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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 11-01-07, 11:27 AM   #1
BikingGrad80
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Cold weather masks are they any good

It's getting colder here in Chicago and one of the barriers I find to cycling that I haven't been able to solve is that my face is really sensitive to cold air, especially the area around my nose. Plus the cold air makes my nose runny and stuffy. Does anyone use these masks, I know they bring dorkyness to a whole new level, but I am seriously considering it regardless. Does it help?
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Old 11-01-07, 12:50 PM   #2
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This one's a bit more pricey, but it offers a heat exchanger for the air you inhale and it covers your ears.

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Old 11-01-07, 01:18 PM   #3
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I'm using this one;


I've found it helps on really, and I mean REALLY cold days. Otherwise the benefits of wearing one doesn't outway the inconveniences.

1. I need to put it on & alighn it perfectly. Otherwise, it'll shift along my ride and fog my glasses.
2. Breathing though it is more difficult. I can't get enough air on high output rides.
3. You can't take a drink of water without pulling it down. Then problem number 1 arises.
4. If you get runny noses, you can't shoot snot rockets at will.
5. After a while, the inside of the mask gets damp from your breath and feels kinda icky against your face.

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Old 11-01-07, 01:19 PM   #4
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When we get measurable windchills...meaning below freezing...I use this: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=1343

Goes on and off pretty easy (using velcro) which is a BIG plus IMO.
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Old 11-01-07, 04:07 PM   #5
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I bought a thin, waterproof, windproof baclava (sp?) last winter from Target for $7.00

Its awesome. Put some "cat crap" on your glasses to avoid the fog.
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Old 11-01-07, 07:03 PM   #6
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It's getting colder here in Chicago and one of the barriers I find to cycling that I haven't been able to solve is that my face is really sensitive to cold air, especially the area around my nose. Plus the cold air makes my nose runny and stuffy. Does anyone use these masks, I know they bring dorkyness to a whole new level, but I am seriously considering it regardless. Does it help?
Masks can helps a great deal and even a thin layer on the face can be much better. Avoid the neoprene type of masks unless they have a breathable mouth and nose insert. You must be able to breath through the material and in my opinion polar fleece type masks work the best. Also, ski goggles keep the area around your nose and sinusus a lot warmer than glasses though they are prone to fogging when you stop.
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Old 11-02-07, 12:31 AM   #7
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I may have to try ski goggles, but need to find some that will fit over my glasses. I'm having trouble with eyes watering at speed in the cold, and the nose runs, too. I just know my glasses will fog if I have something over my nose and mouth . . .

True about some of these masks creating new levels of dorkiness . . . small children may run in fear, as some of these tend to give one a Hannibal Lecter look . . .
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Old 11-02-07, 08:11 AM   #8
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I'm using this one;
Where did you get that and do they have any other styles?
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Old 11-02-07, 08:21 AM   #9
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I may have to try ski goggles, but need to find some that will fit over my glasses. I'm having trouble with eyes watering at speed in the cold, and the nose runs, too. I just know my glasses will fog if I have something over my nose and mouth . . .

True about some of these masks creating new levels of dorkiness . . . small children may run in fear, as some of these tend to give one a Hannibal Lecter look . . .
I'd also been giving some thought to customizing a paintball mask, they have the goggles built in but they're seperate from the nose and mouth area so they're less likely to fig up, it just needs some sort of insulation for the mouth since all it really does if keep you from taking a paintball to the teeth.
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Old 11-02-07, 09:46 AM   #10
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Where did you get that and do they have any other styles?
My wife bought it for me off of eBay. It think she got it for $6 = shipping.

I wanted the Skull but she said she would be freaked out by it if I come home in the dark & she doesn't hear me so she got me the Eagle.

It is made by ZAN but if you do a search on "Face Mask" you will find a ton of others too.
Here are just some of the other styles...









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Old 11-02-07, 06:55 PM   #11
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You would be surprised how warm your face will be with only ski googles worn with a free ride type of bike helmet. These type of helmets work better with goggles and are cheap and warmer than regular helmets because they have less venting.

This method keeps the area around your eyes and the sinus and top of the nose warm. These are the most sensitive areas of the face to cold.
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Old 11-02-07, 08:12 PM   #12
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My wife bought it for me off of eBay. It think she got it for $6 = shipping.

I wanted the Skull but she said she would be freaked out by it if I come home in the dark & she doesn't hear me so she got me the Eagle.
That's why I asked, I was hoping they made a skull.
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Old 11-02-07, 09:15 PM   #13
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Those masks are pretty cool, not dorky looking at all. I think I'll give it a try thanks.
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Old 11-03-07, 09:28 AM   #14
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No worries... Oh, one more thing, they're reversable too. The other side is plain black.
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Old 11-04-07, 04:04 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BikingGrad80 View Post
It's getting colder here in Chicago and one of the barriers I find to cycling that I haven't been able to solve is that my face is really sensitive to cold air, especially the area around my nose. Plus the cold air makes my nose runny and stuffy. Does anyone use these masks, I know they bring dorkyness to a whole new level, but I am seriously considering it regardless. Does it help?
I look like a ninja when I ride in the winter...

...and ninjas are cool
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Old 11-04-07, 07:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Tequila Joe View Post
My wife bought it for me off of eBay. It think she got it for $6 = shipping.

I wanted the Skull but she said she would be freaked out by it if I come home in the dark & she doesn't hear me so she got me the Eagle.

It is made by ZAN but if you do a search on "Face Mask" you will find a ton of others too.
Here are just some of the other styles...








Those are so cool! I want one. All I need is a skull cap to go with it.
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Old 11-05-07, 07:26 PM   #17
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how washable/enduring is neoprene?

removability and ear coverage are important features in face protection IMHO.

i love my fleece "bandana", like this:



although after a few years i think i might have to replace it because the material has become a bit loose on my face. the bandana can be stashed in a pocket, and is a perfect match for a variety of hats, depending on the conditions: fleece beenie, windstopper beenie, fleece cap with brim, and a cool-dry balaclava (either on its own or in combination).

keep in mind that i've been building up my gear collection for 10 years, and am a bit of a bargain hunter... so almost everything was >$10 apiece.
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Old 11-06-07, 10:54 AM   #18
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I've found it helps on really, and I mean REALLY cold days. Otherwise the benefits of wearing one doesn't outway the inconveniences.

1. I need to put it on & alighn it perfectly. Otherwise, it'll shift along my ride and fog my glasses.
2. Breathing though it is more difficult. I can't get enough air on high output rides.
3. You can't take a drink of water without pulling it down. Then problem number 1 arises.
4. If you get runny noses, you can't shoot snot rockets at will.
5. After a while, the inside of the mask gets damp from your breath and feels kinda icky against your face.

Couldn't have said it better myself; those are the exact issues I've noticed when I ride with a facemask...and therefore I very rarely do.
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Old 11-08-07, 07:47 AM   #19
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I use a balaclava most winter days out of necessity. I like the Zan's colorful approach so I did some additional web searching and came across this soviet WW2 fighter mask.

http://www.redpilot.com/museum/ww2/wfacemask.html

Check the hammer & sickle buttons!
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