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It's right up there on the pricing front but the Velocio Zero Cycling Cap delivers on quality and performance. It's warm, well made and very, very comfortable.
The winter cycling cap hasn't really evolved much over the years in terms of design, and Velocio hasn't tried to change that. What it has done, though, is to use modern materials to create a warm and breathable cap with very little bulk to fit under your helmet.
Italian made, the Zero uses a windproof front panel, while all the others are ThermoRoubaix to aid breathability. All are fleece lined for added warmth.
The lower part of the hat, the grey bit inside, is a microfleece sweat band which adds a little thickness, but it feels really soft against the skin. I didn't need it much in terms of sweat catching as I found the Zero very breathable when wearing a normal summer helmet. It'll cope with temperatures well below freezing and probably up to about 6°C or 7°C depending on how hot you run.
Some caps like this can add pressure around the head because of the close fit, but I didn't have any problems with the Zero. There is just enough pressure there to stop it moving about while being really comfortable, even with your helmet band clamped up tight.
The Zero covers the ears easily and it doesn't ride up. Again, there isn't a massive amount of pressure here even when wearing in-ear headphones; some caps can make them uncomfortable.
Riding in rain, hail or low sun in the winter can be a pain, but Velocio has included a decent-length peak on the Zero. It gives great coverage without getting in your way when riding on the hoods, although it's maybe a little long when in the drops, restricting your upper view just a little.
It is possible to flick it up while riding, should you need a larger field of vision – which also shows off the neat little reflective logo.
When you are paying £68 for a cap, it's got to be pretty much top-notch quality. I think this is. Not only do the materials feel absolutely great, the quality of the stitching and finish is very high. This is a high-quality piece of kit!
I've been wearing the Stolen Goat Mekon Belgian Winter Cap for the last couple of winters. The Zero is probably half the thickness and just as warm, which makes it ideal for fit if you are towards the upper end of your helmet size. The Mekon is just £35, though.
Rapha's Pro Team Winter Cap is made from a softshell material with a water-repellent coating. We haven't tested it, but it looks a decent package for £45.
Yes, it's pricey. But I haven't worn a winter cap before that is this comfortable under a helmet. It is barely noticeable, and so warm on those really cold days.
A big outlay, but worth it for the high quality, warmth and comfort
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Velocio Zero Cycling Cap
Size tested: One size
Tell us what the product is for
Velocio says,"The ZERO Cycling Cap incorporates all of our knowledge and testing from the harsh winters of New England into a low profile design that fits perfectly under a helmet, yet provides excellent warmth, protection and breathability for extended winter miles."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Windproof front panel to ward off the cold
ThermoRoubaix main panels are fleece lined for warmth and snug fit
Low profile brim for perfect fit with helmet
Accent color underside of brim and internal micro fleece sweat band
Reflective Velocio logos
Fabric: 60% Polyamide / 25% Polyester / 15% Lycra
Made in: Italy
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Velocio recommends a cool wash and I had no problems following that.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great, very warm and comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Barely noticable under your helmet.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It'll cost you.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's pricey, but it's a much thinner, lighter cap than most, which makes it a better fit under your helmet.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
You can get caps that perform just as well for a lot less money, but the Zero is less bulky than most and very well made.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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,
As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!