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Eye wear suggestions for cold riding

Old 01-06-14, 12:35 PM
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PatrickGSR94
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Eye wear suggestions for cold riding

Sorry for cross-posting but it looks like Commuting gets a good bit more traffic than Winter Cycling.

The last two times I have commuted my usual 15 miles with temps in the low 20's, I used my balaclava but had to remove my eye wear (clear safety glasses) because they were fogging up so bad. I only have the issue when I have the balaclava covering both my nose and mouth. If I pull it down to expose my nose and mouth I don't have the problem, but then my face gets too cold.

What sorts of eye wear are less prone to fogging? I heard mentioned "Visorgogs" in this forum. Anyone used those or have another good option?

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Old 01-06-14, 12:48 PM
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Not sure what your price range is but i have had success with both Rudy project and Oakley. With Oakley I can go with just one lens as their transitions go completely clear. With Rudy project I have seperate lenses,Clear for winter. no issues fogging
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Old 01-06-14, 02:55 PM
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I use cheapo carpenter's goggles from the hardware store. If I need something better in the next couple of days, I have a pair of ski goggles. They ought to do the trick. Luckily, my prescription is weak enough that I can ride without my glasses when I want to.
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Old 01-06-14, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
Sorry for cross-posting but it looks like Commuting gets a good bit more traffic than Winter Cycling.

The last two times I have commuted my usual 15 miles with temps in the low 20's, I used my balaclava but had to remove my eye wear (clear safety glasses) because they were fogging up so bad. I only have the issue when I have the balaclava covering both my nose and mouth. If I pull it down to expose my nose and mouth I don't have the problem, but then my face gets too cold.

What sorts of eye wear are less prone to fogging? I heard mentioned "Visorgogs" in this forum. Anyone used those or have another good option?
yeah, I use them. however, I have to do the same thing you mention in your post... I can't have the balaclava over my nose or mouth otherwise I get fogged up... I have also tried a ski mask (with the 3 holes) but that doesn't really work either so I just put up with a cold nose / mouth but at least my cheeks stay warm...

I have ordered something from amazon that I am going to try but its not really meant for bike riding / snowmobiling... I will make a follow up post if it works...

you might try getting a dust mask that doesn't have the filters... and there is a "snowmobile" half mask that you might try (on amazon)

https://www.amazon.com/Motorcycle-Sno...bile+half+mask

which should direct your breath away from your goggles...
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Old 01-06-14, 04:30 PM
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Used a pair of Scott OTG Ski goggles yesterday plowing my driveway, 7 deg. F with -25 wind chills and blowing snow on an open tractor. I had on a balaclava and skull cap with a hood over that. Glasses didn't fog up at all, my face stayed nice and warm and the peripheral vision was pretty good. I bought them for the bike but figured that would be a good test. They passed.
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Old 01-06-14, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
Sorry for cross-posting but it looks like Commuting gets a good bit more traffic than Winter Cycling.

The last two times I have commuted my usual 15 miles with temps in the low 20's, I used my balaclava but had to remove my eye wear (clear safety glasses) because they were fogging up so bad. I only have the issue when I have the balaclava covering both my nose and mouth. If I pull it down to expose my nose and mouth I don't have the problem, but then my face gets too cold.

What sorts of eye wear are less prone to fogging? I heard mentioned "Visorgogs" in this forum. Anyone used those or have another good option?
I have only used them for one ride, but I liked them. They didn't fog anything like the clear safety glasses I have been wearing. For the money I thought I would give 'em a try.
https://www.amazon.com/VISORGOG-Visor...ords=visorgogs
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Old 01-06-14, 05:57 PM
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I have used the Visorgogs with good success. On Friday, I rode when it was -4 F. At that temp, I had to be careful how I was exhaling, because they would start to fog if I didn't watch it. You get a feel for how to exhale with what the wind direction is. Your choice of balaclava affects it as well. At higher temps (ie. around 10 F), I don't need to be as careful with the exhales. Over 15 F (depending on wind, but usually) I just wear safety glasses because I can tolerate that temp on some bare skin. YMMV.
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Old 01-06-14, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluish Green View Post
I have used the Visorgogs with good success. On Friday, I rode when it was -4 F. At that temp, I had to be careful how I was exhaling, because they would start to fog if I didn't watch it. You get a feel for how to exhale with what the wind direction is. Your choice of balaclava affects it as well. At higher temps (ie. around 10 F), I don't need to be as careful with the exhales. Over 15 F (depending on wind, but usually) I just wear safety glasses because I can tolerate that temp on some bare skin. YMMV.
I noticed kind of the same thing. I think I will be able to adapt. The safety glasses fog up for me at much warmer temps than what you described so, I'm hoping the gogs will do the trick. I think I just need to play with the fit and position of the gogs and the balaclava.
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Old 01-06-14, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post
Used a pair of Scott OTG Ski goggles yesterday plowing my driveway, 7 deg. F with -25 wind chills and blowing snow on an open tractor. I had on a balaclava and skull cap with a hood over that. Glasses didn't fog up at all, my face stayed nice and warm and the peripheral vision was pretty good. I bought them for the bike but figured that would be a good test. They passed.
Yes, the OP would be shocked by how warm a pair of ski goggles is, and by how well they resist fogging, though I'd treat them anti-fog regularly just as I would any eye gear.

