Sweat dripping into your eyes during a bike ride can be frustrating, annoying, and distracting. Plus, it’s dangerous. That’s because sweat can hurt your eyes and potentially cause blurry vision.
Here are 9 ways to keep sweat out of your eyes while cycling:
- Wear a skullcap beneath your helmet.
- Wear a cycling cap beneath your helmet.
- Wear a sweat prevention headband.
- Wear the basic bandana.
- Apply sweat-diverting adhesive strips.
- Dress lightly.
- Wear a vented helmet with a sweatband or skullcap.
- Replace the foam pads inside your helmet.
- Put paper towels inside the helmet.
Keep reading as I explore how you can stay safe on the road by keeping sweat out of your eyes while cycling.
Why You Don’t Want Sweat in Your Eyes
We’ve all felt it—the sharp sting you feel as salty beads of sweat make their way into your eyes. The stinging pain causes you to wince, and you try to wipe the sweat from your eyes without avail.
Some cyclists find it necessary to make frequent stops during their bike rides to stop sweat getting into their eyes. This can be a very irritating issue to face when cycling.
It can be difficult and dangerous to wipe the sweat out of your eyes constantly while cycling, which could lead to you crashing. Plus, excessive sweat in the eyes can blur your vision.
Excessive sweat getting into the eyes can also increase the risk of infection. Forgetting to rinse sweat from your eyes after a bike ride could cause the glands in your eyes to become clogged, which could lead to infection if not treated properly.
So, diverting the sweat away from the eyes or reducing sweat levels altogether can keep you and people around you safe from accidents.
Try one or some of these 9 solutions to keep sweat out of your eyes when cycling:
1. Put On a Skullcap
Skullcaps or helmet liners are the best options for anyone wanting to keep sweat out of their eyes when cycling. These breathable liner caps provide full scalp coverage to absorb all sweat before it can get into your eyes. Many skullcaps are specially constructed to prevent dripping sweat.
Most skullcaps are manufactured using a quick-drying material to prevent sweat buildup within the fabric. The material is lightweight and thin to prevent the head from overheating.
Helmet liners, compared to skullcaps, are explicitly designed to fit under a helmet. Some helmet liners even provide adhesive to stick it to the helmet and prevent slippage. Most skullcaps and helmet liners are made with stretchy and durable materials that’ll fit most head shapes and sizes.
2. Wear a Cycling Cap Beneath Your Helmet
When riding your bike, wearing a cycling cap is a comfortable and practical method to keep sweat away from the eyes and face. Their elastic, stretchy material makes them suitable for bicyclists of all head sizes.
Most cycling caps fit comfortably beneath a helmet, making them ideal for bike rides. A cycling cap’s thin, fast-drying fabric provides a breathable layer for wicking sweat while cycling. Typical cycling caps also come with a small visor to protect the eyes from the sun. And the added shade helps minimize sweat production.
Cycling caps are functional, yet very stylish. Typically, cycling caps come in a wider variety of colors and patterns compared to the selection available for skullcaps and helmet liners. Many cycling teams make use of cycling caps, as it is easy to print the team’s name and sponsors onto the cap.
Many professional cyclists wear this affordable APIS Cycling Cap (available on Amazon.com) to keep sweat from their eyes when cycling. It uses a cotton and polyester material blend, available in various styles and colors. Thanks to their sophisticated appearance, they can match any cycling jerseys — and they’re perfect for cyclists looking to pull a classic retro look!
3. Wear a Sweat Prevention Headband
Wearing a sweat-wicking headband underneath your helmet is a trusted solution for keeping sweat out of the eyes while cycling. These headbands typically use fabrics such as nylon or polyester.
Headbands can be ideal for cyclists who find skullcaps or helmet liners too tight or constrictive. Wearing a headband can give the scalp much more air to breathe.
Cyclists with thicker hair may find sweat prevention headbands more comfortable than skullcaps. Sweat prevention headbands can also come in handy for cyclists with sensory issues who prefer to avoid tight-fitting apparel. Halo is a widespread and trusted brand that makes these sweat-absorbing headbands similar to their skullcap design. The Halo Headband (available on Amazon.com) is an affordable, breathable, and soft activewear headband that won’t slip while deflecting sweat from your eyes while cycling. This product is made in the USA and the fabric contains silver ions that not only wick sweat but also eliminate odors.
This micro-mesh headband comes in various patterns and colors and is designed to direct sweat away from your face and eyes during physical activity. It also protects you from UV Rays and fits comfortably beneath any helmet.
4. Wear the Basic Bandana
If you don’t have the extra funds to purchase the sweat-wicking products listed above, cyclists can similarly use a basic bandana. You might have a spare bandana lying around your home, so why not use it to keep sweat out of your eyes while cycling? Bandanas are made of comfortable, breathable cotton material and are easily washed in a machine.
Simply fold the bandana in half and tie it over your whole head, or fold the bandana into a wide strip that you can tie around your head like a headband. Although a bandana won’t be as effective as materials designed for sweat-wicking, wearing a bandana underneath your helmet will be better than having nothing at all.
If you don’t have a bandana at home, you can purchase Levi’s Multi-Purpose Bandana (available on Amazon.com). This affordable bandana is made of 100% cotton, and it’s the most commonly used bandana. Although it’s not the best method of preventing sweat from getting into your eyes during a bike ride, it provides a better solution than having no bandana at all.
5. Apply Sweat-Diverting Adhesive Strips
Another effective method of preventing sweat from dripping into your eyes while cycling is to apply adhesive strips. Cyclists can apply tape above their eyebrows and around their eyes to redirect sweat down the face instead of into the eyes. These strips don’t absorb sweat, so they’ll never become oversaturated during wear.
