air quality - wearing a mask while riding

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by feathered, May 1, 2013.

  1. feathered

    feathered Been here awhile

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    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?
    #1
  2. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    Wow , a germophobe thread.:roflJust 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.:lol3
    #2
  3. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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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/
    #3
  4. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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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.

    [​IMG]

    Thinner in summer, thicker in winter.

    Jim :brow
    #4
  5. jfurf

    jfurf Been here awhile

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    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. :deal

    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.
    #5
  6. Vulfy

    Vulfy Been here awhile

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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.
    #6
  7. red450

    red450 WEE-A-BOO

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  8. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

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    Good idea. You could set it up with an old ScottOiler to keep it wet and you'd have filtering AND a swamp cooler!:clap
    :lol3
    #8
  9. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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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.
    #9
  10. FlySniper

    FlySniper Bleh...

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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....:evil

    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.
    #10
  11. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Grow a big, bushy mustache and beard.
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  12. kamikazekyle

    kamikazekyle Been here awhile

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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).
    #12
  13. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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  14. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

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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.

    [​IMG]

    Its incredible how well they filter dust.

    http://rzmask.com/
    #14
  15. Badjuju

    Badjuju Biker Billy

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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! :rofl
    #15
  16. Rakthi

    Rakthi mopetista

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    You forgot the diapers!

    Just a thought, light a cigarette and only inhale through it, exhale through your nose. All impurities will be burned and those that aren't will get stuck in the filter. Sounds like cigarette smoke is cleaner than the "pure" air around these days.
    #16
  17. aeneas

    aeneas Adventurer

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    I wear a mask similar to the razr posted earlier (with charcoal filter) and am very happy about it..

    We can lane split here and I my commute in the evening usually goes trough a traffic jam on the highway between semis.. The mask really gets rid of the diesel smell.
    #17
  18. MikeJansen

    MikeJansen Lost

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    When ever I have to ride through London I find that when I get home my snot is black from all the particulates in the exhaust. I have often thought a mask might be a good idea.

    Then I remember I wear glasses and can barely keep them from fogging 8 months a year. :puke1

    Mike
    #18
  19. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

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    You know, my Mom always said, "If you don't have something nice to say, just :stfu." I don't understand why assholes like you guys would even join this conversation if you think so little of it???? :rolleyes:csm There are people out there living in places where this kind of concern is very real and, with the exception of your assholery, there are some very good options presented. I live in an area that gets amazing pollen levels in the Spring and this year it's beyond anything I've experienced before, so riding and filtering it all with my sinuses really does cause problems. I appreciate the positive suggestions and am sorry you :asshats joined the discussion.

    Doug
    #19
  20. injun

    injun Been here awhile

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    My son lives just outside of Jakarta in Indonesia and he wears a full respirator, I have seen pics of the air if you can call it that!:huh
    #20