Part of Nalini’s underwear line, the Juneau baselayer is a partially windproof, long sleeve jersey that, honestly, I love.
The material is split between panels of MantoVent and MantoDry, with the windblocking panels of MantoVent on the fronts of the arms, shoulders and chest. The rest is MantoDry, which is a soft, wicking fabric that helps vent moisture out of the garment.
The Nalini Juneau is lightweight enough to manage cool fall and spring rides under a normal jersey, but provides enough protection and warmth to be the sole item needed under a heavier winter cycling softshell jacket or jersey. In other words, it’s about the perfect base layer for half the year in terms of wind proofness and warmth.
The only downside is that the MantoVent does tend to hold moisture from excessive sweating in a bit much. On road rides, it didn’t bother me, but on mountain bike rides where there tend to be a lot of BS stops, it could get to feeling a bit chilly if we stood around for more than 10 minutes in the freezing cold. As a bonus, it doesn’t seem to hold odor, and once removed, it drys quickly, making it great for multi day use between washings when circumstances demand.
For less serious rides, like the Five Boros Bike Tour or just kicking around town all day, they make the Disko padded, seamless boxer briefs, which are also pretty spectacular. Photos (not of me wearing the Disko’s) and more after the break…
The MantoVent has what looks like a thin film sandwiched between the inner and outer fabric sufraces. At first glance, I though for sure a few washings would take it out, but it’s help up since late Winter 2010 (ie. Jan-Feb-ish). The garment, even in the windproof sections, is lightweight and flexible but does its job. That’s what makes it so versatile as a year-round performer.
I’m 6’2″ and tested an XL. Sleeve length was perfect, and, perhaps due to them being Italian sized, it wasn’t too bulky. It wasn’t super form-fitting either, but sleek enough to easily fit under normal cycling jackets and winter jerseys (like this one) without bunching up.
It, along with the Disko’s below, are available in the U.S. through Albabici.
This picture is not me. Presumably, it’s an Italian male model that’s fond of odd poses. Peruse the Albabici website and look in the “underwear” collection (yes, there are women’s items modeled by Italian female models, too, and they border on NSFW) and you’ll see what I mean.
They also have white, which I tested. My biggest ride on these was the 8 or so hours of the 2010 Five Boros Bike Tour, and they kept my special area comfortable, dry and happy.
They’re extremely low rise, so even hipsters could wear them with their skinny jeans and they shouldn’t show. I wore them primarily with Chrome’s knickers and they didn’t show even when bent over in the drops. When you first put them on, they’ll feel a bit like wearing a diaper (at least what I imagine wearing a diaper feels like…it’s been a while), but you get used to it pretty quickly. Walking around, you definitely know you’re wearing them, but on the bike, they disappear. If you’re into casual touring or all day ’round town riding (or just have a long commute), they’re worth checking out.
The pad has raised gel sections, and the body of the garment is completely seamless, both of which make them very comfortable.