troy lee designs ruckus baselayer short sleeve vest wil

Review: Troy Lee Designs Ruckus Sleeveless Baselayer

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In Issue #110 of Singletrack Magazine, Rob tested and reviewed the excellent Ruckus baselayer from Troy Lee Designs

Base layers are pretty straight forward – bang them under your riding jersey and they’ll keep your delicate little upper body nice and cosy on those brisk autumnal rides. From long-sleeve plain T-shirts available at popular high street retailers to the more specific and smelly (over time) Helly Hansen base layers, we all own one somewhere.

A base layer that is designed to keep you warm, yet doesn’t have sleeves, sparks up a thought process – one that is surely identical to the gilet argument that many people still have. What’s the point in a piece of clothing, that is designed to keep you warm, if it doesn’t have sleeves. The torso houses many important bits of kit, lungs, heart, that kind of stuff – so keeping these warm and functioning is essential – apparently.

troy lee designs ruckus baselayer short sleeve vest wil
The TLD Ruckus baselayer can be had with long sleeves, or in this sleeveless version for showing off your pasty white skin.

Troy Lee has given us the Ruckus Sleeveless base layer and it’s pretty damn decent, for more than one reason. First up, it’s a compression fit base layer, tight fitting to retain heat while out riding. After the initial loss of breath when first adorned, partly from the very high neck line and overall tightness of the jersey, the Ruckus becomes very unnoticeable, from a comfort point of view while riding – this is also down to its seamless build, giving no edges for chafing or rubbing.

In terms of sizing, Troy Lee has made the Ruckus available in two different size options – these being Small/Medium and Large/Extra Large. I’m 6ft 1in, with a pretty standard sized torso, and the Large/Extra Large is spot on, giving a snug fitting layer but is still comfy enough and flexible enough for when the need to breakdance overcomes you on the trails. Made of 100% grey material, in a variation of shades, with some slightly darker grey TLD branding, it’s a tidy bit of kit. I wouldn’t suggest sitting outside the pub while wearing it though (on its own) – it does draw some funny looks.

troy lee designs ruckus baselayer short sleeve vest wil
Three deep pockets on the back swallow all sorts of gear for #packlesslyf

With three sizeable pockets on the reverse of the jersey, it is an ideal bit of kit to wear if you don’t fancy taking a pack. A bottle slides into the middle pocket, no issues, and tools/tubes/inhalers sit pretty either side. Fully laden, the jersey remains comfortable – ideal. When riding, it’s awkward to get your bottle back into the pocket, down to the tightness of the jersey, but smaller items will cause you no such problems.

troy lee designs ruckus baselayer short sleeve vest wil
If your jersey doesn’t have any pockets, the TLD Ruckus Baselayer is an ideal option for stowing ride essentials.

Baselayerness™ qualities then? Yes, it has them. It’s warm, very warm, so warm in fact that I’ve had to remove this mid-ride on a reasonably sunny day, as it was simply too good at doing what it is supposed to do – damn you Troy Lee. Breathability is limited due to the compression fit, but with a lightweight jersey over the top, you shouldn’t burn up too much.


A baselayer that fits very well, is very warm and holds those things you may need when riding when you don’t want a bag on your back. Yep, I’ll be having one of these, cheers very much. Namaste Troy Lee.

Review Info

Brand: Troy Lee Designs
Product: Ruckus Short Sleeve Baselayer
From: Saddleback,
Price: £44.99
Tested: by Rob Crayons for 4 months

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