How to choose a pollution mask for cycling?

Coolest pollution mask for city cyclist

Coolest pollution mask for city cyclist

Cycling is the greenest and healthiest mode of transportation, and its popularity in urban environments is growing. But cyclists face a major problem in cities: air pollution. In order to safely cycle without taking in a lungful of smog, soot, and who knows what else, a filtration mask is the solution. Cyclists worldwide would greatly benefit from the development of a rider-friendly respiratory mask.

Commuters riding through heavy motor vehicle traffic could wear protective masks to reduce harmful inhalation, but it is hard to decide which one is effective for cyclist.

Nagaraj, a cycling enthusiast from Bangalore, India, compared the TOTOBOBO with the Respro as a means of quality evaluation. His review is detail and comprehensive. In summary the following criterion serve as a useful reference tool for all cyclists:

Fit & Seal

The mask ought to form a seal against the wearers face so that airflow is limited to the filter intake.

Filter
Capable of keeping microscopic particles as well as noxious gases out.

Comfort
Breathing through the filters should be unlabored, condensation formation on the inside of the mask should be limited. The mask should be lightweight to minimize wearer discomfort.

Ease of use
Attachment, cleaning, and carrying should all be simple tasks involving a minimum of hassle.

Cost
Cost of the mask, and replacement filters, should be reasonable.

Availability
For ease of acquisition and replacement, masks and filters should be readily available.

Respro maskVS TOTOBOBO mask

Respro mask VS Totobobo mask
Respro mask VS Totobobo mask

In evaluating both products, Nagaraj arrived at the conlcusion that TOTOBOBO and Respro are both top-grade products. The Respro mask filters some harmful gases through its Dynamically Activated Charcoal Cloth (DACC), and its velcro strap permits easy and secure attachment. On the other hand, the TOTOBOBO mask allows more comfortable breathing, is significantly lighter, and is a fraction of the cost.

Totobobo mask is very effective. It seals your nose and mouth completely. With the pollution levels in Bangalore, within 45 minutes of its usage, the filters turned black for me.- Nagaraj, India

There are other pollution-reducing masks on the market, but each has its drawbacks. Although the disposable N95 is lightweight and cost-effective, purchase for daily use runs up a considerable tab. Industrial gas masks seal to the face the best and may be the most economical, but who wants wear a heavy duty mask in public? They are unattractive and excessive for ordinary daily use. Moreover, unless a gas mask is professionally fit-tested, particulates will easily enter nonetheless.

N95 maskVS Reusable gas mask

N95 mask vs Reusable Gas mask

N95 mask vs Reusable Gas mask

Totobobo, the best cyclist mask in the market

Weighing the various parameters including cost, usability, comfort, portability and protection, TOTOBOBO mask is probably the best out in the market. Below are features of the TOTOBOBO that make it ideal for cyclists and motorcyclists:

yclist wearing Totobobo mask in Bangkok

Cyclist wearing Totobobo mask in Bangkok

Electrolet filter
The powerful filters the finest of airborne particulates as small as .3 microns since suspended particulate matter (SPM) is most concerning. Very fine pollution is known to damage the lungs and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Ultra-flexible strap
Although the invisible strap looks delicate, it lasts three times longer than rubber and can be stretched four times its length more than five thousand times without breaking. Additionally, removing the mask while riding the bike is made especially simple with this feature. Easy removal of the TOTOBOBO mask while riding allows greater user comfort and control.

Mask Flexibility
The masks unique, flexible material permits adaptability for a variety of workout regimens. The following breathing technique will assist those seeking an invigorating workout or simply a cruise on a bike:
- inhale through the mouth: stretching the mask up and down will tighten the seal for ideal filtration
- exhale through the nose: this will break the seal for ease in exhaling.
In hot weather, this technique will reduce heat and moisture in the mask. TOTOBOBO might be the coolest mask on the market, but every trick to reduce heat helps. I admit that wearing any mask, even the TOTOBOBO, is never as comfortable as no mask at all.

Adaptive to a range of face sizes
One mask fits all. Shopkeepers and customers benefit from the simplicity of a single size that can be fitted. No need to stock multiple sizes.

Easy to clean
Washing and wiping down in a hurry is easy, and the mask dries instantly.

Anti-viral
You never know what you might catch on the road, so the TOTOBOBO mask is made with a silver ion anti-viral material that will prevent any viruses from growing on the mask.

The benefits for cyclists in wearing a TOTOBOBO mask (chart):

Update: 2010-09-01
Based on the feedback from many cyclists, the original Totobobo mask has been further improved. The latest SuperCool model captured the strengths of the original design, such as lightweight, reuse, easily clean, fold-flat, anti-virus, customization and further improve on the comfort and fit. The SuperCool makes heavy breathing easier through the mouth, completely eliminated the glasses fogging problem while improving the fit and face seal. Early adopters like Ross from California, Maurice from Thailand and Erika from New Zealand has given their seals of approval.

The coolest pollution mask for cyclist and motorist, Totobobo Super-Cool mouth mask

The coolest pollution mask for cyclists

The coolest pollution mask

The coolest pollution mask

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3 comments… add one

  • If you are exercising near traffic (especially traffic with diesel trucks) you are putting your lungs at risk. A separated bike path does not keep out airborne particles. The combination of proximity to pollution and deep breathing is very dangerous. Wearing a mask is a great idea, but get one that is government certified. In the US masks are certified by NIOSH. For bikers biking in pollution, P100 masks are the safest and not that expensive (under $20). BikeStreetJournal.com has a great article on this called: “Biking: Bad for Your (Respiratory) Health?”: http://www.bikestreetjournal.com/?p=274

  • info
  • chandan Kumar

    what is price of totobobo mask. Can i get it from Jamshedpur(Jharkhand).
    I have pollution problem due to patrol & deasal.Can i use this mask ?
    Kindly, reply as soon as possible.

    thanks,
    Chandan Kumar
    Jamshedpur.

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