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Sun Protection

Old 06-28-22, 05:37 PM
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Sun Protection

What kind of sun protection and suncreen do you use on tour? My neighbor just bailed on a one week tour after 3 days. He said he needs better sun protection. He was using SPF 45 Sport, but the long days this time of year made it difficult to keep up, even with reapplying.
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Old 06-28-22, 08:37 PM
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Clothing: Long sleeve Ts + lightweight gloves + beanie + running tights + socks. Feels cooler and is more protective than sunscreen.

I always wear LSTs+gloves. Merino beanie or neck gaiter worn on the head; shorts or running pants depending on the circumstances.
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Old 06-28-22, 08:38 PM
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Clothing: Long sleeve Ts + lightweight gloves + beanie + running tights + socks. Feels cooler and is more protective than sunscreen.

I always wear LSTs+gloves. Merino beanie or neck gaiter worn on the head; shorts or running pants depending on the circumstances.
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Old 06-28-22, 09:40 PM
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Lotion type sunscreens

Work best for me. I find they donít allow me to get sunburned after sweating like the spray types do.

I like the Hawaiian Tropic products. Careful on your forehead as the sweat can sting your eyes
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Old 06-28-22, 10:25 PM
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I purchased a long sleeve O'Neill UV protection sunscreen shirt last year. It fits like a tight base layer, so it is pretty aerodynamic and light weight, and the fabric wicks moisture efficiently which keeps you about as cool as possible. On very hot sunny summer days, I have found it about as comfortable as a short sleeve jersey would be. I only have to worry about applying sunscreen on my ears, back of neck and nose.
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Old 06-28-22, 10:35 PM
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I've used the Coppertone sport and the sunbum products with good success here for hot sunny rides here in SouthEast Texas. I usually reapply at my half way point if I'm later in the day and going to be riding past noon. Good luck on it!
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Old 06-28-22, 11:30 PM
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Zinc oxide only. The other stuffs are endocrine disrupters that will make a man produce more estrogen.
I don't ride with any bare skin but the face, ears, and neck.
A full beard is protective but I use block on the lips, nose, cheekbones and other places the beard doesn't cover.
I want to get "Da Brim" but they've mostly been out of stock lately.

Obviously, I wear long clothing, trousers and long-sleeve shirts. I'm not overly concerned with aerodynamics since I ride slow. I enjoy loose-fitting cotton. It offers plenty of sun protection and it's very cool and comfortable, but would definitely add a lot of drag at high speeds. I don't like clothing made with plastic fibers, so I mine is all cotton or wool. I can see with really thin lycra or something, the UV penetrating the semi-transparent cloth. Thick cotton oxford, twill or canvas doesn't have that problem.
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Old 06-28-22, 11:43 PM
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Mechanix Wear Vent gloves are very cool. They keep the back of my hands from sunburning and they're not at all hot. Something thicker would provide more protection in a fall, but the vent are enough for sun protection.

I wear a helmet. I was burned mildly through a forehead vent hole once. I had forgone sunblock on my forehead because I'd rather it not run into my eyes with sweat or grease up my rimless glasses. I have dense hair so long as I keep it long. If I've got a buzz-cut, I've got to use sunblock on my scalp or be burned through the helmet vents. The helmet offers some overhang protection but not much without something like Da Brim or a long visor.

I mentioned rimless glasses. Maui Jim. They're great but probably not the best for cycling. I get why people wear shields if they go fast. The wind can cut right through the bridge. Since I ride slow, I don't care, but the rimless are harder to keep clean when sweating and wearing sunblock. My next pair will probably be some frames that hold progressive and photochromic lenses.
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Old 06-29-22, 07:21 AM
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Just as a side note on that 45 rating... I've read and been told many times that anything above 30 works the same as 30. I met a woman cyclist a few years ago who was wearing arm protectors. Asked her about them and she told me there's a guy who makes them. He has a website for his sun protection products, but I don't remember what it is. The arms cost $45. I use only zinc oxide protection for the face and stockings for my arms.
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Old 06-29-22, 08:16 AM
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To set the stage, most of my touring starts shortly after dawn, and is centered around summertime. Also I find long sleeves too hot for temperatures over 80F in areas where "humid" starts about 70% and up, and too hot where "humid" means 30% if it's much over 95F.

I don't worry about the sun until miid-morning or so: say 9:30-10:00 on the east end of a time zone, and closer to 11:00 on the west side of a time zone. I enjoy those early hours for cool air. But when I pause around 10 or 11, depending on location, I'm usually sweating too much to put on a sunscreen lotion, and I'm not going to sit inside air conditioning for the 15-20 minutes recommended to let the sunscreen soak in.

