though: for £20 you could go for the dhb Blok Mesh Sleeveless, which will do pretty much the same job judging by our review and its four and a half star score. Or there is one of my favourites, the Lusso Race Base, which matches the performance and fit of the Alé for £24.99.
If you want to match your outfit to your underwear, though, and go Alé throughout then maybe the £35 cost of the Intimo is worth it to you; it certainly does look quite cool with its grey and fluoro yellow colourway on show.
A decent performing summer baselayer that is worth the outlay for that pro look
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: Ale Intimo Velo Active Baselayer
Size tested: Medium/Large
Tell us what the product is for
Alé says, "When the temperature rises and you open your jersey, show the Alé style. The sleeveless mesh jersey in Velo Air is breathable and dries very quickly."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Jersey in mesh fabric and at seams
M, S, XL
A few extra panels give it a more defined fit than some of the cheaper options.
Sensible sizing that tallies up with most UK kit.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It's been washed loads with no ill effects at all. Just bung it in the washing machine with the rest of your kit.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Impressive wicking properties when it is very hot.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good performance and fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, especially at a decent discount.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Does the job on even the warmest of days but if you look at the competition you'll see that you can get something similar for a lot less cash. It is a quality bit of kit though, with a nice fit.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is:
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
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!