I use a Bolle OTG goggle, maybe it was about $25-$35, with an amber/yellow lens. I wear them over a balaclava, and really don't have much problem with fogging, primarily because by the time I'm breathing heavily, the balaclava comes down to the chin, so I can expel my breath away forcefully. I'm sure they'd capture moist, hot breath if it was tracing under a balaclava that covered the mouth and directed it up towards the eyes; any eyeglass will in those conditions.

That said, the big advantage for quality ski goggles is that they're dual pane, and have an insulating air barrier that helps keep the side of the lens against the face warm, resisting condensation.

A couple of things to keep in mind when using ski goggles: watch the size, because many are quite large and cover part of the forehead, which can cause interference with a helmet; accommodating the goggle strap around the back of a bicycle helmet can be tricky, because so many are pointy or otherwise oddly shaped. I've used zip ties to keep the strap in place on some helmets, but lucked out and found a regular helmet that carries the strap fine. Commuting type helmets with a dropped back probably work best (compared to road racing style helmets).
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Old 01-06-14, 09:36 PM
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Check out https://www.opticguard.com/ works really well on my glasses...
I had terrible fogging issues...this has definitely helped!
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Old 01-06-14, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
I use a Bolle OTG goggle, maybe it was about $25-$35, with an amber/yellow lens. I wear them over a balaclava, and really don't have much problem with fogging, primarily because by the time I'm breathing heavily, the balaclava comes down to the chin, so I can expel my breath away forcefully. I'm sure they'd capture moist, hot breath if it was tracing under a balaclava that covered the mouth and directed it up towards the eyes; any eyeglass will in those conditions.

That said, the big advantage for quality ski goggles is that they're dual pane, and have an insulating air barrier that helps keep the side of the lens against the face warm, resisting condensation.

A couple of things to keep in mind when using ski goggles: watch the size, because many are quite large and cover part of the forehead, which can cause interference with a helmet; accommodating the goggle strap around the back of a bicycle helmet can be tricky, because so many are pointy or otherwise oddly shaped. I've used zip ties to keep the strap in place on some helmets, but lucked out and found a regular helmet that carries the strap fine. Commuting type helmets with a dropped back probably work best (compared to road racing style helmets).
The Scott goggles have a thick foam seal which effectively sealed off the opening in my balaclava. I've trial fit mine with a basic Bell helmet and my Giro MTB helmet and they fit well with both. I wouldn't guarantee the OP would have the same luck as I did but mine work very well.
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Old 01-07-14, 06:06 AM
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I got these, work great, light-weight and they fit over my glasses, haven't had problems with fogging. Also work great when I do snow blowing. $14.50
https://kroopsgoggles.com/collections...cycling-goggle

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Old 01-07-14, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by curly666 View Post
I got these, work great, light-weight and they fit over my glasses, haven't had problems with fogging. Also work great when I do snow blowing. $14.50
https://kroopsgoggles.com/collections...cycling-goggle
I have those, too, but find them totally useless.

There is no comparing the performance of those to ski goggles, in terms of resistance to fogging and warmth, when it's cold out. Perhaps the Kroops are fine for those who think 40ºF is cold, but for freezing cold, I can't recommend them at all.
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Old 01-07-14, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Murray Missile View Post
The Scott goggles have a thick foam seal which effectively sealed off the opening in my balaclava. I've trial fit mine with a basic Bell helmet and my Giro MTB helmet and they fit well with both. I wouldn't guarantee the OP would have the same luck as I did but mine work very well.
If the OP has only worn clear safety glasses as indicated, I can guarantee that ski goggles (twin lens type) will be *much* warmer and *much* more fog resistant. There is no luck involved with there.

Choosing the right goggles to fit with your helmet may involve a little luck, however. A lot depends on head shape; taller foreheads will have more space to work with. Also the aforementioned helmet shaping is an issue, too.
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Old 01-07-14, 08:36 AM
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I've used ski goggles a few times with good success, but mainly I just wimp out and don't ride.
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Old 01-07-14, 08:40 AM
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Just wondering if anybody has tried the motorcycle glasses that you can get at Walmart? They say they are anti fog.
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Old 01-07-14, 11:09 AM
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I think if I could just close off the little openings between the balaclava and my face on either side of my nose, it would keep whatever eyewear I have from fogging up. That's the problem, when I exhale that breath goes up through those openings and causes my glasses to fog up. Sometimes if I pull the glasses slightly away and down my nose it helps a little, but last time I rode at 23° it didn't help at all. And I didn't ride this morning because it was freakin' 7 F outside, and I'm simply not equipped to ride 15 miles in that cold.