Fortunately, after the company that made Bullfrog Gel was sold a few years ago, the buyer decided to make another lot this year. (Order some while it lasts!) I find the gel goes on and stays on as long as sweat isn't dripping off me -- and if it's that hot/humid, stopping at the top of a hill and restarting shortly after applying it dries me enough to keep it on. If I'm going all day, I may reapply after lunch; though later in a tour, I've got enough of a tan that I don't always worry about reapplying.
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Old 06-29-22, 09:09 AM
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I apply sunscreen liberally first thing in the morning to every place exposed to the sun and haven't had issues with sunburns. I will sometimes apply a second layer on my face and arms mid afternoon, but even without reapplying I've been fine. I have had issues with sunscreen running into my eyes and find I've had less problems with zinc based products. Zinc based product seem to last better, but turn my skin a bit white. I figure it's more important to protect my skin than worry about looking "cool". I try to take my long breaks in the shade. I sometimes wear a thin head cover under my helmet to protect my scalp - it also helps keep sweat out of my eyes.

When fishing, I'll use one of these:https://images.app.goo.gl/Q26s5tNiJetnVMaLA
I usually pack one when touring, but rarely use wear one touring. I find I angle my head down enough on the bike that I'm reducing my sun exposure on my face.

It's a lot drier where I tour - I'm not sure how things would be different with high humidity. I find myself feeling very uncomfortable slathering on sunscreen in humid environments though I still do. Another coping strategy is to completely cover up, but douse your shirt in water and ride with it wet.

I've gotten heat rash before from black lycra cycling shorts. If the day is very hot and the sun is especially intense, I find riding in loose running shorts works better than black lycra cycling shorts. If I could find some white cycling shorts, I'd probably buy a pair...

(Have you considered he bailed for other reasons in addition to the sun exposure? It's possible the sun exposure was only the more pressing problem. If there were other problems that could have been changed to make the trip more enjoyable for him he may have pressed on)

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Old 06-29-22, 09:12 AM
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Physical barriers (long sleeve jersey, head covering, Zinc oxide on exposed areas like nose, ears, etc) are my preference. I find long-sleeve summer jerseys cooler than short-sleeve ones with arm protectors, but I carry a pair (Pearl Izumi) as well as their leg-protectors.

Avoiding peak UV. Noon to 2 pm is ideally avoided. (It helps break the day up as well.)

Good sunglasses (your retinas can get too much sun as well).
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Old 06-29-22, 11:17 AM
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Cover up as much as you can, especially if you are of Irish or Scottish descent. Long sleeves, long pants, something to protect your nose, (glacier glasses have a nose shield), full fingered gloves. Also try to avoid mid day sun.

I'm speaking from experience and have a lot of sun damage to my nose, ears. forehead hands, and forearms. My dermatologist is rich.
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Old 06-29-22, 12:02 PM
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Usually by the time I head out for a warm weather tour my arms and legs are already pretty tan and I don't have to worry much about them. My main focus is my face, head and neck. I started wearing a crushable hat a few years ago and have never looked back. Humans discovered the benefits of wearing hats with sun brims many years ago. If you're gonna be in the sun all day, they're a heck of a good idea. It amazes me how many touring cyclists I see slathered in sunblock and still suffering when all they need is a hat or one of those helmet-hat things they have now.. A full brim is much better than a baseball style cap. Occasionally, on a blazing day I'll apply some sunblock to my inner elbows or the backs of my lower legs. On a really brutal day it always seems best to just cover up with long sleeves and pants.
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Old 06-29-22, 02:39 PM
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Mountaineers use the greasy zinc oxide stuff. That's all you need to know.

They are not comfortable to wear though, and they have a white colour that makes you look funny.

You can also wear one of those WWII style Jap hats under your helmet, the ones that look like this: https://www.amazon.com/Japanese-WWII.../dp/B0994F6FVQ

I think Outdoor Research makes a modern hat of this design.

Edit: found it: https://www.rei.com/product/721671/o...B&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 06-29-22, 03:31 PM
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There are people that are very sensitive to UV and others that are not. I am fortunate, no skin cancer history in family. I usually use the cheapest brand that suggests it may be waterproof. I used to apply mid morning if it was sunny but there were a few times I forgot to apply it. So, now I am more inclined to apply sunscreen before I start riding, or if at home before I leave home. But I do not bother to reapply.

But I know plenty of people that have had bits of skin cancer removed, many of them reapply regularly. One guy I know usually looks very pale in summer from the amounf of zinc oxide in his sunscreen.
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Old 06-29-22, 03:41 PM
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Long sleeves > sunscreen. Cover your body if the sun is gonna be a problem. The uv threat is only a small window during the day, this is when sunscreen is needed. Also get face specific stuff, preferably water proof; I think my favorite one is actually shimano(nm it's shisheido) branded...

uv protective buffs(survivor) are also useful for the head.

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Old 06-29-22, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by travelinhobo
Just as a side note on that 45 rating... I've read and been told many times that anything above 30 works the same as 30. ....
I heard the same thing 15 or 20 years ago. I checked it out just now and it looks to be false. According to skincancer.org, "An SPF 30 allows about 3 percent of UVB rays to hit your skin. An SPF of 50 allows about 2 percent of those rays through. That may seem like a small difference until you realize that the SPF 30 is allowing 50 percent more UV radiation onto your skin."

