The Neon Crush cap is Primal's modern interpretation of the classic cotton casquette, cycling cap. Primal has been making cycling apparel and activewear since 2011. They've a good range of road and mountain bike kit, much of it with a modern 'out there' aesthetic which is refreshing given the amount of minimalist fashion evident in the bunch these days.
Like the automatic watch, the cycling cap is somewhat of a mature technology. Cotton, elasticated rear, peak just long enough to deflect debris without obscuring the road ahead, and providing just enough room for a sponsor's brand. Yes, the humble cotton cap is the everlasting icon of our beloved sport. But in the days of moderns fabrics, everything-proof treatments and construction techniques, where's our Seiko, our quartz crisis, our modern alternative? Here, it turns out.
I'm not going to say anything about the design itself, it's impossible to be objective about it. If it floats your boat then the Neon Crush motif is carried through Primal's accessory range: cap, sock and arm warmers. It would have been nice to see a matching jersey and bib-short in the collection. The indigo and lime colourway isn't exactly easy to match up with the rest of your wardrobe, but if you're wearing kit as flamboyant as this you must be pretty quick and therefore impervious to fashion advice from the rest of us.
I would describe the cap itself as three-season. It's made of moisture-wicking, elastic 'SpeedPro' polyester which uses a plaited double knit fabric to draw moisture away from the inner and then push it to the external layer. The fabric is the same used in their jerseys. It's a nice, soft-touch mid-weight fabric that works well. It's rim is lined with an elastic 'integrated sweatband' which is not unlike leg or waist grippers you find on more relaxed cycling or activewear. The combination works very well, feeling snug but not tight all over the head. Being thinner than the cotton staple it also fits particularly well under a helmet. The peak is made of a crush-resistant and washable foam. None of your crinkle-cut crisp peaks here after a wet ride. On a low, thirty-degree synthetics wash the Neon Crush came out fresh as a daisy and ready to roll in the summer sun. If the sun is out you get an equivalent of 35 SPF which is useful for those who have gone all Bruce Willis up top.
At £15 the Neon Crush is on par with the price of nearly every modern, traditional or 'novelty' (no really, I don't ride for Duff Beer) cotton cap on the market. Given the level of comfort, adaptability and longevity available here I think it's time for a cotton crisis.
Primal's Neon Crush cap is the perfect choice for a cold spring morning or a summer scorcher, well made and superbly comfortable
road.cc test report
Make and model: Primal Neon Crush Cycling 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?
Primal's Neon Crush cap, like much of Primal's activewear, is aimed at the youthful, exuberant and some might say 'outlandish' cyclist. Someone who's willing to acknowledge the tradition of a cycling cap but without the limitations of cotton. The fabric, sweatband closure and foam peak combine to make this one of the most practical clothing changes you could make this summer.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The SpeedPro polyester fabric does it's job. Keeping some warmth in on cold mornings and cooling the head while the integrated sweatband absorbs the evidence of your efforts. The crush-resistant, foam peak will stay graceful after washing, which is a no go for the traditional cotton cap.
The cap is very well made. The material has plenty of give while two cotton liners provide a little bone structure initially. Stitching is strong and consistent with no unravelling or peekaboo holes appearing at joins.
As a three season cap the Neon Crush does the job very well. It's comfortable from cold spring mornings through to midday sun.
I had no issues out on the road, in the wash or after a little destructive exploration.
The most comfortable cap I've ever worn. Particularly under a helmet.
As a six foot six guy 'one size fits all' generally makes me laugh, but the Neon Crush is so comfortable that I worry it is sized a little large and might be loose on smaller sized heads.
If you're weighing your cap you've probably got some rather strange priorities, but if I were being a weight weenie I can imagine making a lighter cap.
As comfortable as your favourite summer jersey. Only on your head!
On par with most of the cotton caps you'd find in your local bike shop. What else is there to say?
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
A 30 degree synthetic wash with non bio detergent and the cap came out box fresh. What else could you want. Cotton cap crinkle cut peaks be gone!
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort on the head, under a helmet.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
That there's not a matching jersey/bib-short to go alongside the otherwise forthright yet considered design.
Did you enjoy using the product? Through chilly spring mornings in the UK and clement twenty-something afternoons on the continent: I did.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It's difficult to compare the Neon Crush to anything but the ubiquitous cotton cap there are caps. If you're looking for a cap for blizzards or torrential downpours then there are other caps for you. I've not appraised the design per se, as it's impossible to be objective about that but for those of us who enjoy the design (as I do) it was a shame not to see a matching jersey and bibshort available.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road (Canyon Ultiamte CF SLX), Cyclocross (Kinesis CX Race) My best bike is: Road
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,