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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 08-05-08, 09:25 PM   #1
schu777
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Ski goggles or what???

I'm trying to round stuff up for this winter commute to work. My ride is 4.1 miles to work - in the morning I have a hill that I can get speeds up to 20mph easily. It's a bit slower going home, but for a short hill I can get the same speeds. I'm located in Omaha, NE - Any suggestions for goggles?
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Old 08-05-08, 10:34 PM   #2
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I tired to get a nice pair, but they do not seem to make them without a tint. It is dark in Alaska when it is cold. The only clear ones I could get were cheap Bell goggles from Walmart, which work great by the way.
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Old 08-05-08, 10:46 PM   #3
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Why do you find them necessary? Do your eyes hurt or are you just worried about them?

I've never worn goggles and can't even wear glasses or they'll fog up. I don't recall it ever being an issue. Maybe I should be wearing goggles. I don't know.

btw, I sometimes ride in pretty cold temps with substantial wind chill.

Also, what's going on here? It's August and this is my second reply to a winter cycling post!
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Old 08-06-08, 07:16 AM   #4
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Why do you find them necessary? Do your eyes hurt or are you just worried about them?
During the summer, I wear sunglasses - have some coming with changeable lens so I can have clear at night to keep the bugs getting into my eyes. Reason for considering is that I've had my eyes really water up in the cold with a breeze, so I'm just looking at this point and just planning on it. I don't think I'll buy just yet until I know that I'll need them.
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Old 08-06-08, 05:08 PM   #5
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The problem I have had with prescription eyeglasses and goggles is to provide enough windscreen protection over the eyeglasses with adequate ventilation so the moisture you exhale doesn't fog up the goggles and the eyeglasses. If they frost up, then itís a really bad situation. An inescapable condition occurs when you're going uphill, or stopped and you are breathing hard yet moving slowly with less airflow to carry away the extra moisture.

I find that ski goggles are not up to cycling's demands due to insufficient ventilation, even with lens coatings. Also, one needs clear lenses since the early mornings and evenings are usually dark, yet most ski goggles are tinted. I wear an eyeglass rearview mirror, and it has to be mounted securely on the goggles, and still remain in my field of peripheral vision, but ski goggles have an elastic headband.

After years of experimenting, I have, IMO, a satisfactory solution as illustrated in the photos.
I wear a simple pair of clear safety glasses as you might buy at Home Depot. They are roomy enough to accommodate my eyeglasses. Because I wear a balaclava and a woolen cap under my helmet, along with the earpieces of the safety glasses and eyeglasses inside the helmet straps, my eyeglasses are pushed down uncomfortably onto my nose.

So I have sewn a strip of Velcro on my woolen cap, extending beyond the edge, and wrapped a piece of Velcro around the bridge of the safety glasses. After I have my balaclava, hat and helmet on and fastened, I insert the earpieces of the safety glasses beneath the helmet straps and attach the nosepiece with Velcro to the Velcro extending from beyond my cap and arrange it so the safety glasses are suspended from my cap and they donít have to rest on my nose. Finally I attach the rearview eyeglass mirror securely on the rigid earpiece of the safety glasses.

Even though the safety glasses are widely open on the sides, I find the windscreen to be sufficient and the ventilation excellent, and my eyeglasses sit comfortably on my nose. My usual winter riding conditions are about 14 miles in the teens to 20ís Fahrenheit.

Addendum (12-26-09): I found the the metal Take-a-Look rearview mirror is the one to use because the metal prongs are flexible enough to accomodate the safety glass ear pieces and won't break. I tried with a plastic Rhode Gear eyeglass mirror and a prong broke.
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Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-26-09 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Addendum
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Old 08-07-08, 07:53 PM   #6
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I have goggles made for night skiing. They're a yellowish tint that seems to kill glare and brighten shadows.
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Old 08-10-08, 12:03 AM   #7
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Yeah, when I get cruising(like 20ish+?) My eyes water pretty bad. I have ski goggles that work great. They look kind of rediculous on the 5 minute trip to school though.
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Old 08-10-08, 05:46 PM   #8
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I have a pair of pink tinted goggles. Handy for most light conditions. I also have a clear pair for riding home at night. My eyes tear up like crazy in cold windy conditions and I wear contact lenses. I find the goggles are more comfortable in cold windy weather than my sunglasses. I bought both pairs on sale after ski season -- I think they were $10 or $15 a piece.
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Old 08-26-08, 08:56 PM   #9
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I use goggles too, with a nice rosy tint. I find them indispensable for cold, winter rides for keeping warm and comfortable (my eyes tear in the cold, too). The additional benefits of rose tinted eyewear should be obvious!

Whereas I'm sure they literally reduce the amount of light getting to my eyes, I don't find that they are an impediment to my nighttime, urban commute. It's a well lighted route, but even if I take the secondary backroads, my 10 watt NiteRider is sufficiently bright.

Like Jim, I wear glasses, and finding a pair of goggles to fit comfortably is a problem, as is the fogging issue. I've had good luck with anti-fog treatments, but I suspect that's more to do with the fact that I don't get really heated on my short ride.

I've often thought that a helmet mounted windscreen (or, a face guard) would be a nice thing to have, as I imagine it would be far enough from the face to allow air circulation and prevent fogging. Maybe someday I'll get around to fabbing something...
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Old 09-03-08, 08:09 PM   #10
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Below about 35F, I use double lensed ski goggles. Mine have a very light gray tint to them, but riding in the dark is no problem.

I have to wear goggles. My eyes water like crazy when it is cold. Frozen together eyelashes does not work very well!

These have worked for me down to -15F. They had a tiny bit of frost on part of them, but not bad!

