Friday, April 10, 2009

Cap Life -a look inthe closet......

There are so many things that define cycling as a sport/lifestyle whatever. Some people obsess over embrocation or tires or fixed gears or tubular gluing... The list is endless. One thing that has always had my interest are classic winter cyling caps. They were just so unique to cyling with that hardman mystique.
Here is a look into my OCD relationship with winter cyling caps.
The key is to balance ear coverage with minimal bulk so it fits well under a helmet.

I got a Swobo blue/black cap and this Beimme at about the same time. I managed to shrink the Swobo cap to pinhead size almost immediately.(Luckily pinheads in need of Swobo keep an eye on Ebay) This Biemme is windstopper with a liner. It worked well in the time period when I rarely wore a helmet(99-2000. I am not so old that I mean the 70s or something). With a helmet this cap is a little too bulky.

Up next was another Swobo cap. Basic black. A simple wool classic. Works under helmets with no problem. A little on the small side, but good for everything except the coldest rides.

Got this Mapei cap-cause why wouldn't you want to rock the jello cubes? This is a mainly fleece type cap with a windstopper front panel. It doesn't have a liner, but is still too bulky to wear under a helmet. It is super warm.

This cap is pretty plain, but like a lot of other Louis Garneau gear-it gets the job done. A light fleece. In the period when I was Swobo-less, this was my go to cap. I got a second one for Xmas once and it was a little different material. I preferred the 03 vintage. This one is larger than a swobo and can handle slightly colder temps. It makes up in function what it lacks in panache. Works under a helmet.

Up next are a couple of Ebay scores
Skil/Shimano-come on think Sean Kelly not Fumiyuki Beppu(no offense to Beppu intended, but he's not making me stay up til midnight to win auctions for winter hats....). This is a simple wool job, a classic. But like a nice cinelli hairnet helmet-not for everyday use.

This next one was an impulse buy-totally unknown team/club. It was Belgian/Dutch???-therefore I wanted to get it. It was lined cap. Pretty big, but again a little too hot and wouldn't work under a helmet. Had a real 80s feel. Letters were felted on. This one got sent back into the world via Ebay. Catch and release.

I have messed with the Rapha cap-all black. It was of course super engineered with a host of refinements and understated elegance.... With a liner. The size was good,but I didn't really like how the stiffened the brim. Thankfully anything Rapha holds its value and made some one else happy via Ebay. I don't really liked lined caps. Too sweaty/hot. Caps with liners are good for keeping it Euro while washing your bike or working in the yard, or any other situation that you want to broadcast to the world that you are a huge cylcling nerd.
Thanks to my model. If not for her, there would have been far too many shots of my mug in a wrestling mask or lone ranger mask.
Even though I am satisfied with this lot, I am always looking for that perfect cap. It's a lot like records.....gotta keep hunting. Even though I did briefly obsess over the Vermac winter beanies that everyone was wearing. Just a fling, good for the casual life, but not so good on the bike with a helmet. I have also dabbled with the drawstring cap both fleece and the fleece/windsopper combos. They never seem to make the cut when grabbing gear. Although, my cheap ass picked up one of these on sale and have found it to be good in cold races as it is not bulkly and can be pulled down pretty far for good ear coverage....

No comments: