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helmets and summer riding

This topic contains 44 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  byogman 1 yr, 3 mos.

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shadow

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May 6 2013 at 2:30pm #

As things finally are warming up, an old friend is rearing its ugly head again, namely, the sweat coming out of my own :(

Last year I tried a cooling pack inside my bike helmet, but it didn’t really fit right. Any suggestions for a helmet which stays cool/well ventilated, or perhaps something I could insert or wear under it?


brybot

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May 6 2013 at 2:44pm #

Can you describe what helmet you are currently using? Are you cycling for sport, or transportation? If it is sport, I’d expect to sweat. If transportation, and you need to stay presentable, that is a different story. For my commuting helmet, I use a Giro Indicator without the visor. It is well ventilated and pretty cheap. You could try a bandana or a cycling cap (casquette) to soak up sweat.


Mikhail

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May 6 2013 at 2:50pm #

I use for most of the times. I sweat a lot and this cover sucks all sweat back and evaporated it through those two lose ends. In some cases when it’s too hot and we are going up to hill band is not enough. Then I use and sweat drips of front part without getting in my eyes.


shadow

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May 6 2013 at 2:50pm #

In fact, it’s a Giro Indicator, but with the visor. It’s definitely airier than the last helmet but it’s not enough. As to my goals, some is exercise, some is transport: My problem is I am basically incapable, once it is warm, of not ending up a sweaty mess, which makes showing up somewhere and being presentable hard.


rice rocket

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May 6 2013 at 3:06pm #

See if you can get your hands on a Specialized helmet, I’ve heard a lot of people rave about that huge front vent they have.

I think they look goofy and the CEO of Specialized is a total ass, but I don’t have sweat problems either.


pbeaves

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May 6 2013 at 3:16pm #

I use my Survivor Buff headbands.


byogman

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May 6 2013 at 3:37pm #

Slightly veering off topic, but not really because the problem is becoming a sweaty mess in the heat… has anyone used any cooling vest, neck band, whatever?

The prices on the vests are ridiculous IMHO, but fast forward to July and it does look tempting.

Potentially thinking of it as a DIY project given the prices, purchasing a bunch of small icepacks here: http://www.uline.com/BL_2158/Cold-Packs?keywords=ice%20packs and trying to sew them into a simple vest.

Anyone tried to use basic off the shelf gel ice packs in a general “keep cool” context?


shadow

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May 6 2013 at 4:01pm #

byogman wrote:
Potentially thinking of it as a DIY project given the prices, purchasing a bunch of small icepacks here: http://www.uline.com/BL_2158/Cold-Packs?keywords=ice%20packs and trying to sew them into a simple vest.

Anyone tried to use basic off the shelf gel ice packs in a general “keep cool” context?

I have a number of gel packs at the moment because I’m receiving a monthly perishable shipment and saving the packs. Might have to give this a try also.


pbeaves

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May 6 2013 at 4:11pm #

i usually jsut pack an extra shirt.


shadow

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May 6 2013 at 4:13pm #

pbeaves wrote:i usually jsut pack an extra shirt.

More helpful if you only sweat from the torso; My family tends to end up with a waterfall from the crown.


reddan

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May 6 2013 at 4:19pm #

Slightly veering off topic, but not really because the problem is becoming a sweaty mess in the heat… has anyone used any cooling vest, neck band, whatever?

An arm warmer or calf-length athletic sock, filled with ice and draped over the back of your neck, works wonders in really hot weather.

Of course, you still get wet from runoff…if that’s a concern, using the bladder from a hydration pack works reasonably well too.


Drewbacca

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May 6 2013 at 6:15pm #

My head sweats a lot… I just use a standard bandana to wick the moisture away from my face and eyes. It’s cheap and it works. You can even dip it in ice-water to help with a cool down.

