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  1. #1
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    swim goggles for cycling

    I recently had laser vision surgery and have been avoiding riding in the cold night air due to lack of glasses or goggles (in the day I wear sunglasses). BTW, it makes me quite mad that my medical insurance won't pay for the surgery claiming that it is "cosmetic" when in fact I did not have it for cosmetic reasons at all; I had it done to fix my peripheral vision, not to eliminate glasses which I obviously still need. Does anyone know how to get this surgery covered?

    Anyway I had mentioned trying some swimming goggles for cycling in another thread and received this response.
    Quote Originally Posted by jakub.ner View Post
    Looking for something simpler and waterproof. Your swimming goggle idea matches these requirements so I'd be interested to find out how you fare.
    First off I'm hoping the small volume of air inside the goggles and the tight seal will help mitigate fogging problems. I also reason that the application of swimming must be one of the worst for fogging due to the humidity of the air and the heat sinking ability of water. So I went to the store to try on some swim goggles and here are my thoughts:

    All of the goggles there had gaskets which I found reduced visibility, although it wasn't as bad with smaller gaskets. I found out a popular type/brand of goggles among competitive swimmers are called swedish goggles ("Swedish" is actually the original brand name, but there are several makers of this type); They are gasketless and simply consist of two hard plastic cups tied across the bridge of the nose with a string and around the back of the head with an elastic band. One of the reasons they are popular is because the simple design allows for a custom fit, which apparently allows the gasketless design to perform very well at sealing out water, although they have a reputation for being uncomfortable. They are also cheap at around $3 per pair.

    I was going to get some of clear swedish brand goggles, but I couldn't find any for sale locally and I was concerned the plastic tab on the side might reduce visibility:

    Although there are several swedish goggles on the market which are constructed without the tab, the only model I was able to find that was available untinted/uncolored is the TYR Socket Rocket:


    So I ordered a pair of Socket Rockets for about $7. They apparently aren't completely gasketless like the real swedes, but are rather made of soft silicone where they contact the face. I like this because I think it will be safer if I get smacked in the face. I'm also hoping it will be much more comfortable, because although many swimmers say you need to wear gasketed designs tighter, I think I will actually be able to wear them looser because I don't need to seal out water and I think the silicone will keep them from sliding around on my face.

    Now you're probably wondering why I made this post if I haven't tried the goggles yet. Well I just thought others might like to see the preliminary research along with the subsequent reality. I'll post back once I receive them and have a chance to try them out.
    Last edited by chucky; 12-13-09 at 08:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Member bpeder's Avatar
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    Cool man. Good thinking. I thought of trying these too and I'll be interested to see what kind of feedback you get and give. I posted the other day about masks and had talked about bagging goggles cuz they just fog up it seems, no matter what. Even if you have an excellent seal, and train all your exhalation downwards, the eyes themselves and the skin around them still give off moisture which condenses...

    I agree with many who pointed out that high winds like we had in Minneapolis on the back side of that recent storm, or snow and sleet stinging the eyes might force you into your goggles whether you want them or not. I have had good luck using the visor on my Bell helmet to deflect crud. Riding head down and glancing up to check ahead seems to work. The visor also shields your eyes from car headlight glare at night on the ride home. On-coming headlights really show me what's in front of me and the visor keeps me from getting blinded. But headlights into fogged up goggles...? That's the worst.

  3. #3
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    I would probably get run over by a car if I rode with swim goggles since I couldnt see anything. vision distortion seems like a bad idea. you'd be better off with skydiving goggles or sunglasses w/ clear/swappable lenses.

  4. #4
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpeder View Post
    I posted the other day about masks and had talked about bagging goggles cuz they just fog up it seems, no matter what. Even if you have an excellent seal, and train all your exhalation downwards, the eyes themselves and the skin around them still give off moisture which condenses...
    If you like to cook and have glass lids for your pots and pans then you probably know that condensation goes away as the hot steamy air begins to heat the glass lid.

    My theory is that since, with swimming goggles, the overall mass of air and lens is smaller and the external surface area exposed to the cold air is smaller that the face/eye will be much better able to keep the lens warm, thus eliminating condensation.

