gunner (Forum Supporter)
gunner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/19/22 7:51 p.m.

I've got everything lined out for warmth and comfort except the area around my nose and eyes. The balaclava that I use can go over my mouth but ends up getting steamed and then chilly because of that and really works best leaving it with my mouth exposed. My helmet is a Shark Skwal2 and is great at not letting air in except a small amount that clears the visor from condensation and as far as I can tell, this can not be gotten around. What I am looking for is something to keep the uncovered part of my face warm or at least comfortable in temps below 40 degrees. No windscreen so I receive full wind while riding. Not interested in blocking that, just the facial area that the balaclava doesn't cover I'm trying to figure out how to keep that comfortable.

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 UltraDork
2/19/22 7:55 p.m.

Man, that's tough and no great wisdom here. Last "cold" ride was in Jan- 40 degrees with lots of mist and I was deeply unprepared. My hands were claws that could not easily unwrap, and it was probably more dangerous than funny. 

Brian(formerly neon4891)
Brian(formerly neon4891) MegaDork
2/19/22 9:30 p.m.

Looking for clarification. What is getting steamed if you cover your mouth? Face shield? eye glasses? Drop down sun shield? 
 

Are you set on finding a way to keep exposed face warm, or to find a way to cover up without fogging? If the first, my best advice is to ask snowmobile riders. If the later, I have some ideas. 
 

If the shield is fogging, do you have a pin lock anti fog insert? I would start there. If you want to go wild, see if there is an available snowmobile shield for your helmet. Same concept as the pin lock, but turned up to 11. 
 

If glasses, try cleaning them with anti fog wipes. That should help a little.  The next step would be to get contacts. In my experience, balaclava and glasses isn't fun. I avoid that combo as much as possible. 
 

 

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/19/22 10:15 p.m.

You need a visor with prongs for a pinlock insert. 

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/19/22 10:17 p.m.
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/20/22 12:26 a.m.

As a year-round rider, I've had the best luck with a combo that doesn't exactly meet your criteria, but figured I'd chime in for what it is worth. I'm a glasses-wearer, so sensitive to fogging. A balaclava is a no-go for me for this reason. I should also mention that I run warm compared to some, and our winters are milder than some as well. I'll do high-30's and raining, or around 30 and dry, but don't ride much when t gets down into the lower 20's.

Instead, I use a thin insulating skull cap (actually a cycling piece that dips down to cover most of my ears, designed to fit under a helmet) plus a long neck gaiter (also a cycling piece, long enough to tuck down into my jacket and pull up over part of my face.) Both the cap and the gaiter are windblocking fabric. I pull the gaiter up to just under my nose, and always ride with a pinlock visor. Always! The pinlock is essential for year-round riding! Get one if you don't have one already! With it, I can keep my visor tightly closed and a vent on my chin bar plus one outlet on top of the helmet open for a little airflow, but still manageable temps inside the helmet, even on a Supermoto.

Additional tips: you may be able to get away with less on your face if you make sure your core and other extremities are all as warm as possible. In winter I go for waterproof non-vented boots, thick wool socks, multiple layers over my core inside my Aerostitch Roadcrafter, waterproof winter gloves, heated grips, and hand guards. The heated grips are a game-changer. It might not seem like these things directly address your face, but for me anyway, making sure everything else is as warm as possible allows me to get away with a bit less on my face.

Hope this helps, and keep the rubber side down!

 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
2/20/22 10:51 a.m.

Riding is supposed to be fun.  When I'm freezing, it's not fun.  Hence I don't ride when it's cold.  Problem solved.

matthewmcl
matthewmcl Dork
2/20/22 11:36 a.m.

+1 on the "keep your core and other bits so warm that a little cold on your face feels refreshing."

 

 

 

 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
2/20/22 11:59 a.m.

Back in the 1970s, Lockhart sold a thing called an Apple Warmer.  It was made of quilted insulated nylon, and fastened around the bottom of your helmet and then tucked into your jacket to block off cold air.  They're long out of production, but if you know someone who can sew I don't think it would be difficult to make something similar.  Another thought is to check out companies that sell snowmobile accessories, they must have something designed for this.

(the other day I saw a guy out riding around on a Honda Ruckus in Minneapolis, when the temperature was +3F...that guy was hard core.  smiley)

 

gunner (Forum Supporter)
gunner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/20/22 8:00 p.m.

