Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Fog Tech anti-fog solution
I've now had a few opportunities to try a popular product called Fog Tech, which is sold in bottled form and in foil-packaged impregnated towelletes. Following the directions, I cleaned the inner surface of my visor well and ensured it was totally dry. The Fog Tech solution is applied by using either a towellete, or the supplied felt-like applicator if using the liquid. The user then quickly wipes the towellete or applicator across the inside of the visor until it is covered in a thin film. The tricky part is that to get it right, you must not overlap the strokes more than a tiny bit and you must not keeping wiping/rubbing while it dries. If you do, the quick-drying sticky solution will cause a mess and you must start all over again. You only get one shot at getting it correct. Fog Tech also recommends leaving about a half inch strip at the top of the visor uncoated to prevent rain water being pulled in. Keep in mind this all occurs on the inside of your visor -- not an easy task to manage if you've got a full-face helmet, without taking the visor off. So, it takes a bit of practice to get a good, even coating. The good thing (or not, as you'll read later) is that Fog Tech rinses off easily using plain ol' water, which makes starting over a bit easier. I find that the towelettes and the liquid are equally as easy, or difficult, to use.
On a few dark, clear morning commutes in the 35F - 40F range, I discovered that Fog Tech was doing an excellent jog of keeping my visor clear, with only minor fogging around the edges. The coating on the visor caused some visual distortion, but it was minimal compared to the Cat Crap. However, the fogging increasingly encroached into my field of vision as the ride went on, and after about 45 minutes the anti-fog properties had diminished by about 50%. In part, this was because the Fog Tech caused a cycle wherein water droplets from my humid breath condensed and beaded on the inside of my visor, which then ran down, washing away some of the Fog Tech solution, which then caused more fogging, which resulted in more droplets, ad infinitum.
Thus, while Fog Tech has excellent anti-fog properties, they don't last...and I imagine they'd degrade even more quickly in the rain. Plus the product is more difficult to apply than a product meant to be used frequently (and perhaps re-applied during a ride) should be. I rate Fog Tech "barely acceptable" for motorcycle use, and then only for short rides in daylight conditions. I guess I'll have to keep searching. I'm beginning to suspect that the solution will not lie with any substance that coats the helmet visor, but with barriers that prevent the fog-causing humid exhaled air from reaching the visor in the first place.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
AMA Discount on Garmin GPS
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Cat Crap Lens Cleaner & Anti-Fog
This product, and others under the Cat Crap moniker, is well-known to skiers and readily available in the USA -- I bought mine from a local ski shop. Following the directions, I cleaned the inner surface of my visor and then smeared on a thin coating of the green, waxy Cat Crap, followed by a thorough buffing with a lint-free cloth. I plopped my Arai Signet on, closed the visor and vents, and exhaled heavily several times: only very slight fogging around the edges I couldn't coat effectively with the visor installed -- so very good anti-fog properties. However, while commuting to work on a dark, clear, cold Fall morning, I discovered that while Cat Crap was doing a good job of keeping my visor clear, it was causing a rather large "halo" around all street lights and oncoming headlights, the effect of which grew in proportion to the closing distance to the light source. On a few sharp backroad corners, I was essentially blinded for a second or two when the multi-colored halos from oncoming headlights filled large portions of my field of vision. Thus, while it is relatively easy to apply, inexpensive, fairly effective at keeping fog at bay, and small enough to carry along in a tankbag or jacket pocket (and has a cool name!), I must deem Cat Crap unacceptable for motorcycle use. It may work fine for skiiers and such, but motorcyclists can't afford any degree of reduced visual acuity, particularly in the dark. Bottom line: Don't buy this Crap. Hmmmm, now where's that potato?