Wintertime riding necessitates warm clothing and a proper layering system – which means you wear a base layer, mid layer(s) and an outer layer. The most important surely being the outer layer that protects you from getting wet? Not necessarily so; if you don't start with a good base layer then you will get wet with sweat from the inside thus rendering all other layers useless.

The Icebreaker Sprint Long Sleeve Crew is made from a light weight 200g merino wool with a 2-4% dash of Lycra. Smooth flatlock stitching ensures there are no nasty seams to chafe the skin and in combination with the softness of the merino wool, it has a deliciously luxurious feel next to the skin.

Made from New Zealand's finest sheep

This top is fantastically warm, surprisingly for a top that is so light and thin between the fingers. Merino wool really does work hard. And when you work hard, it wicks that sweat right out of there. And it doesn’t get smelly like polyester tops do (Merino wool is famed for its smell disappating characteristics). It’s just wins all round. Whack a waterproof jacket or soft shell over the top and you’re sorted for current weather conditions.

We tested a medium and the fit is on the casual side. Some base layers can be like a second skin but the Sprint is far more relaxed, and it’s all the more comfortable for it. Styling is understated and we’ve found it just as good as a top to be worn on its own off the bike chilling on the sofa.

Icebreaker GT

The arms have thumb loops which are useful when it’s really cold. We found the extra material over the palm a little uncomfortable though so mostly didn’t use them. But they’re there if you need them.

Like all Icebreaker garments, it’s tagged with a unique Baacode. This means the fabric can be traced back to the batch of wool from which it was produced. Learn more about Baacode if you’re interested here.


Comfortable and warm top that works well as a base layer or a mid layer. Smart enough to be worn off the bike as well as well.



Relaxed fit





Price: £74.99

More information: Icebreaker Sprint Long Sleeve Merino Base Layer

What Icebreaker say:

  • The Icebreaker Men's 200 Lightweight Longsleeve Sprint Crew is a silky and supple technical base layer, with a high performance athletic fit, that dries faster than ever, is supremely breathable and feels amazing against your skin.
  • GT Multisport 200g/m² Merino Wool with 2-4% LYCRA®
  • Trim, athletic fit optimises moisture/heat regulation
  • Quick-drying/Odour resistant
  • Smooth flatlock seams won’t chafe
  • Raglan sleeves/gusset add freedom of motion
  • Weight: 630-720g