Well the kind folks at Modern World Ventures have upped the ante yet again with their newest product, the aforementioned Hyper Optiks shield insert. This product builds on their already spectacular Fog City Pro Shield technology, which, in turn, grew out of their Fog City Fog Shield initial offering.
For those that have no clue what I'm talking about, about eight years ago, The Modern world folks created a new visor insert called the Fog City Fog Shield. What this nifty little piece 'o plastic did was create a barrier between a helmet's visor and you. It effectively allowed you to breathe without fogging up your face shield. The down side was a slight bit of visual distortion. The original Fog Shield was very light and flimsy, but it did last just fine.
I still have an old helmet that has one in place. The Pro Shield, which replaced the Fog Shield, was of a heavier gauge material, but this newer version scratched very easily, leading to replacements every six months to a year. Not a horrible thing, especially since these things are so darned cheap -- about 13 bucks each.
Now the old method of installing the Pro Shield involved using pieces of electrical tape in certain spots around your helmet's visor, where it met the opening of your helmet itself. Not so with the new, improved Hyper-Optiks shield insert. It comes with its own template that simply rubs into pl
ace temporarily on the outside of the visor, and has its own marking line down its center that you line up with the insert itself and has a corresponding line on a removable piece in its own center (trust me, it sounds much more complicated than it is!). Now once the new insert is in place, it's there to stay. Also, the cleaning instructions have changed greatly from previous versions, which said something like "Get an eyeglass cleaning cloth from an optometrist to clean." The new product says use mild soap and warm water along with a soft cloth. Much better in my book all the way around.
But the big question is, how does the "Light Reactive" portion of this shield work? What is "Light Reactive" anyway, you might be tempted to ask? Well then I would be tempted to explain that the "Light Reactive" portion of this shield is actually like those sunglasses that tint automatically as light increases. In other words this baby gets darker as the sunlight gets brighter.But here's the drawback; they don't get dark enough as far as I'm concerned. I'm a guy who always rides with sunglasses on under his helmet, but this shield doesn't get dark enough to approximate sunglass effectiveness. In fact, a few times I found myself actually squinting when riding towards the sun. The shield does work, mind you. For someone who does not use sunglasses, this is going to be the best thing since peanut butter met jelly, and I'll be the first to admit I got used to the degree it worked at during my recent 1200-mile weekend across Pennsylvania and back on the legendary Route 6. But is it better then a good ol' pair of shades under the lid? Not to me. Is it more convenient? Absolutely. No more fumbling with getting the arms of the sunglasses over your ears inside the helmet, no more fumbling to get the sunglasses off at speed, and tucked into a pocket. The shield changes color as the light gets brighter or dimmer, period, and best of all, it's still an anti-fog device. That property remains the number one drawing point of this great product. I give this baby four out of five stars. Ain't modern science grand?
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...
Well kiddies, I'm here to tell you this thing may look like it's useless plastic, but it's anything but! I ran the Super-visor for 400 miles this weekend on my Arai, mounting it in its top position out of the three available in it's seemingly complicated mounting instructions. This thing, this Super-visor, did exactly what it was made to do. It kept the sun out of my eyes, all day long. It also kept the sun off of my face (I didn't need to wear sunscreen, an unknown and unexpected bonus!) I was really amazed how well it worked: I rode all day long without sunglasses, a first for me. There's even an air scoop built into it to let air pass through it and over the top of your helmet, to not put any pressure on your neck muscles from a long day of riding.
But, don't think it's not without it's faults, though they do appear minor at worst, they are there. First and foremost, the Super-visor does nothing to stop glare coming off of your own gauges or the rear window of the car in front of you.
Secondly, there is a definite added amount of wind noise. It's not much, but it is discernible when you move your head around a bit at speed.
Speaking of speed, the Super-visor adds no buffeting to your headgear whatsoever, which I figure is part of its cleverly designed air scoop.
Mounting the Super-visor seems a little confusing at first, but it's really not that bad once you take the time to sit down and read through the instructions that come with it. The most important part of the whole operation is cleaning your face shield where the visor is going to mount. I used a little Windex-type cleaner, and then after that was dry, I opened the cleaning ampule that came along with the Super-visor, more of a primer then cleaner actually, and applied it. I then waited five minutes for the agent to set up, mounted the peel-and-stick mounting tabs on the four clips that attach to the Super-visor, and peeled their backing once the clips were attached to the S-Visor itself, pressing the whole thing into place in its carefully measured (yeah, right!) new home. I let it sit overnight (the heavily worded instructions recommend 72 hours, I figured 12 was enough, I was right).
How much do I like the Super-visor? I like it so much that it's staying on my helmet for long distance runs. It's not beautiful by any means, and it ain't gonna ad to your sex appeal in any way shape or form, but it works, Bunky, and works very well, that's the bottom line!
4 out of 5 stars! (Taking one star away for the dork look factor.)
Conclusion: Super-Visor Vs. Fog City
In the past month, I've tested two products that claim to do the same thing, but go about it by different means.I've been using a Fog City Hyper Optiks Anti-Fog insert since early Summer, and I like it. It has the usual Fog city anti-Fog properties that true believers all know and love, while also adding a light-reactive quality to the mix as well. The Fog City insert works. It does darken, though not entirely enough for my own tastes. I use it on a daily basis now, though at times I do have to wear sunglasses in conjunction to the shield. Though in most situations it will be enough, and it will deaden glare, something the Super-visor will not.
The Super-visor on the other hand works perhaps better all around. The added benefit of protecting your face from the sun's rays all day long is not to be underestimated. Though you will indeed get enough sunglare at times to be blinding. But otherwise it works great.
I think I'll start using the two together -- that may be the best combination altogether, but only time will tell.