    [QUOTE=bionnaki;10140797]I would probably get run over by a car if I rode with swim goggles since I couldnt see anything. vision distortion seems like a bad idea. you'd be better off
    Last edited by chucky; 12-13-09 at 06:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Eclectus's Avatar
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    It is good to "think different". If swim goggles work, they'll become popular. I'm not convinced of their optical qualities, so I'd like to you experimenters give us your experiential findings before I try them. I can see well-designed ones maybe working well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I just got some skydiving goggles
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    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    I would make sure they were shatterproof. They might break into dangerous shards. I would also try them to see if the plastic was of sufficient quality to not distort the image too much.

  8. #8
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Ok so I got my goggles and have been using them for a few days. Here are my impressions:
    -The adjustment system is excellent. The head and nose straps are rubber bands which are simply inserted through undersized holes in the eyepieces and the friction of the rubber squeezed into the undersized holes holds them securely in place while still being easy to slide with a little tug. Light weight, simple, and easy to fine tune.
    -Visibility is great, particularly because you can really fine tune the fit so that the side seam is out of view.
    -Comfort is great. The "gaskets" aren't too tight or abrasive and the eyes stay warm and moist.
    -Fogging is a problem. The warmth of the eyes cannot compete with the cold rushing outside air. So the eyepieces stay cold and the warm moist air condenses against them.

    So everything was a success except for the fogging problem, but I'm not ready to give up yet because fogging seems to be an issue with all goggles. I'm going to try the following course of action:
    1. Search the forum for wisdom.
    2. Put a little water in the goggles.
    3. Put a little saliva in the goggles.
    4. Drill some holes in the goggles to let the air escape.

  9. #9
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    I tried the Cat Crap stuff and found it ineffective. The Jaws Spit antifog solution works great for me with my Wiley-X goggles. And yes drilling holes on the sides helped too. But be careful not to drill too many or you will get too much cold air inside which will defy the purpose of goggles.

    I also picked up Kropps biking goggles and they fog no matter what I do and yet they let too much cold air inside. I think the lens is too close to the face. They're cheap, light and comfy but useless due to excessive fogging.

    Adam

  10. #10
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    Aquasphere makes a goggle called the seal mask that is sort of halfway between a swim goggle and a snorkel mask. They might offer better peripheral vision, but if my experience with them in the water is anything to go by, worse fogging.
    I've used their brand of anti-fogging liquid in the safety glasses I use on the bike and found that it isn't bad - still some fogging but not unbearable.
    Lots of people use downhill ski goggles for riding in the winter. Any word on how badly they fog up? I'm thinking of getting a pair.

  11. #11
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    solved the fogging problem

    Ok, so I decided to just jump directly to trying to increase airflow. Since the lenses/cups are small I thought drilling holes in them would compromise visibility. So I tried to see if I could get the goggles to hover over the eye sockets more like glasses and, thus, allow air to enter through the sides.

    To do this I found that if I make the center nose strap really tight the goggles pull together until they ride up the nose bridge and off the face. However, this compromises visibility by moving the side seams into the field of view and is a bit uncomfortable in the way it pinches the nose bridge.

    So I did two things:
    1. I threaded the nose strap through a little piece of stiff rubber hose to resist the cups pulling together. The piece of hose is actually supposed to be used if you want to use a piece of string for your nose strap, but that's not what I used it for here.
    2. I redrilled the nose strap mounting holes so tightening the strap pulls the cups more away from the face than towards the face. The original holes are drilled on a track which runs along the depth of the cup and it seems they are purposely drilled on the end farthest from the face to allow the nose strap to pull the cups against the face. So I simply drilled a set of holes at the end of the track closest to the face.

    The end result is that, with a little adjustment, there is a small gap between the goggles and the face and I guess since there isn't much air inside these small goggles, it doesn't require much air flow to clear the humid air because it works great! No more fogging!