It can also be used as a tourniquet, which as we all know, is essential for the proper distance cyclists… ;)


mr marvelous

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May 6 2013 at 9:37pm #

I have upgraded my helmet a few times over the years, every time I go up in price the helmet gets lighter airier and my head is less sweaty. Last year I used a Giro Ionos, it work great. This year I upgraded to Rudy Project WINDMAX helmet, it is a phenomenal helmet you can feel the cool air on your scalp as you ride.


salty

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May 6 2013 at 9:57pm #

I’ll have to try the bandana or cap, I honestly never even thought of that. I sweat a lot from the head too and it definitely gets in my eyes which sucks especially since I wear glasses so there’s no air to blow it away.

Frankly I haven’t found the helmet to make that big of a difference. Currently I have a specialized similar to what RR posted – I definitely noticed a difference in airflow in the winter but in summer it just doesn’t seem to matter that much as far as reducing sweating.

Sweating just sucks :(


ericf

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May 7 2013 at 4:47am #

+1 for the bandana, they are effective, versatile, cheap, and ever so fashionable.


Mr. Destructicity

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May 7 2013 at 5:35am #

Yeah, here’s another vote for bandannas. I have a few I got from Ralph’s years ago and they work wonders.


pinky

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May 7 2013 at 6:49am #

About the ice pack/cooling wrap thing – someone once told me that it can be risky to use them, since they make you feel cooler without lowering your core body temperature. So you could be more prone to overexert yourself because you feel OK.

I don’t know if I buy that argument. Thoughts?

(Sorry to continue to derail the thread.)

As far as sweat, I avoid backpacks (sweaty back) and bring a change of shirt.


shadow

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May 7 2013 at 6:56am #

Sweaty back >> sweaty crown. Honestly, if I could not sweat at the head, I’d just carry a change of shirt and be done with it.


Benzo

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May 7 2013 at 7:39am #

I shave my head, so there is little stopping the sweat from pouring down in to my eyes. My helmet also fits better when I’m wearing a cap of some sort, especially when MTB riding at night with a light strapped to my helmet.

I like my halo skullcap and halo headband. They soak up some of the sweat and they have a foam channel that stops the sweat from dripping down the front of my face. It redirects the sweat to my temples and does a pretty good job of keeping salty water off my glasses and out of my eyes.

http://store.haloheadband.com/


Drewbacca

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May 7 2013 at 7:41am #

FWIW, the camel-baks have been redesigned over the years to reduce the amount of back sweat. They do a good job of it to! Obviously, they hold less than your average backpack but I can usually manage to cram a DSLR with a large lens, sunblock, a small lunch, a few energy bars, an extra hat, and a few other odds and ends inside.

Not sure about the core body temperature thing, but how much I exert myself is the same either way. There’s nothing like soaking a bandanna in a fresh stream of melted snow at the halfway point of a long hike.

I should also note that in all of the hours I’ve spent in a 120degree, heat-monitored environment in the MidEast, no one in our medical community ever recommended against using those gel cooling band things… but then, our hours of heat exposure were closely monitored and controlled. The cooling band was for comfort, not to extend our tolerance of the heat.


gg

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May 7 2013 at 9:59am #

Just don’t wear a helmet. Problem solved. Haven’t worn on in years except this one.


shadow

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May 7 2013 at 10:04am #

Helmet’s saved me once, wiped out taking a corner on a path due to some mud under leaves. So, I at least try to use a helmet.


gg

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May 7 2013 at 10:24am #

shadow wrote:Helmet’s saved me once, wiped out taking a corner on a path due to some mud under leaves. So, I at least try to use a helmet.

I have wiped out sliding like that many years ago and my head didn’t come close to the ground. My legs got messed up pretty bad and I needed 14 stitches. Guess I just never understood the big helmet craze. I rode a bike as a kid doing WAY crazier stuff and never wore a helmet back then. Go to Europe and a helmet is actually rare. Heck even the guys in the TdF weren’t wearing them until recent years. Of course they started wearing them because of advertising and money and not so much safety, IMHO.

