Thursday, 17 March 2011

Masks - what works and what doesn't for a Mambo

What face mask ticks all the Mambo Boxes?

Respro Techno Mask

Well let’s cut to the chase on this bad boy pretty quick – how would I rate it as a Mambo?

For looks it gets a 10/10 – let’s be honest what other excuse do you get to look like Scorpion out of Mortal Kombat in public? With this puppy on, you have an excuse.

For functionality – it gets a 2/10. For your average Mambo, we spend our time commuting trying to keep up with all the shaven legged single speeders. This mask does not help in that cause!

If you are breathing hard this mask really constricts your breathing. Further to that, all those drunken cigarettes you had down the pub in your youth come back to haunt you – if pushing yourself no doubt the phlegm will rise – now you can be a gentleman and swallow it back, but I don’t know about you but I find that totally gross (well this whole section is anyway but the truth needs to be told). So inevitably you are going to need to spit it out – big problem if you are wearing a mask, so down comes the mask and out goes the spit – then you notice something, you can breathe again! So the mask stays down and eventually ends up in the back pack. Only for you to wish you had it on as a dirty, stinky bus spits out diesel fumes in your face as it passes 3 inches to your right.

Why did I even give this 2/10 for a Mambo, well it does have a few hidden extra benefits. If you are being overtaken by an army of other cyclists it allows you to keep you face hidden, also to be honest, if you are out on a gentle ride enjoying the scenery then you can get enough oxygen in with this mask on. Trouble is, when the traffic is high and you need this mask then generally this will be at the time of your commute ride so going slow is not really on the cards. The other benefit is that it is great in the cold – there is nothing worse than sucking in lung full’s of air that are sub-zero (another Mortal Kombat character). This takes the bite out of the air, but see below for a far better alternative (no not the bandit mask – the one below that)!

Total Score 6/10

Edit: Another bonus – buying this will probably stop you from buying the Respro Bandit Mask

Even I know you will look like a total plonker wearing this, that could only be compounded by calling you bike “Black Bess”.

The Buff


Now this nifty number in my humble opinion really does the job!

So lets have a look at some of the issues we notice earlier with the Respro Mask

  • It is very easy to breath through this even when pushing it fairly hard. Also if you pull it down from your face, rather than strangling you, it acts as a rather natty scarf. 
  • It cuts out a far amount fumes - though I am sure nowhere near as much as the mask. 
  • It keeps out the cold, although thin it also take the bite out of the cold air. 
  • It dries very quickly
  • It is light and takes up no storage space
  • It can cover your mouth and face at the same time
  • It can be a hat - but I wouldn't as it would mess my hair up!

But most importantly of all - you can place it so you covers all of your head except your eyes! Nothing beats coming home and frightening the wife when she sees a Ninja at the front door, or during a quiet moments when everyone is out of the house you can put it into "Ninja Setting" and pull cool moves in front of the mirror, and we all know a Ninja could wipe the floor with Scorpion!

A resounding Mambo 10/10

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