We picked the ÃƒÂ¼ber exciting category of headbands to do our first-ever formal product review…and it was awesome. Ã‚Â Seriously. Ã‚Â I’ve never been one to wear headbands under my helmet, but I have been one to constantly drip sweat onto my shades while riding, only to smear it worse trying to wipe the lenses clean with my jersey mid-ride.
So, when I met Mike Farney, president of Wixter / Raxter, at the Fool’s Gold race a few weeks back and he showed me the how the Wixter keeps sweat from getting anywhere near your shades, I perked up. Ã‚Â If you use headbands, read on. Ã‚Â If you don’t like sweat on your sunglasses, read on…this thing works!
What separates the Wixter from the common sweatband is a unique rubber strip along the bottom front edge that’s curled up to catch sweat and funnel it to the sides of your head, like a rain gutter.
Looks good, but being a non-headband wearer, I was thinking it could just be a gimmick. Ã‚Â Adding slightly to my skepticism was the fact that the rubber “gutter” flattened out a little when it was stretched around a head, reducing the lip area that should theoretically catch the sweat (see Fig. B, below).
It did the same thing when I put it on. Ã‚Â I picked two hot, humid, sunny days to test this thing out. Ã‚Â The first day was at the US Nat’l Whitewater Center in Charlotte, where the deep singletrack can be rainforest-like with damp, hot air. Ã‚Â I did one lap without it, sweated profusely and, yes, had to clean sunglasses when I stopped back at the car. Ã‚Â I grabbed a fresh bottle, toweled off my forehead and put on the Wixter. Ã‚Â This time, it was closer to noon, hotter and sunnier than first lap, but my face stayed relatively dry and, wait for it…no sweat dripped or ran onto my shades!
In fact, I quickly forgot that I had the Wixter on and it really only dawned on me how well this thing worked after I pulled my helmet off and remembered it was still on. Then I noticed the salt “crust” down my temples, indicating that the sweat had indeed been funneled to the sides of my head. Ã‚Â Hmmmmm, maybe there’s something to this “gutter” concept.
Next ride was local trails, hot, sunny day from about noon until 3pm. Ã‚Â Once the Wixter was on, I forgot it was there, which is perhaps the best compliment I could give it. Ã‚Â The stretchy material stays put without having to tie it too tight, is very soft and comfortable, and it does what it’s supposed to do. Ã‚Â Sunglasses stayed dry, and upon the post-ride inspection in the car mirror, sweat was again quite obviously funneled away from my face.
If you generally wear headbands or want to keep the sweat from dripping onto your shades mid-ride, give this a try. Ã‚Â It’s available direct from Wixter for $12.00 ($15.00 for Skullcap variety) and comes in Red, Blue and Black.