Sweat gets in my eyes
June 13, 2005 10:57 AM   Subscribe

When bicycling, how do you keep sweat out of your eyes?

A bandana seems too hot. Is a sweatband the best way? I'm worried it'll get soaked quickly and won't do any good. And why does sweat sting my eyes so much? (I don't use suntan lotion on my forehead.)
posted by sixpack to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Also, does anyone have any experience with this?
posted by sixpack at 10:58 AM on June 13, 2005

your sweat stings because you are just starting to train in the heat of the summer. it will sting less in the fall as you train more and become acclimated.

re keeping sweat out of your eyes, get close-fitting goggles, that's one way of keeping sweat out. I hear Oakleys are great for cycling. Bandanas and sweatbands also can help. If it gets soaked quickly, keen another one (or two) in reserve in a panier nearby. No use spending dozens of dollars for gizmos when 1-dollar bandanas and sweatbands can do the trick.

And remember to drink lots of water and top up on electrolytes (potassium and sodium) gatorade alone is not enough help.
posted by seawallrunner at 11:07 AM on June 13, 2005

Vaseline across your brow.
posted by fire&wings at 11:10 AM on June 13, 2005

I've had good luck with a sweatband. With the helmet on, I don't even notice that the sweatband's there, and it's quite effective in soaking up the sweat.
Plus, since it's under the helmet, no one will say, as you bike by, "Hey! Wasn't that Bjorn Borg?!" Just in case you were worried about that.
posted by Dr. Wu at 11:12 AM on June 13, 2005

the more you spend on a helmet the higher the quality of the pads inside. nicer helmets put pads in more strategic places and use pads that are made from materials that wick moisture more effectively.

any other solutions (head-gasket, sweatband) just tend to compromise the way your helmet fits; i won't recommend them.

otherwise, changing the time of day during which you commonly ride, or, if you're commuting, leaving yourself a little more time to get to your destination, might cut down on sweating some.
posted by RockyChrysler at 11:13 AM on June 13, 2005

your sweat stings because you are just starting to train in the heat of the summer. it will sting less in the fall as you train more and become acclimated.

Huh? Acclimated to what? I thought sweat stings because there's salt in it.
posted by Specklet at 11:40 AM on June 13, 2005

I carry a hanky/bandana and just wipe my forehead every once and a while. You can also splash it with some water from your water bottle, if you've stopped or are very coordinated. It's most important to mop your forehead if you've been riding for a while and it starts to rain, because the rain will wash all the accumulated salt into your eyes at once.
Also, whenever you stop for a break, squeeze the sweat out of your helmet pads.
posted by teg at 11:45 AM on June 13, 2005

Specklet, seawallrunner is referring to the fact that atheletes who train in warm climates tend to have less salty sweat.
posted by teg at 11:50 AM on June 13, 2005

When I think this is going to be a problem I wear a cap or bandana made out of a wicking material such as Headsweat products. I've had great luck with any number of random brands the local bike shop may carry, just make sure the material isn't cotton! It will just get wet and feel like nasty under your helmet. Invest in a couple quality offerings with wicking material and you'll be cool and dry.
posted by asterisk at 11:52 AM on June 13, 2005

Baseball cap. Also keeps the glare off my glasses.
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:23 PM on June 13, 2005

A headband under your helmet. Also, seawallrunner is correct about acclimatizing. It won't take long, just a couple of weeks or riding in heat and your sweat will be significantly less salty and will sting your eyes much less.
posted by OmieWise at 12:26 PM on June 13, 2005

When worn under a helmet, cotton euro cycling caps asorb sweat and have a little visor to boot.

bianchi liquigas cap

they're pretty cheap, usually no more than 10$, and they work great asorbing sweat.
posted by scalespace at 1:04 PM on June 13, 2005

Just a note, it's not a good idea to wear a baseball cap under your helmet if it has one of those little steel buttons on the top. That can concentrate the force of impact on one point of your skull, which is not a good thing.
posted by teg at 2:26 PM on June 13, 2005

Several folks I ride with use those do-rags, y'know, HeadSweats. Some folks wear bandanas Aunt Jemimah-style. One guy has a some kind of Kareem Abdul Jabar headband, like a strip of terrycloth in the front with just elastic in the back. God knows where he got that, maybe he made it.

I shave my head (this is sort of supposed to be more a problem for bald/no hair riders) but I've never really had a huge problem. The right helmet will allow enough airflow to allow for some evaporation, and like rocky chrysler said, better quality helmets have better pads and seem to suffer less from this problem. A cycling cap is great, but crazy hot.
posted by fixedgear at 5:18 PM on June 13, 2005

Cycling caps are great, or you could do with a pair of funky, functional goggles instead of glasses, since you'll need to keep wind/bugs out of your eyes, anyway.
posted by dreamsign at 9:53 PM on June 13, 2005

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