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Face masks affect endurance?

Old 06-26-20, 10:01 AM
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cubewheels
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Face masks affect endurance?

The city where I live, face masks are compulsary, even for cyclists. Cops or soldiers will pull you over if they caught you without a mask or improperly worn masks (like exposing your mouth or nose) and ask for a steep fine or some other disciplinary measure (even possibly impound your bike).

I wear a head buff instead which is like a scarf/bandana. Fortunately, that thing is permitted and better to breathe on than clinical facemasks. But still not as good as wearing nothing on your face.

How bad is it for our endurance?
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Old 06-26-20, 10:14 AM
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livedarklions
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
The city where I live, face masks are compulsary, even for cyclists. Cops or soldiers will pull you over if they caught you without a mask or improperly worn masks (like exposing your mouth or nose) and ask for a steep fine or some other disciplinary measure (even possibly impound your bike).

I wear a head buff instead which is like a scarf/bandana. Fortunately, that thing is permitted and better to breathe on than clinical facemasks. But still not as good as wearing nothing on your face.

How bad is it for our endurance?

What city are you in? Are you a commuter? Can you ride outside of the city?

I've determined that I won't ride with a mask on, the few blocks I tried it were not something I'd do recreationally. No question it affected my airflow, and I immediately didn't want to deal with how hot it made me feel.

It's very easy for me to socially distance where I ride, I realize that's not true for everyone.
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Old 06-26-20, 10:39 AM
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My solo rides tend to be very early, before the rest of the family has woken up, so there's nobody on the roads. I bring a mask in case I encounter someone or have a need to go into a shop, but after wearing one riding the first couple of times after lockdown started, I have eased back since.

When we go on family rides on the MUP, we all mask up; it's later in the day, the paths are busier, including with more at-risk populations out and about.
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Old 06-26-20, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
The city where I live, face masks are compulsary, even for cyclists. Cops or soldiers will pull you over if they caught you without a mask or improperly worn masks (like exposing your mouth or nose) and ask for a steep fine or some other disciplinary measure (even possibly impound your bike).

I wear a head buff instead which is like a scarf/bandana. Fortunately, that thing is permitted and better to breathe on than clinical facemasks. But still not as good as wearing nothing on your face.

How bad is it for our endurance?
I imagine it’s terrible for your endurance, not to mention that it’d be like a swamp in no time. I firmly believe that, short of closely drafting an infected cyclist, or having someone cough in your face, the chances of getting infected or infecting someone else while on your bike on the road in the great outdoors are minuscule. That being said, where you’re located, you have to be seen to wear a mask, even on your bike, which I think is overkill, but that’s just my opinion. I would never advocate breaking the law, but if I were in your situation, I might have a dedicated cycling mask with some subtle aeration or vents added

Last edited by Litespud; 06-26-20 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 06-26-20, 12:17 PM
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I wear a Buff too when cycling but fortunately I only have to use it to cover my nose and mouth if I enter a shop or similarly enclosed place. I have ridden with covering my face and it's only fine for light work, nothing where large gulps of air is required. If I was commuting around a city/town, I'd have it on as a courtesy to pedestrians and other cyclists, but not for anything strenuous. Happily, all my training takes me to roads and trails I need not worry about the need for a mask.
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Old 06-26-20, 12:34 PM
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In my experience, riding with any covering over the face is the key that unlocks the snot waterfall. I only wear a face covering for winter descents, so I don't freeze my nose and lips off. Right now? It's 90º outside.

Luckily, I don't live in a city, and what cops we do have couldn't care less about cyclists.
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Old 06-26-20, 12:35 PM
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You get opinions here not scientific studies.. (to be realistic)
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Old 06-26-20, 12:41 PM
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Most face masks shouldn't affect your breathing (although they almost all will tend to fog up glasses), but not all facemasks are created equally. There are even some specifically designed to make it harder to breath. Some athletes use these to simulate training at higher altitude.

I have seen an advertisement somewhere (probably on fb) for a mask that's designed for athletes that you might look into.

Some examples:
https://about.underarmour.com/news/2...-ua-sportsmask

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/202...sk-for-running

https://footwearnews.com/feature/bes...ng-1203011889/
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Old 06-26-20, 04:34 PM
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I wonder if the mask was dampened if it'd be easier to breathe through?

Are you in Calgary, Alberta?

Cheers
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Old 06-26-20, 05:02 PM
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Galen Rupp has competed in 10k events with a facemask due to his allergy. I'd like to know what sort of mask this is!

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Old 06-26-20, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
You get opinions here not scientific studies.. (to be realistic)
So the scientific data has shown that it tends to slightly increase the strength of your inspiratory muscles and has no real effect on hematocrit or the factors we think of for increased athletic endurance.

So the bigger task is finding one that's comfortable.

The OP isn't debating whether it helps stop the spread, he's saying that it's compulsory where he lives (outside the USA, since us Yanks are such toddlers about things like this).

