Author Topic: Masks for cycling  (Read 220 times)


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Masks for cycling
« on: August 26, 2020, 12:10:34 AM »
With the way things are going here in France, I think it is quite probable that masks will soon be mandatory for cycling.

My problem is that mask + effort steams up my glasses.

Any ideas for a minimalist mask that seems to obey the letter of the law (i.e. looks the part from a police car) while still allowing fairly free passage of air? Preferably easy to make at home.

The mask issue is a sore point in France, because at the start of the COVID crisis a government official stated that they were useless for the general public, while at the same time frantically trying to get supplies from China for medical personnel. Instead of admitting that previous governments had somehow mislaid or dilapidated the huge stock that was constituted in 2009 for the H1N1 epidemic scare.

A few weeks after that the government then asked people to make their own, being incapable of quickly setting up mask manufacturing. I think the Soviets converted a spare parts factory to tank manufacturing in less than a month during the 1939-45 war, so it seems incomprehensible to me that it has taken until now to sort out mask production.

The cynic in me says that now that sufficient locally-made masks are available their use will be generalised to ensure profitability.

John Saxby

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Re: Masks for cycling
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2020, 02:08:12 AM »
My problem is that mask + effort steams up my glasses.

I ran into this problem ages ago, Martin, whenever I used a neoprene mask for cross-country skiing at temps around -15 to -20.  That was an innocent age, it seems, and a niche- market problem. (How many bespectacled X-country skiers go skiing when it's 20 below?) Same problem arose but to a lesser degree when I used a slightly elasticized cotton/poly neck muff.

In other circumstances, I used to use a bandana under my face shield on my motorcycle helmet in dusty/hot conditions. Not a lot of effort, but plenty of heat, e.g. in the high deserts of the western U.S.  Some fogging, but manageable.

My suggestion for cycling:  (i) Use a bandana, that's reasonably tight across your nose, but looser across your mouth and chin; and (ii) use anti-fog treatment on your glasses.  Bausch and Lomb make a kit for lenses.

Now it starts to get really bothersome:  Does it make any sense to wear goggles over your glasses?  I mention this only because Bausch & Lomb's package shows a downhill skier.

There's another issue, too: a cyclist friend here tried riding with a mask about six weeks ago. He found that his mask reduced his air intake by about a third.

Hope that's helpful, tho' I'm doubtful...

Mike Ayling

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Re: Masks for cycling
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2020, 07:55:34 AM »
Yes, my glasses steam up too using a cloth mask however when not going hard, i.e. freewheeling down hill  they usually clear again.
The ambient air temperature makes a difference, much worse <10C and better >10C.
I don't ride hard enough to notice difficulty in breathing with a cloth mask but I can understand how it would affect you if you were breathing hard.



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Re: Masks for cycling
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2020, 05:00:56 PM »
Ive lived in Berlin some 25 years where I have experienced winter temperatures in minus double digits but mostly dry so great for cycling. At those temperatures frost would form in my beard and ice on my eyelashes. To protect ears, face and eyes i wore a cotton balaclava with clear bike glasses. The warm breath would steam up the glasses and potentially cause them to frost. I was given a tip to wipe the glasses with shaving cream and polish clean off. This seemed to work for me to prevent breath adhering to the lenses. Ive seen same tip on German tv for Covid masks and glasses too. Not tried with Covid mask, but suspect it works in summer as well as winter to keep glasses clearer than without.

Andre Jute

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Re: Masks for cycling
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2020, 10:41:52 AM »
Thanks for the shaving cream idea, Steve; it's worth trying. Yesterday, after only a couple of hundred yards to post a letter, my cycling shades, Rx type, two layers, were so fogged up I had to stop and clean them off. That gets to be an irritation very quickly.