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Keeping your face warm

Old 09-03-08, 07:35 PM
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Keeping your face warm

Last year I chickened out on the commute in late October. This year, I am determined to be braver. The main issue I have with the cold weather is finding something to keep my face warm, yet also letting my breath escape so that I don't get an ice patch covering my mouth and nose, (not to mention snot issues).

What works for you, what would you recommend.
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Old 09-03-08, 07:37 PM
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ski mask.
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Old 09-03-08, 07:40 PM
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I must have the wrong type of face mask... cause mine always gets icy
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Old 09-03-08, 07:42 PM
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I use a balaclava down to about single digits F. Then I add a bird beak mask over that.

When it is that cold, I have frost on my facewear. Snot is a different issue. With the balaclava I can pull it down and sports blow. With the bird beak, I have to suck it in. Ewwww! I know, but not much you can do...

I wear dual lense ski goggles below about 35F due to fogging, FYI.

Good luck!
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Old 09-03-08, 07:51 PM
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My rule of thumb is face mask for 10 degrees (F) or lower... nothing otherwise. Even at pretty low temps, I generate enough body heat that my face warms up after a while.

It does help that I have a beard though
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Old 09-03-08, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
My rule of thumb is face mask for 10 degrees (F) or lower... nothing otherwise. Even at pretty low temps, I generate enough body heat that my face warms up after a while.

It does help that I have a beard though
Now there is a thought! Why didn't I think of growing a beard?
Would really make me stand out in a crowd, that's for sure.

But I do like that ski goggle idea, I even just tested it out to see how they'd look with my bike helmet. Not a bad look I must say. Thank you.
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Old 09-03-08, 08:55 PM
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My balaclava has a fairly big opening. I usually pull it down under my chin. It wasn't designed to be worn this way, but it works. Really, I'm just interested in keeping my cheeks warm anyway.

I usually only wear it when it's below freezing, and then only part-time. We rarely see teens or below here, else I might have to get a different strategy.

My perpetually running nose (when riding in the cold) it the main reason for pulling it down.
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Old 09-03-08, 09:02 PM
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The Seirus fleece and neoprene mask is absolutely terrific. See the type I have, called the Combo Scarf.

I use mine for anything below 40 degrees (F), all the way down to below zero. Mine is now probably 4 years old and the velcro is just starting to wear out at the same time as the fleece is stretching, so I'll probably buy another one soon.

Balaclavas have always bothered me by rubbing oddly against my ears and moving off my face when I turn my head.
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Old 09-03-08, 09:33 PM
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I use what striegel has, a neoprene face mask with fleece neck cover (different brand but looks exactly the same). I got in on sale at the local sports store. Initally in the beginning of the season I use it in the 30's, but then i get used to it and start only using it in the 20's. It works extremly well and helps keep the air I breathe in warmer, but does decrease the amount of air I can suck, however I think that would be true for any face cover. I use a beanie in pretty much anything in the 40's and below so that's what covers the top o' me head.

I'm going to start wearing glasses this winter because my eyes kinda hurt from the freezing cold winds, hopefully that helps.
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Old 09-03-08, 09:37 PM
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I have a microfiber (thin, yes) balaclava that I wear when it gets down to about 50F; below 40F, I add a knit cap under the helmet. Under about 20-25F, I flip between a knit 'ski mask', or the bala.
10F & down, both.
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Old 09-03-08, 10:02 PM
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I use a Performance Windproof Balaclava on sale now $17.99 for cold weather on my hands a pair of Pearl Izumi Cyclone Glove and Pearl Izumi Barrier Jacket I really like this jacket, it breaths but keeps your warm with out sweating with only a light undershirt on it gets a big + from me.
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Old 09-03-08, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Lizzylou View Post
What works for you, what would you recommend.
Down to about 20 degrees, my beard works just fine. If I ride for a long time, I end up with a nice insulating layer of ice on it, like crystal armor.

Seeing your pic on your blog, I don't think a beard would be a good look for you. The Sirius half-mask should work fine. (I use the Sirius lined neoprene balaclava when it gets below 20 degrees, to keep my head and ears warm)
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Old 09-04-08, 02:31 AM
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I have a Carhartt baklava. Works great, and it is what I wear at work. Nice thing about it is that the part that covers the face is light enough to put inside the cap part when it isn't needed.

https://www.carhartt.com/webapp/wcs/s...tegoryId=10902
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Old 09-04-08, 06:24 AM
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Seirus has several clever takes on the balaclava and ski mask -- I have several that I use for skiing. If it's not extremely cold, a simple neck gaiter will do the trick as well, but the Seirus designs are a bit better, since they're designed to actually stay in place over the face.