I don't think you can do much better than a Lycra buff. I use the one Kreig makes. I love them on cool days, I can't imagine riding today with one 95+ degrees.
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Old 06-26-20, 05:41 PM
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OK, thanks, do you have a Link to those study reports in medical publications?

if not, We'll call it an opinion statement. If out on the highway alone no one around you in sight
or passing in the opposite direction close enough to matter.. cool.. the short term mask surgeons use,

can hang under your chin & be pulled up easily when needed..

there are data graphs showing where people did not fight the advise from their leaders
the numbers were fewer and the rate has dropped much lower..

belligerence has the infection rate plateauing at a elevated level and then heading higher again of late..


Its why we cant have nice things, we ain't united..





...

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-26-20 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 06-26-20, 06:06 PM
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If the mask has a valve in the front for exhaling, then it's not doing its job. The purpose of a mask is to prevent you from spreading your own infected droplets and infecting others. Masks do NOT filter virus particles as you inhale.
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Old 06-26-20, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
I wonder if the mask was dampened if it'd be easier to breathe through?

Are you in Calgary, Alberta?

Cheers
unlikely. Depending on material, it might make it worse.
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Old 06-26-20, 06:56 PM
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rosefarts
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
OK, thanks, do you have a Link to those study reports in medical publications?

if not, We'll call it an opinion statement. If out on the highway alone no one around you in sight
or passing in the opposite direction close enough to matter.. cool.. the short term mask surgeons use,

can hang under your chin & be pulled up easily when needed..

there are data graphs showing where people did not fight the advise from their leaders
the numbers were fewer and the rate has dropped much lower..

belligerence has the infection rate plateauing at a elevated level and then heading higher again of late..


Its why we cant have nice things, we ain't united..





...
It's an ncbi article if you are more sober than me currently. I definitely looked it up at the start of Covid when I got winded wheeling a patient down the hall wearing an n95
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Old 06-26-20, 07:55 PM
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There are masks, and then there are masks...

I'm personally more about sustaining a low-moderate power output for very long periods of time. I find I can do it in some masks, but not others - for example today I did 16 miles in one consisting of 2 layers of tight weave cotton sheet; the version with three layers of the same fabric I know that I could not ride in. In cooler weather I've 30 miles in three layers of another fabric. In hotter weather, I find it's not so much that wearing a mask is intolerable, as that I simply sweat through them - especially when I stop (the breeze stops) and worse if I lean over to deal with anything while stopped - both fishing out my keys at the end of a ride and especially pumping a tire have managed to all but instantly soak a mask to the point of opacity. Of course, the distance I've gone with a single mask is still a relatively short one in terms of the rides I sometimes do.

My personal decision is to have enough masks for the situations where I'll be venturing indoors, such as refill stops (or getting in and out of the shared hallways of my building). I'll wear them on rides until I sweat through, if that happens the uselessly sodden one comes off and I ride without until I enter another people-rich area at which point I carefully take out and put on a fresh one. When riding with my niece and nephew I always wear one as that is their family rule, fortunately I haven't sweated through on those rides. In my century attempt planning I assume I'll be riding without a mask the majority of the time and distance, but am going to make sure I have enough to have a fresh one for each refill or contingent stop, and if I return at an hour where the local trails are heavily used, I'd consider putting one on again for that as they are formally required in the center of our town.

But riding or jogging around with your mask or buff around your neck and using your grubby mitts to pull it up when you see someone seems like the worst of all worlds, at least in terms of personal risk of contaminating yourself if you've managed to recently handle anything shared.

I suspect that the "Galen Rupp pollen mask" is something most could ride in at least for a while, if they could get one. To those who would argue that it is a different kind of mask, I'd ask which regulation it fails??? most simply say "a face covering" and don't mandate specifics. At most in a few places exhale valves are (probably rightly) banned.

Last edited by UniChris; 06-27-20 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 06-26-20, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Hokiedad4 View Post
If the mask has a valve in the front for exhaling, then it's not doing its job. The purpose of a mask is to prevent you from spreading your own infected droplets and infecting others.
That is the purpose of mask requirements, yes.

Masks do NOT filter virus particles as you inhale.
That depends on the mask. One of the things to realize is that tiny viral particles don't sail through like bullets, they follow a very turbulent path and are actually more likely to be captured than larger more massive particles.

But yes, the effectiveness of improvised fabric masks is limited. And "Buff" type face coverings or pulling up your shirt likely offer little more than attenuating outgoing droplets.

However, things like N95 masks or P100 respirator cartridges with an undamaged electret layer actually are quite effective at inbound protection, if worn and handled correctly (ie, without leakage, or cross contamination).
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Old 06-26-20, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
That is the purpose of mask requirements, yes.



That depends on the mask. One of the things to realize is that tiny viral particles don't sail through like bullets, they follow a very turbulent path and are actually more likely to be captured than larger more massive particles.

But yes, the effectiveness of improvised fabric masks is limited. And "Buff" type face coverings or pulling up your shirt likely offer little more than attenuating outgoing droplets.

However, things like N95 masks or P100 respirator cartridges with an undamaged electret layer actually are quite effective at inbound protection, if worn and handled correctly (ie, without leakage, or cross contamination).
Too be truly effective a mask must have an airtight seal around the face.

