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Verdict: 
Great at what it does but it's hard to justify the outlay against the competition
Weight: 
32g
Contact: 
Assos RoboCap
7 10

The skull cap is one of those little essentials that helps to pack out the winter cyclist's wardrobe, and the Assos RoboCap is one that has been on the market since forever. We've got the latest S7 version here and it's really very good, as it bloody well should be for 40 quid!

  • Pros: Unobtrusive under a helmet, warm
  • Cons: Expensive

Most skull caps are simple, thin, beanie-style hats that just pull down over your head, made of a simple Lycra or fleecy fabric. Assos has gone for a bit more detail here, which goes a little way to justifying that high pricing.

> Find your nearest dealer here

The fabric is a mix of 54% polyamide, 20% polyester and 17% elastane, and it's soft to the touch, with a fleece lining on the inside to trap body heat. It's quite thin, though it does keep you warm and blocks out the worst of the wind chill. It also means it fits comfortably under your helmet with minimal adjustment.

Assos Winter Cycling Beanie RoboCap-S7 - inside.jpg

Assos Winter Cycling Beanie RoboCap-S7 - inside.jpg

Rarely for a hat, it isn't a one-size-fits-all job; it comes in sizes 0 (48-53cm), I (53-58cm) and II (58-63cm), so a decent range. I had the middle one because my helmet size is 56cm and the fit was fine, close without being tight.

Around the forehead and covering the ears, the fabric is doubled up to protect the most vulnerable areas, which is great for those ice-cold days. The good thing is, the material thickness doesn't affect your hearing levels either.

Assos Winter Cycling Beanie RoboCap-S7 - side.jpg

Assos Winter Cycling Beanie RoboCap-S7 - side.jpg

The seams run internally but they are small and soft so you don't get any irritation there.

Front and rear you get reflective strips that sit just below the rim of your helmet; it's a token gift but hey, every little helps.

Assos Winter Cycling Beanie RoboCap-S7 - back.jpg

Assos Winter Cycling Beanie RoboCap-S7 - back.jpg

Either side you also get two elasticated loops to pass your glasses through. To be honest it's nothing more than a gimmick really, as the arms of most glasses are smaller in diameter than the loops so they aren't really holding anything, plus without the aid of a mirror you're going to struggle to line things up.

Value then, how does it stack up?

Virtually every other skull cap we've tested is at least half the price. Galibier's Dolomiti is just £11.61 plus it does a Thermo + version for just a couple of quid more, which is more like the Assos.

> Buyer's Guide: The best cycling clothing to keep you warm in winter

Even Lazer's Genesis Winter Cap, designed to work with its own helmets, is just £19.99, though it does have a few faults.

The Robocap is very good. Insulation is great and you barely notice you are wearing it, but there is no way I'd pay full whack for it. Shop around, though, because you can get it with quite a discount, and it's currently reduced in price to £32 on Assos' own website.

Verdict

Great at what it does but it's hard to justify the outlay against the competition

road.cc test report

Make and model: Assos RoboCap

Size tested: I (53-58cm)

Tell us what the product is for

Assos says: "The ideal lightweight cap for cold days, the ASSOS roboCap is close fitting enough to be entirely unobtrusive when worn under a helmet, while it's warm and soft RXQ fabric is double layered around the ears and forehead for crucial cycling protection. This provides targeted insulation while the rest of the cap remains thinner to boost breathability and ensure a tailored fit. Sitting behind the ears, the cycling cap's elastic suspenders ensure a secure grip on your eyewear while reflective detailing adds visibility in low light conditions."

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

From Assos:

Three sizes available

Reflective detailing front and rear

Eyewear loops

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

I should be bang on in the middle of size I and it fitted me spot on.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

It's a fair wodge for a skullcap, though it's currently reduced to £32.

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

I just bunged it in the washing machine with everything else and it came out fine.

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

It's thin to fit under a helmet and keeps you warm: brief filled.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Great for keeping your head and ears warm.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Double the price of most of the competition...

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Not at full whack.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The Assos RoboCap really is a great performing piece of kit and with some great attention to detail. Its performnace doesn't really surpass others I've tried, though, at half the price, so that loses it a point.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

16 comments

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nbrus [560 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

One of the simplest and cheapest garments to make, but reassuringly expensive.

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Anthony.C [246 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

I have had this  for a few years now, I think I paid about 20 quid for it. It's well worth the money over others I have tried because it's not one size fits all so it fits better and it covers the ears completely and keeps them warm, as well as the rest of the head.  I even use the glasses loops, they keep my glasses tightly on.

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handlebarcam [1082 posts] 2 weeks ago
10 likes

Never trust a nun with stubble...

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Welsh boy [466 posts] 2 weeks ago
3 likes

That really is the funniest thing I have seen for a long time, thanks Stu for brightening up my February.

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StraelGuy [1150 posts] 2 weeks ago
3 likes

There's a definite air of Princess Leia about that first picture...

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Goldfever4 [396 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like
StraelGuy wrote:

There's a definite air of Princess Leia about that first picture...

 

Not far off!

 

Poor Stu...

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tourdelound [170 posts] 2 weeks ago
4 likes

Reminds me of .............

 

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Vilie Er [284 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

I bought one of these at the start of 2012, it's been used evey winter and it's still going strong. Nobody pays RRP and the reason Galibier stuff is cheap is because it falls apart after a season - if not before.

Avatar
Eli [6 posts] 2 weeks ago
3 likes
alan loves froome wrote:

I bought one of these at the start of 2012, it's been used evey winter and it's still going strong. Nobody pays RRP and the reason Galibier stuff is cheap is because it falls apart after a season - if not before.

Errrrr Wrong on the Galibier part. I along with a couple of my friends own a few Galibier Garments and None of them, I repeat "Absolutely None" have failed on us.

Avatar
Beecho [264 posts] 2 weeks ago
3 likes
alan loves froome wrote:

I bought one of these at the start of 2012, it's been used evey winter and it's still going strong. Nobody pays RRP and the reason Galibier stuff is cheap is because it falls apart after a season - if not before.

My best waterproof: Galibier Tourmalet

Best winter gloves: Galibier 'can't-remember-the-name-don't-make-them-anymore-still-going'

Favourite jersey: Galibier Brian Robinson 

I could go on. If most of their styling wasn't a Picasso car crash, I'd buy everything they make.

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fredpo [6 posts] 2 weeks ago
2 likes

Laughed out loud. Sure might be comfortable. But that looks too funny.

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demondig [6 posts] 2 weeks ago
9 likes

Very retro styling, although they didn't used to wear them under cycle helmets:

 

 

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Freddy56 [303 posts] 2 weeks ago
3 likes
alan loves froome wrote:

I bought one of these at the start of 2012, it's been used evey winter and it's still going strong. Nobody pays RRP and the reason Galibier stuff is cheap is because it falls apart after a season - if not before.

I have Galibier bib tights - 3 years old. Perfect.

I have a Galibier jacket -2 years old . Perfect. ( they even did a free repair when I put a hole on the arm)

 Can't recommend the Galibier kit enough.

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Freddy56 [303 posts] 2 weeks ago
2 likes

Which one of Henry the 8th wives is this?

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Simboid [122 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes
Welsh boy wrote:

That really is the funniest thing I have seen for a long time, thanks Stu for brightening up my February.

+1. Hilarious, and what does it do about 'ice-cream headache forehead' or a freezing neck on properly cold days? Nowt. B'Twin 12.99  windproof helmet liner, job done.

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alansmurphy [1673 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Galibier gloves, epic!

Galibier muff, how can a muff fail?