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  1. #1
    Senior Member jurjan's Avatar
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    how to protect your head from the sun

    hey people,

    i'll be going to some sunny climes for the next few holidays and i need some sun-protection.
    (also know as shade).
    i'll be using sunscreen/blocker and/or long-sleeved shirts and pants.
    however, i don't quite know what to do about the head.
    i'd like a hat, so that the brim gives my face some shade, and the top of my head is protected from sunburn.
    BUT... a hat's no helmet.
    and on my holidays i cycle with a helmet.
    i could use a handkerchief under the helmet, but that way i loose (a bit) of ventilation,, and i get no shade
    on my face.

    so.. my question: what do you people use for cycling in sunny places?


    thanks for your time,
    jurjan

  2. #2
    Slowpoach
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    Sunscreen + helmet with visor works for me on the bike.

    You can get some bandannas from bike shops that go under the helmet and will shade your neck as well. The ones I have seen are made from light wicking polyester, shouldn't be too hot.

    I have a lightweight hat with a reasonable brim that folds up small that I use off the bike, Columbia brand. Other brands have similar items.

    Don't forget sun and wind protection for your lips, I find this the biggest problem. I vary between zinc cream and SPF 30+ lip balm. Zinc cream lasts longer, lip balm tastes better and dosen't look bad on the drink bottle.

  3. #3
    Slowpoach
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    Top: Long-sleeved jersey made from Air Flow polyester, usually Uno brand. Fantastic. As long as there is some air movement I stay cool in 30+ heat. You can soak it in water (if there is too much water to drink or carry) for ~20 min. worth of air conditioning!

    Bottom (and legs, of course): Light polyester 3/4 length pants over bike shorts. Keeps the sun off the thighs. Use lots of sunscreen on your lower legs, esp. calves and front/outer side of legs.

    Socks: As light as possible. Thin - feet swell in the heat. I like cotton/nylon/elastane blend. Seem to dry fast despite the cotton, and are comfortable.

    Shoes: I don't use clipless (might try). I have a pair of Nike shoes, marketed as cross training shoes, that are perfect as cycling shoes - light, mesh top, velcro closure, stiff sole. Very happy with them. Sorry, don't know model.

    I carry a pair of thongs (flip flops) to wear off the bike. Light and airy, but can't walk far in them if there is any sand around - abrasion under the straps. Also, no sun protection, so remember to sunscreen your feet (including soles if you will be lying down on your belly!).

    Head: As per previous post.

    Neck: Slight problem. Sunscreen or high collar OK for me.

    Hands: Too hot to use full gloves. Use sunscreen and cycling gloves. If yours have a mesh back, use sunscreen underneath.

    Eyes: Don't forget sunglasses (or UV blocking clear safety glasses in less sunny conditions).

    Remember that sun in the South is much stronger than in the tropics or in the Northern Hemisphere (less ozone layer).

  4. #4
    Senior Member jurjan's Avatar
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    thanks,
    yeah, i think i'll go the bandanna-way.

    have a nice day
    jurjan

  5. #5
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    CoolMax Spin Cycle cap - fits nicely under a helmet, plenty cool, has a brim.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  6. #6
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    I use a t-shirt, or just cotton (I like natural stuff) to make an arabic-style bandana, that also protects your neck, and fits good under the helmet.
    girolamo
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  7. #7
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    I'll be another vote for the old lycra bandanna under the helmet. Great protection from "Ventburn".

    I use the same one when I scuba dive.

    Also does a great job of keeping sweat out of my eyes.
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  8. #8
    jcm
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    For those few days when it gets hot here, I use the ripped t-shirt method under the helmet. Let it hang down like those French Foriegn Legion things. Now, if I were bound for a hot, sunny clime for an extended time, I wouldn't hesitate to get a British-East India pattern or French Colonial pith helmet. I suppose if you did a search you could come up with an old pic of French bike cop somewhere in old French Indo-China. Light as a feather and total sun protection. Crash protection? Bah! Hardly ever happens anyway. I'd be more worried about the heat.

  9. #9
    RPM: 85. MPH: varies. edtrek's Avatar
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    Speaking of french foreign legion things - I think they're called a kepi - how about this from www.MEC.ca --



    I got mine in yellow for visability's sake.
    Ed

  10. #10
    Macro Geek
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    Another vote for the French-foreign legion cap or pirate's cap back-of-the-neck cover. On my last tour, I covered the back of my neck and ears with a bandana made of synthetic material, and it made a tremendous difference.

    Also, I wore a long sleeve jersey for the first time. Contrary to what I expected, I actually felt cooler in it.

    I also make an effort to stay out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day. I have taken naps under shady trees, read books in cafes, window shopped in nice towns, etc. One of these days I would like to go to a matinee during a tour!

  11. #11
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I rely on sunscreen -- reapplied frequently -- for my face, ears, arms, legs etc. I've used a bandanna in the past mainly to prevent sweat from washing off the sunscreen on my face. If you're riding in a Queensland summer, you'll wash it off with sweat faster than you would if you were swimming (and that's a fact).

