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Let's talk about those helmet vents and bald head sunburn

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Let's talk about those helmet vents and bald head sunburn

Old 07-20-19, 01:21 PM
  #1  
mynewnchome
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Let's talk about those helmet vents and bald head sunburn

So....like everyone else, I wear a vented helmet, you know the type, approximately 24 vent holes to keep the heat down.

The other day I did a 20 mile ride using that helmet (98 degrees, real feel 105 - NC can be a hot place in the summer). A day later my wife remarked on my approximate 6" x 1" red sun burns that ran from the front of my head to the back on several striped locations.

Today I set out and did over 27 miles, this time using a spray sunscreen we use at the pool. Seems to have prevented the burn but stings in the sweat in the eyes. (Today was a cooler 94 degrees with a real feel of 102 degrees - brrrr, almost needed long sleeves, lol).

So, I began to search for a solution using the power of the internet. Within a few minutes I ran across this....

Sunscreen advice for bald riders.... (LINK)

And then this...

Bicycle helmets and do rags

Some interesting light reading.

Some of the posts even suggested a more aero helmet such as this with different venting ideas to keep from having direct sun exposure and burns.


My concern here is the before mentioned temperatures we have here. Oh, did I mention the humidity? Yea, sometimes near 100% (might as well be raining). Cooling is a high priority. Sweat is a given here, clean, see through cycling glasses are a challenge with the amount of sweat.

Some suggested a folded bandana, a do-rag, a cycling hat, even folded baby wipes and/or screen netting like used in a window glued inside the helmet.

So.....what do you do oh "great bald ones" to protect your "dome" from the ravages of the solar ball in the sky? P.S.....my bald is "self induced" but have worn it this way so long I don't want hair back....lol.

Let's hear the solutions!

Last edited by mynewnchome; 07-20-19 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 07-20-19, 01:25 PM
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sweeks
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Originally Posted by mynewnchome View Post
Let's here ("hear") the solutions!
"Headsweats"
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Old 07-20-19, 01:30 PM
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mynewnchome
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I used to wear ones like that on my motorcycle, the biggest problem was the lack of drawing moisture away, the cotton stayed wet and soon became uncomfortable.

Are those more like a cycling jersey?
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Old 07-20-19, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
Sorry, kindle spell check features tend to change words to something other than what is rooted......see....I put in "typed", kindle changed it to "rooted". I have to proofread a lot of posts or edit them when using this thing, missed that one.
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Old 07-20-19, 01:35 PM
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Or a summer cycling cap.
I have two from Castelli.
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Old 07-20-19, 01:49 PM
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I always wear a cap under my helmet for blocking some of the sunlight and sweat control. In colder temps it is either a cap or a head cover that goes over the ears and neck. I have found a couple of SPF 50 lotions that actually really do not sting my eyes. One is a CVS brand sports lotion and the other is also CVS, but for babies. The sports brand is very thick and sticky. When I get home my legs are covered with road grime. However, it stays on for quite awhile and does not sting my eyes. The baby lotion never totally disappears into the skin and looks like baby powder on your skin. Not nearly as sticky, also lasts and does not irritate my eyes. I do not like wearing any of the stuff, but it sure is better than getting things on the skin either frozen for removal or cut off and biopsied every 6 months. Saw my dermatologist 2 weeks ago and had nothing done other than the examination.
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Old 07-20-19, 02:10 PM
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I always wear a cycling cap under the helmet, both for top-of-the-head sun protection and a little protection for my face.
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Old 07-20-19, 02:23 PM
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"Magnetically fastener" ?
(that's all I got )
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Old 07-20-19, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
+1

I wear them year round even though I have enough hair left to protect against sunburn they help keeping sweat out of my eyes and glasses when climbing.
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Old 07-20-19, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
^^^This.

All one needs to know. Headsweats or any other skull cap made specifically for bicycle riders wearing helmets in moderate or warm weather, especially sunny weather.

A good place to peruse is Amazon and just type in the search feature for "skull caps" or "bicycle headcover," etc. Buy from whoever you want once you have decided.

Good luck on getting something that is exactly right for you.
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Old 07-20-19, 03:19 PM
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All I would add is to look for spf rating on headgear. I have a scarf, do-rag thing from Voler with a 50 spf rating. They make arm and leg covers too. I didn't always wear stuff under my helmet, but I just finished treatment for pre-cancer spots on my bald head, so, now I will always wear a cycling cap or head cover. I find the wicking type material feels cooler as it wicks the sweat away. It also keeps sweat out of my eyes.
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Old 07-20-19, 04:08 PM
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Cycling caps arenít old school or new hipster. They work to prevent sunburn amd prevent sweat running onto your eyes or needing a sweat gutter for your helmet.

It wonít appreciably warm you either on hot days.

