Choosing the perfect mask for cycling in the City

Cycling is a mode of transportation that’s growing in popularity and relevance in our Green-Oriented world.

Worldwide, the numbers of commuters forgoing motor vehicles and switching over to bicycles are increasingly growing. While riding a bicycle is a healthier alternative when compared to driving or taking a bus, due to it’s difference in physical activity, the poor air quality in urban settings contradict the benefits. Heavy traffic spews toxic gases and many fine particles which will then enter our respiratory tract eventually. Aerial pollution causes both short and long term damage to our lungs and the upper respiratory tract, therefore, cycling under these conditions will pose problems in the near future. In order to ride safely without inhaling these harmful particles and gases, a protective mask that is capable of filtering the air you breathe is the best solution.

Things to consider:

An ideal mask for cycling incorporates a number of considerations, specifically for cycling, to ensure it’s effectiveness. 

  • Comfort
  • Filtration Capabilities
  • Ease of use
  • Cost

The selected mask should form a tight seal on the user’s face, so as to make sure the air he/she is breathing, will only get in by passing through the filters. The filters must be capable of keeping microscopic particles and noxious fumes, out of the user’s mouth and nose. Wearing the mask shouldn’t inhibit the breathing of the user during vigorous activities, nor should it cause any discomfort to the user. Cyclists will need to breathe harder than pedestrians, high resistance masks (those that are best for filtering the air) increases the strain on the lungs. An ideal mask for riders will be something that balances between both filtration power and breathability.

During a cycling workout, blood is pumped vigorously through our bodies and heat is generated. A mask that traps heat is a major problem, it reduces the intake of oxygen and compromises the ability to breathe easily. Unfortunately, most masks on the market are “heat-traps”.

After a long ride, the mask will be sweaty, damp and dirty, the last thing you would want is to reuse such a mask on your next trip, not knowing what kind of bacteria will be growing in it. The filters should be quickly replaceable and the mask itself should be easy to disinfect.

TOTOBOBO mask in Bangkok

For cyclists, being able to mount and dismount the mask quickly is critical. While riding in traffic, the rider should be able to remove the mask singlehandedly with a single motion and vice versa, to minimize distraction and lost of time. Weight is also another important factor to consider, anything heavy or cumbersome will only make the ride laborious and difficult. Ultimately, the most important factor for commuters, is the cost of the product. For those who rides and needs a mask daily, the masks and it’s filters should be reasonably priced and easy to come by.

Other neoprene masks, like some cyclist-intended masks, are heavy duty equipment that digs a hole in your waller. In addition, they are heat trappers and turn smelly quickly, yet difficult to clean. All the more so, it is larger and troublesome to carry around. It is a product designed for professional looks, but it would be a little too much for a daily user.

Why Totobobo?

While there are a mountain of masks out there, all offering a range of protection, comfort and price, only one provides the balance between the factors that best benefits the user, TOTOBOBO.

Design:

Our mask is specially designed and moulded with a unique material that allows the user to custom fit the mask to their face, help firmly onto the face by a pair of ultra elastic and flexible straps. The straps are made from elastic polymers and is friendly on the skin. One mask fits all and it can be folded up when not in use, comfortably keeping it inside our pockets.

Seal:

The Totobobo Mask forms a snug seal on the user’s face, ensuring air to only pass through by the filters. Unlike other masks, the Totobobo Mask is a master in both high airflow and filtration. The patented body valve design allows low resistance exhalation so that you can easily take in clear air with each breath.

Simplicity:

Most protective masks need to be professionally checked for a proper seal, it is time consuming to do so as well, whereas the Totobobo Mask’s seal can be easily clarified in a short period of time. Both children and adults can get a good fit with it.

Pollutants collected by the filters from China and India

Filter:

Our filters are European designed and of the finest quality, capable of keeping out particulates as small as 0.1 microns. Using static electricity to snag the particles while they enter the filter, the Totobobo Mask keeps out all the toxic particles produced from motor vehicles, industrial exhaust, cigarettes, wood fire and charcoal fumes and also incense smoke. Biological components such as pollen , mold pores, dust mites and cockroach allergens, dust and common soil particles, can be filtered out as well.

Health:

The mask is anti-viral thanks to Biocote, a silver-ion anti-microbial agent, and important property to be taken into account when heat and humidity of the mask’s interior is involved. This way, you can further ensure the cleanliness and safety of Totobobo Masks. The mask is also easy to disinfect using soap and water. Best of all, the entire mask is reusable, all you have to do is to replace the old filters with a new pair and you’re good to go.

Cost:

As for being economical, the Totobobo mask can not be beaten when it comes to the bang for your buck. Compared to leading competitors on the market, our masks are unparalleled when it comes to value. As the chart indicates below, the Totobobo Mask is more cost effective than any of the leading alternatives, same goes for the replacement filters!

