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Old 06-18-07, 12:59 PM   #1
Neil Fraedrich
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Hel-Mut-Issues

Here is a question for the group at large...
I am returning to cycling after some injury issues and a little bit of time(six years),
I have been riding (commuting) now for a year and everything is great the body is sort of coming back, however
I am noticing that the helmet smells worse now than it ever did when I rode before (commuting and centuries and doubles etc.) What is the deal with helmets now, or is it the turnip for a head which I have that is starting to rot??--alright don't comment on that, but really I would like to know what other people do to keep their helmets clean. (I am currently washing the piece down and using clorox)

thanks for your suggestions
Neil
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Old 06-18-07, 01:05 PM   #2
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Febreze spray! I keep a bottle in my car to spray the shoes and helmet after a ride.
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Old 06-18-07, 01:14 PM   #3
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How often do you wash your hair (assuming you have hair)?

Seriously, I wear a bandanna (some here prefer the fancy-schmancy Coolmax thingies) under the helmet in hot sweaty weather. I have thick oily Italian hair which otherwise would probably turn my helmet into hazmat. Otherwise, frequent washing would be the ticket. The Febreeze trick sounds good - should try that myself on my gloves (they get pretty stinky). Go easy on bleach: some plastics don't react well with it and can weaken without you seeing anything amiss. Keep the dilution low.

Also -- how old is your helmet? Maybe it should simply be replaced since it sounds like you've resurrected an old one on your biking re-entry. That foam can trap smells deep within and maybe by this time nothing will help. Besides, helmets also deteriorate with time due to chemical changes in the plastics and should be replaced regularly for safety's sake even if they look OK. I forget the interval but I think I've read it's five years. (Which means I'm about due next year...)

Last edited by bcoppola; 06-18-07 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 06-18-07, 01:24 PM   #4
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I've got a thing about putting sweaty nasty stuff on. I wear a freshly washed skullcap every time I ride. Good for sweat absorption and the helmet is not sweaty and gross sitting next to my skin when I put it on.
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Old 06-18-07, 01:29 PM   #5
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I'd think twice about using bleach to clean a helmet. Could cause degradation of foam, plastic, etc. Unless the helmet maker says it's ok for cleaning.
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Old 06-18-07, 01:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanMM
I'd think twice about using bleach to clean a helmet. Could cause degradation of foam, plastic, etc. Unless the helmet maker says it's ok for cleaning.
+1

Skull cap here. I also take my helmet into the shower once in a while, but that is more to clean the outer surfaces. You should be able to remove all the pads and risen them out under the faucet. Use a little soap on the pads and rise. Hang to dry. Oh, donít forget to install the pads back before you take off on your next ride. My friend forgot and it does not feel so good.
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Old 06-18-07, 01:56 PM   #7
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After every ride I store my helmet upside down with plenty of air flow so it can air out. Once or twice a week I spray it with Febreze. Once in a while I let is sit upside down in sunlight. Seems to work pretty well at keeping my toxic sweat at bay.
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Old 06-18-07, 02:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrierman
I've got a thing about putting sweaty nasty stuff on. I wear a freshly washed skullcap every time I ride. Good for sweat absorption and the helmet is not sweaty and gross sitting next to my skin when I put it on.


+1
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Old 06-18-07, 02:36 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your imput
I do have a new helmut (about 5 months old)
I do use a bandana or in the winter a skull cap
I do air the little sucker out after every ride and wash the pads

I will try the sunshine and the fabreeze- sounds like a good idea
I actually thought about showering with the helmut on and to give a good scubing that way
but I resisted because My wife would definatly certify me then, I am already suspect in her book
for riding the way I do, but now that I know someone else is doing it ...

Thanks all for you imput
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Old 06-18-07, 02:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Fraedrich
I actually thought about showering with the helmut on and to give a good scubing that way but I resisted because My wife would definatly certify me then, I am already suspect in her book for riding the way I do, but now that I know someone else is doing it ...

Thanks all for you imput
I never thought about wearing my helmet in the shower but it does sound like a sensible thing to do

I have rolled the bike into the shower to wash it down during the winter months....it's just too cold to do it outdoors. Let me see....me with helmet and the bike in the shower
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Old 06-18-07, 03:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beverly
...Let me see....me with helmet and the bike in the shower
Dare we hope for pictures?

