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  1. #1
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    options for keeping bottom part of face warm?

    I've been riding my bike down to 30 degrees this season. I've found the Arcteryx Bird Head Toque to handle cold temps brilliantly with perfect heat regulation. But when temps start dropping below 30, the bottom part of my face starts to get cold and my jaw starts to get stiff. What are some popular modern options for keeping the bottom part of the face warm when riding? Several years ago, Qi masks were somewhat popular in the snowboard community:

    Ride Qi

    I tried one of these several years ago but I found that the fit was pretty sloppy and it didn't ventilate my breath very well. So basically pretty useless. They look pretty cool though :\

  2. #2
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    I rode today in minus 18 C temps. Arcteryx Alpha AR jacket, with the hood over my helmet and the zipper done up. Boom.

    When things get really bad, I wear a neoprene face mask with a nosehole and perforations to easily breathe through my mouth.

    The problem with the face masks like the one above, is that your breath is funneled upwards where it fogs up your glasses of goggles. Also, its tough to exert oneself when breathing is even slightly restricted. Especially in cold temps.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by titus View Post
    I've been riding my bike down to 30 degrees this season. I've found the Arcteryx Bird Head Toque to handle cold temps brilliantly with perfect heat regulation. But when temps start dropping below 30, the bottom part of my face starts to get cold and my jaw starts to get stiff. What are some popular modern options for keeping the bottom part of the face warm when riding? Several years ago, Qi masks were somewhat popular in the snowboard community:

    Ride Qi

    I tried one of these several years ago but I found that the fit was pretty sloppy and it didn't ventilate my breath very well. So basically pretty useless. They look pretty cool though :\
    Do you mean 30F? Get a Buff, you don't need to cover your mouth and nose much. -30C, cover up or loose parts.
    Formerly Travis Bickle

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  4. #4
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Do you mean 30F? Get a Buff, you don't need to cover your mouth and nose much. -30C, cover up or loose parts.
    Psh, at 30F, I don't do a damn thing except cover my ears (I use a summer weight Buff for this).

    Facial hair works great down to the single digits, but I'll add a neck gaiter (also a summer weight Buff).

    Covering my nose/mouth in that temp range does more negative than good. Fabrics wet out due to condensation of the humidity from exhalations and make my face colder.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, usually nothing, although I've found a slight turtle-neck on the base-layer can make a huge difference. If you lack this, then just something simple like a Buff. Base layers with big open necks don't help much in the cold IME.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Yeah, usually nothing, although I've found a slight turtle-neck on the base-layer can make a huge difference. If you lack this, then just something simple like a Buff. Base layers with big open necks don't help much in the cold IME.
    Agreed, but when I do need to cover everything exposed, I prefer this over a buff:

    https://bulabula.com/collections/col...ible-balaclava

    I picked that up at Costco for $15 or thereabouts.

    It is beautifully stretchy and form fitting. It is low profile enough to easily fit under my helmet. It can be used to cover my neck, my mouth or my nose. It also takes care of a hat or an ear band.

    For me at least, it's been a great all-in-one inexpensive and highly flexible solution to minus 25 to 35 temps.

    That said, I am always interested in your feedback.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Agreed, but when I do need to cover everything exposed, I prefer this over a buff:

    https://bulabula.com/collections/col...ible-balaclava

    I picked that up at Costco for $15 or thereabouts.

    It is beautifully stretchy and form fitting. It is low profile enough to easily fit under my helmet. It can be used to cover my neck, my mouth or my nose. It also takes care of a hat or an ear band.

    For me at least, it's been a great all-in-one inexpensive and highly flexible solution to minus 25 to 35 temps.

    That said, I am always interested in your feedback.
    I don't like the fleece ones as much as the straight up lyrca-stretchy ones, being able to pull and conform in mulitiple positions, kind of like the buff, but "more buffer". I do have one or two fleece ones though. If it's real cold I'll just have my eyes exposed, or if not, I'll run the balaclava just like a buff/neckwarmer, around my neck like a scarf. A good strategy though is to get a few, possibly a few different styles/thicknesses, cuz they are cheap at department stores. I'll always have my "next level" of winter wear in the frame bag when it's cold, like a puffy jacket, mittens, balaclava or thicker balaclava, etc.

    Also, I've found some of the balaclavas to be too "short", in that combined with more open top base layers (without the turtle neck) they leave a "gap" on your neck, which is way annoying and cold!
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  8. #8
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Base layers with big open necks don't help much in the cold IME.
    definitely

  9. #9
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    Spend enough time outside and your face will get use to it - at least it will at 30F. Really, it will.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Spend enough time outside and your face will get use to it - at least it will at 30F. Really, it will.
    Agreed. So long as my ears are covered, my face is fine at zero degrees F, unless there is a wind factor involved. Especially so when I am working hard and have a chimney of warm air rising from my torso.

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