Prices comparison

Cambridge Mask The Admiral: USD 28
Vogmask                                      : USD 43
Respro Techno                            : USD 47 …… Filter : USD 34
TOTOBOBO                               : USD 33 …… Filter : USD 1 – 3.5/pair

User Testimonials:

Cyclists worldwide swore by the effectiveness and usefulness of the Totobobo Mask when it comes to riding in inclement environments. Here are some testimonies of a few elated users from around the globe.

Herve and Bonnaveira and Goska Romanowicz of Develotour, discovered an interesting way to measure and visualize air pollution. On a year long bicycle trek across the continent, the couple traveled through several Asian countries. They visited a number of major metropolises and first handedly experienced the respective air qualities. In each locale they wore our masks to protect their lungs from the polluted air. They wrote to us saying:

Goska and Herve on Develotour

“The TOTOBOBO anti-pollution masks came in very useful in India! Weve tested the masks in Delhi, the Indian countryside and Calcuttaused one filter for a days cycling in each placeand we got varying shades of brown.even far from cities and factories the air is very polluted.”

Herve and Goska appreciated the high quality of respiratory safety they enjoyed by using the TOTOBOBO mask on their journey. When they lectured to students along their trip about air pollution awareness, they also informed them of the TOTOBOBO mask�s unmatched quality and value.

Nagaraj Pudukotai of Bangalore, India, test out the Totobobo Mask during his daily commutes to work by bicycle. The air in Bangalore is terribly polluted, within forty five minutes, the filters were already black! Thankfully, the pollutants were trapped in the filters instead of his lungs. He commented :

“It is very effective. It seals your nose and mouth completely, although you can smell intense odors like that of petrol exhaust and diesel exhaust when you are very close to a vehicle, the emissions do not get in your lungs.”

Montgomery Tufeld of New York City regards the Totobobo Mask’s ability as an invaluable thing. Riding around the city on his daily delivery route, he comes across a lot of smog and dust in traffic. Before he started to wear a mask, he would get home everyday with a sore throat and blackened mucus from the soot he had been inhaling. He tried a number of different brands before touching on ours, since then, it has been life changing for him. He stated :

 

“The mask fits better than anything else on the market. It is snug and comfortable, and easy to put on and take off when riding through traffic. I barely notice it is there.”

Choose Totobobo for Safe Cycling!

Around the world, across the globe, cyclists are adding another item to their must have list, apart from protective gear, they added in the pollution masks. If you’re looking for one, don’t hesitate to try out our Totobobo Masks!

 

 

 

 

 

All respiratory masks suck. Except for this one

By Ian Chow / 2013-11-13
Source: Explorations

I’m not a man to give reviews very easily, unless it was bad… or spectacularly amazing. And this one is it, amazing. I’m talking about the Totobobo Mask, of course.

After a few years of use, it was about time I had written something more significant.

My Criterias: Light, Not hot, breathes easy, and non invasive
When I was still working in South Korea, spring time was also a time for a phenomenon called “Yellow Dust“. Fine particles of sand specs picks up from the Gobi desert, collects air pollution as it travels through China and then dumps it in Korea. This can also last throughout the summer. Needless to say, I got sick a lot during the spring. Finally, I had enough and decided to look for a good mask. My criteria was that 1) Was light 2) Not hot 3) Breathes really easily 4) Non-invasive

Climbing with Totobobo mask
Climbing with Totobobo mask

You can rock climb with it!
After searching awhile online, reading reviews, I found that most other masks were lacking in atleast one of these criterias. Some were made of neoprene, some were “good” but once the filter goes on, it’s very hard to breath, and some were just a huge thing in your face. Just as I was about to give up, I found Totobobo Mask.

They matched all my criteria.

Light
This mask is incredibly light. You can even mash it up, fold it in your pocket and carry it around with you. No harm will come to this mask.

Not hot
Despite scorching 36 degrees and 110% humidity, the mask doesn’t make it any hotter when you breath into it. Ok, a little bit, but despite that I’m a sweaty guy, (I use a sweat band that channels sweat instead of a sweat absorber in high cardio exercises in the summer) the mask doesn’t really make that much of a difference.

Breathes Easy
Yeah, as I said, I do lots of sports outdoors. And so breathing hard into this mask is no problem. The air flow doesn’t really slow down. It does a bit, but not that significant.

Non-invasive
Once I got it, I started wearing it riding my bike to work. And wouldn’t you know, I didn’t sound like someone who had been smoking for 10 years and you can see the physical debris of dirt that gets caught up in the filters. Not only do I ride my bike with it to work, I also rock climbed with it. It never got in the way.

