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FWE Fred Unisex Cap



Simple, stylish cap that feels nicer than '100% nylon' might suggest

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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I'm a fairly recent convert to this fashion for wearing a cap under a helmet, and I must say I like the lack of insects in my hair, my eyes being shaded from the sun, no rain on my glasses – but what I particularly like is the look, and I particularly like the look of this FWE Fred Unisex Cap from Evans Cycles.

The combination of plain fabric, spots and a stripe, plus a little hint of orange, is stylish in an understated and quite classy way, I reckon. I even like the name, which comes from Frederick William Evans, the man behind the company (hence FWE).

> Find your nearest Evans store here

It's made from 100 per cent nylon, but doesn't feel synthetic like some can; it feels like cotton actually, but lighter. It doesn't make my head feel sweaty, possibly because it isn't at all waterproof or water resistant – so any heat can escape as easily as water gets in... though the stiffened peak does keep rain off your glasses.

It only comes in one size, and it does come up quite small – so the larger headed among you will be disappointed. I wear a small helmet and it fits me fine, with a short elasticated section at the back to keep it tight on the head.

The peak is usefully long enough to keep out sun, and flips up easily when you don't need it. Wear it down for the single stripe look; flip it up and it's spotty.

FWE Fred Unisex Cap 2.jpg

The main cap is made from four sections of fabric, one of them spotty (to match the underside of the peak), with darts sewn into each section to create the shape. The seams aren't flatlock stitched, but you can't feel them when wearing it.

> Read more reviews of caps and other headwear here

The only 'problem' I've had is that when putting it on, the 'Since 1921' orange binding tape on the seam always turns in and I have to straighten it before putting my helmet on. It takes about two seconds to correct.

As for value, £12 isn't as cheap as the £7.50 cotton cycling caps you can get from – but when I last looked there weren't any stripey/spotty numbers on there. And this black version is currently £6.99.


Simple, stylish cap that feels nicer than '100% nylon' might suggest test report

Make and model: FWE Fred Unisex Cap

Size tested: One size

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Evans says: "Frederick William Evans started building bikes in 1921. His approach could be summed up as 'everything you need and nothing you don't'. This FWE Fred Unisex Cap channels Fred's spirit."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Fabric 100% Nylon

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Well made.

Rate the product for performance:

Does a fine job of keeping out insects and sun, and looking stylish (I think).

Rate the product for durability:

All looking good after more than a month of almost daily wear and occasional washing.

Rate the product for fit:

Fits me well, because my head's quite small.

Rate the product for sizing:

It's one size fits all – but it's on the small size; so 'one size fits all smaller heads' might be more accurate.

Rate the product for weight:

Nylon and very light.

Rate the product for comfort:

It's not uncomfortable...

Rate the product for value:

£12 isn't as good value as some cotton caps (£7.50 from Prendas), but it's not a huge amount (and this black design is currently £6.99).

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Washed with other sports kit, came out fine; peak still stiff.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Does a fine job of keeping the sun out, and insects out of my hair. Doesn't generate a sweaty head either.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The lack of insects in my hair, and the look.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It's on the small side, but fits, just.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they have a smallish head.

Use this box to explain your score

It's a good cap that does its job in a simple, stylish way.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 51  Height: 169cm  Weight: size 10-12

I usually ride: Vitus Venon  My best bike is: Paulus Quiros

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding

Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She joined in 2015 but first began working on bike magazines way back in 1991 as production editor on Mountain Biking UK, then deputy editor of MTB Pro, before changing allegiance to road cycling as senior production editor on Cycling Plus. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.

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Kadinkski | 7 years ago

Bargain for £7.00

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