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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 10-14-04, 04:36 PM   #1
descendr
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Any Hints on Wearing a Helmet with Hat, Hood and Facemask?

I recently bought a new helmet, and I'm committed to wearing it every day on my commute to work. Now that it's getting colder, I'm adding the hat and hood from my jacket, and eventually will be adding my facemask.

My helmet is adjustable, so it's not a problem to accommodate the extra material over my head. However, I'm already running into problems trying to buckle the helmet with my hood up and jacket zipped all the way up to my chin. Adding the facemask will make it even tougher.

How do folks accommodate all of the extra winter head gear with their helmet?

Tim
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Old 10-14-04, 04:54 PM   #2
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I wear a fleece hat under the helmet and this works fine but then again I don't know how cold it gets in your area..
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Old 10-14-04, 06:45 PM   #3
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1. LOse the hood. There are many better ways to cover the head.
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Old 10-14-04, 07:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
1. LOse the hood. There are many better ways to cover the head.
Yup.

Get an under-helmet beanie and/or a balaclava. Low cost and far more comfortable/flexible than a hood.
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Old 10-14-04, 07:35 PM   #5
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I use a thin skull cap specifically made for winter; sometime I use two when it's down in the lower twenties. Then I use the face mask. The helmet will only need to be readjusted come spring. Winter can be tough and cold, but worth the trouble: it's the best time for riding.

Cheers,
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Old 10-14-04, 09:17 PM   #6
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Loose the hood is good advice.

I use a belaclava for the colder days. For anything down to around freezing I use a bandanna over my head, and an ear warmer band thingy above freezing.
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Old 10-14-04, 10:47 PM   #7
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My ride starts out cold but the next town over is warmer. It's helpful to have a belaclava that detaches from the back or front so you can remove it without stopping to take off the helmet.

I'm wondering if they make leg warmers that go under pants but can detach from the front and back so when I heat up, I don't have to take off shoes to remove the warmer???
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Old 10-15-04, 06:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
1. LOse the hood. There are many better ways to cover the head.
The hood restricts visibility and possibly hearing, I can't see wearing it while riding for that reason alone.

Dave
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Old 10-15-04, 06:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbanmonk
I use a thin skull cap specifically made for winter; sometime I use two when it's down in the lower twenties. Then I use the face mask. The helmet will only need to be readjusted come spring. Winter can be tough and cold, but worth the trouble: it's the best time for riding.

Cheers,
Thanks for the suggestions. To clarify and add some detail. I have been riding in the winter for years, just not with a helmet. And, I live in Minnesota and have ridden to work in temperatures down to the single-digits and wind-chills below zero F. So, a beanie or two just isn't going to cut it.

And, in the past, I have covered my head in layers, starting with a fleece hat that goes over my ears (if needed) and has a drawstring I can tighten under my chin. My next layer was always the hood, that not only adds a layer to my head, but also allows me to cover my neck (front and back) when zipped up and is easily vented when I warm up. Then, if it's really cold, I start with my fleece face mask, add the hat, then the hood. These three layers allow me to not only wear exactly what I need, depending on the temperature, but also adjust as I warm up.

Any other ideas?
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Old 10-15-04, 06:58 AM   #10
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The hood on my coat is a thin, two-ply one. It fits comfortably under my helmet, and the helmet compresses it so I have full periphrial vision. It has a drawstring and covers a good portion of my face, so I have never found the need for a mask. My one suggestion would be to "dress cold" -- wear just enough that you don't really feel warm until at least the half-way part of the trip. That would mean just helmet and hood. You could carry the mask, hat, and fleece as emergency gear.

Paul
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Old 10-15-04, 11:09 AM   #11
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I'm using an UnderArmour Cold Gear Hood. Has worked quite well down into the teens. It's made similar to UA's other items with that thin wicking material.