After using it for biking and rock climbing, I had brought it to India and Nepal. Even just sitting in the rickshaws in Nepal for 20 minutes, I had realized my mask is completely filthy and needed a filter change. With good foresight, I had bought a lot of filters.

Some other cool features?

30 minutes in a can in Kathmandu, Nepal
30 minutes in a can in Kathmandu, Nepal

Filters
How good are these filters? Well, if you don’t know what N95 is, that is pretty much the standard for “The American National Standard for Air Purifying Respiratory”. This means it filters out practically every airborne pollution, which refers to 95% of the pollution. Also, I ended up getting N96 filters too!

Changeable filters, renewable everything! Less waste!
Unlike other masks where you have to throw out the entire thing and get a new one, Totobobo only throws out the filters. This produces a lot less garbage and being environmentally aware, I feel a lot less guilty doing this. To be honest, I didn’t think this was a thing I’d really like about it, but it has grown on me. Recently doing lots of construction work, I’ve been throwing out and purchasing a lot more face masks than I feel was necessary. This changed everything

In a nutshell
Get it. My lungs and health significantly got better, you can see the pollution being filtered out, it’s not invasive, not hot, light, easy to wear and reusable. There are so many pro’s about this one filter! I’m very happy with it and you should totally get one, by clicking right here!

 

Related articles:

Top features of Totobobo mask
To buy TOTOBOBO mask
How to customize TOTOBOBO mask
Nelson Labs test result of Totobobo air filter
Why do you choose Totobobo mask (2)

Using Totobobo mask in Indonesia

Using Totobobo mask in Jakarta

I bought the Totobobo mask in 2013 because I commute on a bicycle to work in Jakarta. Indonesia is known as having some of the worst air quality in the world, and when I began cycling I really began to notice congestion in my chest and a regular sore throat, although I already was using a fabric mask. Since using the Totobobo mask, both the sore throat and congestion have disappeared. I have noticed that the sore throat sometimes comes back if I continue using filters which should have been changed.

Although Totobobo was quite costly (especially when shipping costs from Singapore are included), the mask looked very good and the ability to change filters was particularly attractive. Spread across the year, the cost of my mask works out at about US$6 per month (including international shipping & replacement filters), which is actually very cheap especially when you see what gets trapped on the filters. I Purchased the headstrap classic with extra 94% filters (92% bulk pack was sold out at the time). This review is based on 5 weeks of use.

My experience using the mask has generally been excellent, and I have recommended it to many people. Using the mask is very easy. Once it’s on, it is very comfortable and I tend to forget about it. It can easily be pulled aside when necessary which I find useful as need to be able to speak in order to purchase train tickets on part of my journey. A major advantage over my previous fabric mask is that it covers the minimum of my face and the straps are simple, thin plastic. This makes the mask much more comfortable, because the fabric mask trapped heat around my face and neck like a scarf, which quickly became uncomfortable in the Jakarta heat.

Although I was worried excess moisture might get trapped in the mask, so far I have found that this is not a problem. Furthermore, if the mask gets wet through condensation or rain, it can be wiped dry easily, or it will dry itself very quickly. With the fabric mask, I sometimes had to put a cold wet mask on if it had rained in the morning and the mask hadn’t dried before home time.


Totobobo filter after using in Jakarta for 12 hours

The filters are excellent and I found the comparison colour guide on the replacement filter packaging a very handy feature, making it simple to know when to change the filter. Changing the filter can be done in under a minute, and is very easy. In my experience in Jakarta, I need to change the filters after about 12 hours of cycling time (see photo). It’s quite alarming to see what the filters collect, that would have otherwise been in my lungs.

I think it looks a lot nicer than many of the other alternatives on the market, and many people in the street have been curious about the mask, even though wearing masks is very common in Jakarta. The clear plastic means you can easily see when the mask needs a clean. The mask packs down pretty small, and is durable, so I can easily stuff it in a pocket or in my rucksack when I’m not on the bike.

I still find it quite difficult to get a complete seal, because my nose is quite narrow and it is difficult to get the mask to seal where the nose joins the face (although watching the fitting video improved the fit a lot). However, I think that even the partial seal is sufficient to cut out most of the pollution. I’m reluctant to start cutting the mask in case I make the problem worse.

My strap snapped after 4 weeks of use, which was frustrating as I didn’t order a spare with the original shipment and the cost of ordering one now would be about US$30 (including shipping). Fortunately, the strap can easily be tied back together and I have continued to use the mask without problems.

Overall I would (and have) recommended it to anyone cycling in an urban area. I think it is an excellent product.
thanks Totobobo
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PS. I also think the website is really good and constantly improving. the videos showing how to do everything are great. Although the instructions that come with the mask are adequate, I watched the video and it helped me to improve the fit of the mask