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  1. #1
    that bike nut BikingGrad80's Avatar
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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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  2. #2
    Senior Member Marrock's Avatar
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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.

    "Engineering! It's like math, but louder."

  3. #3
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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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.
    Last edited by Tequila Joe; 11-01-07 at 01:30 PM.

  4. #4
    Code Warrior mwrobe1's Avatar
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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.
    Elwood: It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, 1/2 a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.

    Jake: Hit it.



  5. #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.

  6. #6
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    Quote 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?
    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Spokes man's Avatar
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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 . . .

  8. #8
    Senior Member Marrock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Joe View Post
    I'm using this one;
    Where did you get that and do they have any other styles?
    "Engineering! It's like math, but louder."

  9. #9
    Senior Member Marrock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes man View Post
    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.
    "Engineering! It's like math, but louder."

  10. #10
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrock View Post
    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...










  11. #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.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Marrock's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
    That's why I asked, I was hoping they made a skull.
    "Engineering! It's like math, but louder."

  13. #13
    that bike nut BikingGrad80's Avatar
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    Those masks are pretty cool, not dorky looking at all. I think I'll give it a try thanks.

  14. #14
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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    No worries... Oh, one more thing, they're reversable too. The other side is plain black.

  15. #15
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote 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

  16. #16
    1coolrider arcticbiker's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
    Arcticbiker

  17. #17
    Spazzy Member zippered's Avatar
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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.
    "Never do anything that you wouldn't want to have to explain to the paramedics."

    "His first words were 'did you bike today?' I hesitated before admitting that I had, thinking I was going to get a lecture on how bad the roads were and how I shouldn't try to bike home. Instead he said 'man, you're lucky! I've been sitting in traffic for over 1/2 hr, and I've only gone about 2 miles. Some guy on a bike passed me about 20 minutes ago and I'm sure he's home by now'."

  18. #18
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Joe View Post
    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.

  19. #19
    1coolrider arcticbiker's Avatar
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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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    Arcticbiker

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