Why wear a cycling cap

Bicycle culture explains: The cycling cap aka the cycling cap

E.There are obvious differences with which, for example, racing cyclists differentiate themselves from mountain bikers. If you start at the bottom - with the feet - there are different shoes and pedal systems, further up then tight instead of wide pants, just as tight instead of wider jerseys and last but not least the helmet. But only the roadies wear a small accessory: the cycling cap (also called racing cap, cycling cap, cycling cap, La Casquette).


The current hipster trend makes it hard to believe, but the caps have a long history in cycling. Lore goes back to 1868, the years when road cycling races were established in Europe. Many drivers were on the road for hours during training and in the races and were therefore exposed to the weather conditions. To protect their heads, various cyclists began to wear a cap or a hat, at that time it was actually a "bowler hat".

Then other hat shapes and models were tried out, including the “pillbox hat”. Subsequently, the hat shape and the material changed. For example, in the early years of the Tour de France, the riders wore flat caps, which were sewn from fabric. Since bicycle helmets only became compulsory on the "Tour" from 2004, the hat shapes continued to develop year after year until the cycling cap as we know it today was considered the standard. Not least from the professionalization of cycling, with team names, colors and advertising partners.


    From a historical perspective, the caps have a number of functions. The most obvious is the sun protection. The cycling caps protect the head directly by covering the head. In addition, when the small shield is folded down, it can protect against glare when the sun is low. If you turn the cycling cap around and wear the shield on the back, the neck can be protected from sunburn. In addition, sweat that forms on the forehead, regardless of whether the shield is worn in front or behind, does not run into the eyes. It is the same when it rains. When torrents don't come down during the bike ride, the rainwater collects in the hat instead of running down our faces. Nowadays there are even extra cycling caps for use in the rain (Gore Wear C5 and C7).

    So if a cycling cap protects us from sun, heat, sweat and rain in summer, it can keep our heads warm in winter. Depending on the material, the hats have a different influence on the heat regulation of our body. Especially in winter, the caps should be a little thicker, or even a little longer on the ears, so that they are covered and protected from the cold (GRIPGRAB winter cycling cap).

    Another important function is to shield against insects and their stings. With every trip, except in the dead of winter, it can happen that insects like wasps get lost in our helmets. For reasons of better ventilation, most helmet manufacturers do without nets in the ventilation slots, but with the right cap, heat dissipation is even better. With a cycling cap under the helmet, you can also protect yourself effectively against insects and their bites in other ways. If an animal gets caught, it still doesn't hurt to remove it as quickly as possible.

    Now we leave the level of sober arguments and move on to passion, passion and identity. Cycling is of course much more than just sitting on a bike and cycling caps are much more than just hats that protect us from sun, sweat and cold. As early as the 1960s, cycling fans wore their affiliation on their heads. On the caps were the names of their idols and favorite teams, i.e. what they stand for. In other words: cycling caps were the fan scarves of cycling fans. Of course, this function was later used by the large companies. Instead of the names of the drivers, the sponsors or team names were now also on the caps, of course in connection with the team colors.

    Today you can see all kinds of people with cycling caps. For a few years now, it is not only die-hard cycling fans and bike enthusiasts who have been wearing the cycle caps. In the trendy metropolises of Europe and North America, headgear has established itself as a hip accessory. Many young people wear them in their free time without a bicycle context, simply for fashion reasons. The listed functions no longer play a role at all. The focus is on design and color selection.

    How do you wear a cycling cap correctly?

    What at first glance sounds like a banal question, at second glance is almost a philosophy of its own or a creed. So we are now completely leaving the objective discourse. First and foremost, the question of how you wear the cap depends on whether you wear it on the bike and thus under the helmet, or off it. If the cap is worn under a helmet while driving, it is necessary to adjust the position, direction and inclination of the shield according to the ambient conditions. In the best case scenario, this should of course be done before the start of the journey. Any readjustment may still be necessary, for example in the event of weather changes or course changes. However, it still has to be weighed up whether the desired look can be reconciled with the functionality. When in doubt, you should always opt for an appealing appearance.

    The situation is different when wearing a cycling cap in a milieu far away from cycling, for example when meeting friends or relaxing in a café. The most important thing there is to make the cycling cap look as if it has no function at all, with the exception of dressing the wearer neatly. In these situations, for example, it is forbidden to turn the cap around and wear it with the cap to the back. In addition, the lack of a helmet makes it possible to wear the cycling cap slightly upwards, i.e. airy. On the one hand, this looks classic and protects against blood congestion caused by a hat that is worn too tightly. Above all, wearing the hat with casual clothing with the umbrella up has established itself. Increasingly, the cap is being worn crookedly on the head, but we advise against it.


    Cycling caps are not only hip and trendy, they have many functions that help us when cycling. Even if one might think that the historical arguments have been replaced by helmets, cycling caps still have an absolute right to exist. They protect us from the weather and sweat and give us the opportunity to individualize ourselves as cyclists. With the cycling caps we can also express our affiliation to this great sport and our favorite teams and drivers. Last but not least, the caps simply help us look even cooler and more casual.

    So, put on (no matter how) and show the flag (no matter where).