Should I wear a cap while cycling? A cap offers protection against different factors like UV rays, cold weather, sweat, and rain. From merino wool wonders to wind-resistant caps, this guide will give you all the information you need to keep your head warm and your style intact as you pedal through the frosty landscape.
If you are a cold-weather cyclist who will bike in most conditions, then appropriate attire is essential to your ride. With a cycling cap, you can keep your head warm but also keep the inside of your helmet clean and sweat-lite, making it last longer.
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In winter a cycling cap can help to regulate your body temperature and protect your face, head, ears from the cold. You don’t want to be freezing on your bike. The question which is the right one for your particular ridding style?
Types of Winter Cycling Caps
Merino Wool Caps 🏆
Ever heard the phrase, “like a sheep in winter?” There’s a good reason for it. Sheep’s wool, particularly merino wool, is one of nature’s best insulators. A Merino wool cycling cap can keep your head toasty warm and is our go-to for most rides.
Windproof or Windstopper Caps #2
Ever felt the icy sting of winter wind cutting through your regular cycling cap? Windproof caps are here to save the day. They feature a specially designed layer that blocks the wind, keeping your head protected and warm.
Polyester Caps #3
Polyester is a synthetic fiber that is also warm and moisture-wicking and can be better for those in-between days where it starts cool in the morning but warms up as you head for home.
Thermal Fleece Caps #4
Thermal caps are like a cozy blanket for your head. These are usually made from special synthetic fabrics that trap body heat, creating a warm microclimate around your head.
Features we Look For in a Winter Cycling Cap
The material of the cap plays a significant role in its performance. Merino wool is warm and breathable, while synthetic materials can provide excellent wind and water resistance.
|Breathability||More breathable||Less breathable|
|Moisture-wicking||Wicks moisture away from the skin||Wicks moisture away from the skin|
|Price||More expensive||Less expensive|
In winter, you need a cap that covers more than just your head. Look for caps that provide ear and neck coverage as well.
A good fit is crucial. The cap should fit snugly but not be too tight, and it should comfortably fit under your helmet.
To prevent overheating, the cap must have breathable fabric and a good design.
The cap should effectively draw away perspiration, ensuring that you stay dry and comfortable throughout your ride.
Easy to clean
Even on a cold day you are going to sweat up a hill. Make sure your Cycling Cap is easy to clean with no leather or fur trim so you can easily soak it post ride in mild detergent such as Woolite.
Winter cycling caps we Use
Many days I ride with a headband. It lets more heat out and can be adjusted to cover my ears as needed. Smart Wool products last from our testing and frequent washing. We also apricate that its a renewable product and Smart Wool works to limit the environmental impact of their products.
If you want to make your cycling ride more enjoyable and be prepared for unfavorable conditions grab a cap or headband that suites your ridding style.
We hope you enjoyed our article! Make sure you check out our guide on the best mountain bike helmets. Don’t forget to wear a helmet over your cap.
The Hikenture cap at only $12.98, seems like a reasonable price for a cap with 1,602+ 4.5 star reviews.
This cap will keep your head and ears warm making riding in cold weather much more comfortable.
The material is stretchy, it fits tight but at the same time is comfortable. There are caps that are too tight and can leave imprints on your forehead, sometimes giving you a headache, but not this one.
The stitching is good; it’s expected to be durable over time.
The cap completely covers your ears (the shape intentionally swoops down to do so) but, again it is not too tight even if, for example, you want to wear earbuds. It actually helps keep your earbuds in place and wind noise out and the ear cover does not activate the touch sides of the earbuds.
The only downside would be that it can look a little odd to wear this cycling skull cap just by itself, but that’s probably because it was designed to be worn underneath a helmet. But even if you would wear it by itself, it would do an excellent job as you won’t have to keep pulling down the sides to continuously cover the ears, as it can happen with some cycling skull caps. The only problem with that would be you’ll look a little funny. Function over form.
You can choose from black, grey and bright yellow-green. The yellow-green one will make you very visible, but it tends to be priced higher 🤷♀️
The next cap is a Tsla cap that also has a mask attached to it, currently priced at $15.89.
It can be extremely uncomfortable to feel the cold wind on your face when cycling. This cap has a mask attached to it, which is breathable and comfortable. The mask keeps the cold wind from freezing your face.
Material: Mix of polyester and spandex that stretches to match any size without losing shape.
The material is also lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking so that it will absorb the sweat and then quickly dry. You don’t want to be biking with your head wet from the sweat in winter time so it is especially suited if you plan on being active.
This cap is good as a helmet liner or alone. It’s very comfortable, perfect for cold and wet winter rides. It will keep you warm in very cold temperatures.
It can be a bit clumsy at times to wear a separate hat and neck gator that also doesn’t maintain its shape when adjusted. This skull cap is essentially a fleece-lined hood, which is more convenient. and doesn’t lose its shape when adjusted.
As a negative, it leaves the back of the neck exposed, but the same person suggested that you get a jacket that comes up high enough and you won’t be bothered by any wind on the back of your neck.
Another disadvantage may be that it is not that firm on your ears. They can sometimes curl out and up and you may have to pull them back down.
Overall this hat is surprisingly warm and you can use it even when the temperatures dip below 0°F. There are different styles and colors so make sure you click on the picture, before you order, so that you can get the one you want.
Last but not least, with a current price of $9.89, this cap is a very good deal.
The thermal helmet liner, which is a soft fleece-lined fabric, will keep you warm. It is sweat-wicking and breathable, it wicks a lot of the moisture away while retaining warmth.
It is a great fit and it completely covers the ears. It also works well to cut out wind noise and hold in earbuds.
This cap also has practical eyewear slots that are well-positioned. allowing you to wear eyeglasses comfortably without having your glasses pressing into your temples.
Perfect to wear underneath your bike helmet but you can use it even under your normal lightweight head coverings for really cold weather, then it’s easy to roll up while maybe in a coffee shop and just wear your normal, more stylish head covering.
As a complaint, the material of this hat can be too soundproof, making it hard to hear what someone is talking like for example when you have a cycling partner. But this is probably because it was designed to block wind noise.
Other gear we pair for Winter rides
- A Hooded shell or water proof jacket that can fit over your helment
- Ski Googels for high wind days
- A Bakackava for bitter cold days
- Chapstick for your lips
- Anti-Chafing Stick for the rest of you
- A head lamp in case our ride goes long
Winter rides can be a blast and a good winter cap just makes it more enjoyable. Cycling caps provide protection from UV rays, cold, sweat, and rain, ensuring you remain warm as you cycle. They are essential for cold-weather cycling as they maintain warmth, regulate body temperature, and extend the life of your helmet by keeping it clean and sweat-free.
Winter Cap FAQ’s
- How should I wash my cap? Wash your cycling cap in cold water with a mild detergent and Air-dry.
- Do caps actually keep you warm? Yes, but It’s a myth that you lose 40-45% of heat from your head it’s more like 10%, according to this study. The cap is more about overall protection from wind, rain, snow, and sweat than raising body temperature. Preventing ears from freezing alone is often why you will see me with one on!
- Are Balaclavas better for winter bikeing? A balaclava covers more skin, including your neck, ears, and face, which leaves you better protected from the cold but they are not as easy to take off as you ride.
- What materials are best for winter cycling caps? Wool is warmer but heavier Fleece is lighter and less expensive. If you are looking for a warm, comfortable, and breathable cap, wool is a good choice. If you are looking for a lightweight, quick-drying cap, fleece is a good choice.
- How often should I replace my winter cycling cap? Our family rule is every three years for normal usage. If you race weekly or go on lots of long distance rides then you will need to replace it sooner.