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Winter head covering

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Old 10-03-15, 01:31 PM
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baldilocks
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Winter head covering

What do you wear under your helmet to keep your head warm? What is your preferred material? Do you just ditch the helmet and wear a hat? As a bald man with limited winter cycling experience, I'd be interested in hearing your solutions.
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Old 10-03-15, 03:56 PM
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tclune
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I wear a thin balaklava made from I know not what. It works great and is thin enough to let me put my helmet on over it.
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Old 10-03-15, 04:14 PM
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Mostly this:

For colder days, this.

I have never ridden in conditions cold enough to warrant both, but I suppose it could be done.
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Old 10-03-15, 05:42 PM
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I've used a thin full face balaclava on the seriously cold days and an equally thin moisture wicking beanie otherwise. They've both done the job.
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Old 10-03-15, 11:03 PM
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What has worked best for me is to use a helmet cover outside my helmet and then just wear a warm headband underneath. Saves my hair from getting sweaty and compressed under a beanie.

If I do wear a beanie, I am fond of merino wool (comfy, stays warm even if damp/wet).
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Old 10-04-15, 05:04 AM
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Under Amour ColdGear cap - has some kind of infrared reflective lining, really great in the cold. When it's seriously cold (below freezing) I ditch my traditional helmet and wear a Giro snowboarding helmet with ear protection. Been out in -5 degree F air temps with a windchill even colder and that combo of hat and helmet kept me very warm.
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Old 10-04-15, 05:22 AM
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Last year I bought a "Buff" made of Merino wool. Extremely thin and not scratchy. You can wear it many different ways, and I put it around my neck, then when it got extra cold would pull the back part up over my head then put on the helmet. I was skeptical about its warmth providing abilities because it's so thin, but it really works. They're washable too. They have microfiber ones too but I can't speak for those.

Merino Wool Buff Tubular | Buff® USA Official Site
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Old 10-04-15, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Supermau View Post
I've used a thin full face balaclava on the seriously cold days and an equally thin moisture wicking beanie otherwise. They've both done the job.
+ 1. This combo got me through a pretty cold Iowa winter.
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Old 10-04-15, 05:50 AM
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Thanks to All. I actually have a balaclava that I've worn on the very coldest days at the Ice rink. I think I will pick up a smart wool beanie and give that a try.
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Old 10-04-15, 06:04 AM
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I've always wondered what those were called. (Buff) Many years ago I had bought something similar to use at the outdoor ice rink. Mine looked like long underwear material and I don't think it was as long as yours. It got me thru a very bad winter and haven't seen one since.

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Old 10-04-15, 09:05 AM
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UnderArmour Cold Gear beanie under my regular helmet in the fall. A light balaclava as things get colder. When things get really cold I switch to a lined ski helmet and a Seirus neofleece balaclava with neoprene face mask and ski goggles. When it gets too cold for that (very rare) I switch to an indoor trainer.
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Old 10-04-15, 09:33 AM
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Always thought about a neoprene face mask, but never looked hard enough to get one.
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Old 10-04-15, 09:48 AM
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Under the helmet: nothing.
Over the helmet: a Louis Garneau helmet rain cover.
Below the helmet: a fleece headband to keep the forehead and ears warm.
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Old 10-04-15, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by baldilocks View Post
Always thought about a neoprene face mask, but never looked hard enough to get one.
I tried one for sking and found that it was the most reliable method ever invented to frost over your sunglasses or goggles, (by diverting exhaled air into them).
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Old 10-04-15, 11:44 AM
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the Bike-Ski helmets like Bern include a optional winter liner .

why not a helmet for the winter and a different one for the summer?
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Old 10-04-15, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by dh024 View Post
What has worked best for me is to use a helmet cover outside my helmet and then just wear a warm headband underneath. Saves my hair from getting sweaty and compressed under a beanie.
I started losing a bunch of hair as Cheryl's health got worse and worse. I finally had to start wearing a Headsweats during the summer to keep my scalp from getting sunburnt through the slots in my helmet. I've used a Showers Pass cover in recent years as the first round of staying warm. This year I started using it about 10 degrees earlier due to the thinning hair.

Nashbar sells a self-branded ear warmer, skull cap and balaclava that is very windproof and made of a thin something material. About ten bucks each. I can use any combination of two together under my helmet. With the helmet cover and the three "hat" combos I did well enough last year that I have no thoughts of changing or trying anything different this season.
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Old 10-04-15, 01:26 PM
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I do live in Georgia. My recommendations are not suitable for many northern folks except in fall and spring. In wintertime I use the Southern Good 'ol Boy method......wait until it warms up tomorrow.

We don't stay actually cold long enough to spend the money for "real" winter stuff.
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Old 10-04-15, 03:23 PM
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I'm very bald and I found my thin balaclava good enough for my 40 minute commute down to 23F which had been my low temp limit for a few years. Last winter I also started to wear a heavy knitted headband for my ears. That setup enabled me to ride down to 12F where I found an additional light, thin knitted cap helped a little too much, so perhaps a thin beanie or yarmulke might do the trick.
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Old 10-04-15, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
the Bike-Ski helmets like Bern include a optional winter liner .

why not a helmet for the winter and a different one for the summer?
I've snagged a snowboard helmet. Durable, waterproof... and TOO WARM Easily good for sub-freezing rides.
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Old 10-04-15, 04:26 PM
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My headgear isn't the limiting factor on very cold days. My hands and feet are more of a problem then.

I have a summer wicking skullcap. It keeps the sun out of the helmet holes, and soaks up sweat when it's hot. That's good from 55F to 100F.
Next, a thin biking skullcap that mostly covers my ears. That's maybe 48F to 60F.
And a heavy Pearl Izumi skullcap that's good from 35F to 50F. I rarely ride in colder weather.

When it's below 45F, I have an inexpensive "neck gaiter", a 10 inch tall tube of fleece that loosely fits around my neck. It's great for pulling up over my nose when I'm cold, then bunching up around my jacket collar for ventilation when I'm too hot on the next climb. Very versatile.

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Old 10-04-15, 04:53 PM
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Heated boots, heated gloves for the coldest weather - I love mine.
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Old 10-04-15, 05:07 PM
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(Under the helmet)

warmer days:
wool buffs


coldest days:
wool balaclava
hood from merino hoodie
wool buffs
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Old 10-05-15, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
I do live in Georgia. My recommendations are not suitable for many northern folks except in fall and spring. In wintertime I use the Southern Good 'ol Boy method......wait until it warms up tomorrow.

We don't stay actually cold long enough to spend the money for "real" winter stuff.
Ok, great for you. My tomorrow takes like 5 months I'll be shipping some snow to you. Every week.
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Old 10-05-15, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mercator View Post
Mostly this:

For colder days, this.

I have never ridden in conditions cold enough to warrant both, but I suppose it could be done.
What is "cold"?

I'm have very similar stuff, I have a Smartwool skull cap and this balaclava - I will wear both the skull cap and balaclava under the helmet and ride temps down to -20F. I shared this a few times... but I can't stop posting it:


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Old 10-07-15, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
the Bike-Ski helmets like Bern include a optional winter liner .

why not a helmet for the winter and a different one for the summer?
I actually found that the winter liner is just far too warm. I even ditched the visored liner for the liner without a visor. I typically wear a smartwool beanie 15-40 degrees. Below 15 I wear a medium weight balaclava--merino--that has enough stretch to cover my mouth if necessary.
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