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Head Hot

Old 06-29-15, 11:00 AM
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Head Hot

I've got this commuting thing down pretty good. Been consistently riding to work rain or shine or wind.

But one thing is driving me nuts: helmet.

The rest of my body is cool enough in this Gulf Coast heat and humidity. But my head just get so hot. I can't ride fast enough to get enough air flow into the helmet. I average 8-mph.

I'm weighting the risk of not wearing a helmet and the risk of heat stroke.

There's a 1-mile stretch of highway; this is the riskiest part of the route. Cars/18-wheelers zooming by you on a narrow bike lane. Perhaps I wear my helmet during this stretch.

The rest is 35-mph urban traffic. Perhaps I take my helmet off during this part.
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Old 06-29-15, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I've got this commuting thing down pretty good. Been consistently riding to work rain or shine or wind.

But one thing is driving me nuts: helmet.

The rest of my body is cool enough in this Gulf Coast heat and humidity. But my head just get so hot. I can't ride fast enough to get enough air flow into the helmet. I average 8-mph.

I'm weighting the risk of not wearing a helmet and the risk of heat stroke.

There's a 1-mile stretch of highway; this is the riskiest part of the route. Cars/18-wheelers zooming by you on a narrow bike lane. Perhaps I wear my helmet during this stretch.

The rest is 35-mph urban traffic. Perhaps I take my helmet off during this part.
My commute has been hot lately as well, upper 90's and on the pavement my computer has been showing low 100's. I also have humidity since I am in the Ozarks. I am wearing a Bern Allston and it has been fine. I switched to it from a more ventilated helmet, a Bell Sweep R. I try to keep myself hydrated and put one water bottle in the refrigerator overnight and use that while riding to keep me cool from the inside.

Because of the style of vents, I actually feel the airflow on the Bern, that is due to velocity and not really volume. Whatever helmet you use, hot is hot. The Sun beating down on your head will play a big factor. You may also want to try a evaporative cooling neck bandana to keep cool. http://www.amazon.com/Hot-Headz-Down...ds=neck+cooler

The neck wrap may not work well for you because of the humidity though, but I find if your commute isn't too long, and you chill the wrap well before using it, it works fairly well.
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Old 06-29-15, 01:15 PM
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I have an upside-down-chamberpot helmet which I love for its looks, and a sportier one with air vents which keeps me only marginally cooler. Both make my head sweat like crazy.

What has worked well for me is to tie a bandanna around/over my head, and then put the helmet on top of it. The cloth keeps the sweat away. I guess it's not the overheating, but the sweating, that annoys me.
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Old 06-29-15, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by FedericoMena View Post
I have an upside-down-chamberpot helmet which I love for its looks, and a sportier one with air vents which keeps me only marginally cooler. Both make my head sweat like crazy.

What has worked well for me is to tie a bandanna around/over my head, and then put the helmet on top of it. The cloth keeps the sweat away. I guess it's not the overheating, but the sweating, that annoys me.
The sweat bothers me too, specifically when it runs into my eyes or my sunglasses. I am finding I like the Bern Allston because its liner keeps the seat off my face and out of my eyes and glasses. My other helmets didn't work so well at that and I had to resort to wearing some sort of sweat band, and that didn't work as well nor was it as comfortable.
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Old 06-29-15, 03:06 PM
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Since you are in a high humidity area, evaporative cooling probably won't help. Could you rig a battery operated fan on your helmet to blow some air on the slow stretches?
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Old 06-29-15, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SlowJoeCrow View Post
Since you are in a high humidity area, evaporative cooling probably won't help. Could you rig a battery operated fan on your helmet to blow some air on the slow stretches?
I've been thinking the same thing. Been looking for such a product. Since I don't really want a DIY project.
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Old 06-29-15, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by SlowJoeCrow View Post
Since you are in a high humidity area, evaporative cooling probably won't help. Could you rig a battery operated fan on your helmet to blow some air on the slow stretches?
That's what I stated in my original post. The evaporative cooler bandana can work to cool you if you place it in a refrigerator before riding, if you have a fairly short commute. It won't evaporate well, but the cold will help. I have done it.

