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Old 05-01-2013, 10:26 AM   #1
feathered OP
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air quality - wearing a mask while riding

I commute so I'm on my bike for significant periods of time, consistently from week to week. When pollen struck Georgia, it occurred to me that I'm inhaling a lot of crap despite my full helmet - pollen, exhaust, etc. I've got a bad cough right now as a matter of fact.

Does anyone wear a mask or some kind of filter when they ride? Would a surgical mask or the like even be worth the trouble.. even filter anything when the wind from riding is slamming it?
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:33 AM   #2
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Wow , a germophobe thread.Just kidding . I guess you're right , just look what your airfilter picks up. On the other hand , pollen is a carbohydrate and dust and dirt are minerals.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:43 AM   #3
MrPulldown
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Surgical and dust masks do not stay in place.

If you look on ebay there are some neopreen mask with filters on them.

I use a "wolf snout", when I trail ride with others. It is a foam filter, kind of like a uni for your face. Don't be fooled by the advertising though. When the trails get hard I can't suck in enough air with it on. It is hot, and I am not sure how fine it filters the air. But it does help keep the inhalents down. I guess I ahve an older one, that does not have the head strap, it is just jammed between the helmet and your face. Stays put OK, I guess that is why they added the strap, but I am constantly taking it in and out.

http://wolfsnout.com/
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:56 AM   #4
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I can see a need for it, but getting one that isn't hot and falling off in summer, or allowing the steamy air to fog your glasses/facemask in winter might be a challenge.

You might try a material like balaclava material, they make them for the neck and mouth, to cut back on the particulates.



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Old 05-01-2013, 11:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feathered View Post
I commute so I'm on my bike for significant periods of time, consistently from week to week. When pollen struck Georgia, it occurred to me that I'm inhaling a lot of crap despite my full helmet - pollen, exhaust, etc. I've got a bad cough right now as a matter of fact.

Does anyone wear a mask or some kind of filter when they ride? Would a surgical mask or the like even be worth the trouble.. even filter anything when the wind from riding is slamming it?
As someone who also commutes in Atlanta, I don't think a mask would be good. It's going to be too hot and uncomfortable. You don't need an extra distraction in this concrete jungle.

Also I myself JUST got over a horrible cough. It was caused by a bacterial sinus infection according to the doc. I doubt it had anything to do with me riding, though. Go get an antibiotic.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:41 AM   #6
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Get a merino wool buff, wet it with just water and you have best filter that you can get, that won't get in the way under the helmet and won't be hot.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:06 PM   #7
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Aerostich has one:

http://www.aerostich.com/clothing/cl...dit-scarf.html

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Old 05-01-2013, 04:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Vulfy View Post
Get a merino wool buff, wet it with just water and you have best filter that you can get, that won't get in the way under the helmet and won't be hot.

Good idea. You could set it up with an old ScottOiler to keep it wet and you'd have filtering AND a swamp cooler!
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:59 PM   #9
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I like using those thin cool max baclava's things mainly to keep the sun off my nose and it really helps wick moisture to keep you cool, it also keeps the dust out.

But just a normal folded bandana moistened and pulled up over your nose works fine.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:28 PM   #10
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I just need something to keep me from inhaling too much gravel. It doesn't need to be too fine, as long as it blocks anything over 1/8" I'll be OK with it. Inhaling the bigger stuff hurts though....

Seriously though, I've thought about a mask of some sort. I have class 4 days a week and almost every mile of my 26 mile (one way) commute is heavy road construction. When it's dry the dust can be thick enough to coat my visor in short order and when it's wet I wind up with my gear the color of clay. Either way I'm inhaling a bunch of crap.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:35 PM   #11
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:39 PM   #12
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Grab a box of particulate 3M filter masks from your local big box home improvement store (or online). Anything N95 rated will be breathable enough while blocking most stuff you'd have to worry about -- dirt, pollen, etc. They even have models with a one-way valve to exhale hot breath, but they're twice as expensive. You can reuse them until they're so clogged they affect breathing. I haven't tried it but should fit under any helmet, and they do stay in place very well. I use an unvented N95 model for mowing the lawn with a pushmower and other strenuous work and don't have any issues. I got a box of 20 for $10 or so at Home Depot and one filter usually lasts quite a while (all summer if I use it just for mowing).

If you want better protection get an R95 or P95 version -- they're rated to block oil-based aerosols, but the R95 needs to be tossed after 8 hours of oil-based aerosol exposure and the P95 after 40 hours (non-oil based can be reused until they're damaged or hamper breathing). Neither really should be needed even in a city environment as the bigger concern would be fumes, which would need something beefier than the standard N/R/P series (those include things like organic vapor filters, rubber face seals, etc).
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:05 AM   #13
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:27 AM   #14
Yooper_Bob
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We bought a few Razr masks to wear when riding in dusty conditions....I'm sure they would reduce other contaminates as well.



Its incredible how well they filter dust.

http://rzmask.com/
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:33 PM   #15
Badjuju
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Oh my. What a complete bunch of silly ninnys! It isn't the AIR that's gonna kill you. That cute little teenage girl texting her friends while driving home from school, or the mini-van-driving soccer mom who's on her way to drop Junior off at pre-school before work while she's looking in the mirror applying make-up is gonna kill you LONG BEFORE the particulates start to affect your lungs!
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