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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 11-06-10, 01:02 AM   #1
simonnyc
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balaclava with eyeglasses?

so i just moved to chicago and i plan to commute through the winter on the old 'cross beast. until recently i've just wrapped a scarf around my face when it gets really cold, but i'm thinking it's time to upgrade to something a little more technical and less, uh, bootleg.

my problem is that i wear glasses, and contacts are not an option. most of the balaclavas i've been scoping out have a relatively narrow eye opening, horizontally speaking (ie. the opening doesn't cut out close enough to the ears). i want something that will give me good protection from the cold, wind, etc. but won't mess with my glasses. it seems like the openings of most balaclavas i've checked out will push my glasses forward off my face or pinch them uncomfortably. nerdy, i know, but i'd really like to ride every day if at all possible. any recommendations?
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Old 11-06-10, 02:33 AM   #2
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it seems like…
You're probably over-thinking this. They're stretchy. Never a problem on the sides with mine. I have more issues with helmet straps than I do with the balaclava.
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Old 11-06-10, 07:25 AM   #3
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Actually, if you wear a helmet, you could probably put the glasses outside a thin balaclava and the helmet straps would hold the glasses in place. I've done this with sunglasses.
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Old 11-06-10, 10:40 AM   #4
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Outdoor Research Ninjaclava. The opening goes practically back to my sideburns. Plus, you get to be bikeninja.

Have fun in Chicago winter, ha.
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Old 11-06-10, 11:36 AM   #5
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FWIW My glasses fit into mine, the problem I have is with the balacalava up over my nose is my glasses fog up.
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Old 11-06-10, 01:31 PM   #6
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Actually, if you wear a helmet, you could probably put the glasses outside a thin balaclava and the helmet straps would hold the glasses in place. I've done this with sunglasses.
this works, and if you're worried about the glasses falling off, then you can always attach a neck strap to it.

personally, I prefer face mask and head band that covers ears over balaclava.
one of the many reasons is because the balaclava traps perspiration on the top of my head.
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Old 11-06-10, 02:35 PM   #7
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+1 glasses outside of balaclava, held in place by helmet straps.
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Old 11-06-10, 03:28 PM   #8
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I've never had a problem wearing a balaclava over my glasses, and the eye/face opening isn't especially wide. My glasses fogging up if I have the balaclava covering my mouth is a bigger problem, but it was mostly solved by wearing a set of ski goggles.
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Old 11-06-10, 07:46 PM   #9
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I wear glasses. I use a Seirus combo scarf / face mask along with a thin stocking cap for under my helmet. They overlap in such a way it is easier to wear my glasses.
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Old 11-07-10, 06:47 AM   #10
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I've never had a problem wearing a balaclava over my glasses, and the eye/face opening isn't especially wide. My glasses fogging up if I have the balaclava covering my mouth is a bigger problem, but it was mostly solved by wearing a set of ski goggles.
I wear eyeglasses too and never had a problem with a balaclava. Fogging with goggles was a serious problem though. Just this morning (11/7) I posted my solution to a current Winter Cycling thread, with photographs of my entire headcovering and non-fogging eyewear system, which I have used for my lowest conditions of 14 miles at 0 degrees at start to minus 8 at destination:

"Goggles? Closing your eyes?"

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...sing-your-eyes
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Old 11-08-10, 08:04 AM   #11
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good to hear - just didn't want to spring for one, have it not fit, deal with hassle of returning it online etc. (i know i know, i should just go support my LBS - they didn't have anything when i stopped in and i didn't want to wait for a special order). ScottRock, thanks for the link - and I've lived in northern illinois and ohio in the past, so chicago winter shouldn't be too rough a transition.
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Old 11-08-10, 09:07 AM   #12
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good to hear - just didn't want to spring for one, have it not fit, deal with hassle of returning it online etc. (i know i know, i should just go support my LBS - they didn't have anything when i stopped in and i didn't want to wait for a special order). ScottRock, thanks for the link - and I've lived in northern illinois and ohio in the past, so chicago winter shouldn't be too rough a transition.
Bike shops aren't the only local source for ski masks...
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Old 11-10-10, 09:26 AM   #13
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I've got this one: http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...34374302885011

It can go right up to my nose, or I can uncover my face completely. No problem with wearing it with glasses.

PS The only time my glasses fog up is when I stop.
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Old 11-10-10, 09:39 AM   #14
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a lot of people like goggles over their glasses. I had to get goggles just for the very cold days, let alone the days when there is hail or sleet:
some chicago links:
http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/to...omment%3A41124

http://www.thechainlink.org/group/bikewinter
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Old 11-15-10, 10:39 AM   #15
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thanks for the link, chrisb. if the cat crap actually works, it will be a lifesaver.
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Old 11-22-10, 01:08 AM   #16
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I got this last year and it was perfect. Sometimes you want to cover your head, sometimes you don't/can't. This is perfect for that;

http://www.amazon.com/Seirus-Innovat...ref=pd_sbs_a_5

I'm actually washing mine as we speak, just got a lot of snow and it's cold enough to use this. Great thing about it is I use a ear muff type deal so I can pull it down if I have to blow my nose or spit, and then pull it right back up if needed. I'm sure it will work well with glasses.
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Old 11-23-10, 09:29 AM   #17
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balaclavas are kinda over-rated and a bit cumbersome. get a smart wool neck gaitor (25% of this week at rei) and a wool or fleece skull cap.
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Old 11-24-10, 11:33 AM   #18
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I had problems with the strap of my goggles either sliding up the back of my helmet, or down. Any tips on keeping the strap in place? My helmet has a point at the back, which seems to be part of the problem.
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Old 11-25-10, 12:11 AM   #19
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balaclavas are kinda over-rated and a bit cumbersome. get a smart wool neck gaitor (25% of this week at rei) and a wool or fleece skull cap.
Beg to differ....

Balaclava needs to be light and display the whole face. It should cover forehead, ears and neck. No problem to put glasses inside. No problem with fogging (at least while the bike is moving).

However, as it gets colder, I also wear a scarf or one of those bike-specific neck scarf thingies that you can pull up and down as needed. Those thing can easily fog up glasses. Which is why I'm constantly pulling it up and down.
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Old 11-26-10, 08:49 PM   #20
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A cycling specific fleece cap and a neoprene ski mask that velcroes behind the neck work great for me. They hold the arms of my glasses snug against the sides of my face. I also have one a pair of these for extremely cold temps which I can wear over my glasses:

http://www.labsafety.com/search/goggles/24537158/

BL
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Old 11-27-10, 11:32 AM   #21
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Beg to differ....

Balaclava needs to be light and display the whole face. It should cover forehead, ears and neck. No problem to put glasses inside. No problem with fogging (at least while the bike is moving).

However, as it gets colder, I also wear a scarf or one of those bike-specific neck scarf thingies that you can pull up and down as needed. Those thing can easily fog up glasses. Which is why I'm constantly pulling it up and down.
well, you didnt really differ...

balaclavas are cumbersome. if you stop anywhere along your ride, it's a pain to remove your helmet and balaclava to speak to a person or if your riding for awhile and want to cool down for a bit, you'd have to pull over and take off the balaclava. with just a neck gaiter, you just pull it down in half a second without any effort. I see no advantage that a balaclava has over a merino wool neck gaiter plus a wool or fleece skull cap -- same amount of material and same amount of warmth/coverage (if you do it right). this combo is simply more versatile.
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