Rothera Cycling Cap

$30 available from www.rotheracycling.com

An amazing cycling cap available in many styles and with custom options.

Rothera makes cycling caps, not those cheap cotton caps, but quality caps made to last a lifetime. You could ask why do I want a cap that costs $30? Why bother with a cap at all?
$30 isn’t much of an outlay, and Rothera is actually one [very nice] guy who makes all his hats by hand in the USA. These are not made in mass, these are not made with the cheapest materials and there is no long chain of suppliers – just [Gary] Rothera and his sewing machine – I respect that. As for why wear one, after riding for a while wearing a cap you will see why. The Rothera cap excels at this, you know, a cap good for riding – proper riding. When I asked Gary about the material, I wasn’t sure if it could cope with the hot humid environment I was going to test it in. He seemed to think it would, I seemed to think it wouldn’t.  I was wrong, it worked a treat this was partly the huge sweatband inside that kept the sweat out of my eyes on some seriously hot climbs.

I didn’t really treat the hat with any kindness. Just washed it in water, sometimes leaving it soaked, sometimes I didn’t bother. I chucked it about, wore it, shoved it in my pocket and generally left it lying about. The photos you see here are after a months solid use, not all fresh out the packet. None of the stitching has worked loose, none of the colours have faded and the peak is still in shape. It’s not been all hot days climbing either and where this hat comes up really well is in the rain, it’s fabric is highly water resistant and the peak is designed to be low and this helps keep the rain out of the face, but be careful, don’t forget to look where you are going! This hat is a perfect 3 season hat [in my case 4] just about anywhere in the world.

The hat I have was kindly made custom to match Headset Press colours. This is the great thing about Rothera caps, they can be customised if you need. See a hat you like, but want a different stripe or no stripe, have a larger or smaller head – no problem – still the same prices on the site! So not only are the hats great, so is the service, which is personal, friendly and professional.

Verdict

I'm a big fan of the cycling cap [only on the bike for me though] and Rothera is making classic caps with style, good materials and fit. I really can't recommend them enough. Do yourself a favour and get yourselves one. These hats are honestly the best. The designs are unique and can be customised, which I really like, the in stock range on the site is fantastic too, and paying a craftsman to make you a cap is far more rewarding than buying something mass-produced. Random fact to finish this review; A traditional way to keep the head cool when cycling in hot conditions was to put a cabbage leaf under the casquette (French for cap).

Rating

Review date: 24 September 2012

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