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Plastic/Glass shield for winter commuting

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Plastic/Glass shield for winter commuting

Old 08-08-19, 06:56 PM
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The Big Wheel
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Plastic/Glass shield for winter commuting

Does anyone here own a plastic or glass shield that they use in winter to block the cold air from hitting your face? Sometimes while riding in winter I feel like the cold air is burning my throat and I have to slow down. If so, where did you buy it or how did you make it? Please post photos. Thanks!
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Old 08-08-19, 09:07 PM
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Never tried anything rigid over the face, but i will use different fabrics, depending on the temperature. I find myself covering my face less in the winter the last couple seasons. I used to cover my nose and mouth when the temp dropped below freezing, as i would get skiers hack from the dry winter air. I have since discovered that my body acclimates quite quickly to the dry air if i dont cover my face at all. After one or two decent cold weather rides each season (like maybe 20-30f), i no longer get the hack after riding from the dry air, and my body seems to adjust. Once that happens, i dont wear anything on my face other than normal riding glasses and ear covers (i have big ears that catch the wind) until the temp gets below about 10f. Below that i have a neck gaiter (which i can pull up over my mouth and nose if needed into the wind) i will throw on and some clear goggles. If it gets really cold, like last winter when we had a stretch of a few days below -20, and even down to -35f with wind chill to below -60, I have a balaclava to cover all the exposed skin on my face, and put the goggles on over that, with the helmet going on last. I was not at all cold on my face, even into the wind at those extreme temperatures. Toes and fingers are my only comfort concerns in the winter months.
If you are having issues with the dry air, i would try a fleece neck gaiter which you can pull up as needed. This will hold moisture as you breathe through it, and help keep your throat moisturized. The only drawback is the decreased airflow through the fabric, which means less oxygen, and possibly having to temper your pace a bit, which is usually not too much of a concern in the deep winter months.

Last edited by SalsaShark; 08-08-19 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 08-08-19, 11:43 PM
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Buff. Pick a fabric style, weight, and color to meet your needs. Need something for serious winter weather? Google “balaclava.” Just don’t wear one into a liquor store.


-Kedosto
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Old 08-09-19, 05:38 AM
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Plastic/Glass shield for winter commuting
Originally Posted by The Big Wheel View Post
Does anyone here own a plastic or glass shield that they use in winter to block the cold air from hitting your face? Sometimes while riding in winter I feel like the cold air is burning my throat and I have to slow down. If so, where did you buy it or how did you make it? Please post photos. Thanks!
Originally Posted by SalsaShark View Post
Never tried anything rigid over the face, but i will use different fabrics, depending on the temperature. I find myself covering my face less in the winter the last couple seasons. I used to cover my nose and mouth when the temp dropped below freezing, as i would get skiers hack from the dry winter air.

I have since discovered that my body acclimates quite quickly to the dry air if i dont cover my face at all...

Below that i have a neck gaiter (which i can pull up over my mouth and nose if needed into the wind) i will throw on and some clear goggles. If it gets really cold…I have a balaclava to cover all the exposed skin on my face, and put the goggles on over that, with the helmet going on last. I was not at all cold on my face, even into the wind at those extreme temperatures…

If you are having issues with the dry air, i would try a fleece neck gaiter which you can pull up as needed...The only drawback is the decreased airflow through the fabric, which means less oxygen, and possibly having to temper your pace a bit, which is usually not too much of a concern in the deep winter months.
Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
Buff. Pick a fabric style, weight, and color to meet your needs. Need something for serious winter weather? Google “balaclava.” Just don’t wear one into a liquor store….
Good advice about balaclavas and neck gaiters. I suppose a face shield might warm up the air around your face by retaining the warm moist exhaled air, but fogging of the plastic in the cold could be a worse problem, as is often discussed about winter cycling.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I perennially post about my winter eyewear for my 14 mile year-round commute, from about 35 down to as low as 0. I must wear my prescription eyeglasses, and fogging is one of the worst dangers of winter riding. I am entirely satisfied with my system:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…for eye protection is a pair of simple, wide, plastic industrial goggles that I suspend from my cycling cap using Velcro around the nosepiece. The goggles sit very comfortably on my face securely in place even though my ears are covered.

