May 7, 2013 by IowaTriBob
As I’ve started riding outdoors and increasing my mileage (yes spring has officially arrived here in Iowa), one of the minor, yet most annoying, issues I’ve had to deal with is sweating.
I wouldn’t consider myself to be an overly sweaty guy but when I do get a good sweat going, there’s definitely no holding back. This seems even more true as I’ve really tried to ensure I’m fully hydrated before and during my rides.
Although the sweat itself doesn’t bother me, the fact that it rolls off my helmet and onto my glasses, into my eyes, or both, is the major annoying factor. There have been several rides where less than 20 minutes into a 2 hour long route my riding glasses made me feel like a 90 year old with bad cataracts. The sweat combined with the wind would cloud up my glasses and eventually make its way underneath and into my eyes – oh the burn!
After researching several products I decided to give the Headsweats Shorty Beanie a try. According to the Headsweats website, Headsweats was founded in the winter of 1998 by shoe industry veteran and cyclist, Alan Romick. Frustrated by the perils of heavy sweat blindness, migrating sunscreen, and odd sunburn pattern on his head through his helmet, he set out to develop headgear that worked. Encouraged by the constant feedback within the local cycling community, he took the best attributes of what was available and improved on them.
I ordered the High Performance Short Beanie from Amazon (direct link here) for $15.47 and using Prime the order arrived 2 days later.
My first planned ride with the Beanie was a hard effort 45 miles which takes me between 2 and 2-1/2 hours to complete depending on wind conditions.
To my surprise the Headsweats beanie was extremely comfortable to wear for an extended period of time. I did have to adjust my helmet by a half turn of the back adjustment wheel, but once I did that I never really noticed the beanie again. Initially I was also concerned that my head would overheat, however the Coolmax fabric was breathable and kept my head just as comfortable as before.
The first part of my ride was also sweat free and I was starting to think that I found the miracle cure for sweat cataracts and burning eyes. Unfortunately that thought only lasted for the first hour. My guess is the Headsweat beanie did a good job until it became fully saturated. At this point in my ride I started seeing the dreaded beads of sweat forming at the top of my glasses and it wasn’t long after that the wind was blowing streaks down the front. This is where all the cursing and threats to immediately return it after I got back started.
Not wanting to act too irrational, I decided to give the Headsweats beanie another try. This time I tried it on a 15 mile sprint course that I’m riding in June. A 15 mile ride only takes me 40-45 minutes and as I suspected, my glasses and eyes remained sweat free and dry the entire time (and how nice of a feeling it was).
Given my experience, the Headsweats Shorty Beanie is a “good” product overall. It fits comfortable, is very breathable – helping keep your head cool, great for shorter rides, but misses a little on the longer hauls where a constant sweat level is maintained. For $15 its a good investment and I would recommend giving it a try. In addition to my recommendation, the Headsweats beanie has gotten good reviews from several others and like anything in this crazy sport, everyone will sweat just a little different from the next and the beanie may be your cure for all distances.