How To Buy a Cycling Cap

Intro: Whether you ride on the road, on the trails, or on your way to work, a cycling cap is a great addition to your quiver of bike clothing. With options for cold, sun, and rain, you may even want a small collection of cycling caps for every condition.

Types: Most cycling caps follow a similar formula. They have a short, 2-3 inch brim and a low profile top that fits nicely under a helmet. The brim is just long enough to keep the sun and rain out of your eyes, without blocking your vision. One major difference: earflaps or no earflaps. When the temperature drops, nothing beats some extra material to fold down over your frozen earlobes. Many cycling caps come in a couple of sizes, so find the one that fits comfortably under your helmet without being ice-cream-headache tight.

Materials: Cycling caps are made with a range of materials to suit the weather and your personal sense of style. If nothing you find is quite your speed, many companies offer custom cycling caps with infinite options for materials, colors, patterns and embroidery. No matter what cap you choose, you always have the choice of how to wear it. Backwards? Forwards? Bill up or bill down? It’s up to you.

Cotton: The time-tested option, worn since the earliest days of the Tour de France. If it was good enough for legendary riders, it will work for you. Bonus points if it bears the logo of a classic European road racing team or cycling company. But remember one of the golden rules of cycling fashion: no one will be fooled by your yellow Tour de France leader cycling cap, so just don’t do it.

Wool: The best option for winter riding and staying warm when wet. Many wool caps have earflaps. This is also a great choice for commuting and off the bike beer drinking while proclaiming your allegiance to the two-wheeled tribe.

Synthetic: When the sun beats down, a synthetic blend cap is the way to go. These will wick away sweat and keep it out of your eyes. There are even some waterproof and breathable synthetic caps that are great in the rain. Pro tip: a cycling cap is better than fogged up sunglasses when the rain is really beating down.