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Hand-made in the USA from a cotton/wool mix and with a fit to die for, the Walz oozes retro cool with a fair degree of comfort and practicality. Constructed in three sections, it’s supple enough to stuff in a jersey pocket without looking haggard upon retrieval and the shapely peak can be worn up (fakenger style) or down (60s continental pro style), shielding the eyes from early season sun and showers alike.
Worn beneath a helmet during the cooler months, the natural fibres are reasonably proficient at wicking sweat, although are most effective (and arguably stylish) worn alone. The white cotton centre strip isn’t reflective but still grabs attention after dark.
High wool content also ensures excellent odour control and while Walz recommend hand washing in luke-warm water, I’ve had no problems on a delicates machine cycle. Not quite a universal fit, the small/medium suits most but there’s a large for heads measuring 57.3-60cm in circumference.
Twenty-five quid is a lot of money for a cap and undeniably, style comes at a price but this doesn’t seem so unreasonable when you consider production runs and import costs. If you're just looking for something to stash under your lid then stick with common or garden trade caps or a buff. The Walz is one to show off.
A well designed and likeable cap combining style and function.
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Make and model: Walz Wool/cotton race cap
Size tested: S/M
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?
Walz are a small-scale US manufacturer producing cycling caps from various materials for a number of manufacturers including Surly. This is aimed at the retro loving road/fixie market. I would largely agree that it is aimed at the style conscious urban rider but suits other road disciplines equally well.
Tell us some more about the techincal aspects of the product?
It is made from a wool/cotton mix which combines excellent fit with good wicking and odour control properties.
Very well made with excellent attention to detail-especially the stitching.
Good worn alone or beneath a lid. Wicking poroperties and odour control equally dependable.
With basic care and periodic, gentle washing should look sharp for a long time.
Very snug, yet tactile and unobtrusive fit.
On the face of it quite pricey but reasonable value when you take build quality and attention to detail into account.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performs very well, better worn sans helmet, wicks sweat quite effectively and the peak keeps the early season sun and showers from compromising visibility.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Quality of construction and the fact it readily packs down into a jersey pocket without it becoming misshapen
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)