When you hear the word balaclava, you probably picture people skiing or, well, robbing banks. And, yes, a balaclava is often used for those things, but did you know that they are also useful for bicycle riders such as yourself? Indeed, there are many reasons that make using a balaclava or a bicycle face mask a good idea. We’ll list a few below and then tell you where you can find an awesome selection of balaclavas and face masks.
1. For hygienic reasons. Especially if you borrow someone else’s helmet—even for a while—then you should definitely do whomever you’re borrowing the helmet from the courtesy of using a balaclava. After all, you will sweat up there, and your sweat will rub off the inside of the helmet. Sweat eventually damages the helmet’s padding, but it will also precipitate in bacteria build-up, which you can imagine will be awful in the long run. Do you fancy putting on a helmet that smells like a sock? Don’t think so.
If you’re using your own helmet, then perhaps it will be less embarrassing, but you’ll still be stinking up your helmet over time. So, yeah, a balaclava can definitely be helpful in this regard, not least because it will absorb your sweat and can be dropped in the laundry for easy washing. Also, a balaclava can protect your helmet from those ghastly sweat stains. Yeah, we’re not sure why head sweat seems so corrosive to helmets, too, but the fact remains that it is.
2. To keep warm. Balaclavas, and to some degree, bicycle face masks, are a great way to keep your face warm while riding. Especially if you ride during winter, then some kind of neck and face-covering will be essential. The frigid air smashing against your face as you ride your bicycle, after all, can be literal torture. I would never ride my bike during winter without a balaclava or a face mask—one can be all geared up with a hundred layers of clothing to keep warm but will still have his face frozen solid without a good balaclava or face mask.
3. They can keep your face protected against dust and grime. Dust and grime are sometimes an inescapable feature of some trails. Sure, a good pair of sunglasses can protect your eyes, but your face will sometimes—in our case, oftentimes—need protection, too. Especially your nostrils. You don’t want your bicycle to kick up dust, after all, only to have all that dust land in your face—or worse, in your lungs. A good bicycle face mask can be especially helpful in this regard.
4. Pollution; bicycle face masks are great at protecting yourself against it, too. Especially if your daily commute entails riding in-and-around city traffic, where the smog can be thick and disorienting. Trust us, even the streets of, say, London are heavily polluted just on account of the high number of vehicles that converge at intersections during rush hour.
So those are a few reasons that make balaclavas and bicycle face masks a useful accessory for the avid bicyclist. We even forgot to mention that they look cool, too, which is, by our account, a perfectly valid reason to wear them while riding your bike.
In any case, balaclavas and bicycle face masks are increasingly getting popular among motorcycle and bicycle riders, which is why the market is filled with choices these days. Don’t waste your money on the flimsily created ones, however. We’ve owned a lot of balaclavas and face masks, but we’ve recently been drawn to Moto Flavour’s selection, the designs of which we think are awesome. They are breathable and are made from good quality material, too. Check out their selection of balaclavas and bicycle face masks on their website.