dhb have firmly cemented themselves as a quality, affordable cycle clothing brand since their launch in 2004. The Aeron products were first launched as a pair of Pro Bib-shorts back in 2011 and was highly regarded for its combination of quality and affordability. In 2015 dhb not only expanded the Aeron range to include winter bib-tights, jerseys and gilets – they also raised the bar in terms of the product quality, pitching Aeron as their performance range. For 2016 dhb have further expanded the Aeron range and we have been testing the new dhb Aeron Seamless Base Layer – designed for Spring and Autumn riding.
dhb describe their performance range as ‘using high performance fabrics, advanced technologies and robust construction methods – performance garments are suitable for energetic and sustained efforts. The dhb Aeron Seamless base layer is technical from the moment you remove the packaging. Made from a blend of Polypropylene, Nylon and Polyester, the Aeron base layer includes Dryarn fibres over the surface. These fibres draw the moisture away from the body to the surface of the base layer for quicker drying.
The base layer is seamless in construction (hence the name). This means the that there is no stitching down the sides of the body – just where the sleeves are attached. dhb have added a unique ‘zonal knit’ pattern. This is designed to help regulate body temperature better by making the base layer more breathable. This is also designed to improve the stretch of the fabric and make the overall fit more comfortable.
The first thing to say about the dhb Aeron Seamless Base Layer is that it is a ‘close’ fit. Personally I would class it as a second-skin garment. I am 190cm(ish) and about 97kg and tested the XL/XXL, which is the largest size available and it was tight. That being said though, the base layer is nice and stretchy and whilst it does ‘hug you’, it doesn’t squeeze you, i.e I wouldn’t consider it as a compression top. The fabrics used feel comfortable against skin and the noticeable lack of seams around the body enhance this comfort. I am a little skeptical about the way the Dryarn fibres are integrated into the surface of the base layer though. This is for the simple reason that I found they plucked and pulled quite easily. However, the performance of the Aeron base layer didn’t disappoint. Tested (as normal) on both shorter commutes and longer weekend rides, it remained very comfortable when worn under a bib shorts/tights and a jersey. During testing, the weather really helped us out, with temperatures ranging from a cool 4°C up to a mild 14°C.
During all of the test rides, the Aeron base layer stepped up to the mark in it’s performance. On the cooler rides it provided good insulation, whilst on the warmer riders it remained comfortable under the pressure of heavy sweating. I would be mindful of wearing this in hotter temperatures though. dhb seem to have got the balance about right for Spring but I think that hot days will require a lightweight base layer. Post ride, I found the base layer was damp but not soaking wet and the Dryarn and zonal pattern had clearly did the job they were designed for.
There is no doubt in our mind that dhb have evolved into a major player in the cycle clothing market. But we like the fact that they seem to have kept their feet on the ground when it comes to pricing. The dhb Aeron seamless base layer is available in both men’s and women’s fit. Sizes range form X Small/Small – XL/XXL for men and 8-10, 12 and 14-16 in woman’s. It has an RRP of £20 from Wiggle (where else) which, based on its comfort and performance we think is very good. There are a couple of little niggles with the design. The Dryarn fibres do their job of drawing sweat very well but you do need to beware of catching them on jersey zips or Velcro etc. Also, whilst being very stretch, some riders may find this base layer too ‘fitted’ and tight. As we said at the top of the review, the dhb Aeron Seamless base layer is designed to be worn during Spring and Autumn and we’d say that based on the British weather, that is about right as it provides good insulation and regulates body temperature well.
Overall – the performance and value of the this base layer makes it a hit for us.
Performance, comfort and value of the dhb Aeron Seamless base layer make it a very good product to have in the kit draw.