Re: the point about it getting frozen: I don't think that's an avoidable problem. When you breathe, you exhale moisture, which will get on anything covering your face, and if it's cold enough that will freeze. The trick is to use something that will still provide you with protection in that state.
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Old 09-04-08, 07:56 AM
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neoprene ski mask.
I use the combo scarf pictured above. Campmor usually sells it for ~$20
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Old 09-04-08, 08:14 AM
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Does anyone else find that the worst part of the cold is cold ears? I can't stand cold ears, and my ears get cold much sooner than other parts of my head. I start wearing an ear warmer/head band thingee long before I break out the face mask.
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Old 09-04-08, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Lizzylou View Post
Last year I chickened out on the commute in late October. This year, I am determined to be braver. The main issue I have with the cold weather is finding something to keep my face warm, yet also letting my breath escape so that I don't get an ice patch covering my mouth and nose, (not to mention snot issues).

What works for you, what would you recommend.
For me, a face mask is unnecessary down to 32-40F. I'm keeping an eye out, and I'll probably pick something *thin* up for later this winter. Daytime *highs* of under -10F aren't unusual around here in winter, so there's a lot of time where a face mask or balaclava might be useful. If you're not wearing a skull cap or earwarmer under your helmet, you might want to try one. I'll often feel like my face is freezing, but it's mostly that my ears are thin and shed heat very well. Head sheds heat pretty well too, and a plain helmet isn't warm enough.
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Old 09-04-08, 10:51 AM
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I use a thin toque and neck warmer. I like the combo because i can vary the degree of coverage.
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Old 09-04-08, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Intheloonybin View Post
I use a balaclava down to about single digits F. Then I add a bird beak mask over that.

When it is that cold, I have frost on my facewear. Snot is a different issue. With the balaclava I can pull it down and sports blow. With the bird beak, I have to suck it in. Ewwww! I know, but not much you can do...

I wear dual lense ski goggles below about 35F due to fogging, FYI.

Good luck!
+1 that's the way to do it.
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Old 09-04-08, 10:09 PM
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Be a real commuter....


Grow a beard.


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Old 09-05-08, 06:23 AM
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Ice patch?

Easy -- that's when I turn the heat up in the car!

You some tough hombres -- ice-patching out there.

As for me, I ride down to about 30 degrees, maybe the upper 20s. After that, I drive. Where I live I don't get a lot of opportunities to commute in the 20s, though. Hey, I can't complain.

When it is cold, I use a thin balaclava. Works great.
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Old 09-05-08, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon View Post
You some tough hombres -- ice-patching out there.
Not really, I just hate the MBTA. I spent enough days last winter that I had to walk home in the snow anyway because they'd screwed up, I figure this year I might as well ride.
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Old 09-05-08, 07:35 AM
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I've got a Craft balacava that works really well. It does not get that cold in NC, so the coldest temps that I've used it in were about 15-20 degrees F, but it was plenty warm. Craft also makes a warmer model.

I tried a Performance balacava, but it wasn't very comfortable and I returned it. It was made out of some sort of stretchy synthetic that probably would have been warm, but it squeezed my head too tight and I didn't like the way it felt.

I encourage you to keep up with riding this winter. This biggest trick is to keep riding so you become acclimated. Get clothes that you can layer for more warmth, made of breathable fabrics so the sweat doesn't soak you. Finding the right clothing combinations is trial and error, depending your individual tolerances as well as the local weather. Although winters are much milder in NC than PA, I kept riding all winter last year and really enjoyed it. I actually commuted more miles in January than most other months.

Don't forget to get a good light system, both front and rear. And for outer clothes, buy stuff in bright colors -- preferably yellow, neon yellow-green, or at least orange.
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Old 09-05-08, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
Not really, I just hate the MBTA. I spent enough days last winter that I had to walk home in the snow anyway because they'd screwed up, I figure this year I might as well ride.
+1

I've figured out that no weather condition is bad enough to make it worth taking the T. The MBTA is out of my life forever.
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Old 09-05-08, 08:03 AM
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A thin balaclava works for me. It's got a big opening for the face, and I can cover more or less of my face depending on the temperature.
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