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Cycology Baja Cycling Cap
34g £18

The Cycology Baja Cycling Cap is designed to be worn year-round, which some might say isn’t an unusual, or difficult ask. However, getting a garment to perform equally well when you’re battling an icy cross wind, or grinding up an alpine ascent is no easy task. There are some compromises, and some will outperform it in very warm weather. However, 600 changeable miles later, I reckon Cycology have largely got the difficult balance right. 


Pros: Rugged and practical materials, generous peak, tactile elastics, generally effective moisture and odour management, 5 alternative designs


Cons: More considerations than cons: no ponytail exit., single size fits most may not suit riders with particularly large, or small heads, higher cotton component means it doesn’t wick as swiftly as some.

cycling cap review test cycology


It’s an eight-panel design, made from a polyester/cotton mix- 65 and 35% respectively, a higher cotton mix than I’ve come to expect from contemporary designs and has some definite pros. The polyester component is also necessary for the sublimination print to be absorbed properly. 


There’s a slight trade off in terms of moisture eviction and odour management. More about that later. This tag team does make for a rugged fabric that will wear well and resist accidental 40-degree machine washes without it emerging, fit only for the neighbour’s cat. 

cycling tes cap review head gear

If the Baja’s not your bag, it has five stablemates to and while bold, they’re complimentary to riding kit and in my view make the crossover to street clothes. I was curious to know where the cotton part was most prevalent since this would influence the wicking and breathability. Standards of construction are high throughout.


The eight panels are neatly and uniformly stitched with flat locked seams and the cap folds easily and compactly, so can be stuffed in a jersey pocket if need arises. A sensibly proportioned elastic strip runs the base’s circumference and continues the grippy but comfortable narrative.

The cotton part also results in a stiffer peak, so it will stay up, or indeed, down more reliably when it’s raining dogs and blowing a gale. Talking of which, stitched construction is uniform throughout but as I’d expect from this end of the market, these aren’t taped, so rain and other wet stuff will eventually find its way inside.

inside out cycling cap test review

Sizing/Fit    3.75/5

One size fits most always invites contradiction, dare I say criticism. For context, my head circumference is 54cm and I’m blessed with a thick shock of hair. I’ve found it snug but with generous amounts of stretch. A friend with a 58cm circumference had no issues when leant it for a week and it’s kept its shape throughout. In common with other 8 panel models, it’s a highly compatible, unobtrusive fit beneath helmets. 


Staying on this point, I won’t be the only person who’s leant a cap and when my son was small, I’d often pop one beneath his helmet, turned backwards to protect the nape of his neck from harsh sun. In practice it’s a better fit for teens, since ,when down, the peak might obscure view of conditions ahead- an issue on a solo, less pressing on a tandem, or tagalong. 


Before I get into performance, a quick word about Cycology’s 90-day returns policy... This means if you’ve bought the wrong product, or don’t like the design, you can return. It doesn’t mean you can rack up 90 days in the saddle and then return it, expecting a full refund.  

Performance 3.5/5

Overall performance has been pleasing. Staring with the peak, this is suitably porch-like offering excellent protection from harsh sunlight, wind, heavy showers and airborne particles alike. Cut and materials also ensure it stays where you’ve positioned it up, or down. Though the weather became more spring-like, there had been a lot of rain around and so, some very wet rides.   The sort that can tax the hydrophobic coatings on glasses.

I’m pleased to report, the peak’s profile offered plenty of shelter, even when the wind has been blowing rain into my face. I’ve not needed to bolster the water repelling properties of my eyewear with hydrophobic products like Sal Clear TTX. No movement when the wind has been howling either- the peak has just stayed where I’ve wanted and needed it. 

cycling cap cycology test review

No issues with peripheral vision- say when scanning left to right at junctions or checking over my shoulder. The song remained unchanged whether worn alone, or beneath a helmet. These properties lend the cap nicely to gravel and more adventurous, rough stuff touring. Decent protection from rogue brambles being a prime example.

