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.