The nineteenth century witnessed the rise and fall of one of Western culture's most unfortunate fashions: the neck beard. The justification given for neck beards was either to ward off dire throat colds (Thoreau) or to increase sex appeal (also Thoreau). While we know for certain that neck beards don't increase sex appeal and we're reasonably confident that throat colds aren't real, neck beards did have the benefit of warding off a cold throat. If neck beards aren't your style, but you want to stay warm from chin to sternum, then the miracle of modern technology brings you the Mavic Cosmic Neck Warmer. We consider this thing the beard of the future, a fashionable recipe for a warm throat.
The material is a brushed fleece that mimics the insulating qualities of a neck beard but without the abrasive elements. Instead of a hair collar, it's stretchiness and soft touch make it like a skin upgrade. It's also far more versatile than a Thoreauvian beard, keeping your throat and face warm in temperatures that would just cause a beard to freeze up. Some cyclists wear the Viking commuter beard as a sign of pride, but some of us think it's just, well, gross. Plus, you can pull the Cosmic Neck Warmer on when needed or take it off and stow it in a jersey pocket when your throat warms up. We don't recommend trying that with a beard.
Though it shares a material with Mavic's baseline Neck Warmer, the Cosmic features two key differences. First, the Cosmic ditches the base model's mouth ventilation holes, relying on the fabric's inherent breathability to keep moisture accumulation down. Second, it's festooned with chevrons that add a pop of color to drab winter rides and help you locate it on groggy early morning hunts through a kit drawer full of black, fleecy things. The design also just looks good—yet another benefit setting it apart from the abysmally un-stylish neck beard.
- A neck gaiter for cold-weather cycling
- Thermal fleece insulates throat and face
- Chevron graphics help it stand out on the road and in a drawer full of black cycling kit