8 December 2007

A review of two hats

Posted by todd under: Headgear; Reviews .

Keeping the head warm goes a long way toward keeping the rest of me warm, so I wanted to make sure I went into this winter riding season with an adequate supply of lids.

To that end, I made a couple of purchases recently from Bike Nashbar: the Pearl Izumi Microsensor Skull Cap ($20) and the Cannondale Alpacor Balaclava (also $20). Here’s an evaulation of each:
Pearl Izumi Microsensor Skullcap 150Cannondale Alpacor Balaclava
Microsensor Skull Cap: I bought this because I wanted something simple that would cover my ears, and this cap is “contour cut to cover ears without obstructing view,” in Nashbar’s words. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do the job. The contour-cut part keeps riding up, leaving my ears uncovered, and I keep having to tug it down while I’m riding. Maybe my head is too egg-shaped for this design. (My head measures 18 3/4 inches from just below one ear lobe, over the top of my head, to the just below the other ear lobe.) Still, from this name brand at this price I expected more.
VERDICT: Not recommended.

Alpacor Balaclava: It’s soft, it’s silky — it’s made of alpaca wool. (No, I’m not kidding.) It feels very nice on the head, it dries quickly, and it covers the forehead, mouth and nose very nicely. The only problem is, it’s not quite long enough. I like a balaclava to cover the neck as well as the head. This one just barely makes it to the collar of my jacket; when I turn my head, it rides up just a little and exposes the neck. (It is 29 inches from the top of my head down my face to the base of my neck.)
VERDICT: Recommended, with reservations.

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About the picture atop the page

Yes, that's me, Todd Van Campen. No, I'm not wearing a helmet. Yes, I usually wear one, so please don't scold! Seriously, I endorse wearing a helmet! Pinky swear! In fact, I almost ALWAYS wear one (while riding a bike anyway). (On the other hand, if YOU don't want to wear a helmet, I have no problem with it.) I don't remember what happened on this particular day. Fortunately for all of us it makes for a less-nerdly picture. My exceptionally talented professional photographer friend Charles Bertram took this photo.



Art for art’s sake

I asked my 6-year-old son, Caleb, an avid bicyclist and artist, to draw a bike for me. I think he did a great job!




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