Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: WesternFlyer on May 12, 2008, 02:07:43 am

Title: Sun protection
Post by: WesternFlyer on May 12, 2008, 02:07:43 am
It is the middle of May and spring is finally arriving in the Northwest so I assume the sun must be shinning everywhere else.  So my question is what do riders do for sun/UV protection while riding?

For me who has spent a lifetime biking, surfing, kayaking and sailing, it is a very real question or so says my dermatologist.  

I of course use a SPF 30 or greater.  My daughter who knows more than I about such thing says to use sunscreen with a zinc oxide base, but the ones I have tried leave a ghostly white shadow on my face and are hard to apply.  I wear long sleeve riding shirts and tie a bandana around my neck on long rides.

What do others do or dont do?

Western Flyer

A wheel spins in a circle.
The still point at the center
gives it direction.
Be still.

   "The Parents' Tao Te Ching"
Title: Sun protection
Post by: staehpj1 on May 12, 2008, 08:46:28 am
I am usually pretty careless in this regard.  As long as I don't burn I don't worry too much.  Around home I use nothing.

On the TA last year I figured that with the long days and high altitudes I needed to be a bit more careful. I applied anything from 15-30 spf usually only once, but sometimes twice a day.

Title: Sun protection
Post by: JayH on May 12, 2008, 09:59:47 am
Sunscreen for the back of the next and arms and upper thigh area is usual for me in the summer months even though I don't burn easy.

Be caseful about anything (sunscreen, bug spray, etc) on the forehead as it could wash into your eyes when sweating.


Title: Sun protection
Post by: alfonso on May 12, 2008, 08:46:23 pm
Thanks for raising this important point, WF. In Australia, sun protection is a big consideration. I use the highest spf I can get, look for ones that claim to stay on well in water or sweaty conditions, and apply it to all exposed areas - except, as JayH says, around and above the eyes. Sunscreen that has been sweated into your eyes is agonising and at speed can be dangerous. I also wear good sunglasses.

One thing I'd love to find is an effective eyeshade. The eyeshades that come with helmets don't work well early in the morning or later in the afternoon, and I've read that baseball-style caps are undesirable under helmets. I use a Buff headscarf to protect my venerable bald spot and the back of my neck. Suggestions would be welcome.

Title: Sun protection
Post by: whittierider on May 12, 2008, 09:45:25 pm
what do riders do for sun/UV protection while riding?

Copertone Sport, SPF 50, Ultra Sweatproof, Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB, in the blue plastic bottle with the cap on the bottom.  I think it's this summer the FDA rules and the sunscreen makers are supposed to provide us better guarantees of protection against UVA which causes a lot of skin damage without actual sunburn.

Just because you don't burn easily doesn't mean you can't get severe skin damage leading possibly even to melanoma.

I always wear a skullcap under my helmet, so I don't get tan stripes on my bald head.  The skullcap comes down just about to my eyebrows, and, as recommended by a doctor friend who's literally a brain surgeon, the front of my helmet covers my forehead and practically touches my glasses, meaning that with my low riding position, the sun has to be very low in the sky in front of me for me not to get some eye shading from the helmet.  Above my eyes is one place I definitely do not need sunscreen.

Title: Sun protection
Post by: TwoWheeledExplorer on May 14, 2008, 10:23:17 am
Sun protection is one of the primary reasons I shun "traditional" cycling clothing in favor of "expedition" or "fishing" sytle shirts and covnvertable pants/shorts. Look for brands like Ex-Officio, REI, and Guide Gear (Gander Mtn.) which block harmful sun, but are still lightweight and breathable. What I may sacrifice in aerodynamics (not a big issue at my size) I make up for with the protection. In addition, I use spray-on SPF-45 sunblock, such as Coppertone Sport-Block on all exposed areas.

Ride safe,

St. Brendan's Travelers Bicycle Missions Team
Title: Sun protection
Post by: crawdadslim on May 16, 2008, 10:35:01 pm
I generaly have a ballcap under the helmet that screens me from the worst of it, and use whatever is the strongest stuff I can find.  Also agree with the long sleeve shirts and pants, even though I seldom burn.
but one evening on a trip last April I rode for hours into the sunset and thirty mph wind and got nailed by a combo sun/wind burn on my mouth.
I lost all the skin on my lower lip, and spent five days smearing vasaline on it constantly, along with the rest of my windburned face.  
any good ideas on how not to get your lips sunburned?  or what happened to me, with both sun and wind?  At least it didn't get the inside, Ive heard of that happening.

Title: Sun protection
Post by: bogiesan on May 18, 2008, 02:47:10 pm
I have my own shade.
For touring the Idaho desert, I run a bodyskin on my recumbent. Extra
sunscreen on my exposed head/face and legs.

david boise ID

go, ristretto, FCP/AE
"Read the manual."
Title: Sun protection
Post by: JayH on May 18, 2008, 09:32:19 pm
"any good ideas on how not to get your lips sunburned?"

You can get Lip Balm with SPF rating on it, it should protect your lips from getting sunburn.

As a mountaineer, I have a tube of Labiosan which is pretty serious stuff, very good, but pretty pricey and probably overkill for cycletouring.


Title: Sun protection
Post by: metzenberg on May 21, 2008, 05:34:40 am
I use a very high SPF number sunscreen, and I put more on during the day.

A lot of sun gets through your clothing, which isn't actually that effective as a barrier against the sun. I like to wear microfiber and synthetic T-shirts while riding.

The color blue is much better at scattering and reflecting the UV rays than red, yellow, or white. I have heard that a blue or purple T-shirt has an SPF of about 12, while a white one is only about 4. So I try to wear blue on sunny days. Or wear two lighter colors at the same time (the r-squared rule applies, so you get an SPF of 16).

I have also washed my synthetics in a sunscreen that is supposed to increase their sun protection to about 15, although I am really not sure how well it works. It is supposed to last about 10-15 washes, so you need to redo it every summer.


This message was edited by metzenberg on 5-21-08 @ 1:35 AM
Title: Sun protection
Post by: TwoWheeledExplorer on May 21, 2008, 10:13:45 am
Ex-Officio and REI technical/expedition shirts and pants/shorts offer an UPF of +30 and +50, respecively. I just bought my wife a similar shirt at Gander Mtn. with a UPF of +45, and we looked at Columbia shirts with the same rating. They are all synthetic, vented, breathable. They are also very comfortable to wear.

St. Brendan's Travelers Bicycle Missions Team

This message was edited by Trailpatrol on 5-21-08 @ 6:15 AM
Title: Sun protection
Post by: hikergrl on June 20, 2008, 04:39:52 pm
how about we get more detailed;  yes one should use sunscreen to prevent sun damage.. and keep those wrinkles at bay!

my problem is, I use the "SPORTS" sunscreen, but I feel I am just rubbing thick mess on my skin that keeps me from letting all the heat out. ie; the lotion doesn't let my skin breathe and I feel warmer and sweat more (which is gross when I have all these dead bugs STUCK on me!)

anyone tried a snscreen that actually dries on them?


Title: Sun protection
Post by: TwoWheeledExplorer on June 24, 2008, 10:40:56 pm
I use a spray-on, alcohol-based Coppertone Sport SPF 45 sunblock. It dries almost on contact and works very well. Walgreens also sells the same thing in a store brand.

St. Brendan's Travelers Bicycle Missions Team
Title: Sun protection
Post by: hikergrl on June 25, 2008, 10:59:17 am
EXCELLENT!  I'll look for that

Thanks for the suggestion

To err is human