Since I've got a melon-head, I'm pushing the limits of my helmet. Universal fit ones just barely make it over the noggin when I'm sporting a brush cut. I picked up a Bell Kinghead which goes from 24"-28" just so I can sport a wool cap or baclava underneath.
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Old 10-15-04, 11:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulH
That would mean just helmet and hood. You could carry the mask, hat, and fleece as emergency gear.
Thanks, but my face would get frostbit without something covering it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by dobber
I'm using an UnderArmour Cold Gear Hood. Has worked quite well down into the teens. It's made similar to UA's other items with that thin wicking material.
Thanks; this looks great! -- similar to my fleece hat/mask combo, but more form fitting.

Tim

Last edited by descendr; 10-15-04 at 11:50 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 10-15-04, 12:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by descendr
Thanks; this looks great! -- similar to my fleece hat/mask combo, but more form fitting.

Tim
EBay is a great place for picking up UA stuff, usually runs 25 to 50% less than retail.
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Old 10-16-04, 08:34 AM   #14
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I got an underarmour T-shirt and boy it keeps me warm. It's funky stuff.

vrkelly, I think there are a few makes of leg warmers that have zippers on the sides to let them go over shoes.
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Old 10-16-04, 08:49 AM   #15
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A long neck tube is useful for sealing the gap between your collar and neck. Mine is about 18" long and I usually double it up. You can combine this with other headgear like a balaclava.
Do you have a winter helmet? Most premium helmets make a big deal about how much air they let through. Lower end ones have better insulating properties. A helmet cover can also be useful.
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Old 10-16-04, 09:36 AM   #16
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I also add a Rain cover over the top of the helmet that with the skull cap keeps me warm and dry down to 0. I have put a face mask over the straps of the helmet and had no problem.

Cheers
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Old 10-16-04, 10:29 AM   #17
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Great tips; thanks for all the ideas! I'll have to see if my face mask works over the helmet straps.

Tim
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Old 10-16-04, 11:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggy18
I got an underarmour T-shirt and boy it keeps me warm. It's funky stuff.
I picked up a pair of the Cold Gear legging the other day. Only had one day it was practical to really try them (<20°F), found them to be quite comfortable.

After paying retail, found a seller on EBay who has them for $29 plus shipping. Ordered up another set, figure if ones good, two great.
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Old 10-16-04, 12:59 PM   #19
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Take the stuff off before doing any banking.
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Old 10-16-04, 01:19 PM   #20
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Winter head wear (in order of putting on):
  • fleece skull cap
  • lycra balaclava
  • fleece neck gaiter
  • Helmet w/ cover
I like the layer technique as I can adjust for the warmer ride home.
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Old 10-16-04, 09:53 PM   #21
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Light balaclava and a snowboarding helmet has kept my head warm enough at temps of -20C
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Old 10-21-04, 09:01 AM   #22
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Great point, Jeff! One could find himself staring down the bore of a big Glock!
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Old 10-21-04, 09:55 AM   #23
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I've been successful with a thin pearl izumi balaclava below 20 F or so. Below zero I add a thin hat over it. No problem. Perhaps you should grow some facial hair, especially if you're of the gender that typically has some? I've been known to carry a scarf on the -15 F days, but haven't needed to use one yet. Plugging up some of the vents on your helmet with cling wrap can help a little, especially on those nasty Northwesterly days.

It seems that everyone is a little different about subzero. I'm essentially fine except for my feet with what others would consider relatively little clothing (ie. two layers for the legs and torso, one for the head, and four for the feet). You can expect to have to experiment a bit.

The duration of your ride is also, IMHO, very important in the cold. How long are you usually out and what's your pace like?
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Old 10-21-04, 10:20 AM   #24
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here: helmet, hat, hood and facemask.
at least, that's how we do it...
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Old 10-26-04, 12:00 PM   #25
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I use an old helmet for my winter riding with a balaclava or skull cap. I removed the padding and taped up the air holes and it works just fine for me. Just wondering what type of face mask do you people use
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