Review: Belgian Boys Club Full Gas Thermal Base Layer (€65)
(2018) This year’s Hell of Hunterdon was forecasted to be cold and windy, but I was more than confident in my kit selection. You see, I had recently come into possession of a thermal base layer that was designed exactly for the conditions I was about to enter. It may be the end of the cold weather, but as I type this, more than ten inches of snow have already blanketed the picnic table outside the offices of creakybottombracket.com. I’m thinking this base layer will be used a couple more times before the arm warmers come out.
The spring classics are a state of mind. Those hardy riders who have continued base miles through the winter are unconcerned by the conditions of the changing season. Those who have been hammering away in the basement on the trainer may opt to stay there. Many fall in between these two limits. Going outside to ride in cold weather – sometimes wet – demands quality items than any other season. The Belgian Boys Club Full Gas Thermal Base Layer Long Sleeve is just that.
It stands to be repeated that rides should start out with a bit of chill to leave room for rapid warm-ups once the pace quickens. For the 2018 Hell of Hunterdon I rolled to the starting line feeling slightly cool but with a confidence of knowing I would be warm in temperatures going up from freezing. Aside from the Full Gas Thermal I had the Antwerpen Long Sleeve Jersey, (which was reviewed on here, too) also by Belgian Boys Club, and a neck gaiter. Some would say it was an example of underestimation.
Before we roll off the start into the gravel roads and unpredictable headwinds, I must discuss the fit. The garment created a slight compression. Though I was on the small end of the fit, the base layer did not feel baggy. Everything stretched to create a comfortable fit. The collar does not come up as high as some of the other winter base layers, but that is where a neck gaiter takes over. The garment fit better than our other deep winter pieces.
As the group rolled away from the start it became obvious the construction of the base layer was dutifully designed. Wind was not a factor in sapping body heat. Think of a rider in a wind tunnel and the areas he would be blasted by gusts. Belgian Boys Club insulates those areas while leaving panels of unnecessary insulation as such. With hopes of not being too obnoxious, the thermal base layer is covered in the waffle texture, the choice of many high-end garment companies.
While I know the cold weather rides are numbered and will soon give way to sudden bursts of warm temperatures and color, Belgian Boys Club (as of this publish date) has offered their thermal base layer for €40.00 ($50 USD), an irresistible offer if for no other reason than gearing up for next winter. With at least two more Kermesse Sport spring classics to go in our area, I’m glad to know I have the Belgian Boys Club Full Gas thermal base layer at the ready in case a fifth snow storm pummels us with feet of accumulation. In any case, a quality Italian-made base layer for €40.00 is something to snatch up now for your next cold ride. Having something like this to give the satisfaction of telling your trainer you’re “…headed out for a ride,” is something one could hardly put a price tag on.