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BASE LAYERS by ANDIAMO!

No matter what season it is, wearing base layer clothing when you're riding your motorcycle yields far more comfort than any kind of cotton underwear.

Simply put, there are few times on a bike when cotton is really comfortable. If it's cold, raining or you've perspired at all, your body heat will quickly disappear via the moisture and you're on your way to hypothermia. If is hot out, cotton will only amplify the discomfort of warm weather, it gets hot and sticky and downright annoying. Basically cotton and motorcycle riding don't mix.

In 2005 we began testing various brands of base layer clothing in search of one that was best suited for motorcyclists. Most brands of base layers like Under Armor, Columbia Sportswear and the many knock-offs you can get at outdoor gear stores are great for active sports like skiing and football, but not for riding on a motorcycle all day. During one phone call to a major manufacturer, the sales director stated that the company had no intentions of entering the "Leisure" sports market, referring to our motorcycle world.

OK. So we went forward and came up with our own base layer clothing that we have worked hard to make superior to any other brand of base layers on the market. We tested lots of fabric combinations and came up with one that retains body heat longer than the others, but doesn't let the user overheat either. We also inserted a pad into the crotch, which has been very popular with our sales of padded riding skins over the summer of 2005.

During the summer of 2005 we began stocking padded riding skins by Andiamo!, a clothing company that created their padded skins to "turn any pair of shorts into cycling shorts." Aimed at the bicycling market, the skins proved to be great for motorcyclists too because they wick moisture away from the body, reducing fatigue and eliminating annoying wet underwear discomfort. When it was time to create our base layer product we turned to them for guidance, final design and manufacturing.

We tested it down to 40 degrees and found it allowed an average rider to maintain body heat for up to an hour on the highway without stopping to warm up again. In room temperature situations, it regulated the exterior body heat so that overheating was non-existent. Overheating is a major drawback with most polyester, polypropylene and wool base layer products.

The fabrics and design of our base layers are a phenomenon that can't be ignored. If they aren't covered over by another fabric, but allowed to hit cold air head on they will release any heat they're storing. The rule of thumb is that if you plan to stay warm with base layer clothing, you'll need to wear something over it for it to be effective, in this case that might be your motorcycling jacket and pants, a polar tech vest, or your jacket liner.

Riders who wear 'active sports' base layer clothing know the unpleasant overheating effect they get when they head indoors for a meal, arrive back at home, or otherwise. With our new Sound RIDER! base layers we eliminated that by not brushing the surface area of the interior of the layer. Instead you simply step inside, remove your jacket at room temperature and let the base layer manage your body heat, keeping you from overheating.

When conditions outdoors drop into the 40s and you plan to ride for a long time, we advise you look into a heated vest and gloves. And best of all, the SR! base layer allows the heat to transfer from the electric gear smoothly and evenly across your body's surface. If you enjoy riding with frequency during the cold months check out electrically heated gloves, jackets, pants and socks from Gerbing's Heated Clothing out of Union Washington. For those who ride now and then on cold days, a low cost alternative is the new air activated heating vests from TechNiche .

While our winter base layer product is higher in quality and features the padded crotch, we managed to keep the price below what you might expect. For a pair of long johns the price is just $44.95, the matching long sleeve top is just $34.95.

Take a test ride! We guarantee you'll like them or we'll give you your money back. We also welcome your feedback and comments.

Sound RIDER! base layers by Andiamo! are available now from the Sound RIDER! store


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