You have to adjust your breathing so you blow out straight and a little down while riding.

Above 35F I can get away with my clear safety glasses that I drilled vent holes across the top of. They fog slightly at stoplights.
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Old 09-03-08, 09:05 PM   #11
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My eyes hurt when cycling below -5C. I got a pair from MEC a while ago. They worked well - keeping my eyes comfortable and didn't fog up.

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Old 09-04-08, 02:34 AM   #12
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If you are worried about goggles fogging up, there are models you can buy that have a powered fan built into the frame for ventilation. Smith has at least one pair, and there may be other companies that make something similar.
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Old 12-20-08, 01:44 PM   #13
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I spotted a couple of clear ATV goggles recently at Cabela's, which seem like they might be of interest to some of us. Mind you, I haven't actually used either... will likely acquire one over the weekend, however.
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Old 12-20-08, 02:01 PM   #14
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Smith Turbos...they are double-paned and have a little fan to prevent fog-ups even in pretty extreme conditions, have many varieties of lens color, including clear and have OTG models too.
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Old 12-20-08, 03:33 PM   #15
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ski goggles or any other goggles interchangeable lenses would be a good choice.

if you need to use prescription glasses, you can get goggles that will work them. They have a bigger compartment. usually cost a bit more.
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Old 12-20-08, 06:46 PM   #16
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During the summer, I wear sunglasses - have some coming with changeable lens so I can have clear at night to keep the bugs getting into my eyes. Reason for considering is that I've had my eyes really water up in the cold with a breeze, so I'm just looking at this point and just planning on it. I don't think I'll buy just yet until I know that I'll need them.
Often a single pair of glasses are enough to keep the cold wind from making your eyes water. But it can happen at higher speeds. Or if you sustain higher speeds for a long time. It's no big deal as long as the watering does not go on for a long time.

Goggles can work for some people but generally once they fog up they are harder to defog than glasses. Generally, the hotter your head and face get during a ride the harder it is to keep goggles from fogging up. If you need to wear prescription glasses I would try Jim from Boston's method. Several others have tried it with success.

Last edited by Hezz; 12-20-08 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 12-20-08, 07:01 PM   #17
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I spotted a couple of clear ATV goggles recently at Cabela's, which seem like they might be of interest to some of us. Mind you, I haven't actually used either... will likely acquire one over the weekend, however.
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Unfortunately, neither pair was a good fit with my helmet, so I ended up with the clear Mad Dog goggles instead. I'll report back in a week or two, once they've seen some use...
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Old 12-27-08, 03:14 AM   #18
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The turbofan goggles cost $120+

For $45 Smith's Option LST motorcycle goggles work great. The integrated anti-fog process works well. They have a transitions photochromic lens which is untinted in gray winter daytime and at night, and gray tinted in bright sunlight. I use them at below-20 temps, when frigid air flowing over my glasses and into my eyes is irritating. They fit over prescription glasses too, however I don't know if the glasses will fog up, as I don't wear them.
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Old 12-27-08, 08:50 AM   #19
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The turbofan goggles cost $120+
I've seen them in the $80 range this season, usually through the motorcycle outlets.
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Old 12-27-08, 09:08 AM   #20
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For day time winter cycling, I wear a pair of Oakley ski goggles that I got off either steepandcheap.com/wiskymilitia.com/tramdock.com for cheap, and for night time/dark days, I wear some crappy clear goggles I got from a sports department store in the mall for like $12. They look dorky, but work fine.
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Old 12-27-08, 01:02 PM   #21
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Below about 35F, I use double lensed ski goggles. Mine have a very light gray tint to them, but riding in the dark is no problem.

I have to wear goggles. My eyes water like crazy when it is cold. Frozen together eyelashes does not work very well!.
+1 below 25F it's a must. My eyes tear up badly in the cold, and frozen tears are are very dangerous.

I use Oakley A frames. Light colored, double lenses and good ventilation, no fog problem.

They do reduce your peripheral vision slightly. That's the one downside.
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Old 12-27-08, 01:10 PM   #22
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I bought some ski goggles from a sporting goods stores for less than $40. They have a tint designed for seeing in the dark.

I only wear them when it's below 15F or so. I wear glasses, and if I'm pushing hard, the glasses will fog up. The goggles stay clear.

I'm going to find some of the "cat crap" stuff to prevent fogging, but I'm not hopeful it'll work well. If it doesn't work, I'll probably get contacts again.
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Old 12-27-08, 01:38 PM   #23
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I found a way to improve the anti-fog characteristics of ski goggles the other day. Most ski goggles that I have seen use a thin breathable foam around the perimeter of the vents to keep snow out. If a large snowflake gets in and hits the lens it will cause it to fog up. However, I have found that if you remove that foam the goggles stay fog free much better. Since most of us are wearing a helmet that will cover the top part of the goggle it should keep snow out of the goggle in most situations. After removing the foam you can feel a slight breeze of air on your eyes that is very mild when there is a cross wind. This air movement should help keep the goggles more fog free.

Also, the bottom and side foam could be removed without removing the top foam to keep the goggles from getting snow in them if they are being used in heavy snow conditions.
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Old 01-07-09, 04:58 PM   #24
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glasses

I wear riding glasses all year. There are 3 interchangeable lens for sun and clear lens for dark hours.
They do tend to fog up in the winter when slowing down on a hill, or if I wear my balaclava with a full
nose and mouth cover. Overall, I prefer the riding glasses, and they are off the shelf.
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Old 01-08-09, 07:17 PM   #25
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I use Scott nighttime dual-pane goggles; they never fog up at all and have perfect visibility. I think they were $30 at Dicks Sporting Goods.
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