Maybe try one of these: FlexiFreeze Cooling Neck Wrap
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Old 06-29-15, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I'm weighting the risk of not wearing a helmet and the risk of heat stroke.
Why do you think not wearing a helmet is risky? We are 9 times as likely to be killed or injured as Dutch and we wear helmets and they don't. Wearing helmets doesn't seem to be doing anything for us.
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Old 06-29-15, 09:16 PM
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Is your hair too long? Long hair will prevent the vents from working correctly. Some helmets don't work like others even though they look like their well ventilated. The Poc Octal is the one of the best if not the best ventilated helmet on the market but it's also very expensive at around $250.
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Old 06-30-15, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
Why do you think not wearing a helmet is risky? We are 9 times as likely to be killed or injured as Dutch and we wear helmets and they don't. Wearing helmets doesn't seem to be doing anything for us.
Pretty much this. At 8 mph you face just about the same danger to your head as a jogger. And if you left your house for a jog wearing a helmet everyone would think you are nuts. Helmets are the ILLUSION of safety, aimed solely at cyclists (and to a lesser extent, skateboarders). I wear my helmet probably 98% of the time, but I'm not kidding myself as to what it would actually do.
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Old 06-30-15, 12:29 AM
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I'm in Houston. I use a well ventilated helmet and a sweat cap underneath. When it's really hot I spray down the sweat cap for more evaporative cooling.
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Old 06-30-15, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I'm weighting the risk of not wearing a helmet and the risk of heat stroke.
Why do you think not wearing a helmet is risky? We are 9 times as likely to be killed or injured as Dutch and we wear helmets and they don't. Wearing helmets doesn't seem to be doing anything for us.
I don't want to get into a holy war over helmets that's for the A&S board; however, have you seen a bike accident where a helmet would've made a different outcome? I have. A really good Cat 3 rider had his riding career cut short due to no helmet and a patch of sand. I'll take my chances with the foam strapped to head it can and does make a difference. I'll take what slight improvement in odds I can get. Paralysis is an awful thing.
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Old 06-30-15, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
I don't want to get into a holy war over helmets that's for the A&S board; however, have you seen a bike accident where a helmet would've made a different outcome? I have. A really good Cat 3 rider had his riding career cut short due to no helmet and a patch of sand. I'll take my chances with the foam strapped to head it can and does make a difference. I'll take what slight improvement in odds I can get. Paralysis is an awful thing.
How do you know that a helmet would have made a difference in that case? Speculation? What was the specific cause of death?

How many instances of people who were wearing helmets being killed would have elicited a similar response to your's above had they not been wearing a helmet?

If helmets did anything other than cause people's heads to overheat and make a fashion statement (and a quite poor one) then we should have a significantly lower rate of fatalities from head injuries than countries where people do not wear helmets.
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Old 06-30-15, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
I don't want to get into a holy war over helmets that's for the A&S board; however, have you seen a bike accident where a helmet would've made a different outcome? I have. A really good Cat 3 rider had his riding career cut short due to no helmet and a patch of sand. I'll take my chances with the foam strapped to head it can and does make a difference. I'll take what slight improvement in odds I can get. Paralysis is an awful thing.
Sorry to hear about that racer. The problem is you're dealing with the bonehead brigade who don't want to wear a helmet regardless of facts so they will find one small fact that shows helmets don't work and expound on it to infinitum and poo pah all the facts from testing to medical people and first responders who have seen helmets work. Are helmets perfect? no, even if a helmet saved a life or prevented catastrophic injury 1 out of a 1000 crashes it would make it worth while to wear one, but the helmet record is way better than that and there are federal records to prove it. All safety gear, be it on bikes, cars, construction sites, cops, etc fail at some time, so the logic the boneheaded brigade tries to make could be used on any and all safety gear in any industry so why bother with any safety gear?
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Old 06-30-15, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by AlTheKiller View Post
Pretty much this. At 8 mph you face just about the same danger to your head as a jogger. And if you left your house for a jog wearing a helmet everyone would think you are nuts. Helmets are the ILLUSION of safety, aimed solely at cyclists (and to a lesser extent, skateboarders). I wear my helmet probably 98% of the time, but I'm not kidding myself as to what it would actually do.
Yes, I passed a jogger and his overweight dog today. And I was cruising just slightly faster than him.

