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Thread: Field Defrosting a Non-Heated Visor

  1. #1
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    Default Field Defrosting a Non-Heated Visor

    Any tricks to defrosting a full-faced visor while out on the trail? I was riding the Denali Hwy this weekend, and my visor frosted up (on the inside). I discovered (the hard way) that putting the visor in line with a running machine exhaust temporarily defrosts it, only to have it frost on both sides about 5 seconds later! True, it was quite cold (like -20F) that day.

    Can anyone suggest a functional way to address this while out in the field? Thanks.

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    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Laying it on the engine or over the exhaust....notice I said over the exhaust.

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    Member gunguy1968's Avatar
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    I tried several quality full-face helmets and even the plug in ones. I'll stick with an open helmet and goggles. The fogvader works but ends up being the snot-inator. I also love the 5in1 headsock. The only way I know to clear the visor is to have a good quality lense cloth and wipe/scrape and dry the visor. Then, keep the shield cracked open for minimal air flow when you are stopped or moving. As soon as you close it, you're gonna fog up again. Good luck............
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    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Electric shields are well worth there money. I run two helmets. A motocross style when above zero and a full face with heated shield below zero.

  5. #5

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    There's no way to totally avoid frosting, but if you reduce the temperature differential, you'll reduce refrosting.

    Quote Originally Posted by sr12345 View Post
    I discovered (the hard way) that putting the visor in line with a running machine exhaust temporarily defrosts it, only to have it frost on both sides about 5 seconds later!
    As Dupont Spinner said, use milder, indirect heat to defrost. The quick cooling is what refrosted your visor 5 seconds later. The key issue is to gently get the visor back to ambient temperature (-20*F) without refrosting it before you put it back on. Try slowly reducing the heat, or even pointing the helmet into the wind for increased ventilation.

    Remember that ventilation doesn't just remove moisture, it also keeps the interior surface of the visor almost as cool as the exterior surface. Fog comes from moisture, but frost comes from the temperature difference.

    Even though this article isn't specifically about cold weather (or even about snowmachines), it's still great info to help you reduce the fogging problem. http://www.off-road.com/dirtbike/tec...-up-20166.html
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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    There is moisture in exhaust fumes, and oil in two stroke exhaust. DO NOT defrost with exhaust. Pop the hood and use the latent heat off the engine. Better yet...get a better set up.

    Fullface helmets are for riding motorcycles in the summer.
    Motocross helmets are the best option for snowmachining, unless you wear glasses always and only. If that's the case buff your lenses (both sides) with a clean cotton cloth and just a teensy bit of furniture polish, armor-all or WD40. The residue these products leaves on the visor surface resists condensation. You want just a hint of haze, but not so much it interferes with your vision.

    If you don't wear glasses or can wear contacts then get a MX style helmet, a Turtle Fur brand microfleece balaclava (get two actually) some double lens goggles in yellow, rose or orange, and a 2nd set in clear (for night/backup) and a NoFog brand neoprene mask. I've been running this setup for 8 years now and have ridden in some serious cold with it. For me, it's good to -25ish with no modification. Running the Denali Highway at speed, in temps colder than -25 I add a bit of duct tape to my temples and forehead where the wind gets past the goggles.

    There seems to be a stigma against this "look" with a lot of adults but I have been out riding numerous time with guys my age and older (I'm 45) who were ready to throw their fullface helmets in the trash after a frustrating weekend of trying to ride while holding their breath. Then I let them borrow my helmet for 15 minutes and they're converted.
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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Hey Erik, I resemble that remark about throwing the helmet in the trash! Erik has suffered with my whining about fogging for several years on the highway. Last winter, I gave up on helmuts after spending $500 on the 'best money could buy', with zero luck. I do wear glasses, and that's the main issue that gets me. We have several folks successfully coming into the lodge with full face helmuts, but I've not seen anyone successful with glasses. I finally gave up last winter, and switched to beaver hat, heavy balclava under the beaver, a neck scarf, and goggles if it's below -20. I would guess you could get the same effect with an open face helmut with goggles, as Erik mentioned. Now, riding down the highway, such as going to my place, is an entirely different ride, and gear needed over riding the trails and mountains and boondocking. You are riding 63 miles down the highway with very little physical exertion to keep you warm. If I'm out on the off highway trails, I seldom use goggles and lighter weight clothing. Of course, the lodge is never more than an hour or two away. I would never advocate anyone not wear a helmut anytime they are riding a snow machine, but that's what I do, but I'm not a crazy rider, and seldom reach speeds more than 40mph, even on the highway.

    Good luck! Hope we can figure this out someday!

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    I wonder if the Habervision fan made for goggles could be used for a visor?

    Personally I have to +1 the suggestions to switch away from a full face helmet to a MX helmet with goggles. I run an MX helmet, goggles, balaclava and No-Fog Mask and don't fog even in -20F typically and stay perfectly warm as that set-up leaves no skin exposed.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

  9. #9

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    I've got a full face GSRX modular helmet. It fogs bad at 20 below. My wife has the same helmet with an electric face shield that I just got for her. She loves it - not a touch of fog at sub zero temps during a recent long ride. Neither of us wear glasses - so we don't have to worry about that factor. After freezing my eyeballs and seeing my wife in comfort - I'll be getting an electric face shield for my helmet this week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinglishna View Post
    I've got a full face GSRX modular helmet. It fogs bad at 20 below. My wife has the same helmet with an electric face shield that I just got for her. She loves it - not a touch of fog at sub zero temps during a recent long ride. Neither of us wear glasses - so we don't have to worry about that factor. After freezing my eyeballs and seeing my wife in comfort - I'll be getting an electric face shield for my helmet this week.
    Can you wear one while your skate sking?

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    Good ideas.

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