    In fact, redrilling the strap holes might be overkill and you might only need to insert the included piece of stiff rubber hose. And whether you do the alternate drilling or not you can still use them for swimming.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    [
    Quote Originally Posted by chucky View Post
    Ok so I got my goggles and have been using them for a few days. Here are my impressions:...
    -Fogging is a problem. The warmth of the eyes cannot compete with the cold rushing outside air. So the eyepieces stay cold and the warm moist air condenses against them.
    So everything was a success except for the fogging problem, but I'm not ready to give up yet because fogging seems to be an issue with all goggles. I'm going to try the following course of action:
    1. Search the forum for wisdom.
    2. Put a little water in the goggles.
    3. Put a little saliva in the goggles.
    4. Drill some holes in the goggles to let the air escape.
    As one of those who needs to wear prescription eyeglasses (and not interested in contacts or laser surgery), we are in a different category for eyewear because of the fogging problem of the eyeglasses and the goggles. I have found cheap, clear plastic safety glasses as found at Home Depot for example, to be the only satisfactory solution. Besides the wide windscreen and open sides for ventilation, the rigid earpieces allow me to attach my eyeglass mounted mirror, unlike the floppy elastic band of ski or swim goggles.

    Just last Friday at 10 degrees I did my 14 mile commute of over an hour with no fogging. My personal best was the commute starting at about 3 degrees and ending at minus 8 with slight frosting on the right side for the last two miles, still allowing me enough foward and left (road side) vision including my rearview mirror. Fogging is a perennial topic on the commuting and winter forums, and probably the only solution I've seen to eliminate fogging better than mine (IMHO) is to ride without goggles and tolerate the cold and tearing.

    For my first and most detailed post on my solution, with some tips for securing the positioning of the safety glasses, see:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...what&p=7220650 post #5

    Posted in reply to the Original Post of 08-05-08!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucky View Post
    Ok, so I decided to just jump directly to trying to increase airflow...

    The end result is that, with a little adjustment, there is a small gap between the goggles and the face and I guess since there isn't much air inside these small goggles, it doesn't require much air flow to clear the humid air because it works great! No more fogging!...
    Hi Chucky,

    I just posted my note about fogging and then I noted your solution. Not to be argumentative or any thing, but for common interest, what are your riding conditions? Mainly usual and lowest temperatures and distance/time. Sorry if I missed that infomation in your previous posts.

    Sincerely,

    Jim

  14. #14
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    I just posted my note about fogging and then I noted your solution. Not to be argumentative or any thing, but for common interest, what are your riding conditions? Mainly usual and lowest temperatures and distance/time. Sorry if I missed that infomation in your previous posts.
    I don't know what the typical temperatures are, but I live in the NYC suburbs and ride everywhere...maybe 20-30 miles per day on average? So I guess conditions are fairly moderate.

    When I wore prescription glasses (round Harry Potter-ish style) I never had a problem with fogging on the road and, although there was some tearing, I was generally happy with the protection they provided. Now that I don't wear prescription glasses I would have gone with safety glasses, but I wanted to avoid the rigid earpieces because I find them bulky to store and problematic when fitting a helmet. I also prefer a handlebar mounted mirror and a beard to a baclava (although without a baclava I do get chapped lips).

    Hope that helps,
    Chucky
    Last edited by chucky; 12-26-09 at 05:32 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Your best option is to get a pair of clear lens Ski Goggles - they are designed to be vented and prevent fogging - also safe in a crash ...

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...US228%26um%3D1


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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatSix911 View Post
    also safe in a crash
    something tells me swim goggles would shatter quite readily and cut up the area around your eyes, if not the eyes themselves.

    this whole thing sounds silly to me, no offense.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucky View Post
    I don't know what the typical temperatures are, but I live in the NYC suburbs and ride everywhere...maybe 20-30 miles per day on average? So I guess conditions are fairly moderate.

    When I wore prescription glasses (round Harry Potter-ish style) I never had a problem with fogging on the road and, although there was some tearing, I was generally happy with the protection they provided. Now that I don't wear prescription glasses I would have gone with safety glasses, but I wanted to avoid the rigid earpieces because I find them bulky to store and problematic when fitting a helmet. I also prefer a handlebar mounted mirror and a beard to a baclava (although without a baclava I do get chapped lips).

