Designed for the heavily polluted urban Jungle, Respro’s techno mask might enjoy the most advanced filters but it needs better wicking to prevent sweaty cheeks on warmer days. While the neoprene feels very tactile against the skin, it rapidly becomes clammy (typically after twenty minutes exertion). Whilst this additional warmth is welcome on cold winter days it’s a different story come Spring or Summer.
Getting the fit right is crucial to the Techno's effectiveness. First time fitting is best done in front of a mirror. Start by offering it up to your face and align it with your chin and nose. Fasten the Velcro tabs securely around the nape of your neck, smooth the tab over the bridge of the nose and exhale vigorously. Any signs of air escaping from the sides demands readjustment, or it'll render the mask useless.
The filter, a hybrid of the city and sportsta models works in two stages. A charcoal cloth absorbs and filters out the heaviest fumes associated with traffic while a second Hepa-type filter tackles pollen and dust: great for riders suffering from allergies or respiratory difficulties. Performance in heavy traffic is excellent, allowing more efficient breathing-especially when negotiating lines of busses and HGV in particular. However,
There is no doubting a mask's worth if you're riding in the city (messengers take note) and in this context the health benefits far outweigh any mild discomfort. I am slightly disappointed to find there aren’t children’s sizes as younger respiratory systems are even more susceptible to damage and irritation. Replacement filters retail around £14.99 and will typically last a month used daily in an urban environment.
A great aid to urban riding but material needs improved breathability.
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Make and model: Respro Techno anti pollution mask
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at city cyclists and motorcyclists, Respro's Techno is a combination of the Sportsta and city models featuring the most sophisticated features to tackle both traffic and more natural airbourne pollution such as pollen.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The design is based around a tactile, neoprene mask and sophisticated layers within the filter allows greatly improved breathing under excertion. Charcoal cloth absorbs the traditional city contaminants while the sophisticated Hepa type tackles pollen etc.
Well made and very tactile against the skin.
Very effective but the neoprene can feel somewhat clammy after twenty minutes exertion in milder weather.
Easy to live with and very easy to care for. Filters should be changed on a monthly basis when used regularly, or removed should the mask not be used for a prolonged period.
Very comfortable and gives welcome defence against cold early season chill but again, leaves the face clammy in warmer weather, especially on fast paced commutes.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Techno performs very well in urban commuting contexts and the filters did seem a marked improvement over earlier models but requires careful fitting for best results.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tactile fit, easy care and filter availability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The material requires greather breathability.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, to those regularly riding in city centres.
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)