Most cyclists choose to wear helmets, but hats and caps are another option. They may be worn instead of a helmet but, of course, will not offer the same protection in the case of an accident, so many cyclists choose to wear a hat or cap under their helmet. For the road rider, a hat offers protection from the sun or to keep the rain off. If on a mountain descent, a hat will keep the rider warm. Caps have a peak for added protection from the sun or rain.
Hats are normally made of cotton or lightweight wool and are designed for cold cycling conditions. They are used to insulate the head and are designed to fit comfortably under the helmet. There are a whole variety of different styles and functions available. Some hats have polyester lining for extra warmth that is ideal for cold weather and winter usage. Basic hats from Campagnola start from £10, but designer names like Assos design hats costing up to £92.
Caps are designed with a peak for added protection. A Rapha Cap is classically styled, windproof and made of water resistant cotton. The cap is designed to be highly breathable and supported by anti bacterial tape. In contrast, a Gentleman’s Cap has been designed for urban riding and is available in 2 styles. The caps are made with an innovative fabric and have an exquisite finish, with a basic cap beginning at £10 and going up to around £40.
Thermal Skull Caps are in the region of £15. These are a thermal close fitting hat that were initially designed for mountain bike riding. The design is technical and functional and has been tested on amateurs and professionals alike. Skull Caps have been deemed to give exceptional comfort. Due to its popularity, the Skull Cap has been tried and tested by the London Fire Brigade, the British Army and numerous police forces.
Hats known as Beanies have been designed especially for women. They offer a warm and soft feel during cold temperatures and are available in many styles and colours to suit all tastes.
Hats are primarily designed to protect the wearer from the cold elements, whereas headbands assist with warm weather. Polaris have constructed a product called the Toob, costing around £5, with micro fibre yarns designed to wick away perspiration. Polaris have also created a headband and earwarmer, priced at just £2.50. The soft headband is made with stretch fabric, providing maximum comfort and the shaped ear covering makes it ideal for windy conditions. Endura also produce a headband priced at £12. Thermal earwarmers can be purchased separately but they are not advised for the road cyclist.
Cycling hats are designed to be durable and comfortable. Many are stylish and functional on and off the bike and are so varied that they can suit every personal requirement. Some have a peak to protect eyes from sun and rain, whereas others have ear flaps for additional warmth. For a more comfortable fit, some designs have an elasticated back to prevent excessive movement. Full faced balaclavas or simple headbands are also available.