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The Santini Grido Thermal Unisex Long Sleeve Base Layer is excellent for winter riding. The fit is brilliant, and the dual layered fabric offers bags of protection from the cold, but it comes at a hefty price.
The prospect of rain, sleet and snow puts many people off cycling in winter, but with the correct kit it can be great fun. A good winter baselayer will help to insulate your body by trapping the heat you produce through physical exertion, and wick away sweat to prevent freezing at the cafe.
Now there are many baselayers out there on the market and plenty of choice, but over the testing period I have come to love the Santini Grido. It's the most effective thermal baselayer I have ever tried. Santini has made a perfect cycling thermal for both on and off-road riding.
Starting off with the material composition, the Grido Thermal has a merino wool interior with a more stretchy form-fitting polyamide exterior. Merino wool provides plenty of warmth along with moisture-wicking properties – exactly what you want from a thermal – while the polyamide exterior gives the baselayer a close comfortable fit around your torso.
There is no loose fabric around the neck or the arms, and this combination of fabric choice and cut means the baselayer fits perfectly under a long-sleeve jersey.
The length is perfect, too, with the shaping at the hem allowing for a smooth integration with bib tights, preventing any additional irritation and minimising the chance for any cold air to reach your skin. I'd say the baselayer comes up true to size: for reference I am 6ft 2in and 75kg, and a size medium fits me perfectly.
As for the operational temperature range, I found the Grido comfortable from 8°C and below for both off-road riding and cycling on the road. It is possible to remain comfortable on the road at warmer temperatures thanks to the increased air flow, but off-road I would opt for a lighter baselayer.
The only real downside to the Grido is the price. It's the best thermal baselayer I've used, but at £120 it is also the most expensive! The Assos Ultraz Winter LS Skin Layer comes close at £105 (Emma tested the women's, the men's is the same price), and GripGrab's Freedom is £90, but Matt thought the Spatz BASEZ 2 Black Baselayer was superb for cold weather (if lacking adjustability at the neck) and that's 'only' £75.
Overall, the Santini Grido Thermal is a fantastic winter baselayer, but there are plenty of very effective thermals for less.
Near-perfect performance but this winter thermal comes with a lofty price tag
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Grido Thermal Unisex Long Sleeve Base Layer
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Santini says: 'Santini Grido Thermal Unisex Long Sleeve Base Layer is made with Polartec Power Wool to provide high insulation against the cold'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made of POLARTEC® Power Wool fabric bi-component with Merino Wool interior and stretch Polyamide on the exterior that transfers moisture out while enhancing thermo regulation
A clever, elongated cut ensures a seamless fit under bib-tights
Optimized odour-free performance
Very sturdy baselayer.
Fits true to size and conforms to your torso.
The merino wool layer is extremely comfortable.
The performance is excellent, but you do have to pay for it.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed fairly well with no shrinking that you can often experience with cheaper baselayers.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed well in a wide range of temperatures. If you have this thermal on, you will not be cold!
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
How comfortable and effective this baselayer is.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It performs very well, but it is also priced significantly higher than a number of good quality baselayers we've reviewed.
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
Hard to fault on quality and performance, the only downside is the price. It's very, very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR My best bike is: Giant Trinty
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: road racing, time trialling, club rides, the occasional bit of track