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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 01-19-05, 10:26 AM   #1
BenyBen
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Psolar HX helmet balaclava first impressions

http://www.psolar.com/id5.html

I'm posting this mostly to get comments and insights from other users. -18C (-0.4F) this morning.

pros:
-The air you inhale DOES warm up a lot compared to the air outside. When I removed it before locking my bike down, I had to slow down my breathing because the air outside was so much colder then what I was used to.
-It helps keep the goggles fog free. At one point of my ride the breather moved a bit and as soon as it did my goggles got WAY foggier than they had been really fast.
-It claims that is helps keep your feet and hands warmer since you're not breathing in cold air. My hands DID stay warmer then I was used to. Not the feet though.
-The breather, the ski goggles and the bike helmet really makes you look like an alien, love it!

Cons:
-The humidity from my breathing formed water droplets that froze on the screen in front of the breather. I wonder if a longer ride could've become an issue with ice clogging the breathing vents.
-The breather is a bit resctrictive to breathing, and it does take a little more effort to breathe. But I got used to it 5 minutes into the ride. I guess that's a tradeoff to breathing in warm air.
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Old 01-21-05, 02:59 PM   #2
recursive
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I have the same balaclava. I love it. Before the Psolar, I was using some thin generic balaclava. It had no opening for breath, so vapor from my breath would condense on the fabric. It literally froze solid so that it was physically impossible to breath through in a matter of 15 minutes at about 10F. In my experience, the Psolar heat exchanger will not freeze over. I'm not sure why, but maybe it's because the filter holds heat, so the temperature of the filter stays above freezing? When I don't wear it, I have respiratory problems, and I cough for a few hours after I'm done riding. The warm air is a much bigger benefit than I thought it would be.
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Old 01-21-05, 03:58 PM   #3
darkmother
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Looks good. I am tempted.
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Old 01-21-05, 06:47 PM   #4
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Hey, thanks for posing your experiences! I've been wondering about the psolar setup. What did you have to pay for it. The only place I've seen it here is at Mark's Work Wearhouse. The price was $69 CND. This was for the "short" version (didn't cover top of head). At this price I'd want to be sure it was worthwhile.
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Old 01-21-05, 10:23 PM   #5
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I ordered mine directly from Psolar for $42. You can find it elsewhere online for the same price with froogle. If I were buying again, I would have ordered somewhere else, because Psolar took 3 days after ordering to ship it, not counting actual shipping time, and I could have used it those 3 days. In any case, if you can't find it in a store, there's always the internet.
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Old 01-23-05, 12:07 AM   #6
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Hi!

I have one of the PSolar BX Balaclava masks too. I only tend to use it for the coldest days. It works very well and it feels like the equivalent of at least one layer of clothing.

There was a review on the Icebike list sometime last year of a number of similar products including the PSolar that one list member had tried. It would be well worth reading these reviews if you are interested in this kind of thing.

At the same time there were a number of comments about how the PSolar really helped people with Asthma

There is a special piece of foam that works surprisingly well at stopping glasses from fogging up. I think it's optional but I certainly recommend that part!

~Jamie N
www.bicycletouring101.com
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