The earpieces then provide a rigid mount for my eyeglass-mounted Take-a-Look mirror. The goggles allow sufficient room for my prescription eyeglasses, and are widely ventilated to carry away the exhaled moisture preventing fogging...

I realize now that my goggles and face mask are actually an integrated system of heating and ventilation that keeps my face warm and my vision unencumbered by fogging. The windscreen of the goggles is so effective in keeping my eyes warm that my eyelids actually perspired because my central core body was so warm, and my eyes never got cold, even on those fast windswept downhill runs...



Actually, I rarely use the face mask at temperatures above about 20 F; just the balaclava. I use the goggles for riding below about 35 F.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-10-19 at 03:29 AM.
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Old 08-09-19, 07:41 AM
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My go to has been a carhartt balaclava. Made to fit under hard hats. I've used it in temps well below freezing without issue.
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Old 08-09-19, 08:00 AM
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In addition:

I use a "rain" cover on my helmet to make a warm air pocket there. Got a pair of ski goggles, cause the eyes get cold as speed.

You can buy a bicycle fairing. That will keep a lot of the wind off ya, but I would think it would be hard to keep clean.

If it is burning your throat, you probably should slow down. I went fast and hard on a beautiful sunny winter day last year and fried (or froze) my throat. I was in good shape from indoor track racing, but breathing that volume of cold air outside gave me a throat infection, and took me down for a week plus.

Note to self - don't go hard enough to freeze my esophagus when it is in the teens - even if it feels "warm" and sunny.
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Old 08-09-19, 12:10 PM
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I love my buff! I'm the kind of person who tends to get hot easily, so fleecy polyester is no good. The Buff brand neck gaiter is a thin layer of merino wool. It's so thin that I thought it couldn't possibly keep me warm, but it does. Sometimes I just pull it over my head and leave it on my neck only. Sometimes I pull it back up over my jaw. When it's very cold, I pull it over my ears and jaw. I might cover my mouth with it if it's very cold. Combining the Buff and a skull cap effectively makes a balaclava for me. To make an adjustment between these three setups, I have to remove my helmet, make the adjustment, and then secure it with my helmet again. That's the only downside, but I rarely have to do it more than once on a ride.
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Old 08-09-19, 03:23 PM
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I’ll come back and add photos

for blizzards into the face I use this combo, where the balaclava covers the neck. I remove the foam air filters in the goggles for ventilation





but for most of the fall and winter I used this helmet w clear and tinted shield which are held in place by three magnets



this was too warm one day I tried this combo



but on other days it was perfect



combined w a balaclava it makes a great cold weather combo and only fogged during a blizzard so I switched to my first combo above

clear lens good for night rides



or dismal rainy days



the other aspect of a large piece of plastic can be water drops but it’s mostly not a problem



i do cover the outside of my neck but I never cover my mouth or nose so I don’t know if these options would help your burning throat

i do sip water frequently and also carry a thermos of hot water with honey which is good for the throat but I drink it mostly for warmth and calories



companies are developing new products everyday and I found that within s single brand various models of face shield products may not be backward compatible - good luck

Last edited by rumrunn6; 08-13-19 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 08-13-19, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I love my buff! I'm the kind of person who tends to get hot easily, so fleecy polyester is no good. The Buff brand neck gaiter is a thin layer of merino wool. It's so thin that I thought it couldn't possibly keep me warm, but it does. Sometimes I just pull it over my head and leave it on my neck only. Sometimes I pull it back up over my jaw. When it's very cold, I pull it over my ears and jaw. I might cover my mouth with it if it's very cold. Combining the Buff and a skull cap effectively makes a balaclava for me. To make an adjustment between these three setups, I have to remove my helmet, make the adjustment, and then secure it with my helmet again. That's the only downside, but I rarely have to do it more than once on a ride.
I just went to their site. The selection is INSANE! You can scroll down seemingly forever. I can't understand how they can afford to offer so many different choices. I'm definitely going you get one after reading your post, the hard part is picking a style.
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Old 08-13-19, 07:17 AM
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I started to make one once - it would be easy to bend a polycarbonate sheet to fit and attach it with sticky velcro. Only 3-4 inches not full face. But in this area it might be useful for a handful of days and a balaclava is good enough for our temperatures so I shelved it. Just get a thin sheet, cut it with a carpet knife, heat-gun the curve and attach it to the helmet.
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Old 08-13-19, 10:45 PM
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It's hard for me to talk about specific temperatures, because I get more acclimatized as the winter progresses. 20 degrees in November feels much colder than 20 degrees in January. In my locale, a typical year would rarely have temps below -15 F for more than a day or two. My commute is only 4 miles each way, so I'm not in any grave physical danger when I'm out in the cold. And I do a lot of other outdoor activities during the winter.

