Jim’s Tech Talk
By Jim Langley
In last week’s newsletter, Lars wrote an article questioning the effectiveness of sunscreen under a jersey and UV protective clothing too. You can read his column here if you missed it: https://www.roadbikerider.com/sunscreen-under-jersey-uv-rated/.
The article prompted regular contributor to our comments section and frequent tips provider Will Haltiwanger to send in a helpful hack he’s come up with to protect his scalp from the sun and that also stops insects.
We always appreciate tips like this because others may have the same issue and find the tips helpful, even game-changing. If you have some cycling tips you feel others would benefit from feel free to share them with us. Be sure to include photos.
“Today’s newsletter had a section on sun protection so I thought I would send this along.
After 30+ years of cycling I have developed a number of “barnacles” on my scalp from sun exposure. I have also become sensitive to bee stings. If bitten on the arm or leg it will swell for several days and become very puffy. A friend has prescribed prednisone and if stung I take a four-day dose of 10 mg pills, 4/3/2/1.
Last week I had an insect enter the top of my helmet and sting me on the scalp. While my head did not swell significantly (my wife says it is big enough already) it was painful and within 15 minutes I was itchy all over. I carry Benadryl and took two of them which helped dampen the itching and my doctor friend said not to take the prednisone.
This inspired me to look for a solution. While there are a few insect resistant helmets I did not want to give up my almost new MIPS helmet. I found a heavy black plastic mesh material on Amazon and cut it to fit the holes top and front on my helmet then put a few drops of Gorilla glue to make sure it stays in place.
The mesh is substantial enough that it should significantly reduce sun exposure while keeping biting insects out of the helmet. I don’t notice any reduction in cooling, in fact it is probably cooler than using a durag for protection.
Also, one more tip: to keep my mirror from moving around I use some monofilament fishing line to secure it with a dab of Gorilla glue to prevent the knot from loosening. (The fishing line is not visible in the photo.)”
Thanks for sharing your tips, Will!
Jim Langley is RBR’s Technical Editor. He has been a pro mechanic and cycling writer for more than 40 years. He’s the author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop in the RBR eBookstore. Check out his “cycling aficionado” website at http://www.jimlangley.net, his Q&A blog and updates at Twitter. Jim’s cycling streak ended in February 2022 with a total of 10,269 consecutive daily rides (28 years, 1 month and 11 days of never missing a ride). Click to read Jim’s full bio.
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