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4 5

I purchased several winter cycling hats / headwarmers this winter to try to find something that would fit under a helmet nicely and also keep my ears and head warm. The Hincapie Alpe Brim Hat ended up in second place behind the Rapha Winter Hat. Overall if I had to recommend just one hat, it would be the Rapha Hat, it is only a few dollars more (retail prices) and is much more versatile and I have ended up wearing it the most.

Both hats have traditional Belgian styling with a brim and ear-band. Rapha's brim is a little larger in every dimension and is also a little stiffer. It keeps its shape better, but can obscure your vision a little more than desired depending on how deep your drops are. On the tops/hoods both brims will block moisture and glare equally well. The Rapha hat has longer earflaps and they cover my entire ear, keeping them nice and warm into the mid 30s. The Hincapie hat in L/XL leaves my earlobes exposed (but I do have a large head - size Largo Giro helmet)

The Hincapie hat is constructed from a softshell material that seems to fend off rain pretty well, but is very slow to dry out from perspiration (it will usually still be slightly damp the next day, the Rapha won't).

Rapha
-Warmest hat I've found that still fits under a helmet well
-Full coverage ear flaps
-Dries quickly
-Comfortable from mid 30s to 50s

Hincapie
-Better water resistance
-Less bulky / but also less warm
-Can fold up the ear flaps with a helmet on (the Rapha ear band is too thick to do this with a helmet)
-Dries slowly
-Comfortable from low/mid 40s to mid/high 50s

Bottom line - unless it is raining or warmer, I will choose the Rapha, but this is a good hat to have in your arsenal.

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2 5

If its cold enough to wear a hat, you will need something more than this. The Windtex fabric does a good job at blocking the wind, but is only located on the forehead. The rest of the hat is very thin fleece that the wind cuts right through. Additionally the ear flaps don't have enough structure to really seal out the cold so you usually end up with cold ears.

Oh, and I don't think you would want to be caught dead wearing this without a helmet on top of it.

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3 5

I purchased these gloves to wear on my daily commute when it was too cold for my other gloves, but returned them before using them as they were clearly too much glove for my needs. The fabric has a very stiff, neoprene like feel to it and the seams on the interior are very noticeable. The cuff is LONG, it goes to my mid forearm, which is a little overkill IMO. I can't speak to the temperature rating that DeMarchi gives this glove, but based on the other cycling gloves that I own, I would say that these would easily be comfortable at the lower bound of their rating (32 degrees).

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5 5

I have been using these gloves on my daily commute in Southern California. They are a thin fleece-like glove with a smooth outer surface. The cut is right and they are very comfortable on the bike. The "Thermal" material is relatively wind-resistant and warm enough for temps into the mid 40s. (Note: I have worn them into the high 30s and would suggest a warmer pair of gloves for these temps.) I was initially a little concerned about their durability but two months of daily use have not left any noticeable signs of wear/tear. Most importantly they do not have any velcro so you can easily take them off and store them in a jersey pocket without the velcro destroying delicate fabrics.

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4 5

This earwarmer does exactly what it is supposed to do - keep your ears warm. It is constructed from the "Windtex" fabric and has a soft fleece lining. It is comfortable, adjustable and stays in place. One star gets nocked off because the back velcro strip is large and you can easily wind up with it scratching the back of your head. Not gonna argue about that for $9 though.

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1 5

I returned this jacket after wearing it twice, as it was no where close to what I was expecting. I was expecting a semi-breathable, water resistant jacket that I could use on my daily commute to work when it is foggy/damp.

The jacket fits well and the fabric has a lot of mechanical stretch so that movement is completely unrestricted. The cut is typical of cycling jacket, slim fit, drop tail, longer arms, and a high front hem. The Sugoi logo printed on the arms is reflective and highly visible when on the bike.

Now for the reasons why I returned it. This is hands down the least breathable jacket I have ever used and quickly turns into a sauna suit after just a few minutes of aerobic activity. I wasn't looking for a jacket that is 100% waterproof as I already have a few of those and there is always a trade off between water resistance and breathability - I wanted a breathable jacket that could shed light moisture and block the wind. The lack of breathability is compounded by the rubbery feeling polyurethane membrane on the interior of the jacket. Sugoi tried to mitigate the clammy feeling by screen printing some texture onto the inside surface as well (similar to a Marmot Precip Jacket but far less breathable). The jacket also has two chest/core vents that help remove moisture from your body, but that doesn't prevent moisture from pooling in the forearms.

This jacket might work for you if you are cycling very slowly in very cold weather, but it definitely does not live up to the "Highly Breathable" rating that it claims.

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5 5

Great small to midsize hydration back with room for the essentials just like the description says. This pack (like most/all Dakine packs) uses a Hydrapak reservoir with a quick disconnect at the bottom so you do not have to unthread the drinking tube to fill up the reservoir. When filled up to its 100oz capacity, there was still enough room for a shell jacket (Alpha LT in XL), a multitool, cell phone, keys, and some snacks. I haven't tried out the helmet carry, but it looks like it will work as advertised. The shoulder straps are comfortable and the waist belt keeps it from bouncing around too much when it gets rough.

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5 5

Finally decided to drop the coin on these guys in the Mega width, as I was really tired of jamming my feet into regular width bike shoes. I tried on the regular width at my LBS and was able to get into them, but my feet were wider than the sole at several points. Ordered these and they fit perfectly.

The sole is nice and stiff, the velcro straps feature Sidi's Security System, and the Ultra SL buckle is easy to use.

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