Cheers
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Old 06-26-20, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Too be truly effective a mask must have an airtight seal around the face.
Indeed.

However, that is achievable.

It's most easily done with an elastomeric cartridge respirator, there for example you can check the fit by covering the cartridge ports with your hands and feeling the drastically increased resistance as you inhale.

An actual N95 has a foam sealing strip under the nose wire, but there are still user requirements. Was a little disappointed to read an article about a facility police force that had been gifted a box only to have them seized and redirected - and the article was illustrated by a picture of a very bearded officer trying to wear one, with no mention made of that inherent and well documented mistake.

I was originally rather skeptical of the seal that could be achieved with a fabric mask and a nose wire, but after some work on them, it actually can be rather good. Or it can be loose - it depends on the design and how the user shapes the nose wire. And that's not always a bad thing - wearing a mask in a "leaking" configuration might actually be the best way to get it to the next point of serious need, since on a ride there's no real way to store a removed one for re-use.

Two fairly key signs with a fabric mask: if there's a leak, you can feel air escaping past your eyes or sometimes your cheek. If there isn't, you can feel the mask suck into your face as you inhale.
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Old 06-26-20, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Too be truly effective a mask must have an airtight seal around the face.

Cheers
Right. But even a face covering without an airtight seal will reduce viral transfer, be it outgoing or incoming. We’re not talking about a viral laboratory situation, we’re talking about mitigating community transmission.
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Old 06-26-20, 08:28 PM
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There is a scientific study so there are facts not just opinion. Although it's title refers to walkers and runners, it certainly applies to cyclists.
https://www.urbanphysics.net/Social%2...hite_Paper.pdf

The League of American Bicyclists agreed and recommends a ten yard distance between cyclists not wearing masks at slow speed and twenty yards when maintaining a high speed. Have you ever ridden behind someone who sweated profusely and felt their perspiration flying off of them. Studies show that the invisible cloud of exhaled breath lingers in the air and if you're too close, you're riding through it.

Wear a mask or don't wear a mask...it's your choice unless mandated by law. Just know the risks.
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Old 06-26-20, 08:49 PM
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It is the law for the OP, so no need to discuss the need for masks.

The better sealed and filtered the mask is, the more restrictions. Duh.

I'd get the least resistive cloth mask that still is legal in that area. As for fogging glasses. I had good luck with Bolle antifog glasses. They are $10 on Amazon and are rated for work safety, scratch resistant, 99% UV etc. Just make sure you get their top of the line type. They only fog when it is really humid and I slow down with mask. But not otherwise. Regular glasses fog under most conditions with mask.

Where I live there is no law. I'm pro mask requirement in all public places, though. But for bike riding I don't think they are needed. Even when I pass someone, that is for a split second. I also exhale until I pass and inhale once I passed. The opposite for oncoming people. I have a mask with me if I would stop to talk to someone, but the still keep distance.

I tried the mask and let it hang down when no one was around and put it up when people are around. But that gets old quickly. And when it was on I can feel lack of airflow, especially since I try to speed up to get away from people. Can't imagine a mask to be popular in July. I have KN95 masks, which is the Chinese rated version of an N95. I mainly want to protect myself. I barely see people with masks.

Edit: these are the glasses I use, not fogging unless it is really humid below a certain speed. We have Bolle glasses at work and they really have a clear view and don't scratch easily.

Last edited by HerrKaLeun; 06-27-20 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 06-26-20, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
What city are you in? Are you a commuter? Can you ride outside of the city?

I've determined that I won't ride with a mask on, the few blocks I tried it were not something I'd do recreationally. No question it affected my airflow, and I immediately didn't want to deal with how hot it made me feel.

It's very easy for me to socially distance where I ride, I realize that's not true for everyone.
I'm in a crowded city of Manila, in the Philippines. We can't ride outside the city as the whole city is on lockdown. I also need to back home within one hour on top of it.

I try to make the most in that one hour by riding in the nearby hilly parts of the city and sprinting whenever I had the chance.
To make matters even worse, my riding window only opens around 1 pm, high noon sun, 110'F heat in the road with a mask on!
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Old 06-26-20, 09:13 PM
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Its going to decrease the desire to enjoy your what was typical leisure activities.

I tend to fart if people are too close. If they comment, the question in return is, "did that taste scrumptious?"
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Old 06-26-20, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Too be truly effective a mask must have an airtight seal around the face.

Cheers
indeed - properly fitting an N95 for it to be effective is quite an involved process, overseen by a trained fitter, involving selecting the correct mask size and painstaking checking for leaks (source- PhD in microbiology and 15 years‘ research in airborne pathogens). That’s not to say that a “store-bought“ N95 or a cloth mask doesn’t provide some benefit - they’ll certainly catch direct spray from heavy exhalation, coughing, sneezing, singing etc, in both directions, but if you can breathe essentially normally through it, the air - and whatever particles it’s carrying - is taking the path of least resistance around the edges, and not passing through the filter. A properly fitted N95 allows slow and deliberate inhalation, because all the air passes through a fine filter. You’re not doing anything aerobic in such a mask
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