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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 04-15-08, 10:05 AM   #1
shreekanth
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Is sun screen required for commuters?

In the past few months, while the sun has not really been up when I biked, I am wondering if regular commuters wear sun screen. I'm new to commuting by bike - each day seems to be a learning experience . Please post your suggestions, experience.
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Old 04-15-08, 10:22 AM   #2
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I think it depends on how shady your route is, and how long your commute is. We don't see the sun more than 5 minutes at a time here, so I generally go without sunscreen. Unless we have some freakish day where there is no cloud cover, then I'll slap some on my neck and other exposed bits.
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Old 04-15-08, 10:27 AM   #3
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The sun will burn you irrespective of whether you're on a bike or not. If you are on a bike, it will burn you irrespective of whether you're commuting or not.

Wear sunscreen if you'll be in the sun for a long time, this question really has nothing at all to do with bike commuting.
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Old 04-15-08, 10:30 AM   #4
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I ride 21 miles on the way home in hot Texas sun. I forgot mine Monday and now I have the Darth maul look going on my bald head. So much for the nice light airy helmet
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Old 04-15-08, 10:31 AM   #5
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I won't say that it's for bike commuters in general, but it is definitely required for me. I'm working on double sleeves and don't want the sun to wash out my tattoos. It's a good idea, depending on your exposure, regardless of what activity you're engaged in.
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Old 04-15-08, 10:34 AM   #6
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I would prefer to avoid skin cancer. In my case it is required due to how long I spend riding outdoors.
That and a bald head with a sunburn is painful.
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Old 04-15-08, 10:41 AM   #7
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I do for my ride home but usually just put it on my face and neck as I'm riding into the sun or have it beating down on one side for most of the ride.
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Old 04-15-08, 10:41 AM   #8
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Grandmother, grandfather, mother, two uncles, three aunts, and a host of cousins have had Melanoma in my family. Sunscreen is required for me. Although I have also heard the theory that all it does is encourage you to get more exposure (much like the argument against bicycle helmets); I still use both.

I'm a sweaty guy (really sweaty, on a hot summer day I look like I've been swimming after a 5 minute bike ride) so I'm always in search of a sunscreen that will stay on, the best I've found so far is the "Coppertone Sport". Even that I can't use on my face (it gets in my eyes), accordingly what I would like is a bicycle helmet with a WIDE brim ALL THE WAY AROUND; never seen such a beast but it would be nice to have some shade on my face-neck-shoulders.

I tried the spray on type sunscreens that came out a few years ago, they formed a tight skin on my skin that was very uncomfortable, I could never get used to it.

There are also solar shirts from a couple of manufactures that are designed to be worn during physical activity. I would use these if I didn't have a shower at work; as I hate smelling like sunscreen all day.
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Old 04-15-08, 10:47 AM   #9
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During the summer, I use sunscreen for the ride home. I don't bother for the morning, though.
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Old 04-15-08, 10:52 AM   #10
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I only use sunscreen usually around now until early fall. You can still get sunburn when there is cloud cover and besides sunscreen will help your skin from turning into dry leather in the long run.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:20 AM   #11
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I don't need it, but I have a built-in tan.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:25 AM   #12
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+1 on the Coppertone Sport.

Yes, I wear it every day, unless I leave the house in the dark. I sometimes get lazy in the winter, but then start seeing the sock tan return and get back with the program. Living in So. Cal. it's pretty much necessary unless you want to look like an alligator by the time you're 60.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:25 AM   #13
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http://trisports.com/desoarmcosl.html

I wear arm coolers so I do not have to worry as much about sunscreen on the arms. And they do seem to help keep me cooler in the Arizona sun.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:35 AM   #14
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+50

If the sun's out I use it--cycling or otherwise.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bike2math View Post
Even that I can't use on my face (it gets in my eyes), accordingly what I would like is a bicycle helmet with a WIDE brim ALL THE WAY AROUND; never seen such a beast but it would be nice to have some shade on my face-neck-shoulders.
Why not wear something like this under your helmet?




I don't really have to worry about sun burns, so I don't generally wear sunscreen unless I'm going to be kayaking out in the gulf for 6 hours or something.

Its no different than any other outdoor activity. If you burn easily, or are worried about skin problems from prolonged exposure, wear sunscreen. If you don't burn easily, and aren't worried about skin problems, don't wear sunscreen. Pretty simple.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:53 AM   #16
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I wear long sleeve shirts from alertshirt - even in 100*+ weather they're not really any hotter than bare skin.

That leaves just my face. I'll dab a little especially on my cheeks and ears, and the backs of my hand where the gloves don't cover.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:55 AM   #17
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i'm naturally tan as well... but i should use some kind of sunscreen because I have scars. Also it keeps the skin healthier too.
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Old 04-15-08, 12:18 PM   #18
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Haven't used it yet, the sun's still alittle impotent at these northern latitudes, but later in the season i'll use it on the commute home.
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Old 04-15-08, 12:55 PM   #19
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At Calgary's altitude, I wear sunscreen year round. I am very very pale and I have a lot of freckles/moles; apparently that puts me in a high risk category for melanoma.

Also, wearing sunscreen has made me look ten years younger than I really am . My (3 yrs younger) sister is really ticked off about that!
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Old 04-15-08, 12:57 PM   #20
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While not nearly as bad as standing on the summit of a 14er, Denver's altitude also causes me to burn very easily.
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Old 04-15-08, 01:08 PM   #21
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In the summer whether I am commuting or just riding, I wear sunscreen and also a white long sleeve under armor heat gear top. The UA top keeps me cooler than without and I don't get burned.

Similar to this:
http://www.underarmour.com/shop/mens...-T/1000377-400
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Old 04-15-08, 01:49 PM   #22
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Skin cancer is a bad thing and as a Western European paleface () I must apply sunscreen to avoid it. During sunny months, I keep a little "Coppertone Sport" sunscreen bottle attached via carabiner to my backpack (or Camelbak when rec riding long distances).
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Old 04-15-08, 02:22 PM   #23
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10-3 is the peak UV hours. I commute before 9 usually and after 5 so I find it is not an issue for me as the hours I bike in the UV exposure is not as potent. If I commuted betwenn 9:30 or 4:30 I would worry about it more.
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Old 04-15-08, 02:40 PM   #24
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On my commutes (when I start them again soon) there won't be much point to wearing sunscreen.

I'll be out there for 1.5 hours in the wee small hours of the morning (I may possibly be setting out before sunrise during May), and then in the afternoon, I'll be out for another 1.5 hours when the sun is on the way down again. I don't burn, tan, or anything prior to 10 am and after 4 pm here, and during the week, that's when I cycle because I'm working during prime tanning time.

Plus, if I'm leaving home around 5:30 am, it's still quite chilly even in the middle of summer, so I'll likely be in tights or leg warmers, and a jacket. In the evenings, I might be in shorts and a jersey.

However, last year I actually bought a bottle of sunscreen (which I'm not at all fond of) for my weekend rides.
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Old 04-15-08, 05:27 PM   #25
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I really like the Avon spray sunscreen. It is not nearly as smelly as other ones I have tried, and it seems to stay on really well. I did not burn at all last summer!
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