There are lots of options regarding what to wear under your bike helmet. If anything, a biker needs a piece of clothing that suits their environmental conditions. If you are exercising intensely, you will want lightweight gear that keeps you cool and filters out sweat.

Biking and the outdoors are some of my firm passions. I enjoy reviewing gear and relaying my tips to others interested in trying new activities for the first time. Our team at FunOutdoors works together to survey many unique products and outdoor sports to answer any questions you have about biking, skiing, camping, and so much more. 

This blog post will discuss the benefits of wearing something under your helmet. Afterward, we will list some of the best garments for different biking types and environmental conditions.

Why Should I Wear Something Under My Helmet?

Wearing a garment underneath your helmet defends against many inconveniences while biking. Whether it is sweat from physical exertion, precipitation, or the forces of heat and cold, there is headgear that will help. 

Having a protective lining underneath your helmet helps prevent sweat from getting in your eyes. In harsh weather, a cooling cap can reduce the risk of heatstroke. In cold temperatures, an insulator helps bikers resist hypothermia and discomfort. No matter why you wear a garment under your helmet, they all increase your endurance and performance. 

Where as you might need protection from cold during colder temperatures. You can also look at winter helmets for biking, which can protect from freezing temperatures. 

Another reason to wear something under your biking gear is that helmets tend to be stuffy. Theyprotect your skull, but this does not guarantee they are comfortable.

Bike helmets often hold sweat and heat inside, but wearing a lining over your head will significantly reduce that issue and keep you cool. 

Since sweat often gets trapped in helmets, wearing a garment underneath can protect your hair from getting messy and odorous. Cycling caps do mat down your hair follicles, but wearing one prevents you from having to shampoo or clean the inside of your helmet often. Unlike biking headgear, linings and caps are usually machine washable, so cleaning them is much easier. 

Wind and insects are inevitable obstacles for bikers. A protective lining underneath your helmet can prevent bugs, pollen, and other nuisances from getting into your hair.

Wearing a helmet can prevent severe cranial damage, but it can also cause an issue called traction alopecia. This condition forms when bike headgear repeatedly pulls and yanks on your hair, resulting in premature balding and follicle loss. Wearing a lining or head covering significantly reduces this risk. 

Lastly, weather can be unpredictable for cyclists. Thankfully, there are weatherproof cycling caps that stay watertight. Drying off is inconvenient in the midst of physical activity, but wearing a lining against rain or snow can make a stark difference.

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Types of Under-the-Helmet Cycling Gear

There is no one-size-fits-all for protective linings and garments. A devoted cyclist will have several types of caps to suit various scenarios. We will discuss some of the unique kinds of linings and their applications.


Bandanas are simple, cheap options that fit under a bike helmet without exposing the rider to potential head injuries. They come in many colors, often made of cloth or cotton. Simple headgear pieces like these can absorb a small amount of sweat. Bandanas are lightweight, but they do have some faults. And they are better fit for city biking with helmet.

First, bandana fabric is thin and does not insulate very well against heat or cold. Second, the material does not ventilate well, meaning that sweat does not evaporate from the cloth well. After wearing a bandana for a while, you will notice it beginning to feel wet, heavy, and smelly. 

The primary advantage of bandanas is that they are cheap and accessible at almost any general goods store. In addition, they are often packaged in groups so that you do not need to buy spares. Bandanas are great for short biking trips, but I suggest other headgear for extreme weather, precipitation, or long bike excursions.


Headbands are more versatile than bandanas. They are made of thick materials that hold more sweat than cloth. As a result, headbands make a suitable option for cold weather. They are perfect for bikers who want to protect their ears from getting chilly since earmuffs and other gear do not fit with helmets. 

Headbands leave the top of your head exposed, which is both good and bad. It will feel less stuffy inside your helmet, but as a result, your headgear can get sweaty and messy inside. Headbands also do not defend well against bugs, wind, or the effects of traction alopecia. 

Like bandanas, the thick material of headbands means that sweat does not evaporate off of them very well. I suggest wearing these only for short bike trips or covering your ears. 

Cycling Caps

Cycling caps, unlike baseball caps and other hats, fit snugly under helmets. These coverings are made of airy, lightweight material and come with visors that stick out from underneath protective gear. In this way, cycling caps offer bikers resistance to sunlight, wind, and precipitation. 

Cycling cap materials range from insulating cotton to moisture-wicking varieties. These designs are effective against rain and snow. During the seasons when the sun is lower in the sky, visors also provide shade against blinding rays.

Cycling caps are one of the best all-around solutions. However, they are also one of the most costly. Many designs take after biking teams or are produced by major sports retailers. Some varieties are not machine washable, resulting in tedious cleaning by hand. 

Still, if you are serious about cycling in all kinds of weather and conditions, I believe that buying several cycling caps is an outstanding value. 

Helmet Liners

The last feasible option for headwear is a helmet liner. These come in many forms, including inner pads and skull caps. 

Helmet pads are easy to attach and work for most models. They tend to be washable and reusable. They soak up sweat, provide a small amount of cold insulation, and help prevent hair pulling. However, attaching and removing them is not as convenient as donning other kinds of headgear. 

Skull caps come in heat-resistant and cold-resistant varieties. Heat-resistant versions are made of cooling materials like spandex that stretch to meet your head shape. Cold-resistant caps function like thin beanies, warming your head and ears without disturbing your bike helmet. 

Helmet liners bring you the convenience of cycling caps at a fraction of the cost. However, the materials may experience wear and tear after excessive use since most helmet liners are not built to last long.


There are plenty of benefits to wearing a covering between your head and your bike helmet. These garments help with sweat management, defend against precipitation, reduce hair pulling, and shield against harsh temperatures. Both inexpensive and quality options exist, suiting any biker’s needs. 

When you wear a bandana, headband, cycling cap, or helmet liner, you will notice a significant boost to your endurance while biking. Once you are finished, you can wash them in a machine or by hand, saving you the trouble of cleaning your bulky bike helmet. 

Visit our homepage for more articles about biking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. We have the information you need to take your bicycling hobby to the next level. 

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Fun Outdoors Team

The FunOutdoors team is comprised of seasoned writers and editors with a passion for outdoor living. 

Happy trails!

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