Rain/Winter Head Protection, Insulation and Ease. Any solution to this absurd mess of a puzzle?

Discussion in 'Parts and Accessories' started by vroom, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. vroom

    vroom New Member


    I want to ask you lot about what how you protect your beautiful face and head in bad weather, aka in rain, very windy, cold and snowy weather.

    I live in east coast, US. It is cold now and there will eventually be snow.

    From what I gather bike riders have very little in the form of comfort and functional products that are useful for more than one area of your head.
    Most helmets provide protection for you head, but cannot provide cover or, insulation in cold winds or, rain/snow.
    Additional items that can help are extra add-ons that are annoying because, they add the problem of storage, use and time to put on and off. They also do no go perfectly with each other, so you have to make them fit with a helmet that should be snug to work perperly.
    They are:
    Sunglasses for your eyes,
    Rain covers for helmets,
    Winter ear muffs,
    Scarfs for protecting your neck and mouth,
    Pollution filtering mask,

    I find it very odd that they are not many bike helmets with visors, at least on "e-bike helmets".

    IMO, a helmet with a good, long visor that is fog-free will provide adequate protection from wind and rain to your face that would perform multiple functions with one equipment.
    Throw in a set of ear muffs and scarf and you are set.

    What options have you found to solve the problem of jig-sawing things to your face and head to protect it from weather?

    Thank you for your answers!

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  3. JayVee

    JayVee Well-Known Member

    I use a Kask Urban Lifestyle. The big visor is a lifesaver. I have a tainted one for the summer and a clear visor for the winter. When it rains I put the poncho's hoodie under the helmet and the trick is done. The poncho is a Vaude. It folds up and fits into its own pocket.
  4. vroom

    vroom New Member

    Hey, that's cool.

    Is the visor long enough? It does not go below the nose that leaves half the face exposed to the elements, not pleasant in rain or, cold weather.
  5. Over50

    Over50 Active Member

    My winter helmet is this Kali Protectives City helmet as it is mostly closed and has very warm ear protectors (and a stowable visor). And on Amazon I found this skull cap which can be pulled down over the ears but which is really thin and doesn't bother my helmet fit. It is actually very warm and sometimes around 30F the combination of the helmet and skull cap prove to be too warm. I leave my face uncovered but the coldest I am riding in is about 25F. I tried a balaclava but found it restricted my breathing too much.:
    JayVee and Ravi Kempaiah like this.
  6. vroom

    vroom New Member

    you leave your face unprotected in cold windy weather, how do you do it?
    I am looking for a helmet with a visor, but they are more than $100 and the visors barely cover half the face. I am disappointed by the lack of full face visors. I wonder if European brands have any.
  7. Over50

    Over50 Active Member

    I usually suffer for a few minutes but 5-10 minutes into a ride I'm fine. Now that is 25F or over and I haven't tried commuting or a longer ride at lower temps. I wear prescription eye glasses so without the visor my eyes will water when I start riding but after a few minutes I'm usually good. The visor helps cut down on that but usually when I'm into the ride a bit I stow the visor. I've started off a few mornings in about 30F and about 5-10 minutes into the commute I am fine. 45 minutes into the commute I am over-heating with the ear protection and the skull cap. I've tried the balaclava but I had to pull it down under my mouth as it restricted my breathing too much. So I pretty much just ditched it all together and opt for keeping my head warm.

    Kali Protectives has full face helmets with visors for downhill mountain biking (much lighter than motorcycle helmets) but they are expensive. I noticed a photo at Kali's website where a rider uses large goggles with straps. That might be a setup you can use with your existing helmet and a balaclava.
  8. Leandro

    Leandro Member

    A winter specific helmet like the Giro Timberwolf can really help keep your head and ears warm. This helmet has extra lining and built in ear muffs, which are sure to come in handy on cold weather commutes.
  9. Over50

    Over50 Active Member

    Leandro - do you guys have any update on the Abus Pedelec + helmet and when it might be available in the US? I'm hoping this doesn't turn out to be another Euro-only product. Thanks
  10. Leandro

    Leandro Member

    We’ve worked diligently with ABUS to bring these helmets to the US market. They are scheduled to arrive around February/March of 2018.
    Over50 likes this.
  11. JayVee

    JayVee Well-Known Member

    I have a jacket that closes pretty high up. It tends to get hot under the helmet, so a little vent doesn't bother me. The Kask Urban lifestyle pictures are also a bit deceptive. The visor comes down quite low. I would not recommend the helmet to someone who has a big nose!
    Ravi Kempaiah likes this.
  12. newfydog

    newfydog New Member

    Lightweight Giro ski helmet. Has vents which open and close with a lever
  13. JRA

    JRA Well-Known Member

    While I also use the same gear they are not rated for use on bicycles and certainly haven't been tested to meet the EU Speed Pedelec standard.