Give one a shot.
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Old 07-20-19, 04:09 PM
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I wear a Halo band do-rag type skull cap thing. Works wonders for this problem, which I also am susceptible to. Traditional bike hats simply do not work in the stifling hot humid weather that I ride in.
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Old 07-20-19, 04:14 PM
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Mission Enduracool Cooling Helmet Liner

I have used many different caps-- so, so many-- and this is the absolute best for hot weather, hands down, bar none.

I wear Headsweats caps from around November through March. The rest of the year is Enduracool all the way.
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Old 07-20-19, 04:25 PM
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"Magnetically Fastener"

I hope their engineering and quality control are better than their grammar and proofreading.


I use a Halo on top too. I have a couple that are just bands, but also a couple that are full dew-rag style. If I'm going for more than an hour and a half in daylight I'll use the latter. Less than that, or at night, the headband style is fine.

You have to be moving in the same direction relative to the sun for awhile to get a perfect sunburn through the helmet's vents. At least with my helmet it's that way. More typical riding doesn't follow straight lines very long, so I'm less concerned about silk-screening a sunburn onto my scalp. But it does happen sometimes on longer rides.
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Old 07-20-19, 04:34 PM
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Nowhere near bald, but my POC (mips) helmet is designed in such a way that that shouldn't be an issue.
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Old 07-20-19, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by daoswald View Post
You have to be moving in the same direction relative to the sun for awhile to get a perfect sunburn through the helmet's vents. At least with my helmet it's that way. More typical riding doesn't follow straight lines very long, so I'm less concerned about silk-screening a sunburn onto my scalp. But it does happen sometimes on longer rides.
When I first got my Smith Overtake (RIP) I thought, "Hey, it's got Koroyd in the vents, I should be able to wear it without a cap." Tried that for a few days, and was rewarded with a nice mini-grid sunburn corresponding to the four square vents on top of the helmet. Mercifully, it faded quickly.

Several years ago, I wore my Kali Maraka with no cap, and got the full-blown Alien Nation sun pattern in a single afternoon. It did not fade quickly.
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Old 07-20-19, 04:52 PM
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I have 4 of these in rotation. I wear one every ride, regardless of temp. They do not make my head hotter and keep the helmet pads clean. I actually have some old Performance brand caps just like these, but I don't think they sell them any more. The ones I use just cover the top of the head, stopping well above the ears. Very minimal.

https://www.performancebike.com/pace...9-9910/p540820

I also have a couple Headsweats do-rag type things. Functionally very similar, but cover right down to the tops of the ears, and they have that stupid faux tied/knotted looking tail in the back like you'd have with a bandana do-rag. I prefer the simple/minimal helmet liner.

I've been looking for something similar with a drape in the back big enough to keep the sun off the back of my neck, but haven't found anything that looks right yet.
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Old 07-20-19, 05:01 PM
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Headsweats or a cycling cap.

When it is so hot and humid out....it isn't like having naked sun-scorched skin is any cooler.
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Old 07-20-19, 05:05 PM
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Once you find the right skull cap to wear under your helmet you will encounter a new problem, (especially for one with a shaved head or mostly bald.) That problem will be if you ride a lot in the sun you will get a very tan face and neck and a much lighter-skinned head! (Similar issue wearing riding gloves--deeply tanned arms and starkly lighter hands.)
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Old 07-20-19, 05:07 PM
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I have tanlines from my helmet straps just behind my ears. I was getting the "inverse raccoon" from my sunglasses, so I grew a beard.

I always wear gloves on the bike, so I definitely look like I've had a hand transplant.
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Old 07-20-19, 05:15 PM
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I wear a head sweats under my helmet also. When I get extremely hot riding, I carry a water bottle and squirt a bit through the holes in the helmet to cool the old noggin off a bit. As the water evaporates, it keeps the head a bit cooler. Does not take much water through the vents to cool you off.
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Old 07-20-19, 05:27 PM
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I use the simple Pace skull caps year 'round to 1) keep the inside of my helmet clean, 2) keep sweat out of my eyes I still have hair but I'm sold on those caps and I don't think losing it will make much difference -helmet burn-wise.

(A trick to keep sunscreen out of your eyes - Aloe Gator 40SPD Gel. That stuff does not run and if it does get in your eyes, burns very little. I apply it over my eyelids. I don't sweat it getting on my eyelashes and rarely have any issues. I only use it around and above my eyes as doesn't wash off easily and every bug that lands in it stays.
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Old 07-20-19, 05:52 PM
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I have little to no hair and use a bandana under a baseball hat for the visor, under what seems like a 20 year old helmet. i'm married 21 years now i think and have had the helmet before i met my wife.

donning flame suit now.
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Old 07-20-19, 08:12 PM
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Maybe try a jam jar cover, they look protective enough from bumps and sun.

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