But that doesn't mean we've the same risk. He can run/walk on the sidewalk, on the grass, on parking lots, etc. He and other runners and walkers have more options for safety. I'm pretty much stuck on the bike lane. And it is so narrow that I have no doubt a driver could easily take his eye off the road for a moment and drift into the bike lane and run over me. In such scenario, the biker is really screwed no matter helmet or no helmet. But a helmet definitely decreases the risk of head injury significantly. Maybe wearing a helmet means I live with broken bones and wheelchair, but no helmet might mean permanent brain injury, i.e. vegetable. I'm going to wear a helmet as much as I can because of horror stories about people with brain injuries.

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Old 06-30-15, 08:54 AM
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I use the Halo skull cap with the strip to keep sweat from getting in my eyes. I bought it mainly for sweat control, but I find that my head actually does feel cooler when I wear it under the helmet.

Just a few weeks ago we were on the Gulf Coast in Destin, riding along the path at ~8-10 mph, humid as all heck. My head never felt like it was too hot, even with the helmet. I use a Bontrager Starvos helmet, in high-vis with reflective accents. A handy side effect is that the cap keeps the helmet pads from getting all gross with sweat. Much easier to wash the cap than it is to clean the helmet padding, which keeps the padding from wearing out as quickly.

I just read that Halo has come out with a cycling cap version of this skull cap, which I may look into getting in the future.



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Old 06-30-15, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
but the helmet record is way better than that and there are federal records to prove it.
Can you please provide a link to this information.
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Old 06-30-15, 11:08 AM
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H
Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
I don't want to get into a holy war over helmets that's for the A&S board; however, have you seen a bike accident where a helmet would've made a different outcome? I have. A really good Cat 3 rider had his riding career cut short due to no helmet and a patch of sand. I'll take my chances with the foam strapped to head it can and does make a difference. I'll take what slight improvement in odds I can get. Paralysis is an awful thing.
I've also seen oucomes walking, driving, jogging, getting out of the shower, etc where a helmet could have had great effect. Helmets in cars alone would save way more people from injury than anything else. Yet the only place people scream for helmets are on bikes. This is a result of very effective, selective marketing and fear mongering.
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Old 06-30-15, 11:27 AM
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Sooo, back to the OP's original question. What kind of helmet do you wear? 8 mph? What kind of bike are you using? Got smooth tires? A roadie type helmet will usually have more vents.
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Old 06-30-15, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Sooo, back to the OP's original question. What kind of helmet do you wear?
None. Which keeps me much much cooler (and avoids odor and helmet hair). May cooler heads prevail :-)
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Old 06-30-15, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Sooo, back to the OP's original question. What kind of helmet do you wear? 8 mph? What kind of bike are you using? Got smooth tires? A roadie type helmet will usually have more vents.
Bell something. Got it from sporting goods store, like Academy, I think. It seems to have plenty of large vent holes. I never feel any air going into the vents, however. It's going worn out; it's leaving flakes on my head. So time to look for a better, cooler, helmet.

I'm using a urban city bike, Windsor Essex, upright ergo. 700x32cc smooth road tires, 70 psi.

Maybe I have to put my head down for the vents to work?


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Old 07-01-15, 10:32 AM
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8 mph seems kind of slow, I'm usually around 12-18 mph. Maybe try something faster? I too tend to overheat some. On the hottest of days, I will take a swim break on my way home.
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Old 07-01-15, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
8 mph seems kind of slow, I'm usually around 12-18 mph. Maybe try something faster? I too tend to overheat some. On the hottest of days, I will take a swim break on my way home.
My bike is single speed, and if I'm pedalling as fast as I can, I can do 12 mph.
But for commuting, I try not to go all out. I try to take it easy and be relax when I get there.

I have another bike on order, and that has a 3-spd internal Sturmer Archie hub. So hopefully, I'll be able to cruise faster.

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Old 07-01-15, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
My bike is single speed, and I'm pedalling as fast as I can.

I have another bike on order, and that has a 3-spd internal Sturmer Archie hub. So hopefully, I'll be able to cruise faster.
lol Sturmey Archer

like bass ackwards or nuckin' futs
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Old 07-01-15, 01:36 PM
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Relax? Interesting concept make your own breeze at say 12-14 mph. Maybe gear your ss a little higher? My commute is 18 miles one way. Needs some direct and deliberate pedaling.
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