Frequently Asked Questions:
How does TheBugScreen™ actually work?
TheBugScreen™ intercepts bugs and flying debris, that would normally hit your face while moving forward on your bicycle. Catch the YouTube video below and you'll notice how the bugs hit the screen and stick only temporarily. Eventually the airflow "washes" them off. Just a few bugs stay on while moving - but they do not block your vision. Because of the aerodynamic action through and around the bug screen - it's almost self cleaning. The video was made to demonstrate TheBugScreen's™ effectiveness in buggy conditions. The Oak Leaf Trail on the western shore of Lake Michigan provides copious insect populations in the morning and late afternoons due to the abundant water and surrounding vegetation. This is a two minute run showing the quartering side view of a recumbent Captain (front seat), shot from the Stoker (back seat). This tandem recumbent is a Ran's Screamer. Seeing TheBugScreen™ in action may convince you of its safety features. Now, going for that end of the day bike ride, doesn't mean you'll lose your eyesight or have to eat insects. It's ugly, but effective.
YouTube Video of TheBugScreen™ in action.
(Download WMA if YouTube unavailable.)
How is TheBugScreen™ attached and will it fit my bicycle helmet?
TheBugScreen™ is attached via 3/4" X 7 3/8" black Velcro. It is shipped with one side attached to TheBugScreen™ and the soft side covered with a strip of removeable plastic. This gets pulled off by you, after cleaning your helmet's leading edge, and applying TheBugScreen™ to the front of your bicycle helmet. TheBugScreen™ takes on the existing shape of your helmet's leading curved edge and because it's flexible, it will fit most helmets leading edge designs. We have tested TheBugScreen™ application to helmets ranging from the smallest, least expensive infant helmet, to the most skimpy, outrageously expensive, adult bicycle racer helmet. TheBugScreen™ fits most designs, but there are some which do not have a large enough leading edge for proper mounting or distance forward, for optimal use. When mounted properly, the screen should not touch your nose and should have enough leading edge contact to be stable. If you find it doesn't fit your helmet properly after purchasing, please ask for a refund or consider purchasing a different helmet. You have a 30 day unconditional guarantee for a complete refund. See the support page for graphic representations of TheBugScreen™ application steps. The right side bar provides a PDF link for a printable installation copy.
Can I use TheBugScreen™ on any other helmet?
Yes, people use them for roller blading, skateboarding, some ATV's, mopeds, scooters and electric bikes or electric bicycles . One can attach TheBugScreen™ to any personal protective helmet and it serves the same function, protecting your vision, keeping bugs off your face, out of your mouth, ears and nose. Simply remember the 30 miles per hour (48 kilometers per hour) rule: TheBugScreen™ is designed for use below 30 MPH (48 kilometers per hour) no matter what you're doing. If you're using a motorcycle, motorbike, or any powered vehicle which goes faster than 30 MPH (48 kilometers per hour), TheBugScreen™ should not be used due to this structural aerodynamic limitation. TheBugScreen™'s speed limit is 30 MPH (48 KPH). If this limitation changes we will post it here first.
How do we clean the impacted bugs off the screen?
Typically, one can just flick their finger on the edge of TheBugScreen™ and that vibration knocks off most of the impacted debris. The video above demonstrates this cleaning action while on the move. This was made on the Oak Leaf Trail on the western shore of Lake Michigan at sunset with buckets of bugs collecting on the bug screen. Notice how instantly clean the airflow makes your view.
Hand washing: Once a season or as needed, TheBugScreen™ may be removed from its Velcro™ mounting, or it can remain attached to your helmet for cleaning, depending on debris' density and adherence. TheBugScreen™ is cleaned either with an air duster, as you would your computer keyboard, or for real sticky bugs, one can wash them off with a moist towel or mild soap and water. Hand or air dry. TheBugScreen™ mounting Velcro, label and protective edging is permanently sealed in place and should maintain its shape for re-use for many years. See the video below and please read the next FAQ.
YouTube video of bug screen flex demonstration.
(Download WMA if YouTube unavailable.)