    That said I feel perfectly safe using mine, it's warm with operable vents and while I mostly use sport type eyewear, goggles also can be used.
    Leandro likes this.
  14. newfydog

    newfydog New Member

    I have been over 70 mph on skis. I go a bit slower on a bike. The bike helmet will do just fine.
  15. Saratoga Dave

    Saratoga Dave Active Member

    Like JRA, I go a hell of a lot faster on skis than I ever did on a bike. Downhill racer in my distant, distant youth but never learned to slow down. I agree on the ski helmet and ski goggles, balaclava as needed.

    Edit: sorry, referencing newfydog there
  16. JRA

    JRA Well-Known Member

    Hey, all I was doing was posting a disclaimer.

    While I also have been up to high speed on skis, in fact well before helmets were even on the radar, I don’t equate that experience with bike riding at speed. Which I also have done at high speed without a helmet.

    Now I do neither without one.

    Ravi Kempaiah likes this.
  17. Ravi Kempaiah

    Ravi Kempaiah Well-Known Member

    I use it all the time and makes a big difference. I leave it open such that my nostrils are sticking out but my mouth is covered.
    This forces breathing thru nose much more but it's a good thing. Also, keeps the neck warm. I have commuted even when it was -20 here in Chicago and it would be impossible to do it without a balaclava.
  18. GillBoyNewn

    GillBoyNewn New Member

    Are you really comfortable wearing a poncho while riding? I have always thought they were dangerous, with the prospect of a wind blowing it up over your face?
  19. JayVee

    JayVee Well-Known Member

    I never had that problem, but I don't ride in winds higher than 30km/h. I've found that beyond this wind speed, the bike itself becomes dangerous. And as the paths I use have frequent changes in direction, it's difficult to predict which direction the wind will come from. So I'm more worried about being blown off balance by a sudden gust of wind than having problems with the poncho. I've already had a couple of close calls with gusts.
  20. rich c

    rich c Active Member

    I bought a Giro Nine, Snow Sports Helmet tonight. Built for snow boarders. Warm ear covers, and an integral adjustable vent system. Easy to adjust on the go, just move a slide on top to open or close the vents. Almost too toasty riding at 46 degrees. Going to be really nice as it nears freezing!
  21. indianajo

    indianajo Member

    Wow, I should have read this thread 11/21. (It started 11/23). That night I hit the road with my chin, 25 mph, broke the jaw in 3 places. I'd tried to buy a bike helmet with a chin guard in September: Jenson, Competitive Cyclist, Niagara, Iowa (I forget name, modern bike?) have no such thing. The Kali protectives downhill mtn bike helmet Over 50 pictured lacks ventilation, but at least it is a bike helmet, not for motorcycles going 100 mph. Bing still couldn't find a bike helmet 11/24 with chin guard, and motorcycle helmets look heavy & hot, so I bought a Wilson catcher's mask , large size, expecting to glue in some extra urethane foam for my brain. I've hit my chin 5 times in 5 years over the handlebars, never at 25 mph before.
    In winter down to -10 F I use a welder's helmet liner, which velcros under my chin & covers my ears. I get it at Airgas welding supply, whose website seems completly unable to find it. I'm not out on a bike more than 90 minutes at those temperatures, I'd use a more thermal mask if I was. My ears need protection, but my nose & lips do fine. I wear industrial clear or grade 5 safety glasses at all times; the gravel trucks throw rocks all the time and they don't always give me 30" clearance, either. Uvex brand, same supply house airgas.
    In rain I stuff a throwaway grocery bag under my helmet to keep the rain dripping down the side, not soaking in my hair.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
    J.R. likes this.