The cycling cap, that minimalist colourful piece of cotton that adorned the head of all the champions that made the history of cycling, has been recently seeing a comeback and it again became an essential element of the cycling culture. So much that people are wearing it even off the bike and the motives are not only about sponsors like back in the day but there are also many creatives one. This article is about the coolest caps you can find out there.
Since the early days, riders have always needed to wear a cap and the first thing they did was to look into their wardrobe. And so it was often a stylish tweed flat cap that protected those legendary pioneers of the sport more than a century ago. Cycling soon turned into a popular sport and started to attract more financial interest, so the cap not only became a way to protect riders from sunburn or rain but it also became an essential marketing tool for brands. The cap’s popularity explosion was also helped by the fact that “Tifosi” wanted to wear the same cap that their champions wore.
When wearing a helmet became compulsory, the cycling cap lost its popularity and it was used only for the podium (although a baseball cap was preferred because there is more space for a logo) and as a souvenir for fans. Some riders still wore it under the helmet but that was about it. But then, in the last decade, the cycling cap saw an incredible comeback. Fashion designers started to include it in their collections, New York messengers wore it as a fashion statement, amateurs started to wear it under the helmet as a part of the culture. The cycling caps are back and we love them!
Every clothing, bike and even component brand makes a branded cap nowadays so if you are a particular fan of this or that company, you will surely be able to wear their colours. Here’s an overview of our favourites!
If you are a nostalgic type and would like to wear the history of cycling, then you should get a classic cap. There is a company in Italy called Apis that has been producing caps for pro cyclists since 1956.
They only do wholesale but their web page is precious because you can see all the possibilities that are on the market and once you find the cap you like, you can just look for it in one of the numerous e-shops. In my case, I use Bike24 a lot. You can just use a “vintage cap” filter and voila’ – endless options.
Price: about €12
Material: 65% polyester, 35% cotton.
PEdALED is a Japanese premium brand founded on the belief that “the aesthetics and functionality of cycling apparel can greatly increase the pleasure of riding” as founder Hideto Suzuki puts it. I like PEdALED for its simplicity and distinctive style which reflects also on their caps. Their signature collection is called Japanese Bandana Caps and are made with traditional Japanese textiles and patterns.
Price: starting at €36
Material: 100% cotton.
Maloja is a German brand with a very distinctive character. Their design is always very colourful and playful so I think it is worth checking out their collection of highly functional bike caps. These are more utilitarian than lifestyle but still very cool looking.
Material: a combination of polyester and Spandex. The percentage depends on models.
Tenspeed Hero caps came to my attention for the first time while riding in California. I was at a place full of cyclists for a post-ride beer when a guy walked up to our table with a cap saying “Merda” on the bill. I had to laugh because that word has a whole different meaning in Italian (look it up). When you think about it, how many times do you find yourself using that word during one of your training sessions or races?
They don’t only have that model but it surely is my favourite. Tenspeed Hero is a company based in Chicago, USA, but they ship all over.
Material: 65/35 polyester-cotton blend.
Cascada is a young brand from Lake Garda, the outdoor capital of Italy. I’ve been a true fan since the beginning because they try hard to choose colours, themes and materials, keeping their beloved nature in mind. And this goes for their cycling caps too, of course. They have a few limited but very cool options. I wear their “Stay Wild” cycling cap all the time because I like not only the graphic but also the motto. I also like the “Leaves” one very much.
Material: 100% polyester.
Walz Caps offer hand-made cycling caps. They have incredible customer care I tried first-hand and their products are high quality. As caps are their core business, they can offer a wide variety of models so every cyclist can find their perfect match. I must say that it’s always a great pleasure to browse their web.
Price: starting at €25
Materials: depending on caps. Cotton, wool, merino, technical fabrics.