Update #2: Look for Under Armour skull caps and pick a silk cap. You might end up with an elastic ring around your head, so I can’t vouch for the look.
Update #1: I searched around and found some welding caps that I wear under my helmet. They’re made of cotton, cost about the same, and you can buy them anywhere. I turn the peak around and it shades the back of my neck. Added bonus: the welding cap seams are sewn flat, and thus don’t feel like they’re cutting into my head after a couple of hours of wearing one under the helmet.
If you do much long distance riding, the thick seams on the front of the silk or cotton helmet liner will dig into your bald head like a knife after a couple of hundred miles. Unlike welding caps, the silk or cotton liners sold by online motorcycle stores aren’t stitched with flat seams, thus making such seams too thick to be comfortable over the long haul riding, which is what I do a lot of. On the other hand, if you’re doing short rides around town, you won’t notice a thing.
A baseball stitch would be a great addition to any silk helmet liner. Unfortunately, probably because of cost, you’re not going to see any flat stitching in a helmet liner.
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Helmets are a great invention. The keep your head warm when it’s cold, dry when it’s raining, and sweaty when it’s hot. Thus was invented the silk helmet liner, an accoutrement that makes a rider look like a dork when he puts it on, but quickly turns from a fashion nightmare into an item that makes for a more comfortable helmet. Added bonus: the helmet doesn’t stink up as fast.
If you’re going to get a helmet liner, buy two. That way, you can switch them out on a ride and one dries in the wind while you wear the other. I prefer welding caps, since the seams are sewn flat and won’t cut into your head after a couple of hours.
Helmet sanitation tip
Now that I’m finished with my rant, here’s a tip on helmet sanitation for those of you that don’t have a removable liner: When the old brain-bucket does begin to get ripe–and it will–put it in the dishwasher, without soap, and run it through a wash cycle. Just remember to take the helmet out before the heat cycle comes on. Let it air dry, and voila! Good as new.