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  1. #1
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    Salt encrusted helmet straps

    Today, my helmet straps are so encrusted with salt, that I can not adjust them. They don't fit through the buckle! I think they absorbed sweat and evaporated with the narrowest part going through the buckle. I guess I'll have to rinse them out. Anyone else ever get this?
    Bring the pain.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Stubacca's Avatar
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    I don't try to adjust the straps often, by they do get pretty damn salt encrusted particularly since I've been riding in Colorado - sweat evaporates so quickly here, so perhaps what hits my helmets straps has a higher concentration than in a more humid climate.

    I just take the helmet in the shower with me every now and again and give it a good wash.

  3. #3
    Flowbie
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    Only in warmer weather. Since spring rolled around I've taken to rinsing out my helmet after two or three rides. Really helps, and makes the helmet feel fresh.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Seanholio's Avatar
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    Don't leave your helmet where salt-seeking animals can get to it!
    If you ride, ride with RoadID.
    2005 Gunnar Crosshairs My new ride

  5. #5
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    If you return from your ride with some leftover in your water bottle just use that to rinse off the straps. (I don't think I would try this if you fill your water bottles with Gatorade.)

  6. #6
    No pain, no gain. PainTrain's Avatar
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    I soak 'em in a sink filled w/ a water and shampoo solution overnight.

  7. #7
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Mine's speckled white right now. After tomorrow's ride I'll probably rinse it out instead of letting it dry.

  8. #8
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    This reminds me, I have a Giro E2, when the straps are dry they are too tight, when wet, too loose. Well, yeah there is a middle ground.

    Al

  9. #9
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Hey! I have that exact problem noisebeam! I'm wondering if my head shrinks due to all the sweat pouring out of it.

    My straps don't get salt encrusted, I think because the constant flow of sweat washes them off. Lately I've gone on two 12-mile rides in the evening and both times my helmet pads were so wet that I could push on the helmet (squeezing the pad against my head) and a stream of water (sweat) would run out of it. Then a minute later I could do it again. It seems to dry up slightly faster during the day, but I still never notice salt build-up.

    BTW: I sweat a lot . In case you couldn't tell.

  10. #10
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    Egplant, I'm in the same boat but I studiously avoid squeezing the sweat out of the pads because some things are just too gross to know about yourself. My helmet straps seem fine, even though they get soaked on every ride these days. I've noticed a salt line on my gloves, so those are going in the wash this weekend.

    About a month ago I washed the gloves and the pads in my helmet. First I presoaked them for about 15 minutes in an enzymatic cleaner for animal stains and then ran them through the wash. I hung them up to dry, rather than run them through the dryer. They came out fresh and clean smelling, but only a few weeks of seriously sweaty rides and they need another wash.
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  11. #11
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    I leave my helmet hanging off the handlebars during the day at work. I think the heat and/or UV from the sun keeps the helmet pads from stinking... I dunno but they only ever started smelling once and I washed 'em in the sink using some regular laundry detergent. If it rained more often then the helmet would get washed for me too . It is amazing to me that for how incredibly unpredictable the weather is around here, it almost never rains during the morning or evening commute. I walked to the bus stop for two years or more before I got my new job and started biking and in all that time I've only been rained on a handful of times.

  12. #12
    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    I run warm water in my helmet and squirt in some baby shampoo, then use a dishwashing brush to brush and scrub the whole helmet. After a thorough plain water rinse, I let it air dry. It keeps that nice baby shampoo scent for a few days afterwards too.
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  13. #13
    I'd rather be riding Noif666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanholio
    Don't leave your helmet where salt-seeking animals can get to it!
    including yourself after a big ride...

  14. #14
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Clean your stuff once in a while - especially stuff that gets all sweaty.

  15. #15
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    less salt intake + some cleaning = nice helmet.

  16. #16
    jur
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    Dunno... I have never cleaned my helmet... I just shake out whatever roaches that are in there and pop it on, seems OK...

  17. #17
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    ONe day it was hot and windy, and I hadn't shaved that day, and I got that salt residue all on my face too. I also get it on my gloves. Pretty cool.

    I just soak all my stuff in a bucket, and then drink that water the next day as my electrolite drink. It saves me money on gatorade costs.



    (Remeber Dune? Didn't they have some kind of desert suit that let them recycle all their bodily fluids?)
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  18. #18
    Senior Member slowpedal53's Avatar
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    I just took the garden hose to mine today after riding, then I let it sit out in the sun to dry. No more salt crust on the straps...

  19. #19
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
    Hey! I have that exact problem noisebeam! I'm wondering if my head shrinks due to all the sweat pouring out of it.

    My straps don't get salt encrusted, I think because the constant flow of sweat washes them off. Lately I've gone on two 12-mile rides in the evening and both times my helmet pads were so wet that I could push on the helmet (squeezing the pad against my head) and a stream of water (sweat) would run out of it. Then a minute later I could do it again. It seems to dry up slightly faster during the day, but I still never notice salt build-up.

    BTW: I sweat a lot . In case you couldn't tell.
    Salt absorbs water out of the air. That's why folks in the humid south put rice in their salt shakers. The rice absorbs water a bit better then the salt so the salt keeps flowing. In a high humidity situation, the salt on your straps would never really dry out enough to crystallize. But if you live in a low humidity place like Colorado (sometimes less than 15%), the salt will crystallize and form the crust on helmets. I have had the crust form in the dead of winter on my helmet straps (I sweat all the time, even at 20 F). I've also had salt crust from all over my face such that I could collect it under my fingernails when I run them across my chin.

    I've also had "bulleyes" of sweat form on my jersey over my chest and back. Had large white rings centered on my sternum. Lots of weird things happen when you live in a desert.

    I usually just run the helmet under a garden hose when it gets to stiff to fasten the straps. Don't need to do too much more. And you probably don't have to worry about odor since a high salt content in not generally conducive to most lifeforms.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    You guys wash your helmets?! That's like washing all your bike rides away, like they never happened! Besides the smell keeps you motivated to keep moving.
    Originally posted by Bones_McBones: Wow Digger, wow! You've earned my respect.... I know ashoposo got werked up. You are the gutter pig of Trollheim.

  21. #21
    Senior Member JBehrmann's Avatar
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    My helmet has been much less digusting since I started taking it in the shower with me after a ride.

  22. #22
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBehrmann
    My helmet has been much less digusting since I started taking it in the shower with me after a ride.

    Ok, that's gettin' to be a bit too much information. There was one guy who posted on Bike Forums a while back who took his bike into the shower with him. There's gotta be a girl out there somewhere.

    Seriously though, I'm sure it works. I just pull off the pads (held with velcro) and toss them in the laundry with other clothes to be washed, then run the helmet under the tap a bit. I think the pads are what smell the most.

    Digger
    Originally posted by Bones_McBones: Wow Digger, wow! You've earned my respect.... I know ashoposo got werked up. You are the gutter pig of Trollheim.

  23. #23
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Once the foam parts rot, I throw them away and run the entire helmet/straps through a sink full of soapy water. Once rinsed, the helmet's ready to go again. Tossing the foam parts makes the helmet fit better anyway since most are too small for me. I also keep three or four helmets on hand and rotate them so they don't get boring. I'm considering tossing the "visor" parts of those helmets that come with them for safety reasons.

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