We all need a little help sometimes and one of those is when it’s raining. Bizarrely, I actually quite like riding in the rain – assuming I was smart enough to prepare for it and put on the right kit, of course. And part of preparing for rain is, for me, treating the visor of my helmet with a rain repellent. I know most visors will allow water to run off but I prefer it to be as easy and effective as possible, particularly when moving at slower speeds.
Most visors will easily clear proper rain at motorway speeds with little more than a slight turn of the head – or indeed, a dip depending on how the wind flows over the bike and you. However, it’s at lower speeds where this may be more of an issue when the wind speed isn’t high enough to effectively clear the rain drops.
Another situation that can affect vision – and hence safety – is when it is not actually raining but you are riding on roads that are wet and other traffic is throwing up spray that hits your visor. The water particles are not large enough for the air to act on them and as a result, they don’t run off but eventually dry as a misty film that you have to stop and clear off periodically. Annoying at best, dangerous at worst…
A visor rain repellent can help here. Basically, these are hydrophobic compounds that help the visor shed water more effectively than without by reducing the tendency for the water to ‘stick’ to the visor. You have been able to get products like this for glass for years but this can affect plastic, so a proper visor treatment, like this one from lubricant specialist Ipone, is ideal.
It forms a hydrophobic layer on the outside of the visor which literally repels water. When applying the product, it helps to fill in the microscopic peaks and troughs that exist on the surface of the visor, so that the surface is smoother and the water droplets cannot maintain high enough surface tension to remain in place on the visor and, as a result, are more easily dispersed by the airflow.
We have tried several similar products before but the Ipone is by far the most effective I have ever used. You simply spray it on, let it dry and, if necessary, give it a quick buff. I usually apply two layers at the start of a ride that may come wet and if it rains, then the water runs away quickly and efficiently.
In spray, depending on how heavy it is, it will help to get rid of larger water droplets, which can be deliberately built up behind other, heavier, traffic if necessary until they are large enough for the airblast to get rid of but even if not, a wipe with the left hand will often form a pathway for the spray to disperse along.
However, it is pretty powerful stuff. The bottle has some serious-looking warnings on it and it has a hefty odour that leaves you in no doubt that there is little natural about this. But that said, a little does go a very long way and unlike some other products, some of which are water-based for a lesser impact on the environment, this tends to last longer, as not being water-based, it isn’t washed away by the very action it is designed to provide.
The Ipone also has a degree of cleaning agent to it as well, so that if you are on a long ride that turns into a rain-and-spray nightmare, then when you stop, you don’t need to fumble for cleaning sprays before retreating – keep it and a cloth in a waterproof pocket and that’s all you need to get a clear visor ready for the next leg of your journey.
Despite its clear and powerful chemical base, I really like the Ipone Visor Rainoff. It is effective, a little goes a long way and on a long ride, it’s all you need to keep your visor clean and clear (though it should be mentioned that cleaning isn’t actually part of its brief).
It will work on bike screens as well as visors if yours is tall enough that you look through, not over, it but the big issue is a general poor availability in the UK currently. However, it is available in Europe and is, in my opinion, worth the additional delivery cost.
• Extremely effective at keeping visor clear
• Can help to clean during riding in spray
• 100Ml bottle is pocket-sized
• Pungent scent
• Scarce in UK but plenty in Europe
More water repellent visor sprays on MCN
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