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Cold weather face gear?

Old 09-22-23, 08:16 PM
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jbles
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Cold weather face gear?

Hello, I'm looking for suggestions for cold weather face gear. Something that covers my ears and maybe some more of my face, but also doesn't fog up cycling glasses too much. And of course I need to fit it under a helmet. Thanks!
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Old 09-22-23, 08:21 PM
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A Merino wool Buff is what I wear when it's cold.
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Old 09-22-23, 08:26 PM
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I've had my eye on, but never tried, a thin stocking cap. It just needs to be enough to hold your ears against your head and out of the wind. For the rest of your face my go-to for winter is a beard.
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Old 09-22-23, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jbles
Hello, I'm looking for suggestions for cold weather face gear. Something that covers my ears and maybe some more of my face, but also doesn't fog up cycling glasses too much. And of course I need to fit it under a helmet. Thanks!

Define cold. How low will the temps be? It will better taylor responses. Of course we all have different tolerances but an answer will help
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Old 09-22-23, 08:40 PM
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It will probably get some below zero C. Felt really biting cold this morning, though and it was a bit above that.
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Old 09-22-23, 08:49 PM
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Balaclava. Wide selection of varying materials and weights.
Great for those mountain rides when you want to cover your neck, ears, head and up to your nose.
Not endorsing any brand.
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Old 09-22-23, 08:57 PM
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I would agree on balaclavas though they can get foggy with glasses. Depending on the one. I have a Gore face mask that does the trick as it has ventilation and I know they make it in balaclava form but alas for some reason I didn't buy it at the time and should probably get on that assuming they still make it. I would carry a second 'clava maybe a lighter weight fabric so you can swap them and let one hopefully air out a bit and maybe dry a tad.

I would never endorse any company like R***Bros thieves deserve no money or support (and not saying that CAT7 is endorsing them just pointing out my dislike for thieves)
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Old 09-22-23, 09:05 PM
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I missed the r bros drama. What happened?
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Old 09-22-23, 09:16 PM
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If you wear glasses, be sure your head covering has slits for the temples. I just bought a Giro Ambient Skull cap and only after I got it did I realize it didn't have slits. Without them I think the glasses will hold open the cap and let cold air in to my ears.

I hate the idea of a face covering, luckily I'm good down to the low 20's without one, and colder than that I don't ride.

Mark
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Old 09-22-23, 10:08 PM
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I don’t intentionally ride below freezing. If it is close to freezing, I use a wind stop fleece ear warmer band and a fleece neck gaiter.

Otto
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Old 09-23-23, 04:38 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by jbles
I missed the r bros drama. What happened?
They just steal designs from other companies and they took their name from Crank Bros. Not really drama so much as just b.s.
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Old 09-23-23, 05:57 AM
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The way I go in such cold is to combine a Outdoor Research Polartec Wind Pro balaclava and a windstopping neck gaiter that isn't tight fitting, allowing me to pull it up to mouth level, but not cover it or touch my face. It's more like a wind buffing shield in front of thr face. This allows me to breathe and not fog anything up, there has to be a gap for fresh air to circulate between my face and gaitor. I define a balaclava as a head/neck covering that encircles the face, leaving up completely open. That is the classic definition. Once you add mouth coverings those are considered face masks. I don't wear face masks as there's nothing good about inhibiting ones breathing and breathing in your own exhaust.

The windstopper neck gaiters I wear came from Eastern Mountain Sports, but I don't they're made anymore. The include an adjustable bungee cord at the top of it. There may be other brands that make them similar.

Really even a thick fleece neck gaiter like Turtle Fur combined with a Balaclava(as defined above) is super warm, maybe too warm for many depending on the temp. Wear it up to just below your lower lip.

Winter is no time to worry about how things look, or being too bulky. Staying warm while not perspiring to the wetting out point rules !
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Old 09-23-23, 11:35 AM
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I’ve been riding MI winters since the ‘80s, and the best piece of winter kit I’ve ever had is a Patagonia Capilene balaclava. It’s light and silky, but keeps the chill off ears and neck. I’ve tried heavier ones, bit they get too hot. The original Patagonia Capilene went out of production late ‘90s or maybe early 2000s, but something called Capilene Air balaclava is more recent, perhaps current, but I don’t know the weight of the fabric.

