Since the onset of the novel coronavirus, experts have encouraged physical activity to improve mental and physical health. Cycling became more popular as people looked for ways to leave their homes, comply with social distancing, and exercise.
As more people took to the streets and the public stance on wearing masks changed, cycling became more difficult. Unfortunately, cloth masks affected a cyclist’s ability to breathe, and other masks were too cumbersome. Thankfully, a cycling mask could be the answer to keep you safe and on your bike.
How Do Cycling Face Masks Work?
Before discussing the efficacy of bike masks regarding COVID, it helps to understand how they work. First, bike masks are lightweight and stretchable to provide a comfortable fit for every face type without sacrificing a good seal. After all, the mask won’t help you much if it doesn’t create a seal with your face to prevent leakage.
Second, and possibly most important, cycling face masks have filters to protect you from particulates and gases in the air you breathe. As you inhale, the filters catch the pollutants and prevent them from reaching your nose and mouth, so you breathe cleaner air.
In fact, cycling masks benefited cyclists long before the COVID-19 outbreak by reducing the amount of dust and pollution inhaled during a ride. They even helped allergy sufferers enjoy biking and other outdoor activities because they filtered out a lot of irritants, including pollen.
The Case for Cycling Masks for COVID Protection
Before to choose the face mask for cycling, you should know the necessary features for a qualified cycling mask.
One thing most experts agree on is the benefit of wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There is strong support for the use of face masks whenever you are in public. Still, many people find them difficult to wear, especially for longer periods or during physical activity.
Since COVID-19 spreads easily, primarily by droplets from an infected person, wearing a mask protects you and everyone around you. Even when you’re outside, minding your own business in the bike lane, you need to consider protection.
Consider this: droplets travel farther when you’re moving, like when riding a bike. They even create a sort of slipstream that trails behind you. What happens if you ride into the droplets of an infected cyclist in front of you? How much distance can you keep between you and other cyclists?
Masks are effective tools for stopping the spread of the virus while biking. Cotton masks, neoprene masks and mesh cloth masks are the most popular cycling masks, but how to choose suitable one for you? let’s look a little deeper into your options.
Cotton masks with the replaceable carbon filters may do a satisfactory job of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and filtrate pollution when you biking, but they don’t work well for enthusiastic cyclists.
Cotton masks don’t form the best seal around your mouth and nose. Further, they don’t filter as much from the air you breathe, so they don’t protect you as much as they protect others from your germs. So if you don’t use bicycle riding masks for long time per time, you may choose the cotton masks for biking.
Neoprene Face Masks
Neoprene Face masks with valves are professional masks for enthusiastic cyclists. it is a better choice in winter or autumn. Comparing the cycling masks made of mesh polyester fabric, the neoprene material can keep you warm during cold weather when riding.
Neoprene face masks is also used in heavy pollution activities, like woodworking and gardening, because the neoprene material is durable. You may check what are neoprene masks to know more.
Mesh Cloth Bike Masks
Since mesh cloth biking masks are made of lightweight polyester, they are comfortable and conform to the contours of your face. The shell is often washable, which is helpful when you’re sweating a lot! They also look cooler and sportier than the other types of masks.
Mesh cloth cycling masks for COVID-19 have adjustable features, like nose clips and ear-loops, so you can find the perfect fit. They work better for people wearing glasses because the breathing valves prevent fogging of your lenses.
How to Choose the Right Biking Masks with Filters?
In today’s world, it makes sense to use biking masks for COVID protection, especially cycling masks with filters. However, understanding the difference between filters can be overwhelming, especially with so many designations.
Not all filters offer the same level of protection. How much have you heard about the urgent need for N95 masks for healthcare workers? Did you ever wonder what that meant or why it was so important?
Masks that carry an N95 certification filter out 95% of particles from the air you breathe. Note that very few masks can filter out 100% of particulates, and for most situations, those masks are unnecessary. When it comes to keeping the coronavirus at bay, N95 masks stop particles much smaller than the virus.
Finding the Right Fit
Though there is not a lot of variation in sizing, there are some. Make sure you pay close attention to size options. You want to choose the right size, so the mask creates a solid seal around your face, or it won’t prevent unfiltered air from leaking in the sides.
Another consideration for fit is how the mask attaches to your head. Most masks use one of two attachments – behind the ear or behind the head. Choose the attachment method that is more comfortable for you.
Some masks also have a nose strip to improve the fit on your face. This option is especially helpful for creating a good seal over the bridge of your nose, so a flexible material is preferable when wearing a bicycle riding mask for coronavirus.
Proper Cycling Mask Filter Replacement
The best cycling masks have removable, replaceable filters. Eventually, the filters clog, and you inhale less air.
Think of biking mask filters like your furnace filter. How well does your heating and cooling system work if your air filter is clogged? You probably notice a higher energy bill or a decrease in its efficiency.
Choosing a mask with a replaceable filter helps you, especially when you find one that fits well. Once you go through the process of finding the perfect mask, you probably aren’t eager to replace it. However, if you can remove the filter, toss it, and insert a new one, you can extend the life of your mask without compromising your health.
Finding Replacement Filters
Thankfully, replacing your filter doesn’t have to be difficult, especially for cycling masks KN95 certified. When you choose a mask that accommodates an N95 filter, you just have to look for KN95 certified filters.
What is a KN95 certified filter? As discussed previously, it filters out 95% of pollutants and particles using a special five-layer system. The five layers of protection work together to keep you safe.
- Three non-woven layers encase the others to keep them clean and add comfort and breathability.
