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Cycling Caps

Upon the occasion of arguing with other cyclists about the value and purpose of a cycling cap, I've pulled this quote from a post on our blog:

Align the brim of the cap with your nose and when the cap is not under a helmet, it should have a proper puff and ride high on the forehead. To the point of nearly falling off, like this.

Attached is a visual aid and that's Big
Mig from the archive.

If you eschew the dress code of the sport, whatever, but the traditions are rich and serve a purpose. Look them up or ask an old racer or tourist.

Caps keep the sweat off your brow, sun out of your eyes, and rain off your face. Legs are shaven to prevent infected road rash and to better apply embro, a magical elixir of strength.

We also ride in formation, on each other's wheel to go faster and protect ourselves.

It's a lost art. 
Matthias Bonjour's profile photoChris Gadbois's profile photoChandler Snyder's profile photoBen Folsom's profile photo
yes! big fan of the cycling cap. wish i saw more of them on the road and at pre/post ride coffee stops. big mig is rockin' it right!
I don't know what's going on specifically with the traditions of the sport. If it's new cyclists that are ignorant of them, don't care or maybe feel empowered to criticize roadies now cause commuting is more popular. An in defense of the roadie post is coming from me or really hey there's more to riding than bike lanes and commuting. 
i ride a recumbent so what do i know... you think the fading importance of tradition is a more of a U.S. thing...and part 2, is it not unique to our sport, that is, is this a characteristic of our broader culture today?
I always wear caps. I'm usually the only one in my crit and road races. Plus you look totally legit while having one on. 
+brian fung that's what I'm wondering. Is it societal? The Lost Art of the Group Ride post talks about the same thing. 
Yes just try and tell that to the young people of today. 
+Bike Hugger that's a classic post i love to read periodically. i think there is something bigger going on...unfortunately i don't have a solution. i'm not going to complain about more people getting on a bike. i do wish we all respected each other more though. at the end of the day, respect goes a long way (at least in my book) and unfortunately, it seems like entitlement seems to be de rigueur these days. you don't have to be able to recite every winner of the TdF, and if you want to wear that pro USPS kit, be my guest, and i don't care what you're riding -- it can be a walmart special or the latest and greatest custom spec (i'm just glad you're out riding), but can we show each other some/a little more respect?
+Bike Hugger wait, what?! There's more to cycling than bike lanes and commuting?! Granted, utility cycling is all I seem to do these days, not having a built up mtb or road bike, though I do have stripped frames for both. I used to follow the sport side of things a lot more, but frankly the incessant doping scandals of the last several years have worn down any desire of mine to really follow the sport anymore. With that being said, I used to really enjoy getting out on a group ride in a fast paceline, forming an echelon if the wind was kicking up, and I even shaved though I never applied embro, nor did I ever wipe out and have road rash. I think maybe, just maybe, as our country becomes more cycling friendly, and we see more bikes on the roads and drivers of cars begin to accept cyclists and respect them, we may see a resurgence in the popularity of cycle sport. I think it's so popular in Europe because so many more people over there see the bicycle as a viable form of transportation. As a commuter you can see and yes, relate to someone on a bike winning a race because it's something you do - not race, but ride a bike. It's easier to feel closer to professional cyclists when they're essentially riding the same thing you are. I predict somewhat of a renaissance in our country's interest in cycle-sport. I think it's only a matter of time.
+Bike Hugger Love cycling caps, and like +Matt Campbell  I seem to spend more time commuting than out on group rides. THe problem I have always had with caps is fit. Even when I put a nick in the back they never fit my over sized head for long. Living in the pacific northwest they do a great job of keeping rain out of your eyes or off your glasses. Lets not get started on pace line skills degenerating into taking your life into your own hands. Oh and Big Mig, he just had style. 
What we need is a blogger willing to explain these things. 
Indeed. Working on an essay now. 
It would also be nice to read about the traditions of road racing from someone immersed heavily in the culture. Not just a spectator or someone who rides with a local team, but a real pro who tours the world going to compete in races like Liege Bastogne Liege, or Paris Roubaix, Giro d'Italia, and yes, even L'Tour. Not since Bob Roll used to write about his experiences with 7-Eleven for Velo News have we had a pro-rider who could really bring home the sense of tradition and camaraderie of being a part of that. Of course I might be off base, not having read Velo News in over almost 20 years now and not having really followed racing at all for about the last 10 years almost.
Also, I love road bikes but I would never dream of copying the fashion choices of a man in process of winning his 5th consecutive TdF. Maybe if I was about to win my first cat 5 gran fondo. 
And see that distinction confuses me, don't amateur golfers dress like the pros? And in ball sports aren't super fans praised? 
But in cycling, amateurs are discouraged from wearing pro kit replicas-certainly championship replicas. 
general riders wanting to dress/copy what the top riders do is part of what some of the sponsors (bike, clothing, components, etc) are hoping for. 
Sure. But among club riders there seems to be a "don't wear it unless you've personally won it" ethos. If you are looking for who is killing the traditions, I suspect it is dying within these clubs. 
Why? It's functional, not a fashion accessory. 
+Adam Pressler by "it" are you referring to pro kit? there are plenty of plain ol' cycling caps out there that wouldn't/don't get frowned on
I guess this is a USA site hut here on UK I shop for cycling out at Aldi, the discount shop. Good quality, reasonable price and unless you're a cycling fashionista,looks good. Locally we need more mixed ability clubs to accommodate all levels. Race orientated clubs are rather intimidating. 
I guess this is a USA site hut here on UK I shop for cycling out at Aldi, the discount shop. Good quality, reasonable price and unless you're a cycling fashionista,looks good. Locally we need more mixed ability clubs to accommodate all levels. Race orientated clubs are rather intimidating. 
Great convo and why we're so into G+. Even as a roadie and into all things bike, I've never equated wearing a cycling cap to being PRO or a Poseur. I mean, Wesley Snipes wore one in White Men Can't Jump. A very functional version of a painter's cap. I think what this shows is the loss of, or lack of, roadie tradition and knowledge. The dopers fucked it up, when the rest of us are just into the bike and learned from an even older roadie about the sport. Before doping. Not before, before as if there ever wasn't doping. But when the sport wasn't so corrupt. I, we, need to wrest it back to the enthusiasts away from this generation of racers. Fuck them. They ruined it for the amateurs.
I am officially calling Rule 22 deprecated.  Cycling caps are back for casual wear.
+Bike Hugger, I like your above comment about wresting the sport back from the win-at-all-costs dopers. I hadn't been to any races in over 10 years. In the last two and  half months I've been to a couple local criterium races and had a blast watching the local folks duking it out. I enjoy watching cycling racing and I love practically everything about cycling as a hobby, sport, way of life, etc. I'd just like to see racing go back to being about simple athletes competing against each other and the elements without the b.s. of doping.
I hate that wearing a cycling cap gets me called a hipster among my work-mates. Telling them that I wear my Pink Team Telekom cap because of Jan, or my Banesto cap because of Mig doesn't quite cut it.
I love cycling hats. I got a couple Colnagos, Cinelli, PDM, RMO, a few colors of Campy, and would LOVE to find a old TVM one too. I don't wear a helmet/never have. Goin a lil bald as I age and wear it to keep the sun from baking my scalp. Avg 200km a week rider, don't race, love the old days of cycling...and if you see me out on the roads of New England know that I don't wear the hats an jerseys to impress people but to honor those who rode to victory in them.
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