When living in colder climates, you will get your fair share of cool or cold weather riding days. While I like the cooler temperatures, a fogging visor can make your ride more of a hassle and potentially unsafe. There are some ways to deal with visor fogging that utilize different means to address this issue.
There are chemicals that can be applied to your visor that work quite well. However, they have to be reapplied often to maintain the visor’s visibility. There is also visor inserts that glue to the inside of your helmet. Somewhat difficult to install correctly, once installed they work well. However, over time the glue can release from the visor, and the anti-fog attribute is lost. Even worse, the helmet’s visor may have to be replaced because once you remove the insert, there may be residual glue on the visor that makes re-installing a replacement insert difficult if not impossible.
Enter the Dutch company Pinlock. Pinlock has been around for many years and makes an anti-fog visor insert that is specifically designed for each helmet. Pinlock differs from the “glue in” type of insert in that instead of using glue to keep the insert in place two pins are mounted to the visor and it is these pins that hold the anti-fog insert in place. Because there is no glue required, they are simple to install and remove for cleaning.
Pinlock accomplishes its antifog properties using three main elements. The first are two small slits at the outer edges of the insert. These slits fit under the visor pin and hold the insert tightly in place. The second part is a silicon seal that is laid around the diameter of the insert. The silicon fits tightly against your visor and creates a sealed air space. This airspace insulates the interior of the helmet from the outside cold. Finally, the insert uses hydrophilic technology to absorb any surface moisture that could accumulate. When combined, the visor remains blissfully fog free.
Pinlock inserts now come in three fog resistance levels; “Standard”, “Strong” and “Excellent”. They also come in light smoke, dark smoke and yellow tinted versions. I have used the “Standard” Pinlock 30 version and it has always performed flawlessly.
This is not to say that there are not some foibles to Pinlock inserts. The Pinlock insert is a second lens fitted between you and the helmet’s visor. The extra layer can reduce light transmission and clarity, especially if you do not keep it clean. If you keep it clean and smudge-free, you’ll get a clear view in daylight conditions. However, at night the second lens can produce some reflection of brightly lit objects. This may be distracting for some, but is is a much better alternative than a fogging visor.
There is also a cost issue. Some helmets come with Pinlock ready visors or better still, come with the Pinlock insert included with the helmet. If your brand of helmet is not Pinlock ready, you will have to separately purchase one at an additional cost.
All in all, for me the Pinlock has been the best alternative to fogging. Easy to install and maintain, they do what they claim. Fogging is no longer a problem even in sub-freezing temperatures.