Does TheBugScreen™ flex without being permanently damaged?
Yes, one can pull the lower bottom edge out and up to drink water, eat or kiss your mate. As long as you don't over stress the screen, for example, pulling it up over your helmet so hard as to bend the screen fiber pattern or pull the fibers free from the Thermoplastic Elastomer (rubberized plastic) encasement. If the screen is pulled up to far where it pivots on the first/top horizontal fiber line, it may begin to break. The aluminum fiber flexes at sharp angles once or twice before it breaks. So if you must pull it up, pivot it wide as seen in the video and there shouldn't be any problem. Visit these sites for more detail on the materials used in TheBugScreen™: GLS, Wikipedia,on TPE and see the sidebar on the FAQ or Support pages under Manufacturers and PDF Library. TheBugScreen™ will return to its molded shape when you let go of it. If TheBugScreen™ does stay up or return only partially, it can be hand shaped back into its optimal curved and downward protective shape. Please observe the warning below.
Metal Fatigue Warning
(Warning repeated on our Support page)
Click the above image for a larger view.
Metal fatigue can happen when the screen bends too often, too tightly (<90 degrees) and too close to the first couple of aluminum filaments near the very top headband; the Velcro mounting area which holds the bug screen label to your helmet. In many years of active world wide circulation of our two bug screen designs, we have had only three returns due to this type of failure, two of these returns included pictures, showing something like our image above. Generally first time application to the helmet or while drinking water and lifting the screen, it may bend too near the top and fracture after three tight flexes. We have tested this with factory rejects and replicated the process for verification. If your screen gets flexed too high up, bending (less than ninety degrees) near the attachment point on the headband, it will probably fail this way. So please be forewarned to never bend your screen near the mounting area. When pulling the screen off/on, (this is very important) please attach your fingers to the top headband label area edges (only) and pull off with a wide stroke. This will allow your screen to flex off and not crack. The bottom of the screen should not be handled unless you grab the very bottom, as seen on the drinking demo above. This is achieved by grabbing the very bottom and flexing the screen very low, and widely enough to get the drink to your mouth. Please do not flex it near the mounting band. If you have an accident within your 30 day guarantee period, please let us know so we can ship you a replacement screen or generate a refund for your purchase. Please don't let this happen to your screen.
I look weird with this screen on my helmet, will people stare at me?
Yes, of course! Despite being attractive and appearing human, you will have this faintly pixelated screen over your face. So, non-helmeted bikers, dog walkers, greedy politicians and red winged black birds, will all give you a "what's that???" look while you ride past. Who cares? You're out there biking along, no longer eating bugs or getting stung. That's going to make your bicycling so much more enjoyable that all those smiling quizzical looks may just remind you of your superior intelligence ;^) If however, that isn't good enough, and you can't handle the stares of a few people - don't purchase our screen. We don't want to be responsible for paying the psychiatrist's bill.
Can I wear my presecription glasses or sunglasses with TheBugScreen™ ?
Yes, glasses will fit with your helmet and TheBugScreen™! See side and front images above. Normally, TheBugScreen™ is in front of your face far enough to allow plenty of room for you to wear sun glasses or prescription glasses. The biggest control over this is the thickness of the helmet foam shell between the cover and inner basket. Usually there is at least an inch of foam space to project TheBugScreen™ forward away from your glasses.
Does TheBugScreen™ come in multiple colors or different sizes?
Not yet. Currently we offer only black screened, black bordered one size fits all bug screens. We have over ten years of bug screen research indicating this design to be optimal in all construction variables such as: size, shape, dimensions, color for light absorption, non-glare, screen thread density, material and weave density verses airspeed and noise levels. Aerodynamics and strength requirements dictate most of these design parameters concerning size, density, etc. to prevent whistling or distracting noise levels in proportion to airspeed penetration and aerodynamic wash. Screen colors other than flat black have proven distracting to distant and close viewing and glare at various high light angles. Future designs may incorporate many different TPE colors in the border molding and graphic images on the BugMask™ outside screen. Once TheBugScreen™ is purchased, the owner may cut or reshape their screen doing whatever they wish to it. Obviously, this voids our warranty and may destroy TheBugScreen™ optimum design qualities and potentially, your safety.
