Outdoor season is here, and the fight against mud, sand and roost is often just as harsh as the conflict between the competitors. Now that the AMA/Chevy Truck Nationals are in full swing, the goggle reps actually have a little work to do for a change. Yes, the glamourous life of handing out goggles to the top riders involves getting a little dirty, prepping the proper lens color and even color-coordinating matching frames and straps.
If it was only that easy. With all the variations in tracks, sunlight and rain/weather, these guys really have to be on their toes. Our vision expert Anthony Paggio explains that goggles are the most important part of any successful rider. The proof to support the theory is hard to argue. After you have crashed, broken a finger, caved the pipe in and blown the motor, you wouldn’t be able to push your bike across the finish line with dirty goggles. Being able to see is the key; from the fastest guy at the track to the biggest spode, you’re not going anywhere if your vision is eliminated.
Pagg came down to show us Oakley’s new weapon in the fight for clarity, the laminated tear-off system. For years now the roll-off system was the only way to go during a mud race, but the laminated tear off system can fight the same battles. The new tear-off system has each micro-thin piece laminated to the other, keeping water from seeping between each layer of film unlike conventional tear-offs. They also allow more tear-offs to be installed without affecting vision. The best part is that they are fast to load and there aren’t any mechanical parts to worry about.
Whatever your choice of tear-off happens to be, though, rest assured that the tips that Anthony talks about in the following spread can be applied to virtually any modern-day tear-off system. Take it away, Pagg…
Step 1) If you are going to be using an old pair of goggles, first they have to be clean. Start by removing the lens. This is easiest done by pulling the top of the frame and the nose bridge away from each other, then pull out the left and right sides of the lens.
Step 2) Remove the strap from the frame. The ends of the strap have to be pulled forward and then twisted sideways to be pulled through the holes. If the strap is really dirty, it can be thrown in the laundry, just be sure to use cold water only. The frame will last longer if it is washed in the sink with soap and water, though most of the time you will only need to run a wet rag over the frame to clean it. Let the frame dry thoroughly before putting the lens back in.
Step 3) Now that everything is clean, install the strap back into the frame. Twist the ends sideways to push them through the holes. Make sure you don’t put the strap in upside down; your buddies will never let you hear the end of it.
Step 4) It is time to insert the lens. Yes, it is possible to accomplish the feat without getting finger prints all over the place, though to be honest the TWMX crew has never successfully pulled it off. Paggio’s advice is the usual; nose first, cheeks second, left and right sides third, and finally the top. If carefully done, the nose can be popped in while only touching the edge of the lens. Snap one side in, keeping pressure on the frame while insertingg the other side. The top usually pops in easily. The most annoying thing is to see Paggio do it effortlessly every time, without any fingerprints. This confirms, however, that it is possible with practice.
Step 5) At this point, it’s time to load the tear-offs. Most people like to pull them with their left hand, so start at the left side of the lens if you’re looking at them from the front. If rain is in the forecast, up to 28 laminated tear-offs can be loaded. If you are using standard tear-offs, three to four will probably suffice, but be sure to make your own judgement call based on your vision needs. Remember, loading too many will make your sight a bit hazy. Make sure the tear-off handles are folded in half and tucked in to one another for easy location while racing.
Step 6) The new laminated tear-offs are distortion free and prevent dust and condensation from getting between each layer, but in extremely wet conditions a rain visor can be built to keep water from seeping between the lens and the tear-offs. Using a small piece of duct tape, fold 1/3 of it over so it sticks to itself. Stick the remaining third onto the top of frame, allowing the folded-over piece to hang over the tear offs. If it is going to be really ugly, Paggio recommends running a half-mask to help keep mud and water away from your nose and mouth.
Step 7) Lastly, apply some No-Fog solution with a lint-free towel to the inside of the lens. When there is rain, it is almost guaranteed to fog up your goggles. Besides that, you’ll be glad you did it when you’re sitting on the starting line waiting to get on the track.