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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 11-06-11, 05:27 PM   #1
rickyhmltn
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How to keep face and ears warm but still wear helmet?

What do you guys do? Neoprene facemask with helmet? Skullcap?
Any links to good equipment for the head to keep warm?
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Old 11-06-11, 05:43 PM   #2
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Well no simple solutions in my book, it comes down to each day's conditions. For me I start with growing a beard and letting the hair grow longer and thicker for the cold months. Then I loosen the adjustments on my helmet and remove the foam cushions. This then allows me to wear the headgear of choice. I have various weights of hats that I use under the helmet. Some of them have a built in lightweight facemask that I can either cover my face with or wear reversed and cover my neck. I will also use a balaclava if it is cold enough. Eyewear matters also. Somedays get so cold that ice will form on your eye lashes and such. Those are the days I break out the snow goggles to keep protected. Otherwise normal sunglasses go a long way to helping your eyes. The cold combined with the wind chill can mess them up so even on those grey dreary days I wear some kind of glasses. Same with the winter night rides. Clear lenses are a must.
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Old 11-06-11, 06:15 PM   #3
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This is not the exact brand/model I'm using,
but it's similar.

Raider Balaclava Face Mask
$4 online






Raider Balaclava Face Mask

$4 online

It's comfortable enough to wear under your helmet, yet warm enough to protect your face and neck from the bitter wind. It's also ideal for an added layer of warmth for snowmobilers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Don't give up doing what you love just because of the cold. Pick up a Raider Balaclava Face Mask and get out there!
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Old 11-06-11, 06:21 PM   #4
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I use one of these down single digits, fits nice under helmet

http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/e...3223-100&FSR=1
+1
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Old 11-06-11, 07:45 PM   #5
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One issue with Balaclavas is that the opening for the eyes can be problematic. I am always having to adjust mine as they push down my glasses or ride up over my eyes . I prefer something more open face whenever possible.
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Old 11-06-11, 07:54 PM   #6
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One issue with Balaclavas is that the opening for the eyes can be problematic. I am always having to adjust mine as they push down my glasses or ride up over my eyes . I prefer something more open face whenever possible.
I have that issue with my hunting balaclava, a Schampa. The underarmor one is pretty nicely designed and I don't have that issue. It's very breathable and I didn't think it could keep me warm but it does.
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Old 11-06-11, 08:23 PM   #7
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How's your facial hair? Seriously, down to about 5*F, I don't cover my face, but I do start to use a neck gaiter around that point, in part because I add a beard for the winter. I always have eye protection: glasses (sunglasses or safety glasses) down to about 20-25*F, then ski goggles below that. I also use a fleece ear warmer (the band style) starting at 40*F. I have a helmet that easily adjusts (it has a knob in the back that loosens the diameter), which makes a big difference. If it gets truly cold, I swap the ear warmer for a skullcap or my Outdoor Research Peruvian hat, which is windproof. In other words, multiple options that depend on the severity of the weather. I don't generally like balaclavas or the like because they insulate two regions of my head (neck/face and ears/top of head); I prefer to control the layers on each part independently, though some would argue that the gaps between the pieces is an issue.
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Old 11-06-11, 08:25 PM   #8
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Someone here recommended a Buff. I have a thin one for warmer days (to protect vs sun) and a merlino wool one for colder. I enjoy using them.
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Old 11-07-11, 08:33 AM   #9
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Someone here recommended a Buff. I have a thin one for warmer days (to protect vs sun) and a merlino wool one for colder. I enjoy using them.
This.

I picked up a wool one a few weeks ago and it's great. I've been using it to cover my head/ears and it's easy to fit under the helmet, and as it gets colder I can morph it into a neck gaiter/hat combo if I want.
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Old 11-07-11, 09:07 AM   #10
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I use a blaclava. Two in fact; one very thin one for 25-45, and a thick skiing one for anything below 25.
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Old 11-07-11, 09:18 AM   #11
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I picked up one of these last year for $4. http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...6_10000_202514

I think they are on sale for $8 at the moment. Works great.
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Old 11-07-11, 02:41 PM   #12
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Polypro skull cap is the first item I use, then a proypro headband with ear covers, and then a balaclava. All three can be worn separately, together or in any combination under the helmet. This only works down to the lower teens (F), which is the coldest temp I ride in.
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Old 11-07-11, 02:57 PM   #13
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I have various thicknesses of touques (thin polypro up to grandma-knitted wool), a flecce-backed lycra balaclava made by Sugoi, and a thin Buff. The balaclava and the Buff are the ones I use the most often as they provide good coverage and fit under the helmet without a problem.
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Old 11-07-11, 04:55 PM   #14
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+1 Buff
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Old 11-07-11, 06:17 PM   #15
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outdoor-research-sonic-balaclava-unisex.jsp

quite good... you can pull it the lower half down over your chin also.
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Old 11-07-11, 06:47 PM   #16
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I bought a Louis Garneau balaclava a few years ago. Very light, but the fleece really does a good job.

