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  1. #1
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    Default Helmet ventilation and cooling for hot desert riding?

    On a recent 4-day trip across the Southwest desert, temperatures varied between 95 and 114 deg Fahrenheit. I've been working on keeping my skin from burning and core from overheating with the judicious use of non-armored shirt and pants (this is NOT a debate about the wisdom of THAT strategy). But, no matter what I did as far as adjusting vents, visor, etc, I could not avoid having my head overheating. There's just not enough ventilation in the helmet (I have a white HJC-IS Max modular helmet)

    So, I've started researching this issue and it seems none of the major helmet manufacturers has solved this issue for long-distance desert riders. EXCEPT this company. For $600, it provides not only adequate ventilation with the use of two fans (powered by the bike's electrical system), but also a 'cooler' using the same technology found in high-end vehicles with cooled and ventilated seats (my 2018 GMC Canyon has them and they're fantastic).

    What do you think of this solution? And, is this truly the only solution out there?

    https://feherhelmets.com/collections...s/ach-1-silver

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=ef8y2aKRqUU

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  2. #2
    Thinks out loud Jeriatric's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing.


    Identify what you have control over and find peace with what you don't.

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    Very Active Member Bfromla's Avatar
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    There was another just a year or so ago

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfromla View Post
    There was another just a year or so ago
    Interesting adaptation. Here is their website. They're in India and I don't see any outlets in North America yet. https://thebluarmor.com/

    Our online portal currently services only customers within INDIA. If you live outside India and would like to purchase BluSnap, please submit the form below. Please include your city and country of residence, and the number of units you are interested in.

    Our International Distributors -

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    visit http://blusnap.com.py/

    Taiwan
    visit https://www.blusnap.com/

    Philippines
    Dan Koh
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    Thailand
    Ying Poonpipat
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    visit https://www.blusnapasia.com/

    Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea
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    I met a retired Palm Beach County motorcycle cop last week. He told me about Seer Helmets. He said they were the only helmets that were cooling enough to wear when on duty. They make half, modular and full face helmets. Expensive, though.
    Carsong

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    Active Member Zoot's Avatar
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    I use a Shoei with decent venting. When I've been riding for a while I can't feel the vents doing anything; stop at a light or something, and I can really feel the cool when I take off again (after some sweat has a chance to accumulate.)
    I will point out though, behind a windshield the helmet vents mean approximately nothing....

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    Very Active Member RICZ's Avatar
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    Utah Pete....I'm curious to know if you are looking through or over your windshield. If you're looking through it, you might consider cutting it down lower so yo can look over it and catch air in your upper helmet vents.
    Cool vests and cool ties work well as does Cycle Gear's Heat-Out underliners - great stuff.
    Ours is a red, black and chrome 2017 F3 Limited. Bought new in 2/2019. The avatar is my first bike back in 1952, a Simplex Servi-Cycle. Photo taken at the Barber Museum.

  8. #8
    Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie Peter Aawen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoot View Post
    I use a Shoei with decent venting.....

    SHOEI GT-Air - forward top vent open; rear top vent open; front chin vent open; looking over the windshield; & opening the faceplate to its first click up works for me & the Missus in the +40 C heat here.
    2013 RT Ltd

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    Very Active Member pegasus1300's Avatar
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    I have the Bell Predator modular helmet. I also ride in many of the same conditions you do. The only thing I have found that works is putting he windshield down and the chin bar up. Or starting at 6:00 Am,riding till noon, finding a public library that is air conditioned and hanging until the temp goes down. I like the idea of the "air conditioned helmet" and would like to see it further developed. I used to have planes for adding a heat exchanger/heat sink that was supposed to pull the temp in the helmet by quite a bit, don't remember how much. I will have to look in my files and see if I can find that. I am guessing it didn't work too well or was too cumbersome as nothing ever came of it product wise. Maybe the new units that pump cold water thru a vest can divert some of that cool water thru a helmet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Aawen View Post
    SHOEI GT-Air - forward top vent open; rear top vent open; front chin vent open; looking over the windshield; & opening the faceplate to its first click up works for me & the Missus in the +40 C heat here.
    Peter, back in 2012 there was an Ozzie company peddling a helmet insert called Airhead. It was designed to provide more space for ventilation at the top of the head. I'm not sure what happened with those. The point being that several attempts have been made over the years to solve this problem in different ways.

    In response to your suggestion and the other posts above, I have tried riding with windshield down and even standing up to get my head in the airstream, but that makes no difference in airflow over the scalp. Ditto opening the face shield and raising the chin bar. All this does is to blow very hot air onto my face, which doesn't help cool my scalp.

    I used a water-soaked cooling vest under my shirt, but it dried out in an hour and then became a layer of warm insulation. Even when wet, of course, it only cooled my core, not my head (although it probably lowered my blood temperature a little, which is always a good thing). I have since bought an expensive cooling vest that is supposed to stay wet for 3 hours, and I will use that.