I think if I could find some ski goggles for less than $50 I would try them.
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Old 01-07-14, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
I think if I could find some ski goggles for less than $50 I would try them.
Found mine on eBay for $37.75 & $5 shipping.
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Old 01-07-14, 05:44 PM
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There were some at the local Dick's for ~$30.00 and up. I thought about them for use on the bike but I didn't check them out. Don't know if they have a dbl lens.
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Old 01-07-14, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
...What sorts of eye wear are less prone to fogging? I heard mentioned "Visorgogs" in this forum. Anyone used those or have another good option?
Here we go again:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I perennially post about my winter eyewear for my 14 mile year-round commute, from about 35° down to as low as 0°. I must wear my prescription eyeglasses, and fogging is one of the worst dangers of winter riding. I am entirely satisfied with my system:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…for eye protection is a pair of simple, wide, plastic industrial goggles that I suspend from my cycling cap using Velcro around the nosepiece. The goggles sit very comfortably on my face securely in place even though my ears are covered. The earpieces then provide a secure mount for my eyeglass-mounted Take-a-Look mirror. The goggles allow sufficient room for my prescription eyeglasses, and are widely ventilated to carry away the exhaled moisture preventing fogging.

[Some manipulation of the face covering is necessary. For example I lower the mask when at rest or riding uphill. After a few minutes cycling, usually I don't need a full face cover.] These goggles have made winter cycling entirely possible because all other attempts to avoid dangerous fogging have been nowhere as successful…

I have also often suggested that any recommendations for winter riding include description of the conditions in which they are employed, i.e. lowest temperature and distance.

Addendum:
This morning (12/14/13) I did my 14 mile commute at 11° F with no fogging problems. After about one mile I was comfortable with lowering my face mask below my lower lip. When going fast on windswept downhill runs of about a few hundred yards, I raised my face mask to below my nose. The warm, moist exhaled air kept my exposed nose and cheeks warm, and the onrushing air dissipated the moisture before it could fog up the goggles. With a slightly forced exhalation, I could even warm my eyebrows, with no fogging.

I realize now that my goggles and face mask are actually an integrated system of heating and ventilation that keeps my face warm and my vision unencumbered by fogging. The windscreen of the goggles is so effective in keeping my eyes warm that my eyelids actually perspired because my central core body was so warm, and my eyes never got cold, even on those fast windswept downhill runs.

Sometimes brief fogging does occur, literally with each breath but is then immediately swept away. One has to be careful though, that condensation does not linger at particularly cold temperatures less than about 15°, or it can quickly turn to frost and will not go away unless scraped off. This happened on a ride at about 0° at about mile 11 as shown below. Nonetheless it only occurred on the lateral half of the right-hand lens, and I still had enough forward vision, and left-hand peripheral vision so I could use my rearview mirror, and I felt comfortable riding the last 3 miles.

Finally, last Monday I rode in a sleety, wintry mix, and wore a billed baseball cap under my helmet. My prescription eyeglasses stayed dry and clear, and my vision was good with occasional swipes of the goggles with a gloved finger.

Attached Images
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Frosted glasses front.jpg (75.8 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg
Front view with face mask.jpg (99.8 KB, 84 views)
File Type: jpg
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Old 01-07-14, 06:06 PM
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I have no problem with a hat/chin scarf thing rather than a balaclava at 10f and above. Id just ditch the balaclava but everyone is different.
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Old 01-07-14, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by downwinded View Post
I noticed kind of the same thing. I think I will be able to adapt. The safety glasses fog up for me at much warmer temps than what you described so, I'm hoping the gogs will do the trick. I think I just need to play with the fit and position of the gogs and the balaclava.
I just started using visorgog a couple weeks ago and am pretty happy with how they fit over my glasses. I'm also learning to control my breathing while at a stop - they clear right up when I start moving.

One downside is the plastic is not skin friendly especially in the cold. My commute is about an hour and if I dont get the balaclava under them it hurts. I imagine this is an advantage of ski goggles (nice foam edges). Still, visorgog is much better than safety glasses
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Old 01-07-14, 06:53 PM
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I had only a little fogging with just the plastic safety glasses. One side fogged and frosted a bit, not a real issue. Maybe it depends a lot on your balaclava or face mask, humidity, where the wind is, how much you stop, and how much you slow down?
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Old 01-08-14, 07:28 AM
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I bought cheap ($15 for both) tinted and clear 3M Virtua V6 Anti-Fog safety glasses. I'm sure they are not as warm as ski googles, but they do the trick down to 15F or so (I haven't tried them in weather any colder).

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Old 01-08-14, 08:27 AM
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Interesting, wonder if Lowe's or Home Depot carries those.
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