These adhesive strips will last for an entire ride, but they aren’t reusable. Besides effectively controlling sweat, adhesive strips can also regulate your body temperature while cycling. Adhesive strips are lightweight and comfortable. They’re also easy to apply. The adhesive strips aren’t tight and constrictive, as some cyclists say skullcaps and headbands can sometimes be.
Check out these Veo Strip Adhesive Strips (available on Amazon.com). Rather than trapping heat as headbands and skullcaps do, these strips cool you down while simultaneously diverting sweat away from the eyes.
Although these strips may not provide the most aesthetically pleasing solution, they’ll provide a practical solution to sweat getting into your eyes on a bike ride. The adhesive strips are also lightweight and compact to bring on the go.
6. Dress Lightly
While dressing lightly won’t directly stop sweat from getting into your eyes while cycling, it’s a solution that’ll help you sweat less overall during your ride. Many cyclists tend to overdress for bike rides, especially on colder days, forgetting the fact that they’ll quickly warm up once they are moving.
Wearing light and breathable clothing will allow your body to release heat quickly during your ride, therefore sweating less.
This solution won’t entirely prevent sweat from getting into your eyes, but it’s a preventative measure that can lower the presence of sweat in general. Combining this method with other methods, such as wearing a skullcap, can prevent sweat from getting into your eyes while cycling.
Cycling jersey sets are great outfits for cyclists to wear. They’re made of breathable and flexible fabric, optimal for bike riding. Most professional cyclists wear cycling jerseys to decrease sweat levels and provide breathability for their bodies while staying active.
The Lixada Cycling Jersey Set (available on Amazon.com) is a perfect outfit for cyclists seeking a way to dress lightly and minimize sweating during their ride. It prevents the buildup of sweat in clothing. By lowering their sweat output, a cyclist can reduce the amount of sweat that gets in their eyes while cycling.
Merino wool is great for managing sweat. The material is so breathable that many athletes and outdoor enthusiasts own at least one merino wool garment. Some brands produce cycling clothing with merino wool blend fabrics. A good example is the Giordana 2020 Men’s Wool Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey from Amazon.com, made of polyester and merino wool blend.
7. Wear a Vented Helmet With a Sweatband or Skullcap
Putting on a vented helmet can provide breathability for a cyclist’s head while riding, reducing sweat levels. A vented helmet will provide airflow to cool the cyclist’s scalp as they ride. The vents on the helmet also promote sweat evaporation, which decreases the amount of sweat dripping towards the face and eyes.
However, wearing a vented helmet won’t directly prevent sweat from getting into your eyes while cycling unless you wear a sweatband or skullcap beneath the helmet.
The only thing a vented helmet can guarantee is decreasing the amount your head sweats due to extra ventilation. This is done by maximizing airflow, which provides a cooling effect rather than trapping the head’s heat within the helmet.
With the vents of the helmet increasing airflow, a sweatband or skullcap can be used to fully prevent sweat from getting into the eyes. Since the overall sweat levels will be decreased due to the vents, there is a lower risk of the sweatband or skullcap overflowing and dripping sweat into the cyclist’s eyes.
The Giro Cycling Helmet (available on Amazon.com) is a breathable protective helmet that cyclists can wear to prevent excessive sweating. This comfortable, adjustable helmet allows the scalp to breathe and reduce sweat levels. GIRO makes the most highly-rated and comfortable helmets on the market.
8. Replace the Foam Pads Inside Your Helmet
Foam pads inside of a cycling helmet are efficient for absorbing sweat during a bike ride.
However, the foam pads will wear off after a while the more they are worn. Old foam pads inside a helmet will lose their absorbency, and the cyclist will find that more sweat is dripping into their face than usual.
So, you must replace the foam pads inside your helmet to ensure they’ll function correctly and absorb sweat. Foam pads are easily replaceable, and most foam pad replacement kits come with adhesive for a simple installation.
While the foam pads inside of a helmet aren’t enough to deflect sweat from your eyes on their own, they can help provide a solution for sweat getting into your eyes while cycling when paired with other solutions on this list. Foam pads will also add to the comfort of your cycling helmet, and replacing these pads every so often is vital to guarantee they’re working to their maximum potential.
You can purchase these Replacement Foam Pads (available on Amazon.com) to replace any worn-down foam pads in your current cycling helmet. The foam pads in this replacement kit are universal and should fit into any size or brand of helmet. This kit provides pads made of high-quality foam and a durable adhesive to attach them; plus, it is affordable.
9. Put Paper Towels Inside the Helmet
Suppose you’re in a bind and need a fast solution to sweat dripping in your eyes while cycling; paper towels can be used as an emergency fix. Using paper towels is the least effective method of preventing sweat from dripping into your eyes.
This method can also be pretty messy if the paper towel gets too wet and breaks down. However, if you’re in a pinch and desperate for a solution to prevent sweat from getting into your eyes while cycling, you can always use a paper towel.
You can fold paper towels to create a sweatband effect at the front of your helmet. Tuck the folded paper towel into the helmet above your forehead once your helmet is strapped onto your head.
Another alternative is to line the inside of your helmet with several flat paper towels. Do this before strapping the helmet onto your head. The lining of paper towels will absorb any head sweat that occurs while cycling, decreasing the amount of sweat that drips into your eyes.
These paper towels are affordable and a great last-minute solution to absorb sweat while cycling if you already have them lying around the house. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that these are only temporary solutions to be used in a pinch, as this isn’t an entirely effective way to keep sweat out of your eyes when cycling.