- One melt-blown layers stop substances smaller than the coronavirus.
- In the middle, an activated carbon layer absorbs chemical-based pollutants, like smog.
When to Replace Your Cycling Face Mask N95 Filter?
How do you know when it’s time to replace your furnace filter? Maybe you do it with the change of season or mark it on your calendar. There’s a good chance that several factors affect your timing, and the same is true for N95 filters.
Swapping your cycling face mask filter depends on your usage. If you ride in a heavily polluted area or face exposure to a lot of irritants, you probably want to replace your filter every few days. Those who wear their masks for extended periods should also replace their filters every three to five days.
Mid-level pollution exposure involves replacing N95 filters every five to ten days. Lighter pollution levels, lesser exposure, or shorter hours of use make filters last longer, up to two weeks in some cases.
At the end of the day, you are the best judge about when it’s time to change your filters. If you notice it’s harder to breathe in your mask, it’s probably time to swap out your filters for new ones.
Final Thoughts on Cycling Masks vs Coronavirus
The pollution prevention abilities of reusable biking mask make it ideal for many people, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mesh cloth cycling masks with KN95 filters are comfortable than other masks on the market and allow users to remain active without compromising their health.
Dear Edward Chen,
Although well-written, this strikes me as a pretty irresponsible article since it appears to promote masks with one-way valves as good coronavirus proterction. Many locations forbid the use of this type of mask because the valves allow unfiltered air from the mask wearers lungs, nose and mouth out into the air for others to breathe in. This unfiltered air can contain coronavirus droplets from an asymptomatic mask wearer. In other words, wearing this type of mask could be considered a selfish practice that gives others around you the impression that you are helping protect them by wearing a mask when it is almost the same as wearing no mask at all. If there is some way that exhaled droplets are actually filtered out with this type of mask, please accept my apologies and please send engineering data that explains how that can work.
As you say, these masks are not suitable for front-line workers. Because they are always gathering in an airless place.
But the primary point of wearing a mask is not to block the virus, it is to protect yourself. If other people care about the COVID, they should wear a mask themselves.
The neoprene masks and mesh cloth masks are sports mask or wooding, painting, heavy pollution masks before COVID.
We add a melt-blown layer into the filter, then it could prevent COVID. When you do sports or hard-working, valves for exhaling are necessary, otherwise, you will feel very uncomfortable and have to stop after a while.
So the valves for exhaling are necessary for this kind of mask, although it can’t protect others, you will feel that you are very safe after wear it. and it also could slow the spread of covid, because the virus exhaling out is much less than the droplets.
When you do exercise or other sports, the valves are necessary, so this kind of mask is always called cycling masks or sports masks. And we have shown these and the applications of these masks on our website clearly.
Disagree strenuously re: “the primary point of wearing a mask is not to block the virus, it is to protect yourself. ” The primary point of wearing a mask that isn’t true N95 or P95 is simply to reduce the range of the particulates you expel– to protect others from you on the chance you might be an asymptomatic carrier.
To claim otherwise is irresponsible and dangerous.
Hi Stuart, thanks for your concern. What I want to say is that if all people wear masks, it is no matter that your mask is with or without exhalation valves, and if everybody could protect themself, the coronavirus is not terrible. Additionally, as a sport mask, valves are necessary.
Zoals ik begrijp is het masker vooral beschermend voor de gebruiker zelf. Voor dit type masker schrijft u dat het ventiel noodzakelijk is, zeker voor het gebruik tijdens het sporten. Maar is dit ook nodig bij normaal rustig gebruik.
Zo niet, is het misschien handig/mogelijk als de ventielen afgesloten kunnen worden. In dit geval wordt het een normaal masker met kn95 filter waarbij zowel de gebruiker als omstanders beschermd zijn.
Wellicht kan het afsluiten van het ventiel met een standaard dop worden geregeld?
Onze overheid raadt namelijk ook het gebruik van dit type mondmaskers (met ventiel af). Ofwel met een afsluit mogelijkheid zal het zowel in drukke publieke gebieden, als gewoon buiten tijdens het sporten en klussen een ideaal masker zijn.
Hoor graag wat de mogelijkheden zijn.
Bij voorbaat dank,
Thanks for your suggestion. But there is no such valve at present.
Sorry I meant to say how often do bicycle masks need to be washed? or is it ok to just change the filter and not wash the mask?
Hi Gaynor, you may wash the mask when you find it is dirty. You may just change the filter before this. The mask is reusable and we suggest washing it in 15-20 days.
Anyone who belongs to a risk group due to age and / or previous illnesses also has the right to protect themselves and the bicycle masks made of neoprene or mesh fabric with KN95 to KN 99 filters, which are next to the face, are ideally suited for this. To whom does a doctor’s certificate benefit from not being able to wear a mask for health reasons, it doesn’t protect yourself or the others. I combine the bike mask that is close to my face with a large face shield and I feel optimally protected. Summary: If I protect myself optimally against infection with Covid -19, I do not endanger anyone else from my aerosols, which may pass through the mask and face shield. Simple summary: If everyone were to protect themselves with the inexpensive bike masks and the easy-change filters, the corona virus would be over quickly because nobody could become infected anymore.
Thanks for your support for my opinion, if all people take seriously to protect themselves, the virus will be over soon.
As a mechanic and a glass wearer, it is important that the mask does not cause the glasses to fog and/or require constant adjustment. This air pollution mask from AstroAI, using extra nose pads, allows me to comfortably wear the mask all day. My breath didn’t back up and fog up my glasses, and it remained on my face.