When temps go below 15-20F I add a scarf
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Old 11-09-11, 01:12 PM   #17
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When it starts hitting -20-30 celcius, balaclava + neoprene mask(I also punched ear holes in this btw) + full face helmet and goggles on top. Nice and toasty and windproof. And this way "glasses" can't ride up...
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Old 11-09-11, 02:21 PM   #18
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I bought a Lazer Neon helmet this fall (because it matches the new bike ), and was happy to discover that the fit adjustment goes large enough to fit my thickest winter hats. As for the face, the beard helps a bit, but when it gets painfully cold I use a merino Buff.
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Old 11-10-11, 12:46 PM   #19
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All of the above. I like the pearl izumi products. I have a polypro hat, folds over ears, and a balcava. I like a headband over the nose/ cheeks with a hat. Nose and mouth remain open, ears,cheeks and nose warm.
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Old 11-10-11, 02:53 PM   #20
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http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/...?p=28714-0-155

This is what I use and I really like it.
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Old 11-10-11, 03:14 PM   #21
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Down to around freezing, I'll wear a Descente skull cap (covers my ears, and most of my neck). Below 30 or so, I'll wear a very thin lycra (Sugoi) balaclava and the skull cap. My helmet has enough adjustment to accommodate both items (just need to loosen the chin strap a little bit).
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Old 11-10-11, 03:26 PM   #22
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bern brentwood with winter liner. works better with goggles than with glasses though, and when it is 45F in the afternoon I wish I had remembered to bring the headband so I could switch out inserts. I've only had the winter liner in for a week now so I'm still getting the rest dialed in. I had a REI lightweight baclava last winter that would shift on me when I turned my head to look for traffic and would then fog up, obstruct my side vision, or just get uncomfortable. It also fit very loosely, so it may have bee simply too big for my head. But I didn't like it.
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Old 11-11-11, 12:02 AM   #23
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I don't use anything over my face, and that includes 18 miles at -33 C a few winters ago. A face just gets used to it.

For the headgear, I do need something warm. I got a beautiful hard shell helmet from Canadian Tire that has a very easy and quick size adjustment, just twist a dial. On the coldest commutes, I'll have a toque, a cap with tie down ear flaps, and then the helmet.

It's the best helmet I've ever had. The thin plastic ones always used to crack if you dropped a teaspoon on them. I was hoping for something more durable to come out. This one will probably stop the first couple of bullets that hit it. It weighs about a pound, so Lance and a few of the people around her won't like it, but I do. You might be able to find something like that in your area.
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Old 11-11-11, 12:42 AM   #24
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I don't use anything over my face, and that includes 18 miles at -33 C a few winters ago. A face just gets used to it.

For the headgear, I do need something warm. I got a beautiful hard shell helmet from Canadian Tire that has a very easy and quick size adjustment, just twist a dial. On the coldest commutes, I'll have a toque, a cap with tie down ear flaps, and then the helmet.

It's the best helmet I've ever had. The thin plastic ones always used to crack if you dropped a teaspoon on them. I was hoping for something more durable to come out. This one will probably stop the first couple of bullets that hit it. It weighs about a pound, so Lance and a few of the people around her won't like it, but I do. You might be able to find something like that in your area.
Just so you know, it's the foam inside the helmet that is important not the casing. The same force or fall can crack those skate lid's foam and you won't see it...
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Old 11-11-11, 02:18 AM   #25
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Just so you know, it's the foam inside the helmet that is important not the casing. The same force or fall can crack those skate lid's foam and you won't see it...
I do know. The hard shell helmet I mentioned was not for skate boards, but for bikes. There is hardly any force at all needed to crack or damage the thin shell helmets. The foam is still good, but I'd prefer the shell to be intact.
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