(Someone had to say it.)
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Old 06-18-07, 03:10 PM   #12
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Did somebody say something about helmets!!
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Old 06-18-07, 04:11 PM   #13
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Simple soap and water once or twice a month with a quick rinse from the garden hose. Now the sizing pads get rinsed out once or twice a week. I find that they get stinky real fast. And, on that note, I've also found that once I started wear head sweats, the pads took a bit longer to get the funky smell.... head sweats get worn once before getting washed.
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Old 06-19-07, 05:33 AM   #14
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The past few months I have taken to wearing a baseball hat under my helmet...not with the bill forward, Fred style, but backwards. It helps in a couple of ways: first, it soaks up the sweat and keeps it out of my eyes, next it provides some sun protection for the back of my neck and finally, when I take my helmet off at stops, I have a proper baseball hat to wear. Finally they are cheap (ahem, inexpensive) because I seem to have a nearly endless supply left over from a whole variety of advertising give aways.
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Old 06-19-07, 05:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcoppola
Dare we hope for pictures?

(Someone had to say it.)
The lighting in my bathroom isn't the best for taking photos
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Old 06-19-07, 06:36 AM   #16
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I hang mine to dry after every ride and hose it down about once a week. every month or so I spay lysol in my shoes and helmet to kill anything off. Living in the tropical climate you are always fighting mold and mildew, I have to bleach out my water bottles once a month to kill things off.
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Old 06-19-07, 09:02 AM   #17
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Big post on this subject on Road fourm. Just take the helmet into the shower once a week and rinse it out. Shoes, well that is another issue.
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Old 06-19-07, 10:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Fraedrich
I will try the sunshine and the fabreeze- sounds like a good idea
I actually thought about showering with the helmut on and to give a good scubing that way
but I resisted because My wife would definatly certify me then, I am already suspect in her book
for riding the way I do, but now that I know someone else is doing it ...

Thanks all for you imput
I had to laugh at that. It reminded me of the time I was sitting in front of my computer with my cycling helmet on, trying to get the new mirror I had just attached to it adjusted. My wife was on her computer (five feet from mine) web camming with our daughter. I kept hearing her laugh until I finally looked over and saw her holding the web cam on me. On her computer screen, our daughter was plainly about to roll out of her chair, and the last comment she had typed to my wife was, "WHY ON EARTH IS HE WEARING A HELMET IN FRONT OF THE COMPUTER????????".
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Old 06-19-07, 12:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Bent
I had to laugh at that. It reminded me of the time I was sitting in front of my computer with my cycling helmet on, trying to get the new mirror I had just attached to it adjusted. My wife was on her computer (five feet from mine) web camming with our daughter. I kept hearing her laugh until I finally looked over and saw her holding the web cam on me. On her computer screen, our daughter was plainly about to roll out of her chair, and the last comment she had typed to my wife was, "WHY ON EARTH IS HE WEARING A HELMET IN FRONT OF THE COMPUTER????????".


Good one.
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Old 06-19-07, 12:40 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Bent
I had to laugh at that. It reminded me of the time I was sitting in front of my computer with my cycling helmet on, trying to get the new mirror I had just attached to it adjusted. My wife was on her computer (five feet from mine) web camming with our daughter. I kept hearing her laugh until I finally looked over and saw her holding the web cam on me. On her computer screen, our daughter was plainly about to roll out of her chair, and the last comment she had typed to my wife was, "WHY ON EARTH IS HE WEARING A HELMET IN FRONT OF THE COMPUTER????????".
Our children never understand us...
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Old 06-19-07, 03:41 PM   #21
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Our children do not understand us NOW
but given time they probably will catch on, the
down side to this system is that I probably wont
be around to gloat with the ---Aha and I told you so!!!
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Old 06-19-07, 08:13 PM   #22
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I take mine into the shower, place an extra dollop of shampoo upon my noggin, lather up, don the helmet, and wiggle it around. The hair and helmet get cleaned. Works for me.
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Old 06-26-07, 02:03 PM   #23
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Hey all thanks for your help on the helmut issue
I have applied both my brain cells to this problem and have something of a solution;
I was storing my helmut in a garage which was not heated in between rides. I think that this also had an
increased humidity level --so it never really dried out. I washed my helmut several times in the shower with me as perscribed then blasted it with 409 cleaner then rinsed and set this thing in the sun to dry.
I now store the helmut in side with the rest of my gear and clean it in the shower after every ride---
today it smells fresh and clean.


Still one less car on the road.
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Old 06-26-07, 04:32 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Fraedrich
........ clean it in the shower after every ride---
That's not maybe just a tiny little bit obsessive compulsive? Not meaning to be critical, you understand.
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Old 06-27-07, 03:53 PM   #25
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Quote:
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That's not maybe just a tiny little bit obsessive compulsive? Not meaning to be critical, you understand.
Isn't there room for a little "obsessive compulsivity" in cycling?
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