Sorry for the slow response. For clarification the Balaclava gets steamed and warm wet then cold wet when it is covering my mouth and nose when riding in colder temps. At first it was like a Godsend then when it got cold it was no longer fun to ride, but I was riding to my moms house 200 miles away at the time I learned this out so I bore it out. moving the balaclava under my chin fixed the wet part being on my face but then my face got cold. It was upper 30's at the time. The rest of me was warm and comfortable including the rest of my head under the balaclava. My visor does not fog up as I do have a pinlock and I fully appreciate that piece of engineering. It is the Freeze-Out Warm'R Balaclava so it is lined and warm, at least until it gets damp with breath. So I've just been wearing it under my chin or if its really cold over my mouth since I can prevent that from getting wet by breathing only through my nose but with it over my nose its perfect for about 10 minutes then the breath collected in the thing cools off. I was wondering if there was a warm dry air blower for inside the helmet or something I couldn't conceive of that solves the entire issue. I'll enter snowmobile world and see if they have anything there. So my setup is Head-Balaclava and full face helmet. Torso- AXIAL Block Long Sleeve Shirt, sweatshirt or sweater and Alpinestars T-Fuse Sport WP Jacket.  Hands- First Gear Axiom Thinsulate lined Motorcycle gloves. Legs- AXIAL Block Pants or long underwear, Bohn Armor Winter Armored Motorcycle Riding Pants and regular pants on top of that. Feet-Battery operated heated socks, Motorcycle boots without ventilation.

I can ride sub 40 degrees comfortably with this gear down to near freezing, except for the eye area not covered by the balaclava and whatever else is not covered on my face by the balaclava. I plan to this next year add heated jacket liner, heated pants liner and heated gloves that all tie into the bike battery to ride even colder but if my face is getting cold its just going to get miserable and maybe I should be in by the fire anyway. Still, I'd like to have the option.

Brian(formerly neon4891)
Brian(formerly neon4891) MegaDork
2/21/22 7:29 a.m.

So moisture in balaclava itself. I believe I've seen neoprene masks with breathing holes. That might do the trick. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
2/21/22 10:12 a.m.
Brian(formerly neon4891) said:

So moisture in balaclava itself. I believe I've seen neoprene masks with breathing holes. That might do the trick. 

I have one of those that I bought for skiing.  It works pretty well to keep my face warm, but it does get wet and kind of gross around the breathing holes.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
2/22/22 12:51 p.m.

I've never had any luck covering my mouth. My go-to lately for cold riding has been a thin balaclava, a neck scarf on top of that, and a clip-in piece of fabric that goes under the chin area of my helmet. Looks like the internet calls it a "chin curtain", like this: https://www.amazon.com/Shoei-Curtain-Street-Helmet-Accessories/dp/B0037NUC2S

It still isn't great if I'm riding one of the bikes with no wind protection, but it's the best I've come up with. As far as I can tell, if I wanted to be warmer I would need to find some kind of heated gear for my head, but I've found as long as I can keep my hands and my core warm (heated grips + base layer) I can ignore a lot of other cold parts of my body.

gunner (Forum Supporter)
gunner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/22/22 10:27 p.m.

In reply to gearheadE30 :l

Yeah, the rest of my body is actually plenty warm. Im just looking for a fix to that 10 inch square area around my eyes and nose. I seriously want to be able to ride  at subfreezing temps when it's dry on the roads. #Edit: Amazon  has a battery heated balaclava, I will probably try that next. since I'm having trouble finding anything else to keep that part of the head warm.

jfryjfry
jfryjfry SuperDork
2/23/22 10:02 a.m.

Thinking outside the box a bit.... could you somehow fashion a snorkel of sorts that would Exhaust (and possibly intake) air from outside the helmet?

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
2/23/22 2:15 p.m.

At some point, I suspect this will turn into looking at snowmobile helmets and some of the things they have come up with for antifog. It would not surprise me if someone out there has come up with heated helmet liners as well. I know the snowbike guys are doing some pretty wild stuff. For example, drilling and tapping the handlebars and then running engine coolant through them as a grip heater.

gunner (Forum Supporter)
gunner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/23/22 5:19 p.m.

In reply to jfryjfry :

I had that idea as well. Trying to conceptualized something besides a vidal sassoon hair dryer converted to 12v with a flexible hose blowing onto a hole in the helmet. Not that thats a horrible idea.

gunner (Forum Supporter)
gunner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/23/22 5:20 p.m.

In reply to gearheadE30 :

I know for a fact there are heated balaclavas, I'm thinking about getting one just to test out but I am wondering if having that squeezed between the helmet and my head will be ok.

gunner (Forum Supporter)
gunner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/23/22 5:42 p.m.

Maybe found a fix. After seeing electric face shields on a few snow helmets I figured it was just antifog but after a bit of reading apparently they can keep your face warm too. Now I need to see what I can find thats legal for road use(DOT legal). I think I'm on the right track. Edit, this may not actually be the case. Huh.

gunner (Forum Supporter)
gunner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/24/22 3:10 p.m.

Looking at another style of balaclava that is meant to be breathed into. Oxford Eyes Lycra Balaclava. My thinking is if it is designed to be used like this then it will be less likely to get saturated with moisture. It was 14 bucks so I went for it.

gunner (Forum Supporter)
gunner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/3/22 8:10 p.m.

So it warmed up and I haven't been able to test out any cold rides but...I was on reddit today and someone was talking about how he had a heated visor and it was like sunshine on cold rides and someone else asked him to clarify about it acutally warming your face because they, like me had heard it was for frost and fog prevention and the guy responded that it indeed does warm your face so it looks like I will be getting a new helmet next winter. Sweet!

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