What's good for keeping your head warm? A hat. And what about your ears? A hat with ear flaps. And what does it with style? A Fifo Cycle x Tokyo Fixed Earflap cap, that's what.
The 'x' here denotes a collaboration between London manufacturer and importer of bespoke bicycles and clothing, Tokyo Fixed, and Brooklyn's Fifo Cycle, who, as far as I can make out, hand-make nice retro-inspired hats in the coolest borough of one of the world's coolest metropolises. As such, it's typical of the sort of products that Tokyo Fixed take on: small-run, artisan clothes from hip designers.
The based on Fifo's Pegasus hat, which is distinctive, well-made and stylish. It's clearly been crafted with a bit of love and attention, and it does its job well. The outer material is waxed cotton, water resistant and wind proof; the inner, meanwhile, is softer, stripy cotton. Or is it? Turn the cap inside out, and it works equally well the other way round. The earflaps have three positions: by looping the longer side round under the chin, it affixes to a velcro pad on the other; secondly, they can dangle, pendant like a basset hound's ears; finally, you can attach them above the head, Russian bear-trapper style.
You may be able to tell, from the artful disclosure of my Russian bear-trapper fantasies, that I quite enjoyed wearing this hat. Initially it seemed less appealing than a knitted hat, but it proved itself when I got caught in a winter shower, and has rarely left my head since. It's warm, waterproof enough for extended rain, and has kept head and ears toasty, even in the first proper cold snap of the year. The flaps, when secured, don't block out too much noise (important in traffic, I find) and the peak's decent enough to keep rain and sleet out of the eyes, and protection against low sun, too.
It costs a few clams, sure, but it's a stylish and effective bit of kit.
Nice. Warm. Hat.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Tokyo Fixed Fifo Cycle X Earflap Cap
Size tested: Black/wool
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?
Brooklyn, NY based brand Fifo Cycles, beautifully hand made caps. [SIC]
This cap is based on Fifo's Pegasus cap. The Pegasus is the cap which got me through the Winter of 2009. The design is perfect, it quite simply folds around your chin for optimum warmth when worn down and when it gets too hot the flaps can be worn above your head, the cap is reversible as well.
The Fifo X Tokyo Fixed cap has all the same features, the big difference is our choise of waxed cotton. The waxed cotton is perfect for keeping the heat in and the rain off. It is also very wind resistant. In short, with the flaps down, you could ride through snow storms in sub zero weather and your head & ears would be none the wiser to the harsh climate. We know this because this years Winter was the perfect testing ground!
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Water & wind resistant
- Secures with velcro
- Waxed cotton / Pink pinstripe cotton
Slightly more cosy with the waxed cotton outermost.
It's handmade, out of vintage cotton and things, so it's a bit more pricy than your average.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good looks, warmth, fun.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not a lot
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: Cinelli Strato road or fixed commuter hack. My best bike is:
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: commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,