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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 04-21-13, 03:40 PM   #1
CuriousCurator
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Eye & face protection that's comfortable for long durations

Does anyone have some suggestions for good eye and face protection from wind/dirt/debris, that's also comfortable to use for long durations?

I haven't really shopped around for traditional cycling eyewears, but I do know that I've always had comfort issues with my prescription glasses. I'm Asian (which supposedly have different facial structures), with asymmetrical facial features (e.g. one of my ears is smaller than the other).

Dux produces bicycle helmets with built-in retractable lens. This looks promising (full protection, and no additional point of contact), but I'd like to personally try it first before buying something like this, and I don't know of any local dealers.

There's also a helmet and eyeglass combo (I forgot who the manufacturer is) that uses magnets. The only point of contact with the eyeglass is on the bridge of your nose, and instead of traditional earpieces you have magnets that attach to the helmet straps. I too would like to test how this works before purchasing if possible.

To complicate matters, in addition to eye protection, I too would like to have an ultra lightweight face protection of some sort, to prevent the nasty build up of sweat and dirt on my sensitive skin after long hours. Perhaps a balaklava suitable for summer, a sweat wicking ninja mask, or something like that. Something to cover most of the front of my face, possibly with the exception of nostrils and mouth for unrestricted breathing/drinking/eating.

I know that there are sunsleeves, a product similar to armwarmers, but that somehow supposedly cools you down instead. I think something made from this material for your face could work wonders.

If it matters, I'm riding traditional upright road bike with no fairing.
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Old 04-22-13, 02:35 AM   #2
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Have you tried baby wipes during the ride? It can be quite refreshing to mop off with baby wipes periodically on a long ride.

As for those sunsleeves ... I have several of them, and they're all right to about 30C, but when it gets hotter than that, they certainly don't cool me down. They're hot.
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Old 04-22-13, 11:20 AM   #3
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I'm curious as to what conditions you're riding in. Really I wonder two things: Where are you located and exactly what conditions are you riding in?

The conditions... are you riding pavement or dirt roads? I can understand the grime and grit problems in the dirt... but on pavement I can't say that I've ever had that kind of problem with road grime. So I have no helpful suggestions for you there.

And you didn't say where you are, and your local weather is important. For example, here in Georgia the summer heat and humidity are downright dangerous sometimes. I couldn't imagine wearing any kind of face mask or arm coverings. Heck... in this heat I'd wear nothing but road shoes and sunscreen if it weren't for the threat of being arrested for public indecency!

I don't know about the eye protection systems that you described but I do know that several of the upscale eyeglass manufacturers make Asian fit frames. I know that Oakley's website specifies which of their frames are available in an Asian fit.
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Old 04-28-13, 09:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by CuriousCurator View Post
To complicate matters, in addition to eye protection, I too would like to have an ultra lightweight face protection of some sort, to prevent the nasty build up of sweat and dirt on my sensitive skin after long hours. Perhaps a balaklava suitable for summer, a sweat wicking ninja mask, or something like that. Something to cover most of the front of my face, possibly with the exception of nostrils and mouth for unrestricted breathing/drinking/eating.
Sweat cools by evaporation, which is aided by air flow. Covering up your face is a recipe for overheating, in my opinion.

Take a small towel along to wipe your face. Wash your face every time you have a chance to refill your water bottle.
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