    Hope that helps,
    Chucky
    Thanks for your reply. As I mentioned, I like the rigid eyepieces of the safety glasses for my eyeglass mounted rearview mirror. I also wear a balaclava, but nonetheless we do agree on the beard.

  18. #18
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    Swim goggles are a bad idea for riding a bike. Get a more wrap around pair or ski or downhill MTB/motorcycle type goggles.

    Here's an example of why. I guy I know wore prescription goggles and wore them to play water polo. Had I been there, I would not have allowed it. A coach who did not know better allowed him. The inevitable happened and he was struck in the eye. Compresstion to the eye resulted; while he did not lose the eye, it was close and he lost essentially all sight in that eye.

    Swim goggles are a bad idea for riding a bike. Yes, I repeat myself.

    As far as antifog; nothing works better than your own spit and a little water. Always has, always will.
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  19. #19
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    Plus, swim goggles look odd on a cyclist, to say nothing of heavily modified swim goggles.

  20. #20
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    I think I'm gonna finally splurge on decent dual-lens, ventilated ski goggles I've experimented too much and the money I spent so far would have gotten me decent ski goggles I was just afraid I'd look silly but I can't ride without some kind of eye protection once the temps drop below 32F, my eyes dry out badly but none of my current solutions is fog-proof enough.

    And yeah, I agree that swim goggles are not safe and silly at best.

    Adam
    Last edited by AdamDZ; 12-29-09 at 01:10 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member KLW2's Avatar
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    I find that vented ski goggles work fine unless my breath blows upward into them. I've learned to blow my breath out downward and no fogging to -20 F. anyway....

  22. #22
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Ok so I've been using these goggles for most of the winter now and I have to say I'm very pleased.

    While there are no fogging issues while actually riding, I sometimes get minor fogging at traffic lights, especially if it's sunny. I can eliminate all fogging entirely by loosening the strap, but then my eyes get cold. This is a fundamental compromise which I don't believe is physically possible to solve no matter what the goggle design. So while not perfect, I believe the swimming goggles are as good as it gets.

    To those who say it's not safe: That's ridiculous on it's face. Millions if not billions of people all over the world wear prescription glasses at every waking moment and I don't see how this could possibly be any more dangerous than those. As I said earlier, visibility is just as good as prescription glasses and, while I haven't done any experiments, they are undoubtedly less likely to cut the eye than normal prescription or sun glasses.

    Quote Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
    Plus, swim goggles look odd on a cyclist, to say nothing of heavily modified swim goggles.
    They're not heavily modified. All I did was move the hole for the strap a few mm. You see, normally the hole is drilled in the perfect position so the strap pulls the goggles flush against your eye socket for a good seal; Redrill it a few mm over and the seal is not so good = ventilation.

    But I can't say your attitude surprises me: Go with what looks good in lieu of what works best? Typical cyclist group-think idiocy. Let me guess you ride with a "club" right?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucky View Post
    To those who say it's not safe: That's ridiculous on it's face. Millions if not billions of people all over the world wear prescription glasses at every waking moment and I don't see how this could possibly be any more dangerous than those.
    How fast do you ever go when swimming? And is your average pool an obstacle-rich environment?
    Go with what looks good in lieu of what works best? Typical cyclist group-think idiocy. Let me guess you ride with a "club" right?
    It's not enough that you're out in the open where everyone can see you?

    Try flippers to keep the front wheel from splashing slush onto your jeans.
    Last edited by garage sale GT; 02-28-10 at 12:17 PM.

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    You also don't need to worry about field of vision while swimming as you don't need any peripheral vision to pick up that SUV being driven at 45 MPH in a school zone by an oblivous idjit texting away.

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    I find a swimmer's nose clip keeps me from exhaling warm air against my face where it can be blown back up into my goggles. I also stretch one of those rubber caps over my helmet to keep cold air out of the vents.

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