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Fog Free At Last!

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Fog Free At Last!

Old 01-22-12, 11:55 AM
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TuckamoreDew
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Fog Free At Last!

Last year was my first year cycling through the winter and at very low temperatures I constantly struggled with problem of fogging glasses. This year I'm using a combination of a neoprene mask and a half-mask respirator and so far I've been able to ride at -32C with zero fogging. On the first test runs, on the coldest days, I experienced a slight fogging of my glasses inside my goggles but the dishwashing soap trick has taken care of that. It is such a relief to not have to worry about losing visibility during my commute.

I have posted more details here if anyone is interested.





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Old 01-22-12, 01:35 PM
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Received the same neoprene mask for Christmas and found during the recent coldspell that my glasses fogged up instantaneously.

That's a surprisingly clean setup. I have a 3m respirator but I'll hold off on destroying it for the moment. Had you tried any other variations prior to this?
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Old 01-22-12, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by boro View Post
That's a surprisingly clean setup. I have a 3m respirator but I'll hold off on destroying it for the moment. Had you tried any other variations prior to this?
Aside from cutting up the filters, I didn't do anything irreversible to the respirator. I was going to replace the filters anyway as I have been using them for a long time.

Yes, last year I tried out the respirator in a different way. It wasn't as effective, and was a real hassle to put on and take off. This latest setup has been much simpler to use.

Here is a photo of my previous attempt to use the respirator:

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Old 01-22-12, 04:34 PM
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Wow, that's a pretty elegant solution and thanks for the detailed description. I post frequently about my system using open, well-ventilated safety goggles with a wide windscreen suspended over my prescription eyeglasses. It works pretty well down to the single digits Farenheit, but likely would not be adequate at those temps in Alberta. One thing I like about safety glasses are the rigid earpieces that allow me to use my eyeglass mounted Take-a-Look mirrors (right and left)

How far do you ride under those extreme conditions?
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Old 01-22-12, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Wow, that's a pretty elegant solution and thanks for the detailed description. I post frequently about my system using open, well-ventilated safety goggles with a wide windscreen suspended over my prescription eyeglasses. It works pretty well down to the single digits Farenheit, but likely would not be adequate at those temps in Alberta. One thing I like about safety glasses are the rigid earpieces that allow me to use my eyeglass mounted Take-a-Look mirrors (right and left)

How far do you ride under those extreme conditions?
I haven't found the respirator necessary until the temperature gets below -20C. I think the safety glasses method would likely work fine for me above that. My daily commute is 11km each way and in the winter it takes 45 to 60 minutes depending on conditions.
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Old 01-22-12, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by TuckamoreDew View Post
I haven't found the respirator necessary until the temperature gets below -20C. I think the safety glasses method would likely work fine for me above that. My daily commute is 11km each way and in the winter it takes 45 to 60 minutes depending on conditions.
Thanks for the reply. Your -20*C and 11 km are: -4*F and 6.8 miles; my 0*F (lowest temp with safety glasses) and 14 miles are: -17*C and 22.5 km.

I have often posted that for any evaluation of winter gear, the poster should specify temperature and distance (as a function of time). One post once suggested that a "cold" ride is one where the water bottle freezes solid; a function of temperature and time. For my 14 miles that occurs at about 15 degrees F or less (-9.4* C).

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-22-12 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 01-22-12, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TuckamoreDew View Post
Aside from cutting up the filters, I didn't do anything irreversible to the respirator. I was going to replace the filters anyway as I have been using them for a long time.
Ah I see, well that's a relief. Might give this a shot next time the weather drops - I was concerned I was going to have to make some sort of snorkel.

Will give the soap trick a try too.
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Old 01-22-12, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I have often posted that for any evaluation of winter gear, the poster should specify temperature and distance (as a function of time).
I agree with this.
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Old 11-13-14, 08:44 PM
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This winter I've upgraded to a 7500 series 3M respirator (7502 medium). The part of the mask that contacts the skin is made from a softer silicone instead of rigid plastic, which will hopefully be less painful near the top of my nose. I ordered mine on ebay where you can get them without the cartridges. The mask comes pre-configured to not drop down, but can be converted to a drop down style by moving the strap to the other side of two plastic tabs.

After a couple years of using a respirator my two main drawbacks are:
1. Runny nose, just blow you nose as best you can then blow with your mouth to clear the mask (yuck).
2. Can't drink without having to remove the mask

I typically wear mine if I expect to be riding into a headwind of 20+ kph for an extended period of time, even if the temperature is above -20C. Even a few days this week where it was -12C I felt I could have used it as my cheeks started going numb.
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Old 11-15-14, 12:41 PM
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Thank you for bumping this thread which I would not have seen otherwise.
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Old 11-15-14, 04:15 PM
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I've been using a silicone sealed half-mask respirator body for several years, my only suggestion is to add a discharge tube to the exhaust valve to push the exhaust farther away from your face.
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Old 11-16-14, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by gecho View Post
This winter I've upgraded to a 7500 series 3M respirator (7502 medium)...I typically wear mine if I expect to be riding into a headwind of 20+ kph for an extended period of time, even if the temperature is above -20C. Even a few days this week where it was -12C I felt I could have used it as my cheeks started going numb.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...I post frequently about my system using open, well-ventilated safety goggles with a wide windscreen suspended over my prescription eyeglasses. It works pretty well down to the single digits Farenheit,…

How far do you ride under those extreme conditions?
On a preceding exchange on this thread

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Thanks for the reply. Your -20*C and 11 km are: -4*F and 6.8 miles; my 0*F (lowest temp with safety glasses) and 14 miles are: -17*C and 22.5 km.