    But, this doesn't solve the problem I'm trying to solve, which is to improve airflow over my scalp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasus1300 View Post
    I like the idea of the "air conditioned helmet" and would like to see it further developed. I used to have planes for adding a heat exchanger/heat sink that was supposed to pull the temp in the helmet by quite a bit, don't remember how much. I will have to look in my files and see if I can find that. I am guessing it didn't work too well or was too cumbersome as nothing ever came of it product wise. Maybe the new units that pump cold water thru a vest can divert some of that cool water thru a helmet.
    That's the direction I'm leaning. Let me know if you find your notes.

    2014 RTL Platinum & 2014 RTL Cognac
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    Quote Originally Posted by carsong View Post
    I met a retired Palm Beach County motorcycle cop last week. He told me about Seer Helmets. He said they were the only helmets that were cooling enough to wear when on duty. They make half, modular and full face helmets. Expensive, though.
    I didn't see any full face or modular helmets on their website, just the modified 3/4 helmet with ear muffs. I'm not sure they have any better air flow over the scalp, but worth looking closer at them. Not too expensive - about $350.

    The motorcycle cops I've seen lately in Utah, riding Beemers, were wearing full modular helmets and full protective gear interestingly.

    Www.Superseer.com

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    Never found much relief here from the heat. I tend to not ride in the heat, just too hot out. If cracking the visor open a notch didn't get enough air flow, I doubt any helmet would via venting.

    Could try a white helmet if you don't have one. Color does make a difference. Look like you're wearing an egg on your head or people confuse you w/ the PD, but it would be cooler.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshHefnerX View Post
    Never found much relief here from the heat. I tend to not ride in the heat, just too hot out. If cracking the visor open a notch didn't get enough air flow, I doubt any helmet would via venting. Could try a white helmet if you don't have one. Color does make a difference. Look like you're wearing an egg on your head or people confuse you w/ the PD, but it would be cooler.
    I've done all those things. That's why I'm researching better solutions because I don't want to be intimidated by the heat. I've got the clothing pretty well dialed in; now I just need to solve the problem with the head overheating.

    2014 RTL Platinum & 2014 RTL Cognac
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    Very Active Member Grandpot's Avatar
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    Pete:

    You got me thinking, so I Googled "Helmet Fan." There are several types of fan kits out there. Most seem to be for industrial use, but some might be adaptable for MC helmets. I have never tried any of these, but they do seem feasible. Here's one for an example: https://www.evike.com/products/42477/ It's hard for me to find a good fitting helmet, so adding a fan to an existing one might work out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandpot View Post
    Pete:

    You got me thinking, so I Googled "Helmet Fan." There are several types of fan kits out there. Most seem to be for industrial use, but some might be adaptable for MC helmets. I have never tried any of these, but they do seem feasible. Here's one for an example: https://www.evike.com/products/42477/ It's hard for me to find a good fitting helmet, so adding a fan to an existing one might work out.
    That's some good thinking. I'll look into it. Thanks

    2014 RTL Platinum & 2014 RTL Cognac
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    I'm no expert on this but when we rode from Vegas to Lake Havasu, the return trip hit 114 and took at least two hours. We have Arai full-face helmets and wear mesh hi-viz jackets. The only thing we did to beat the heat was to use cooling rags around our necks and keep wetting them every 30 miles or so. Other than that and opening the vents on our helmets, nothing. What I remember most about that trip was that my head didn't get hot, my body did. And logically that makes sense. Your helmet has a couple of inches of styrofoam for crash protection. What is styrofoam? An insulator. If it's 114 out and your body temp is 98.6, the styrofoam is insulating you from the heat, not making you hotter.

    The best advice I've seen here is to start your ride at 6:00 a.m. when it's cool out and finish before it gets hot. I've been doing long bicycle rides (2 hours +) but I start at 5:30 a.m. and I'm finished by 8 ... and the temperatures are always cool and pleasant at those times. And the sunrise is beautiful to watch. At 3 in the afternoon, it's 110 but I'm either in the pool or lazing in the A/C. These activities are supposed to be fun, not an endurance contest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimion View Post
    I'm no expert on this but when we rode from Vegas to Lake Havasu, the return trip hit 114 and took at least two hours. We have Arai full-face helmets and wear mesh hi-viz jackets. The only thing we did to beat the heat was to use cooling rags around our necks and keep wetting them every 30 miles or so. Other than that and opening the vents on our helmets, nothing. What I remember most about that trip was that my head didn't get hot, my body did. And logically that makes sense. Your helmet has a couple of inches of styrofoam for crash protection. What is styrofoam? An insulator. If it's 114 out and your body temp is 98.6, the styrofoam is insulating you from the heat, not making you hotter.

    The best advice I've seen here is to start your ride at 6:00 a.m. when it's cool out and finish before it gets hot. I've been doing long bicycle rides (2 hours +) but I start at 5:30 a.m. and I'm finished by 8 ... and the temperatures are always cool and pleasant at those times. And the sunrise is beautiful to watch. At 3 in the afternoon, it's 110 but I'm either in the pool or lazing in the A/C. These activities are supposed to be fun, not an endurance contest.
    John, I rode 1700 miles from our home in Utah to Yuma, Arizona and back in four days. Riding only when it's cool or stopping every 30 miles wasn't an option.