Are there different designs for upright verses recumbent bicycling positions?
No, this design performs extremely well for any bicycling head angle, regardless of the riders position. Recumbent cyclists will find TheBugScreen™ more enjoyable and rewarding because of their "face forward" normal position verses an upright bikers looking at the road or down angle. Unfortunately, upright bicycling limitations still allow bugs to enter the vented tops of most helmets. However, some products, mainly from Europe, are now available to screen the inside of the helmet too. These helmet screens can be applied and do work in conjunction with our external face bug screen. We recommend their use for upright bicyclists who haven't yet learned of the overwhelming benefits of recumbent cycling.
Can I use TheBugScreen™ on my motorcycle helmet?
No, we do not recommend using our design for anything over 30 miles per hour due to structural aerodynamic stress limitations and noise levels. If you are moving through the air at speeds less than 30 MPH TheBugScreen™ will hold its shape and perform as designed on most helmets. Our design limitation is 30 MPH or less. Above 40 MPH the screen may lose its shape due to surface aerodynamic pressure loading and begin whistling or screeching loudly due to the aerodynamic eddies created above 40 MPH. The BugScreen's™ design is optimized structurally for the pressure loads formed frontally below 30 MPH with further consideration for average flying bug size, ventilation, transparency/rider visibility, and product longevity considering numerous remounting's. Speeds above 40 MPH will exceed design limitations with unpredictable and perhaps catastrophic results. Now that we've said that, you better purchase two screens so you can prove this test limit to yourself!
Is TheBugScreen™ 100% perfect at keeping bugs off my face?
No, because we have designed the screen mesh to block typically sized adult flying mosquitoes, some smaller bugs may get through and still hit your face, eyes, mouth, nose and ears. It does not prevent "no-see-ums", midges, gnats or very small flying insects from penetration. We have counted bug impacts and compared that to the few that get through or come in from the side while your head is turned. One might get 5% penetration on a really buggy bike ride. In our worst test 5 bugs penetrated out of 100 impacts and many more blew by in close proximity due to the airstream created by the shape of the screen. These tests were performed repeatedly over 10 years with a screen vertical profile (the worst) in the highest bug density available, at bike speeds varying from 5 - 17 MPH. TheBugScreen™ is not perfect, but it still lets airflow cool your face while blocking about 95% of the bugs. To prevent 99% bug penetration we would have to use a finer mesh screen and those designs tested too hot due to very poor airflow and reduced visibility. Our design is the optimum mesh density for the most bug blockage, cooling airflow and visibility.
Speaking of Airflow; How hot is it behind TheBugScreen™?
It's slightly warmer. Not dramatically, but a few cyclists do report that they feel less airflow on their faces with the screen out front and thus slightly warmer. This means facial cooling will be lower because your facial evaporation rate will be slightly lower. TheBugScreen™ shield reduces facial airflow slightly, so while your face might be warmer, your facial dehydration will also be lower. This means your eyes will not dry out as fast, with TheBugScreen™ attached to your helmet. Try it both ways and decide for yourself. Obviously, we prefer the shielding for safety.
Does TheBugScreen™ come with a carrying case when we take it off?
No, currently TheBugScreen™ is delivered in a light weight clear plastic zip bag and does not come with a hard carrying case to pack it away when not in use. If more customers feel this additional package would be nice or even necessary, GBNpro will consider producing a hard pack to store it when off your helmet. We recommend storing your screen flat in a drawer or on a shelf in it's shipping bag to keep it dust free.
Can I ask additional questions or post new ones here?
NO! Absolutely not! Just kidding . . . Yes, please email us at: email@example.com asking your question(s) so we can respond to you personally and possibly, with your permission, post your question and answer(s) here for the benefit of everyone. We really do appreciate your input, not just for your safety, but also for our products improvement. Thank you for your interest in TheBugScreen™.