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Ears and face protection

Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
edited November 2013 in Commuting general
Does anyone else get issues with the cold wind blasting into your ears? The volume alone is probably damaging my hearing. I was out today in shorts and I stayed warm apart from my ears and my hands which really felt the biting cold when it lashed down with rain. I thought I was prepared with my warmish jersey and shower-proof jacket, but so far they've been on limited use. The extremities need the protection, and I probably should have gotten arm/leg warmers instead for warm, light, adaptable protection from the elements.

I was thinking about getting a headband. I don't bother with a helmet so I don't want it to look too daft. Maybe an Endura Thermolite Headband (£9)...

endura-thermolite-headband.jpg


I thought this Nike Thermal Neck Warmer (£11) looked good for when it's freezing...

H-Sportax-038-017-079-Zoom.jpg


I am always curious to know what sort of kit do you use to cope in these colder months. Shorts? A skullcap? A setup for autumn/winter and a different setup for winter? Favourite gloves for this intermediate autumn weather? Let's hear it...

Posts

  • I tried a skull cap but it didn't help my ears (I get earache in the cold) so I started using a buff pulled over my head under the helmet. It can also be pulled over your chin if that's cold too. It's only very thin but it works for me. I got mine from Wiggle but found a few cheap ones on holiday in the summer so I now have spares :)
  • When it gets cold I use a thin balaclava, but I haven't needed to dig it out yet (not cold in Cambridge for the moment). Very warm, and means if I want to stop off to rob a bank on the way to work I can :)
  • ol9ol9 Posts: 50
    Pearl Izumi Headband & DHB (Wiggle) Buff for me.

    Both have made the world of difference.
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    Skull cap or buff under the helmet and a buff on the neck. Got four or five buffs but one lives in work for the +2c zone, buffs can be worn numerous ways which makes them more versatile.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Another + for a buff - you can use it as a hat to stop the cold wind penetrating your head too ...

    I've got a second one that has a fleece extension that I can use when it's really cold.
  • goonzgoonz Posts: 3,106
    Winter hat with drop down flaps for my ears and a buff for my neck, but not using anything yet as its still too warm.
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  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    I have a couple of buffs. I also have a merino skullcap for when its very cold. I've used a buff a couple of times recently, but its not cold enough at the moment. If I go out for a ride tonight I may well need one though.

    Gloves wise I use fingerless, then when it gets a bit colder I have some thin fingered gloves, then colder still both sets at the same time. When it gets very cold then I break out the ski gloves.

    Legs wise I'm still currently wearing summer shorts, but going to start wearing full length shorts. When it gets colder I wear some thermal tights.
  • Another vote for the buff. Have been using mine recently as the first part of my commute is a downhill which makes me freezing cold otherwise. When I do take it off it's small enough to stuff into a jersey pocket. Plus they are cheap - I picked up 3 "Box" buffs from TK Maxx for 5.99 about 2 weeks ago.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,473
    Buff does the ears and face if just cold if really cold I use a headband or thin hat under my helmet kept me warm down to minus temps with no problems.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
    Everyone is saying buff, so a buff it must be. I am wondering do they really stay up OK on their own? I mean they look quite loose. That Nike one looks a lot tighter in comparison, probably because it's designed for the impacts of running.

    OL9 wrote:
    Pearl Izumi Headband & DHB (Wiggle) Buff for me.

    Both have made the world of difference.
    I assume it's this one, as opposed to this one? It looks quite good, I don't know why it didn't seem to come up in my searches.


    I don't have any proper gloves apart from ski gloves. I could do with some full fingered gloves if anyone has any recommendations? It's hard to judge when you are buying them online. The back of my hands can get really dry and eventually the skin cracks open a little bit in the winter months. Some gloves to protect the back of my hands, all warm or even slightly damp from sweat, while being thin and on the cool side for the rest of the material would be good.

    Daddy0 wrote:
    Legs wise I'm still currently wearing summer shorts, but going to start wearing full length shorts. When it gets colder I wear some thermal tights.
    That means 3/4 length shorts I take it? I only have some Endura Singletrack II shorts at the moment. I was thinking I should get some 3/4 Hummvee shorts. My Singletracks stop above the knee when I'm on my bike. I am feeling a bit too exposed already. Do you wear the thermal tights on their own or under the shorts?
  • crakercraker Posts: 1,739
    Buffs are stretchy, unless you buy massive buff and have got a tiny head you just can't go wrong. I've got cheap ones (Mrs C made me some out of her old pyjamas :shock: ),freebie ones from magazines (still worth having IMO) and a quality branded Buff, half fleece half ummm.. cotton I suppose. Anyway it's the mutt's nuts and its worth remembering all the different ways you can use a buff-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewVEK-AElDY


    btw I don't think anyone is recommending 3/4 length shorts? Summer shorts stops above the knee, longs go down to your ankle. Can't see the point of leaving your shin bare on a mildly cold day in 3/4 length. Oh hang on, you're talking about wearing shorts on top of your cycling shorts? Can't see the point of that either. :lol:
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Buff and headband last winter.

