Assos earlyWinterInteractive base layer£91.99

Mid-weight layer with zipper

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Fall and winter base layers can be a bit tricky, as you're often choosing between being warm enough when you start your ride (and overheating later) and being cold at points but never overheating. We've had the Assos earlyWinterInteractive for three years now, and use it in heavy rotation when the mercury drops. 

Although the thick wicking material of the garment feels great against the skin and the fit is good as you ride, perhaps the best feature of the base layer is the simplest – the zipper, which allows you to reach up and regulate your temperature during a ride.

The tall collar protrudes slightly over most jerseys, and is cut trimly enough to be worn under race-fit jerseys. Two types of polyester fabric are used: a thicker material on most of the body, and a thinner, stretchier one under the arms. The latter is also used in a double layer at the neck. 

Sweat-wicking performance is good. Silver is woven in for its antibacterial properties, and while the top won’t smell like roses at the end of a long ride, odor management is evident.

Assos rates the piece with a pretty narrow temperature window of 6-12ºC (43-54ºF) but obviously your comfort range depends on what other layers you wear. In our experience, the earlyWinterInteractive works well on fall days with a short sleeve jersey, and on full winter days with a long sleeve top and/or jacket.

The earlyWinterInteractive comes in six sizes, ranging from a 96cm chest to a 118cm option. As with all Assos clothing, the price is remarkably high.

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Age: 39
  • Height: 183cm / 6'
  • Weight: 84kg / 185lb
  • Waist: 84cm / 33in
  • Chest: 99cm / 39in
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team, Trek Boone 5, Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4, Marinoni fixed gear, Santa Cruz Roadster TT bike
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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