- Can be used as an outer layer
- Not much
Built from a lightweight polyester with a form-fitting cut, the Eldorado base layer hits the requirements for a winter base layer. It breathes well, its quick to wick sweat and dries fast and has use beyond just a base layer.
- Buyer's guide to winter kit: keep warm and dry on the trails
- The Rules of Faff: a mountain biker's guide
- Review: Cube Blackline Rain shorts
The polyester is a knitted style that has no elastane in the weave - it still has give due to the knit, and the textured inside assist in helping move moisture away from the body as you work. It feels very smooth against the skin, and the whole shirt is triple stitched with flat locked seams that sit well and doesn’t rub or irritate when riding.
With attention on the form and fit of the top, it sits well when riding, with no significant sagging on the chest or stomach, but the jersey isn’t a skin-tight fit and works on its own as a more casual jersey. I used it on mild autumn days with a windproof top, right into winter, layered up with a middle and outer layer. The only downside is that it does snag, or hook on brambles and the like, and isn’t at all crash or impact resistant. As its main function is a base layer, this isn’t part of its remit to be fair, and would usually be covered and worn under something else.
The arms are well shaped, with minimal baggy areas and a thoughtfully constructed shoulder that's made with several shaped pieces that provide the close fit and also a good freedom of movement. The rear is slightly dropped, which assists in making sure there isn’t much or any of a gap above shorts - sometimes an issue and more noticeable in the winter.
Worn with a pack, the shirt does build up some moisture, but it never clings or builds up substantially, as the fabric is quick to move it away. The added low weight of the fabric also facilitates this, but the shirt never felt fragile in use and strikes a really good balance between weight and warmth. Strictly speaking it's not a thermal layer, but as it functions well in keeping dry, I found myself being warmer, or more exactly at a comfortable temperature more often.
The shirt has a good range of riding use, with it easily being a possibility in the summer on cooler days, or under a windproof. Looks wise, I liked the block colour options of ‘Blue Sapphire’ (blue) or ‘Ember’ (orange), its clean looks, and effective performance makes it a good purchase and value.