    This Winter I've upgraded to a Craft Winter Cap and buff, although too hot to have tested yet.

    http://www.alwaysriding.co.uk/craft-bik ... -1412.html
  • Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
    craker wrote:
    Anyway it's the mutt's nuts and its worth remembering all the different ways you can use a buff-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewVEK-AElDY
    Crikey :shock:
    craker wrote:
    btw I don't think anyone is recommending 3/4 length shorts? Summer shorts stops above the knee, longs go down to your ankle. Can't see the point of leaving your shin bare on a mildly cold day in 3/4 length. Oh hang on, you're talking about wearing shorts on top of your cycling shorts? Can't see the point of that either. :lol:
    If they go down to your ankle, don't they stop being shorts and become trousers? lol

    Advantages of 3/4 shorts are you don't have to worry about length, you just buy to fit your waste line. Plus I find trousers always rub against the chain as I pedal. Major pain in the censored when that happens. Shorts are good for staying cool, compared to leaving arms or hands exposed which could get freezing cold. Legs are probably the last thing to feel the cold, so long as your core temperature hasn't fallen.

    No, I wouldn't wear shorts on top of shorts unless I bought some Lycra and needed to cover up lol.
  • eyebeeeyebee Posts: 257
    Buffs are great all rounders but i tend to find they get a bit sweaty espcially if they're covering nose and mouth.
    I found the gore face warmer worked best in cold conditions and is vented so is great if you ride with any intensity.http://www.wiggle.co.uk/base-layers-thermals/
  • Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
    I've already ordered a buff and it should be delivered any day now. I got it for £8.99. Pretty good I thought since they are usually about £12 for an original buff.

    What do you do (if anything) to keep the rain out of your face? I wear glasses and it's hard to see sometimes with all the rain drops collecting on the glasses. I was thinking of getting this Endura Baa Baa Merino Beanie (£19)...

    endura-baa-baa-merino-skip-beanie.jpg
  • Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
    My buff arrived, but there may be a small problem...

    I am trying it out indoors, and in face mask mode or balaclava mode, when I breathe my glasses are steaming up pretty bad and very quickly. Does anyone else get this? Is there anything I can do to stop this?
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    Apart from stop breathing there isn't a cure for breath steaming up glasses when stopped, once you start moving the airflow over the lenses will clear any misting.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • eyebeeeyebee Posts: 257
    Yes...gore face warmer!
  • A skull cap and headband is a very versatile winter combination.

    Skull cap at the start of really cold rides is often swapped for the headband - it's great to have warm ears and temples but let my purpose-designed hairless cooling-panel on top of my head do its work. Even if it's not skullcap-cold I take it in a pocket as it's a very effective heat-retainer in the event of an unscheduled stop.

    Mine are Endura and are fine for the job. On some brands look out for non-flatlock seams which can produce pressure points under your helmet.

    Oh, and a buff for neck/chin/mouth depending on how far below zero it is.
  • Castelli Viva Thermo Skully = warm head, toasty ears and still able to hear traffic and have a conversation clearly.

    I have two buffs from previous issues of Cycling Plus so have never needed to by one separately, though being the Castelli addict I've become in the last few months I'm really wanting a Thermo Head Thingy. 8)


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  • Mr.DuckMr.Duck Posts: 174
    I have gotten the hang of the Buff now. What I like to do is fold it over on itself so it becomes a 2 layer thick Buff. I have to tuck it under my nose to stop my glasses steaming up. But I still manage to cover chin, cheeks, ears. I wear an acrylic beanie too which I already had. That keeps the Buff up at the back covers the rest of my head.

    The gore face warmer may do a better job since it can cover the nose too, but looks like it's been discontinued now. The Buff covers the neck too at least, and I don't have any desire to by the gore face warmer now that I have the Buff.
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,179
    glad you got it sorted. For the record i also have a variety of buffs and a headband.

    I have a good head of hair so the headband on its own does the job of keeping my ears warm for me. The buff keeps my neck and chin warm and i pull it over my nose cowboy stylee until i warm up sufficiently. Glasses only steam up if i stop moving although i find that if i breathe out of my mouth rather than my nose the steaming up reduces.

    I've never bought a buff, i too have a selection of freebies from magazines and a number from the publicity caravanne on the Tour de France where etape hotel used to give away a nice bright orange buff.

    What impresses me is how warm my face is kept by a very thin layer of stretchy material ninja.png
    FCN = 4
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    your glasses won't steam up because the cold air keeps the glasses clear, they start to steam when you stop at the lights but it dissapates pretty quickly

    I only need the headband when it gets really cold - I have a castelli winter hat and it would need to be REALLY cold to justify it, the kind of weather I would avoid due to ice....
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
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