Anyway, my head doesn’t sweat much due to the wind blowing through my hair. Now my body is soaked in the summer, but I bring a change of shirt to work.


rsprake

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May 7 2013 at 10:49am #

I love my Bell helmet. I had a Giro, have a Specialized, and a Bern. My Bell vents the best, it’s lighter, and it fits me great. I bought it at Performance.


myddrin

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May 7 2013 at 4:05pm #

I’m a sweater too… a frozen water bottle in either the back jersey pocket (or if it is really hot, rolled up in the bike shorts) does wonders.

And when it has melted, you have a source of drinkable water. :)

I do recall a couple years ago when I was working on Mt Washington, cycling back in near 100 degree heat…. the ice was completely melted by the time I got to the base of Greenfield!


mr marvelous

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May 7 2013 at 4:09pm #

Bell and Giro are the same company.


salty

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May 7 2013 at 5:07pm #

This morning was a perfect indication of the problem for me. Note, my commute is all of 2 miles and probably equal parts uphill, followed by downhill, followed by flat. Obviously I have to pedal uphill, but then I either coast or expend minimal effort downhill, then try to take it easy on the flat.

Anyways, it was cool, probably around 60F, and when I was riding I wasn’t sweating at all, or at least any sweat I was producing quickly evaporated. The real problem comes when I’m done riding and there’s no more airflow – even though I’m inside in the A/C and I rode the elevator up, I start sweating (rather profusely). It probably takes longer for me to stop sweating than the actual amount of time I spent riding. Not sure what the cure is for that, but it sucks ass. It even happens in the winter.

FWIW, I’d prefer to take the stairs (8 flights) than the elevator since I could certainly use the exercise, but the sweating issue dissuades me from doing so – that just makes it way worse.


Ross

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May 7 2013 at 6:36pm #

I am also a massively sweat head person, I guess… I hate bandannas, but I get the same sorta effect by wearing a cycling cap backwards under my helmet. The side benefit is that I have a cap to wear when I stop and take the helmet off.

I love cycling caps, but I am an old-school sort anyway. YMMV.


buffalo buffalo

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May 7 2013 at 6:43pm #

Salty, i have the same problem. Although I get sweaty fairly often while riding, I’ve been getting much more sweaty in the 30-60 minutes after I stop than in the 20 minutes I’m on the bike in the morning… I’ve taken to carrying the mini towel I got from a race I ran a few years ago just so I can stop wasting paper towel when i get to the office.


Marko82

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May 7 2013 at 6:45pm #

Someone on this board (can’t remember who, it was a while ago) suggested that running cold water on your wrists helps your body stop perspiring. It did seem to work the few times I’ve tried it.


Mikhail

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May 7 2013 at 6:46pm #

salty wrote:he real problem comes when I’m done riding and there’s no more airflow – even though I’m inside in the A/C and I rode the elevator up, I start sweating (rather profusely). It probably takes longer for me to stop sweating than the actual amount of time I spent riding.

I am the same. 2 miles it’s just barelly warm up when your body just started to switch to real work. You need to cool down. Last 10 minutes you need to go really slow (like 10 mph on flat). So I would recommend to try go around a little bit longer.


Ahlir

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May 7 2013 at 7:07pm #

I also sweat a lot. Which BTW I consider to be a *good* thing: it means that my body is doing all the right things to regulate its temperature…

Anyway, no real solutions. But I do try to get to work at least 15 mins before my first meeting. It helps that the air in my building seems to be kept at a relatively low humidity.

Also, showering often enough to remove the sweat before it starts to ferment.


WillB

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May 8 2013 at 8:01am #

Marko82 wrote:Someone on this board (can’t remember who, it was a while ago) suggested that running cold water on your wrists helps your body stop perspiring. It did seem to work the few times I’ve tried it.

Yep, that was me, and I found it to help quite a bit. I don’t know if it really makes a difference in body temperature, but it’s worth a shot for sure.

Also, I’ve a got a Head Sweats (I think that’s the brand) mesh cap from REI that’s lighter weight than a bandana and keeps the sweat out of the eyes. Also protects from helmet hair if you work somewhere where that matters.


myddrin

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May 8 2013 at 8:05am #

+1 WillB

Many years ago, I worked at an amusement park in central NY. We had to wear long black pants year round, which was normally fine. Long story short, several times I came close to sunstroke and the EMT gave me this as a tip to keep cool.

