There’s something a little heart breaking about cyclists climbing onto a podium in a baseball cap. The traditional cycling cap has been on the schnide for sometime. Let’s bring it back.
We shall lay an extra emphasis on Lance Armstrong. The Texan wore a baseball hat whenever there wasn’t a brain bucket covering his dome. His Livestrong hat was perpetually glued on, and he only wore cycling caps only rarely. Other riders, including Europeans, have switched to baseball lids, motivated in no small part by sponsors looking to slap a logo on them for interviews and pressers. Not a bad idea, but the practice has virtually eliminated the cycling cap to brief appearances under helmets on rainy stages.
Part of the problem, too, is the lack of top-notch caps. While there are more manufacturers than ever, the myriad levels of quality, design and style make looking for a go-to hat a tall task. From the fabric, to the bill, to the color and all other variables, it takes a rather specific hat to allow a person to achieve that astonishingly handsome look the cycling cap is supposed to be.
One company that is certainly getting it right is Rapha. While expensive, they do have some of the best products around, and enough style to qualify as haute couture without looking gauche. Rapha also offers multiple color options of simple, clean designs that are appealing, if not attention-seeking.
There are some quality products from Surly, Pace, and even locally through Hell-Yes Clothing. Shop around, find the cap for you, and wear it for pride. You may not be doing press conferences, but a post-race chat with beer and friends is a way better interview anyway. Might as well look the part.