I have two basic winter rigs:

1. My regular helmet and glasses, neck gaiter, neoprene face mask, thin windproof beanie under the helmet for my ears.

2. My downhill ski helmet, which has built-in ear muffs, and ski goggles.

In addition, I have a ski jacket with a big hood that can go over my helmet, and lighter stuff for warmer temps.

I really like the idea of that magnetic visor. That's so much simpler than the ski goggles.

For the first time this year, I will have a dedicated winter bike, that I built from an old Schwinn frame. It will have a single speed coaster brake hub, so there will be little or no crap on the bike that I have to deal with while wearing mittens, or that could freeze up.
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Old 08-13-19, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by The Big Wheel View Post
Does anyone here own a plastic or glass shield that they use in winter to block the cold air from hitting your face? Sometimes while riding in winter I feel like the cold air is burning my throat and I have to slow down. If so, where did you buy it or how did you make it? Please post photos. Thanks!
"Does anyone here own a plastic or glass shield that they use in winter to block the cold air from hitting your face?"

Look into the Zzipper fairing. Fits on your bike, not your face. Deflects air over your head anytime you are going fast enough to matter. You get to look over the fairing, not through it so it doesn't matter how wet it is. It has other advantages also. It breaks the wind and acts like a rider ahead of you, ie making our ride as easy as if you were drafting somebody. Makes long commutes significantly faster or easier, especially in headwinds. It also is a full layer of clothing warmer. Hands stay much warmer. ( https://www.zzipper.com/index.php go to Products, then Upright Products.)

I rode the Zzipper through Massachusetts and Michigan winters and wet Seattle winter (riding 15 miles frequently into storm winds from the south). (I also rode down Juaquim Miller Road into Oakland from Skyline in s a winter storm. Dried my glasses before I started down and rolled into Oakland with them still dry, seeing the road from above the fairing the whole time.

Those fairings look dorky but they really work.

Ben
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Old 08-15-19, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
"Does anyone here own a plastic or glass shield that they use in winter to block the cold air from hitting your face?"

Look into the Zzipper fairing. Fits on your bike, not your face. Deflects air over your head anytime you are going fast enough to matter. You get to look over the fairing, not through it so it doesn't matter how wet it is. It has other advantages also. It breaks the wind and acts like a rider ahead of you, ie making our ride as easy as if you were drafting somebody. Makes long commutes significantly faster or easier, especially in headwinds. It also is a full layer of clothing warmer. Hands stay much warmer. ( https://www.zzipper.com/index.php go to Products, then Upright Products.)

I rode the Zzipper through Massachusetts and Michigan winters and wet Seattle winter (riding 15 miles frequently into storm winds from the south). (I also rode down Juaquim Miller Road into Oakland from Skyline in s a winter storm. Dried my glasses before I started down and rolled into Oakland with them still dry, seeing the road from above the fairing the whole time.

Those fairings look dorky but they really work.

Ben
Yeah, that is the one I was referring to. But gosh, some of those pictures on the web site have to be 30 years old...

As a bonus it will make you more aero saving you a couple of watts along with frostbite.
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Old 08-16-19, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Wolfhaven View Post
My go to has been a carhartt balaclava. Made to fit under hard hats. I've used it in temps well below freezing without issue.
+ one!
Balaclava work great.
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