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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-26-06, 08:19 PM   #1
Bklyn
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Good LORD, My Helmet Is RANK.

How do you wash your helmet?
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Old 07-26-06, 08:23 PM   #2
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THAT'S what that smell is, huh?

During the summer, by far, the stinkiest items are a) my gloves and b) my helmet, especially the forehead pad. I wash both -- that is, the gloves and the forehead pad -- once a week along with the rest of my biking clothes. Cold water, woolite, dry on low heat. Keeps things smelling presentable.

However, I find with washing that the velcro attachment on the helmet pads starts to go. What do others do?
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Old 07-26-06, 08:25 PM   #3
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I got a new helmet (every three years for me), and it wasn't until I was adjusting the new one that I realized how gross the old one is. Ick.
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Old 07-26-06, 08:30 PM   #4
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I should add that I started taking the forehead pad out of my helmet after every ride. It sits next to the helmet at home and at the office. That way it dries and I don't seem to be accumulating rank quite as fast as the week goes on.
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Old 07-26-06, 08:37 PM   #5
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I don't have very noxious sweat, but I do the following two things to keep my helmet smell-free, even in New Mexico heat:

1) I wear a cycling cap (the dorky little brimmed kind, like they wear in Le Tour). You can get them cheap, they are thin (so the helmet fits over it easy), and they absord a lot of sweat. So much that it will "spray" when I pull it off my head, but my helmet pads stay mostly dry. They are easy to wash with your clothes.
2) After each ride, I take a paper towel or napkin and use it to soak any sweat out of the helmet pads.
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Old 07-26-06, 08:47 PM   #6
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I leave my helmet outside (out of the sun) for a couple of hours until I remember I left it out there.
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Old 07-26-06, 09:26 PM   #7
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+1 on soaking or squeezing out the sweat after riding.

if that doesn't work, febreeze. better living through chemistry, right?
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Old 07-26-06, 09:39 PM   #8
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Take the pads out, soak in hydrogen peroxide for a few hours, then wash.
When that s**t starts fizzing up like crazy, I feel happy knowing the billions of bacteria I just killed.
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Old 07-26-06, 09:58 PM   #9
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Weak laundry bleach and warm water, in a bucket. Dunk, rinse, repeat and set to dry.
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Old 07-26-06, 10:00 PM   #10
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I wear a skull cap to absorb the sweat and wash that instead. If you have salt stains on the chin straps, just soak 'em in water to leech out the salt.
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Old 07-26-06, 10:09 PM   #11
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Soap and water will be fine, but it will wear the pads down and there's not much to prevent that. You can order new pads from the manufacturer once they wear down, should be pretty cheap as its in their interest to keep you happy in your helmet. At least with some of the bigger manufacturers like Giro, and Bell's upper line of helmets.

If the manufacturer can't / won't hook you up with new pads and your existing ones are shot, it's an excuse to upgrade to a nicer helmet!
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Old 07-26-06, 11:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyossarian
I wear a skull cap to absorb the sweat and wash that instead. If you have salt stains on the chin straps, just soak 'em in water to leech out the salt.
+1 Skull cap makes a world of difference.

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=1340
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Old 07-26-06, 11:53 PM   #13
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Wear it in the shower http://fearlessgearless.com/2006/07/...lmet-syndrome/
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Old 07-26-06, 11:56 PM   #14
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I wonder if thats how I got this nickname?
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Old 07-27-06, 12:09 AM   #15
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I just buy a new helmet every couple of years. The rank one I use commuting . The new one I use on the tandem with my wife
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Old 07-27-06, 12:15 AM   #16
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I use shampoo on it once in a while, particularly the straps. Works fine. The pads can be sent through the washing machine or shampooed.
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Old 07-27-06, 05:00 AM   #17
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Old trick,,,,,mix a spray bottle with 1/2 alcohol and half water.Spray the inside after each use and air dry,if your touring you can even "wash" your clothes this way in a pinch---JJ
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Old 07-27-06, 06:34 AM   #18
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after each ride I wring out the pads and dry them with a paper towel.
once a week I rinse the pads with water, then dry them.
once a month I set the helmet in the sun after washing.
once a year I change to new pads.
every third year I get a new helmet.
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Old 07-27-06, 06:35 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyossarian
I wear a skull cap to absorb the sweat and wash that instead. If you have salt stains on the chin straps, just soak 'em in water to leech out the salt.
I removed and chucked the foam pads. With a skull cap or doo-rag I don't really notice the difference.
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Old 07-27-06, 08:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjsinglespeed
Old trick,,,,,mix a spray bottle with 1/2 alcohol and half water.Spray the inside after each use and air dry,if your touring you can even "wash" your clothes this way in a pinch---JJ
Cheap vodka works the same way, old costumer's trick (for those who haven't degenerated to actually drinking cheap vodka).
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Old 07-27-06, 10:07 AM   #21
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I wear a skull cap and a beard. Both ends covered...
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Old 07-27-06, 10:49 AM   #22
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I threw my pads in the washer with my other gear last night, cold cycle and Tide (yeah yeah, I know everyone loves Woolite.. but I'm not keeping two bottles of detergent when I have too much junk as it is)
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Old 07-27-06, 12:31 PM   #23
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Remove the pads, replace with a bandana.
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Old 07-27-06, 01:09 PM   #24
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+ 1 : after reading here on BF, I tried it & it is the easiest & simplest method I know...
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Old 07-27-06, 02:41 PM   #25
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Well, it turns out that I forgot the panniers last week, and I forgot that I had stowed several chunks of Parmesan and Gran Padano cheeses in the helmet. My bad.
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