We have all been there, but a fogged up visor or glasses, happen to some more than others. As with everything, everybody has an opinion on how to solve it, some of them are old wives tales, and some people swear by. Below are some of them.
Is my helmet Pinlock compatible?
Most helmets nowadays have built-in features to try and prevent fogging as much as possible. There are pinlock inserts available, and Shark has a system which takes fresh vented air and puts it back onto the visor to prevent fogging up.
All of these might stop the visor fogging, but it won’t prevent glasses themselves from fogging up.
Becoming more and more common are pinlock ready visors. Usually it is stated on the box whether pinlock compatible, or not. If not stated Pinlock is easily recognisable by two small tabs on the inside of the visor which hold the insert in place. Not to be confused with tear off pegs which are on the outside of the visor (More on this later). Aftermarket manufacturers also make self-adhesive inserts for none pinlock ready visors; however, I haven’t tested these myself. You can also get aftermarket visors which may have tabs added to them.
Pinlock inserts are easy enough to fit yourself, although they can be fiddly. If you have bought the helmet from a shop, they will normally be quite happy to fit it for you.
If fitting it yourself, ensure the visor is perfectly clean inside and out. The visor needs to be flattened out slightly, then the Pinlock fitted when flat and re-bent back into shape. The Pinlock needs to be fitted with the exposed silicon edge sealing to the visor. It is this seal which makes the ‘Double glazed’ effect, stopping the fogging.
How does a pinlock work?
The pinlock is designed to work much like double glazing. The insert seals a layer of air against the visor to keep the vison area clear. You do have to look after a pinlock, before fitting ensure it is thoroughly clean and dust-free, ensure it creates a good seal when fitted. Lastly, make sure it stays free of dirt and dust as this can cause it to loose seal. While pinlocks can be expensive, more than a visor in some cases, they work exceptionally well, and if looked after can last a long time. All we need now is pinlock ready glasses.
Ventilation is key!
If your glasses have fogged up, and providing it’s not raining, merely opening the visor while moving will cause the fresh air entering the helmet to defog the glasses. Ideal. This won’t work when it’s raining though, as this will let rain in through the viewport covering the glasses which is just as bad as being fogged up.
Try a breath guard
Some helmets have these built-in, others don’t, but aftermarket breath guards are available like the foggy. These form a seal over the nose stopping exhaled air coming back up towards glasses or the visor. These might not cater to all users, as some might not like a covered nose or mouth.
Velcro tabs hold the foggy in place to the cheek pads sealing the mouth from the rest of the helmet. This avoids fogging of the visor or glasses. It works really well too, most stores sell them, and they are also available off ebay. Fitting is unbelievably simple, however getting the perfect fit can take some adjustment, but once set that is it.
Tried contact lenses?
The best way to stop glasses steaming up is to not wear glasses! Contact lenses are an acquired taste, and not for everybody. Some people can’t do with the taking out and putting in of the lenses. For me personally, I will wear glasses during the summer, and then when it gets colder over winter and fogging becomes an issue, I’ll switch to contact lenses when needed. People often talk of contact lenses blowing out, or moving, I haven’t had any issues of this, but speaking to an Eye care professional, he said that people have had issues with improper fitting lenses moving around. Not the actual fault of the lens, but a poor fit. Low cost single use daily contacts can be used, and it used to cost about 50p per day.
Do Anti-fog treatments work?
There are so many of these treatments available, it’s impossible to name them all. Coming in aerosol, liquid, or wax forms, all of them can be successful. The downside is they often require multiple layers to be built up, and sometimes they can wear off very quickly.
Mostly they contain silicones or waxes which sit on the surface and prevent the moisture from settling on the surface. Due to this, it is advisable to treat glasses too if you wear them, with the same coating, there is nothing worse than a clear visor but steamed glasses!
Some treatments can attract dust at a faster rate, which means more cleaning, and this can wipe the treatment off, so re-apply as needed.
I personally have used products from BMW, Bob Heath visors, and a company called Sparkle bright, all which worked well but required frequent re-application, which isn’t an issue or many layers built up to be completely effective.
The old wives tale of using a washing up liquid is something I haven’t tried. I didn’t like the idea of some of the additives and rubbing them into the plastic visor. Rumour has it NASA used detergent on the inside of early shuttle helmets to stop fogging. When the manufacturer went bump, NASA apparently bought all remaining stock!
Does Fairy liquid work for anti-fogging?
People swear by Fairy liquid for anti-fogging. A tiny amount on the finger and rubbing it in until it goes clear. Again, I haven’t tried this personally, but it does make me wonder how some of the additives would react with the polycarbonate plastic the visor is made from.
Treat the outside of your visor too!
On the outside of the visor, rain repellent coatings can be applied like Rain-X and Ghostrider from Autobright Direct can help to bead the water off the visor. Turning your head from left to right can help to move sitting water on the visor. Keeping it free of dirt and bugs can air the water beading off and improve visibility too.