    I'm interested in hearing more from the poster who said he actually felt cooler wearing a long sleeve jersey. For someone who hates heat as much as I do, that would be two birds with one stone.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  12. #12
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    A cycling cap works fine; does good duty of keeping sun out of eyes by pulling the visor down. Keeps your balding head from getting funny patterns from the helmet vents, and is usuable as a rag if needed.
    Hebt een mooie fietsen vakantie en Vrolijk Kerstfeest ook!

  13. #13
    Slowpoach
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    I also prefer long-sleeved jerseys in hot sunny weather.

    They keep the sun off, without really restricting air flow. With a bit of sweat on them, or some water if you have excess, they feel *chilly* with a bit of breeze, even in 35 degree heat!

  14. #14
    Have bike will travel.
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    As a person who burns just thinking of being in the sun, I'm always looking for tips. I recently switched a skull cap during the summer months. I pack a Tilley hat (www.tilley.com) for when I'm off the bike. I really could use a long-sleeved, light-weight jersey too.

    The stock in sunscreen companies go up when I decided to spend hours at a time outside.

  15. #15
    Senior Member jurjan's Avatar
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    zonatandem: lol... and thanks... (i suspect the babelfish?)

    we'll look for some bandanna's i think, or maybe, if we find a good one, a nice cap.

    thanks again everyone.

    have a nice day
    jurjan

  16. #16
    jcm
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    For all you folks posting about long-sleeve jersey's being the better method - you're right. There's a reason the Bedouin's and Berber's wear layer upon layer of cotton in the intense heat of the Sahara; it's cooler than direct exposure. It might be 100degrees inside the clothing, but it's better than 120 outside.

    Forget the Lycra - it's synthetic/plastic and will actually absorb heat from the sun. White cotton is still the best hot weather fabric except for maybe underwear. I'd go poly tighties there. Outer layer(s), the baggier the better for heat. The extra room makes for shade, ventilation, and evaporation... and don't forget your pith helmet with neck cape.

    That hat the French Foriegn Legion wears is indeed called a Kepi. The neck cape is an extra addition and was one of the Legion's trade marks. Nowadays, in the desert, they just wear the ubiquitous floppy special forces hat.

  17. #17
    Slowpoach
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    WTF is a Kerstfeest?!?

    and don't forget your pith helmet with neck cape.


    Yeah, everyone laughs at me in my baggy polyester cargo shorts and long top, but I reckon they work great. Zero sunburn, I mean zero, which is quite an achievement in southern Australia (you people north of the hole in the Ozone Layer really have no idea what sun is ).

    Light cotton baggies might work as well, will try them if I am ever in India or the Middle East.

  18. #18
    Senior Member jurjan's Avatar
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    Cave, 'kerstfeest' or just 'kerst' is christmas in dutch.

    and i know i'm not used to sun, after all, i'm from the Netherlands.
    thats why i'm asking advice from people like you. lol.

    have a nice day,
    jurjan

  19. #19
    Slowpoach
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    Where are you travelling, by the way? Local customs and conditions may be relevant.

  20. #20
    Senior Member jurjan's Avatar
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    next year to indonesia, the year after to patagonia.

    have a nice day,
    jurjan

  21. #21
    Slowpoach
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    Rural Indonesia sounds pretty conservative, I'm sure you've researched it, but long white cotton is pretty standard clothing there. Don't know anything about Patagonia but I hear a canoe and no clothes at all might be the way to go.

  22. #22
    Senior Member jurjan's Avatar
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    Indonesia, it depends on the parts you're going to.
    most parts are reasonably relaxed about westerners and their clothing.
    however, they do ask / insist that you wear sarongs when entering certain temples.
    we were planning on taking those anyway, far to handy for all kinds of stuff.
    have a nice day,
    Jurjan

  23. #23
    Macro Geek
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm
    Forget the Lycra - it's synthetic/plastic and will actually absorb heat from the sun. White cotton is still the best hot weather fabric except for maybe underwear.
    I find synthetics more comfortable than cotton. I used to wear cotton T-shirts, but they are always soaked with sweat. The sweat evaporates more rapidly from synthetics because the material does not absorb water.

  24. #24
    Senior Member toolboy's Avatar
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    Keep your hair short (no problem for me as I am challenged in that department!) and apply sunscreen to the pate. Tilley hats are great at the end of the tour (they scrunch!)

  25. #25
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jurjan
    hey people,

    i'll be going to some sunny climes for the next few holidays and i need some sun-protection.
    jurjan

    No need for fancy bandannas and such. I just take my cycling cap and turn it around so the visor is in the back (aka "Bro" style) and put my helmet on top of it. The cap absorbs and wicks the sweat; shades your head and the back of your neck from the sun; and doesn't add any additional items ya have to take to your panniers.

    roughstuff
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