I have often posted that for any evaluation of winter gear, the poster should specify temperature and distance (as a function of time). One post once suggested that a "cold" ride is one where the water bottle freezes solid; a function of temperature and time. For my 14 miles that occurs at about 15 degrees F or less (-9.4* C).
On the other side of the temperature scale, I have determined that I wear my goggles at 35º F (2º C), and yesterday was the first time this fall.

Wind speed of 20 kpm is about 12 mph. I would consider that a moderate headwind. I usually don't factor wind chill (wind speed) in deciding to wear the goggles (or which winter clothing in general) because there is always a wind chill on a bike. Furthermore, my system does depend on wind to ventilate exhaled moisture away from my goggles and eyeglasses. My decisions are based on ambient temperature only, unless it's an excessive wind, like 20 mph and greater.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 11-16-14 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 11-16-14, 09:15 AM
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When I used to ride down to 15F, I used a kid's snorkel to redirect my exhilation back over my shoulder. It kind of worked. But now that I know about the soap trick and the respirator, I may try that and go back down to 15F.
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Old 11-16-14, 10:08 AM
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Fogging and icing is such a PITA to solve both for commuters and singletrack mountain biking. I suspect we have some of the same difficulties - really heavy exersion and then full stop. (steep up-hill, heavy snow, then...bam, off the trail into the snow) I'm still waffling on the cost of OTG goggles, especially those with an internal fan to keep the air moving through the goggles.

I might try your side-vented idea on my facemask - might help solve the problem and I could just wear my glasses. I don't ride much at less than 10-15 deg F, so really don't need goggles to stay warm, just the face mask.
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Old 11-16-14, 10:41 AM
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A headwind is made much worse if there is blowing snow mixed in. The snow melting as it hits your face quickly saps heat.

I get a lot fogging with my OTG goggles (of my glasses, not the goggles) from heat coming off my face / forehead. Last season I removed the vent slider to increase ventilation, but I haven't had a chance to see if it worked yet.

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Old 11-16-14, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
I'm still waffling on the cost of OTG goggles, especially those with an internal fan to keep the air moving through the goggles.
If you ever do try the fan-equipped goggles, please post back with your experience with them.

I tried the Habervision "no-fog" fan goggles, and they weren't very useful. All they did was keep a small patch of the goggles fog-free (even under mild conditions)--the patch was about the size of a quarter and it was situated right beneath the fan, approximately at the bridge of my nose (not helpful).

I would love to find some true "no-fog" goggles, if they exist.
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Old 11-16-14, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dh024 View Post
If you ever do try the fan-equipped goggles, please post back with your experience with them..
Will do!
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Old 11-16-14, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by dh024 View Post
I tried the Habervision "no-fog" fan goggles, and they weren't very useful. All they did was keep a small patch of the goggles fog-free (even under mild conditions)--the patch was about the size of a quarter and it was situated right beneath the fan, approximately at the bridge of my nose (not helpful).
I just looked at the fan insert used in those goggles (nice goggles BTW) and it's the same unit used in another major brand so that's not to encouraging.
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Old 11-16-14, 08:50 PM
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I used to use a balklava pulled up over my nose and mouth, but my glasses fogged badly, especially if the wind was at my back. Last year I got a neoprene mask much like the one pictured (maybe the same) and some ski goggles and the problem is 90% better. I use a commercial anti-fog wipe that I bought where I got the goggles and it helps. Fogging is minimal and never to the point that I can't see where I'm going safely.

I wear my balklava over the mask with the face portion of the balklava pulled under my chin to allow me to breathe out through my nose and mouth without it being redirected toward my goggles.
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Old 11-29-14, 02:18 PM
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Tried my new respirator out today. I took the bottom valve out, but left the top ones in place. It is a little wider near the top of the nose than my old one so the goggles don't fit very well. Though I couldn't get an ideal goggle fit with my old one either.

It was -20C today, and will be about the same tomorrow, so I can try my old one again to see which I prefer. I started my ride too aggressively today and ended up sweating a lot so there was a little fogging from the heat and moisture radiating off my face. A common occurrence fat bike riding with the combination of high exertion and low speed.

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Old 11-27-15, 02:48 PM
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Old 12-30-15, 01:27 PM
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Thank you for bumping this thread, and thank you OP for your original post. I had been trying to figure the best way to keep my eyeglasses from fogging up. After reading this post today, I went to a local hardware store and bought a 3M respirator with a "drop down" feature to redirect exhaust. It worked perfectly on my ride today--about 30 F in Chicagoland.
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Old 01-05-16, 11:41 AM
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I had very good luck with this mask last year. After my first ride, I bough a spare.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...rch_detailpage
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Old 01-06-16, 10:11 PM
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This is an excellent idea- my temps aren't usually too terrible, but my glasses fog easily and I haven't been able to get a good seal around my nose with any sort of mask, it simply sticks out too far. I will definitely try this and see if it solves my fogging problems for good.
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Old 01-25-16, 09:21 PM
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Anyone make a mask with a side exhalation valve? My pilot mask has one, but that's a bit expensive, and they would frown on it if I ran off with it and tried to adapt it for cycling.
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