(However, once you are in the state I was in… ice packs to the pits and feet is apparently more effective.)

After my third or fourth time, they let us wear black shorts on days that it was supposed to get over 95….


JaySherman5000

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May 8 2013 at 8:43am #

@salty: I think @Mikhail said it best. You need to treat at least the last half mile of your commute as a cool-down period. I would even go so far as to take a few slow laps around the building/parking lot/whatever to allow your body to transition to something closer to a resting mode.

As far as cooling via strategically placed cold things, Stanford researchers invented a cold glove that takes that principle to the max. Basically, they looked at where the skin on your body is best able to transfer heat, and they made a device to take advantage. I don’t think anyone on this board will be able to use a vacuum-chambered cold glove at work, but knowing where your body transfers heat easiest may help you develop your own cool down regimen.

For me, work is at the top of a large hill. When I get there, I take off my gloves and move slowly through the parking lot to let my palms air out and start the cool down process. I try to make sure my breathing is calm, not gasping or panting, I take off my helmet, sip some water, and then I go inside. I lock my bike in one of the stairwells where there is little or no moving air in the morning. If I take more than 5 minutes to situate my bike and gather my belongings, I’ll feel the sweat start to happen. Making sure I can get somewhere that has moving air helps prevent that.


salty

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May 8 2013 at 9:41am #

I go a little faster than 10 but I do take it easy and the last 2/3 basically is a cooldown already – although the whole ride is well under 10 minutes. It definitely makes me sweat less than if I hammer it the whole time, but it doesn’t solve the problem, especially once it gets hotter. Just standing outside and doing nothing is enough in that case. Losing some weight would probably help although I’ve had this problem my whole life even when I was a lot skinnier. Maybe I’ll try some water/ice tricks.


rsprake

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May 8 2013 at 10:14am #

mr marvelous wrote:Bell and Giro are the same company.

That may be the case but their helmet designs are much different. I can’t find a Giro that fits me but have several options in Bell’s lineup.


Drewbacca

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May 8 2013 at 12:24pm #

JaySherman5000 wrote: I don’t think anyone on this board will be able to use a vacuum-chambered cold glove at work, but knowing where your body transfers heat easiest may help you develop your own cool down regimen.

There’s no guarantee that the hand and forearm were chosen due to efficiency rather than as a compromise of several tradeoffs. There’s certainly no guarantee that this is the best location when the vacuum aspect is taken out of the picture.

I recall reading once that men and women circulate blood to maintain internal temperature differently. Men will naturally circulate more blood to the extremities while women tend to keep most of the body heat in the torso. So, take the pump out of the picture, and women may be looking at a very different result. *shrugs* Just throwing that out there.


byogman

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May 10 2013 at 8:31am #

I had my first “wow, I’m disgusting” ride in this week. Reason was that I had to ride in around midday. But anyways, this is going to be my norm really soon unless I do something.

I went to checkout on uline for the case of 96 3oz cool packs (they sell in BULK) but the shipping cost made me hesitate just a bit.

Order Summary
Ship Date: 5/10/2013
# of items: 1
Subtotal: $22.00
Tax: $2.69
Shipping: $16.47

Total: $41.16

I still think it’s a pretty interesting and potentially great idea. And 96 packs is kind of absurd, wild guess is that it’s enough for 4-6 “keep cool” vests. So, anyone want to conduct a 20$ experiment with me and claim half the packs? Or, if there are two (or three) folks who’d be happy with 24 packs for 10$, that’s fine, too. If so, I’ll pull the trigger on the order now before it gets any hotter.

Let me know.


edmonds59

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May 10 2013 at 9:01am #

@byogman – one of your projects should be to develop a sports-functional tzitzit, you can’t possibly be alone in finding something like that useful. Light summer weight merino wools are used in the best cycling garments, excellent performance fabric. And just to be clear, I am not at all kidding.

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