Question: How do I stop bees from flying into my helmet vents and stinging my head? — Rod N.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Bees tend to be on the move in the fall, making it a great time to get stung by one that zooms into your helmet.
Here in western Colorado, it seems like I encounter a swarm of the nasty little critters on every ride, mistaking my helmet vents for a winter hive. The airflow through a helmet’s large vents seems to suck in bees and other insects.
Some helmet companies put mesh in vent openings to keep out unwanted objects. It seems like a good idea, but it’s not 100% effective.
If airflow is not a concern for you, some helmets these days come with a snap-on or sliding “aero” cover that will definitely cause any insects to bounce off if they light on your lid. And, into the fall and winter, these covers also keep your head warmer.
The easiest solution might be to wear a “‘do rag,” a head covering under your helmet, or a cycling cap. This is like a bandana that ties behind. You can find them online and in bike shops. Any bee that gets inside your helmet won’t be able to get at your scalp. It also helps hair-challenged riders avoid sunburned pates!
One other sting-avoidance tip: Keep your jersey zipper up when bees are around. If one flies inside you’ll get stung before you can get it out. And a panicked response usually does not end well for the rider. Better a sting than a crash!
If you do get stung, we’ve written extensively about how to deal with it.
Harvey Miller says
Though I realize that bugs have rights too as, after all, they are a natural and necessary part of the Earth’s eco system and I’ve found the doo-rag or skull cap very effective, I still would gladly spend the money on a robotic, guided laser anti-bug system. Not only would it help being seen by all the vehicles “sharing” the road but it would add a surprising, intermittent thrill to the ride.
Dave Minden says
I can recommend the Smith helmets with Koroyd, their ‘MIPS’ analogy with straw-like small opening plastic tubes that let in air but no bugs. I have no hair on top of my head and the straws also block the sun. A two-fer!
Road Bike Rider says
Thanks for the tip!
I think those Bontrager new Wavecel helmets are a very similar concept and would also work that way.