First look: Walz cycling caps

Retro, traditional and multi fabric caps from California

Cotton cycling caps serve a dual purpose: protect the scalp from the heat and rain, and help the rider look good off the bike. California cap makers Walz Caps succeed in both categories, and have taken it one step further with the use of different materials and cuts for a refined and hip look.

According to owner Michael Gilstrap, Walz Caps is a small family company with the singular focus of making quality cycling caps in the United States.

"Concentrating on producing the best cycling caps allows us to create a superior product that is popular around the world," he told BikeRadar.

The us$16.99 walz racing strip cap.: the us$16.99 walz racing strip cap.

In a style reminiscent of the Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali era of bike racing in the 1940s, Walz offer durable cycling caps in wool, cotton, fleece and other fabrics. The houndstooth olive plaid worsted wool sample with custom BikeRadar.com embroidery (US$29.99) was one of the more popular among our panel of cap aficionados.

Walz Caps models range from the traditional four-panel to racing stripe and earflap cycling caps. Sizes are small/medium (6-1/4 to 7-1/8 hat size) and large/XL (7-1/4 to 7-5/8). Pricing starts at US$16.99, with an extra $5 for a personalised message/embroidery.

Our two samples fit generously and continue to hold their shape after several months of wear and washing. This was a welcome change from the dozens of European-made caps we've worn over the years, which routinely come in one size only, are too snug for most and fade after the first washing. For more information, visit www.walzcaps.com.

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