Question: During summer I sweat profusely on my rides, and the absorbent pads in my helmet (and the straps) smell bad. I suspect that my helmet harbors all kinds of bacteria as well. Ideas? — Joel S.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Most helmets have removable pads. When your nose tells you it’s time, take them out, tie them in a sock (or use a special laundry bag for small stuff like this) and toss the sock into the washer with a load of clothes.
When even this stops working, you can probably get new pads at your bike shop.
While the pads are out, wash the helmet inside and out with an antibacterial soap, then rinse well.
After each ride (or as often as you see the telltale white salty sweat stains starting to form) rinse the straps by holding them under a faucet. This will remove sweat and salt deposits, keeping the straps fairly fresh between soapy washings.
Finally, a great way to keep your helmet and other related stinky gear fresh is to us a product like we reviewed previously:Stuffitts, which sells cedar-filled inserts for shoes, helmet liners, etc.