In the distant past, I also heard that the meaning of SPF had to do with how long the protection would last before burning occurs or the sunscreen would need to be reapplied. I believe that is a possible consequence of the SPF, but the portion of UVB is a better definition because there are factors other than SPF that effect the duration before burning or reapplication becomes necessary.

The takeaway here is that SPF 50 is truly more protective than SPF 30. Whether its necessary or not would depend on your skin's sensitivity, the level and duration of UVB exposure.

Cycling, even at high altitude where I live is not the worst for UVB exposure. That would be skiing or anything on the snow or water. The extra protection of SPF50 would be worth it. For cycling, I would feel totally secure with SPF 30, but I happen to use SPF 50 since that is what I found for sale.

In 2011, the FDA called sunscreens with SPF higher than 50 "inherently misleading." The misleading part is that consumers might think SPF 100 is twice as protective as SPF 50 and could overexpose themselves as a result of misunderstanding. In fact, SPF100 blocks 99% of UVB rays, making it only marginally better than SPF30 that blocks 97%. So is the difference only 2%? Or is it two-thirds more? It depends on whether you're counting the portion of the total UV light that is blocked, or the portion of the UV that passes the sunscreen. SPF50 passes 3%, and SPF100 passes 1% -- that means SPF100 is passng almost 67% less.
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Old 06-30-22, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin
I heard the same thing 15 or 20 years ago. I checked it out just now and it looks to be false. According to skincancer.org, "An SPF 30 allows about 3 percent of UVB rays to hit your skin. An SPF of 50 allows about 2 percent of those rays through. That may seem like a small difference until you realize that the SPF 30 is allowing 50 percent more UV radiation onto your skin."
....
While that is correct, the difference between being outside for an hour and a half with SPF 30 instead of 50 is essentially the same as getting one minute of sun with no sunscreen. You would get more than one minute of sun by walking from your car to the grocery store in the parking lot, coming back out, and the time to load the groceries into the car.

I do not know anyone that puts on sunscreen before going to the grocery store, or walking to work from the parking lot, or getting the mail out of the mail box, or standing at the car while the tank is filled at the pump. Say nothing of waiting for a bus at a bus stop.

50 percent of a very small number is a very small number.

There is a tiny part of the population that is that sensitive to the sun but I do not recall the name of that condition. I doubt that any of them do bike tours.
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Old 06-30-22, 05:17 AM
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due to work, schedules I donít get out on super long rides and SPF 45& 50 seem to be fine for half days.

However I remember growing up in the Midwest detasseling corn in High school where we would spend all day (8-9 hours) under the sun in fields during the summer. Then the best solution was getting white LS loose fitting dress shirts at the local thrift store. While this may not be super cool cycling gear, it would be on the top of my list if I was able to to go on multiple day tours.
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Old 06-30-22, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Bogey Speedwell
...
However I remember growing up in the Midwest detasseling corn in High school where we would spend all day (8-9 hours) under the sun in fields during the summer. Then the best solution was getting white LS loose fitting dress shirts at the local thrift store. While this may not be super cool cycling gear, it would be on the top of my list if I was able to to go on multiple day tours.
I know a guy that on one of his coast to coast tours with ACA saw some dress shirts on sale in a store, bought one and tried that, and several others in his group later did the same thing.

On this day in West Texas, I was perturbed with myself for not thinking of that when I was packing at home, he was in front of me wearing his white shirt.



I think he said it was 100 percent cotton.
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Old 06-30-22, 09:11 AM
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I agree with the opinion that clothing beats sunscreen.

Less sure that a cotton/linen white dress shirt is the way to go (although I've carried a linen shirt on several occasions). (1) "cotton kills". Caught in a downpour, it'll not be dry the following morning. Synthetic (or perhaps merino) isa better alternative. (2) Slate gray rather than white. I find no discernible difference in comfort between white and gray. IIRC there's little to no thermal difference because of the apparent wind, and white will tend to look dirty. (3) loose fitting will flap like crazy downwind.
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Old 06-30-22, 11:27 AM
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Just a bit of info on color. Though white reflects the Sun nicely, staying cooler, it also passes more UV rays than darker colors. So a darker shirt would be better than a white shirt for Sun protection, baring other factors like specially treated cloth.

https://www.skincancer.org/blog/dres...block-uv-rays/
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Old 06-30-22, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN

There is a tiny part of the population that is that sensitive to the sun but I do not recall the name of that condition.
Vampires?

Joking aside, thanks for the info, everyone. I will pass it along to my neighbor.
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Old 07-02-22, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark

Good sunglasses (your retinas can get too much sun as well).
Good point. Believe it or not, my eyes are changing color, somewhat, and it pretty much has to be from prolonged sun exposure. I had brown eyes as a kid, then realized they were hazel, through most of my life, and now they have a mostly green look, with blue on the outer edge. 🤔

I don't really bother with sunscreen, I'm getting pretty tanned, and like it. We just had like a week or ten days of 100F temps, recently, and my skinny white boy legs look much better now. 😁
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