Getting a vintage/NOS Capilene would be the got ticket— I prize mine like gold— but barring that, I’d check out the Air and even a silk blend from some other company. I’d counsel against thick, lined, or fleece balaclavas for a number of reasons, including overheating and moisture retention.
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Old 09-23-23, 12:06 PM
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Another vote for balaclava. If above freezing you can pull lower part to go under your chin. If cold, have it cover your mouth. If SUPER COLD (way below freezing) switch from cycling glasses to ski goggles so no face surfaces exposed.
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Old 09-23-23, 12:12 PM
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I commute year-round in Colorado Springs, where in the heart of winter mornings are usually 10-12F...some days warmer, some colder but rarely below 0F. My first balaclava was too heavy and made me sweat and fogged up my glasses. For the last 15 years I've been wearing a thin nylon-like balaclava below 35F, especially below 32F. It keeps the cold air off my face just fine. Around 25F or so I pull my headband over my ears. In the teens I cover my nose. Below 10F I sometimes pull my jacket's hood out and put that over my head and the sides of my to help held some heat in. My current low temp limit is 5F.

My commute was 9 miles from ages 30 to 58, and since turning 60 it's been 6 miles. Last winter I turned 61 and rode down to 5F just fine. with just the thin balaclava, layered turtlenecks and headband over ears.

The key for my winter riding enjoyment was learning (from bikeforums) that over-dressing makes you colder because it causes you to sweat.

Dress for how you will be after "warming up" 10-15 minutes into your ride.
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Old 09-23-23, 01:09 PM
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I use a silk balaclava in cold weather. It's thin enough to fit under my helmet, and tight enough weave to block wind while still being breathable. Covers my neck and ears as well.
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Old 09-23-23, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR
Balaclava.
In SoCal? A big blob of vaseline on each cheekbone and cheek.
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Old 09-24-23, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jbles
It will probably get some below zero C.
Ha! You call that cold? The coldest I have ever ridden was =30 C (-22 F) Used pretty primitive technology: cotton bandana. A balaclava as described is your best bet.
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Old 09-24-23, 07:35 PM
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Seriously?

People have to ask on a forum to find cold weather face gear? wow.
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Old 09-25-23, 07:17 AM
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In descending order of temperature:
light polypro ear warmers
pile ear warmers
polypro skull cap (fits under helmet)
polypro balaklava

A silk buff (or lightweight merino wool) can be arranged to replace most of the above. But IME, it gets sweaty and loses some insulation if you cover too much or it gets warmer than expected.
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Old 09-25-23, 09:35 AM
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A beard has been proven enough for me down to -10°C. Haven't had any desire or necissity to ride when it's colder than that for quite a long time.
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Old 09-25-23, 09:43 AM
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+1 for thin balaclava

this one became one of my my all time favorites AEROSSI Balaclava with Neck Warmer Windproof Ski Mask Motorcycle Men Women
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Old 09-25-23, 12:54 PM
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I ride through winter. Most of the cold, I am good with a light weight wool stocking cap under my helmet that covers my ears...I sometimes have to put a headband/ear cover on under the cap to make sure I capture all of my ears. I pair it with varying thicknesses of buffs depending on how cold it is, and I typically end up tugging them down during the ride as I warm up. For stupid cold, I use the Cold Avenger. It will fog glasses/goggles/eye shields though, as pretty much anything will eventually. It does keep me warmer, and able to ride in -10F and colder though.
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Old 09-26-23, 02:19 AM
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I'm in California and the coldest I've ridden is high 30s/low 40s F. I usually do it without any additional insulation because I'm unprepared, but I do occasionally remember to bring a fleece neck gaiter. I can pull it high enough to cover my nose, ears, and (obviously) neck.
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Old 10-03-23, 09:05 AM
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I tend to not ride in the cold but when I do I need something to cover my nose. It not, I spend the whole ride with a snotty nose which isn't much fun.
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