    You're right about the helmet protecting from ambient temperatures, particularly since mine is white for that very reason. The problem is that it doesn't allow for the head to cool by normal evaporation of the sweat because the airflow is inadequate.

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    While it doesn't solve the problem of lack of airflow, a helmet liner like this may help lower head temperature. Has anyone tried that with a motorcycle helmet?

    https://www.mission.com/products/coo...nt=10374124229

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...A2CZTDJTS77U7N

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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahPete View Post
    While it doesn't solve the problem of lack of airflow, a helmet liner like this may help lower head temperature. Has anyone tried that with a motorcycle helmet?

    https://www.mission.com/products/coo...nt=10374124229

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...A2CZTDJTS77U7N
    https://www.cyclegear.com/gear/heat-...r-helmet-liner

    I use these, which are similar and inexpensive.

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    It gets plenty hot here and plenty humid too. I have a full face helmet and wear it when it is cool enough. During June, July, and August, I wear a Bell 500 with a dirt bike shield on it. It gets plenty of circulation as long as you are moving. Not much of anything helps if you sitting at a stop light, breathing exhaust fumes, behind a garbage truck with suspicious looking, stinky liquid dripping out the tailgate.


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    Have you checked the venting in your helmet to make sure that foam/fuzz/crap or something isn't blocking up the channels?

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    Got this article mailed to me - it does talk about what I like to call the hair-dryer effect. Science isn't completely fleshed out but does point to the fact that at some point no matter how much air flow you get you're only gonna get hotter.

    https://www.bicycling.com/news/a2888...7913278&src=nl

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    Thanks Josh. Interesting reading. I think the 'fan effect' they talk about here actually making a person's body core hotter is why increasing the airflow over the body and face (as in opening the helmet visor, lowering the windshield, etc) is counterproductive when the ambient air is hot and dry.

    Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and done by researchers at the University of Sydney, the study recruited 12 young men and exposed them to simulated heat waves of two different conditions: hot and dry (a temperature of 116 degrees and 10 percent humidity) and cooler but more humid (a temperature of 104 degrees and 50 percent humidity). They sat in front of electric fans while the heat got cranked up.

    Throughout a two-hour period, the participants had their core temperature monitored according to heart rate, blood pressure, whole-body sweat rate, and a measurement called “thermal strain,” which involves rectal temperature.

    Researchers found that in a hot, humid condition, with a heat index of 132 degrees Fahrenheit, fans lowered core temperature and cardiovascular measures. But in a lower heat index condition of 114 degrees Fahrenheit in a drier condition, the fans proved detrimental instead of beneficial.

    In that case, rectal temperature, heart rate, sweat rate, rate of dehydration, and overall comfort got worse. That means the fans actually made the participants hotter than if they hadn’t been sitting in front of them.

    Lead researcher Ollie Jay, Ph.D., told Runner’s World that more research needs to be done to determine why, but it’s likely related to evaporation—as in, how the body handles lowering its core temperature through sweating. With more humidity, the body may sweat more and the fans can speed the evaporation process. But in a hot, dry condition, fans may prevent sweat, and that keeps your core temp climbing.

    Jay added that paying attention only to a measure like a heat index or just overall is not enough to determine whether fans should be used or not. Instead, humidity should be taken into consideration, he said.

    Now, the study does have some limitations, particularly the small sample size of only a dozen people. Also, the mean age of participants was 25, and included only healthy men, so it’s not known if core temperature changes would be the same for other groups. That’s a significant consideration, since the National Institutes of Health noted that heat can be more of a problem for seniors, those who are overweight or obese, have high blood pressure, or on certain medications.

    Also, in terms of heatwave conditions—the kind that actually cause deaths—Jay is eager to emphasize that electric fans should absolutely be used if that’s the only way to try and create more cooling. Participants in the study only sat in front of the fans for two hours, but Jay suggested that during a heatwave, fans may cool the overall temperature of a room over several hours, which could be beneficial.

    Limitations notwithstanding, you can use these findings to up your comfort when you’re a hot, sweaty mess after your workout. Getting to an air conditioned room is always a good option, but if that’s not possible, try this DIY trick: Placing damp, cold towels—with crushed ice wrapped inside if possible—around the neck, or wetting the arms, legs, and neck with cold water.

    This promotes evaporation, which is what allows the body to shed excess heat at a faster rate. It’s also more effective than drinking cold water, he found in a previous study. Then get in front of the fan or a good wind, because the airflow will be working with the evaporation to speed heat loss, he said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshHefnerX View Post
    Have you checked the venting in your helmet to make sure that foam/fuzz/crap or something isn't blocking up the channels?
    I haven't yet done that, but I will shortly. I'm also considering opening up the vent holes if I can do so without compromising the shell's impact resistance.

    2014 RTL Platinum & 2014 RTL Cognac
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