The bane of every cyclist. It is hot. You sweat. The sweat drips into your eyes. It stings your eyes and smears on your glasses, impairing your vision. Usually just as you are approaching a pothole or a sharp corner at speed.
I started cycling in Houston, Texas. Where summer temperatures are consistently in the mid 30s C / 90s F. So it wasn’t long before I was looking for a way to keep sweat out of my eyes. I settled on a Sweat GUTR. A soft plastic headband with a lip across the front which channels sweat away from your eyes and glasses.
The Sweat Gutr worked well, but it had one shortcoming. My forehead gets oily as I sweat. The smooth plastic headband would start sliding down my forehead, breaking the seal between skin and band and allowing sweat to leak into my eyes.
I either had to keep pushing the band back up above my eyebrows, or tighten the band. A tighter band solved the slippage problem in exchange for a pressure headache. I settled for pushing the Sweat GUTR back up my forehead when necessary. Once the dog days of summer gave way to cooler autumn days, my Sweat GUTR stayed in a drawer.
Then I moved to the Netherlands, where even on the hottest days, sweaty eyeballs are much less of a problem. My Sweat GUTR continued its stay in a drawer
It came out of the drawer when I got home to Malaysia. But the average humidity of 80% or more made the slippage problem worse than it had been in Houston. The Sweat GUTR was soon consigned to the back of a drawer, never to be used again.
For a while I resorted to wiping the sweat off my brow with a bandana. I built up quite a collection of bandanas.
They weren’t a particularly effective solution. Too often I was reaching into a jersey pocket for a bandana after sweat was already stinging my eyes.
A friend suggested streaks of Vaseline above my eyes. That may have worked, but I foresaw one major drawback. I would forget the Vaseline was there, and would smear it everywhere the first time I wiped my face.
So I relied on my bandanas. In other words, I put up with stinging eyes.
One day a riding buddy turned up wearing a helmet liner.
He raved about how this particular helmet liner uses a “proprietary technology . . . to create a prolonged cooling effect.” Mission Athletecare website
I needed help coping with the heat. The helmet liner was worth the price just for the cooling effect.
Now that I have worn these helmet liners for the better part of a year, I value them for more than just their cooling effect. The helmet liner wicks away sweat from my forehead before it can trickle down into my eyes. No more sweaty eyeballs!
The stretchy fabric stays comfortable over long periods. No more pressure headaches!
The fabric is stretchy enough for me to stuff some ice cubes under a liner to cool my scalp on particularly hot days.
A multi-tasking piece of cycling kit. The best kind.