On a wider, weather-related note, the polyester/cotton fabric doesn’t employ any waterproofing layer, or taped seams, so I wasn’t surprised to find my head becoming damp given 30 minutes or so in moderate, persistent rain- maybe 45 beneath a typical, well-ventilated road lid.  In terms of climate control, the fabric wicks moisture effectively, albeit lagging a little behind some.

Given twenty minutes exertion in milder weather, there’s the usual faint misting before the fibres kick in and start spiriting it away.

I’ve returned from some spirited 90-minute outings at a steady 23mph, the dampness was more palpable but again, wicked quickly afterward. Not as expediently as a summer weight polyester, or merino blend, but still swiftly enough and streets ahead of traditional cotton.

On the other hand, during early morning outings where the temperature barely crept beyond 4 degrees, the mixed fabric blocked bitter gusts much better, subverting the dreaded, painful “ice cream” headaches that can strike along fast descents.

Odour management is similarly reliable. I’ve deliberately worn ours ten days in succession without washing. By this point, it was stretching the boundaries of socially- a low, subtle mustiness was creeping in but a long way short of the wallpaper stripping funk associated with a traditional cotton staple like for like.

These qualities might be a slight disadvantage in the height of summer. However, bodes well for longer rides on late summer/autumn evenings when the temperature can dip unexpectedly. Drying times following a sharp shower, with a break in the cloud and gentle breeze is around the 20 minute mark. When it comes to machine washing - 35 minutes on the line with a breeze, 60 minutes plus indoors on the clothes horse/airer.

Durability/Care 3.75/5

Pretty much my go-to default this past month or so, on and off road. The Baja has laughed at the usual everyday carelessness, the inevitable mucky spatter, tangles with low hanging thorny foliage have all made no impression, whatsoever. Spatter and funk have all vanished with a 30-degree machine wash and it also responds very well to handwashing with soapflakes- great for bike packing, touring and other multi-day rides. I’ve deliberately gone the 40-degree household route, since we all get the odd bit of technical kit go rogue now and then. Again, no deterioration, no shrinkage. 

Value 3.5/5

Rummaging through the bike shop’s bargain bin might bag you a basic cotton cap for a few quid but otherwise £18 is arguably midpoint these days. You can pay less, and you can also pay considerably more. Grip Grab Summer Cycling Cap is £18 and arguably season specific. However, its available in no less than (number) of colours and a choice of small or medium/large sizes. I’ve found it surprisingly comfortable in cooler conditions but again. I have thick hair. A pound dearer at £19.99, the Prendas Ciclismo Lisboa  which features a DWR coating and is highly weather resistant. Its only available in a choice of four colours. However, our version can only be hand washed. 


The Showers Pass Elite is a fair bit dearer at £35. However, it's probably the best cap I’ve tested and for my needs, being highly breathable, water repellent and machine washable. Café’ Du Cyclist Classic Cycling Cap (£25)  is another 65% polyester 35% cotton mix. It features an anti-bacterial strip around the brim to keep nasty niffs at bay. However, the peak shape might not be to everyone’s taste. Kostume EDIT002 Unisex Cycling cap is now reduced to £20 (was £35). 


Another capable design with a unique print and some great detailing- including a ponytail “port”. In common with the Cycology Baja, it's not season specific and tended to keep some warmth, which can be a double-edged sword. It doesn’t fold so compactly either. Another all-rounder, wicking prowess is on par with the Cycology Baja and again, its easily machine washable. 


Lusso Pain Cave  is another summer specific, yet seemingly very hardy and easily packable model, works well in cooler conditions if you have long, or thick hair £14.99 (reduced to £9.99 at present).


Ultimately, allowing for some compromises, Cycology have designed and produced a nice take on the classic cycling cap. One that, in my experience performs consistently well across the board. I also like the bold, funky design, which is eye catching but stops short of brash. Sure, there are models which are cooler, wick faster and in some instances, highly water resistant. However, in my experience the Cycology’s performance rivals that of like for like Polyester/Cotton competitors and is, in some instances, notably cheaper.

Verdict: 3.75/5 Minor points aside a well-executed take on the classic cap with a funky twist.


Michael Stenning


Cycling Clothing, Gear & Accessories | Cycology Clothing UK (





Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH


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