How to wear a cycling cap cyclingtips gas leak chicago


As cycling continues to boom I feel that it’s part of my duty to educate and inform on the finer details of the sport. On the surface wearing the simple cycling biretta appears to be a no-brainer. What could possibly be done to mess it up? As it turns out there are many variations to wearing a cycling cap that are easy to get wrong.

The cycling cap has changed little throughout the years but somewhere along the way it’s taken a wrong turn. The men of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s epitomised the look of the cap and brought it into a style of its own. But I fear those days are gone.

This was partially due to the fact that helmets were not mandatory and caps were much more visible. Images of team time trials and sprint finishes with the riders wearing caps were a sign of the times. The helmet rule for professional cyclists was brought by the UCI in 2003 following the death of Andrei Kivlev during Paris-Nice. The new rules were introduced in the 2003 Giro d’Italia where the riders were allowed to discard their helmets during final climbs of a stage. Subsequent revisions made helmet use mandatory at all times and the cycling cap has fallen into obscurity underneath the helmet doing only the job it’s intended to do. I believe this is when things began to change. Now the iconic ultra-Euro cycling cap has been forgotten and has even been replaced by baseball caps on the podium :

The cycling cap is an essential piece of kit. It serves both form and function. It keeps the sweat or rain out of your eyes, it shields you from the low sun in the Spring and Autumn, it keeps your head warm, and last but not least, it’s part of the cyclist’s quirky look.

My only personal rule regarding the use of the cycling cap on the bike is that it should only be worn with armwarmers and a vest at minimum (or long-sleeve jersey is fine). It completes the Spring Classics look. Wearing a cap while it’s warm outside just doesn’t seem right to me. It doesn’t serve much of a purpose except for shielding the sun off your balding head or keeping the sweat from dripping down. I can accept those reasons, but I’ll choose form over function here.

For such an image conscious and vain group of people we’re certainly regarded by the general population as a fashion disaster on wheels. As cycling gets more mainstream there are many people wearing accessories in their everyday life that used to be confined only to the bike.

Cycling caps can be worn under helmets, but never when not riding, no matter how hip you think you look. This will render one a douche, and should result in public berating or beating. The only time it is acceptable to wear a cycling cap is while directly engaged in cycling activities and while clad in cycling kit. This includes activities taking place prior to and immediately after the ride such as machine tuning and tire pumping. Also included are cafe appearances for pre-ride espressi and post-ride pub appearances for body-refueling ales (provided said pub has sunny, outdoor patio – do not stray inside a pub wearing kit or risk being ceremoniously beaten by leather-clad biker chicks). Under these conditions, having your cap skull-side tipped jauntily at a rakish angle is, one might say, de rigueur. All good things must be taken in measure, however, and as such it is critical that we let sanity and good taste prevail: as long as the first sip of the relevant caffeine or hop-based beverage is taken whilst beads of sweat, snow, or rain are still evident on one’s brow then it is legitimate for the cap to be worn. However, once all that remains in the cranial furrows is salt, it is then time to shower, throw on some suitable après-ride attire (a woollen Molteni Arcore training top circa ’73 comes to mind) and return to the bar, folded copy of pastel-coloured news publication in hand, ready for formal fluid replacement.