Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review


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Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:18 pm



My eyes are sensitive to the sun. On a bright, sunny day, I have to wear sunglasses - it's extremely uncomfortable to go without. Being that riding a motorcycle entails being out in the sun (hopefully), I have always worn sunglasses. But sunglasses can be uncomfortable to wear in a helmet, and they can be a hassle.

It took a long time, but I finally found a pair of sunglasses that worked - and were CHEAP! You can read about them here: The Best (and cheapest) Riding Sunglasses

I never liked tinted faceshields on helmets. I sure don't want to ride around carrying multiple faceshields, and have to change them out depending on the time of day or brightness.

When I got my Arai Signet-X helmet last year, I saw that a flip-down sunshield was available. I thought that this was the solution! But the sunshield only covered the top half of the faceshield, purportedly to allow you to read the instruments - but this was still letting in far too much light for me.

I think I have finally found the solution.

The Signet-X, like so many other higher-end helmets, sports a Pinlock fog-resistant lens insert. This is a plastic lens that is installed on the inside of the faceshield:





The Pinlock insert has a silicone seal around the edge that seals it tightly, so that there is an air gap between the Pinlock lens and the inside of the faceshield. This prevents it from fogging up in colder temperatures. The helmet actually comes with one when new, and you install it yourself.

However, when I saw this new Pinlock sunshield, I knew I had found my answer: This is a standard Pinlock lens, but it is treated with a light-sensitive coating similar to a "Transitions" type eyeglass lens. When UV light from the sun hits the lens, it darkens. When the sun goes away, the lens goes completely clear. Finally - a solution to get rid of sunglasses! But would it work?

Image

I ordered the sunshield from the manufacturer, Pinlock, in the Netherlands. I was unable to find it for sale anywhere except directly from Pinlock. It arrived here in the US 4 days after I placed my order. Each Pinlock lens is designed for a specific helmet faceshield, so you have to make sure you order the correct one for your helmet. Of course, you also have to make sure that your helmet's faceshield is compatible with Pinlock lenses.

The "Protectint" (Pinlock's trademarked name for the sun-reactive lens) is available in several tint colors. I selected a neutral grey.

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The lens itself has a green protective layer on one side. This layer is left in place while the lens is being installed.

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Once the lens is installed (spread open the faceshield, apply the lens, release the faceshield, make sure the seal is intact), the green protective layer is removed. As you can see, indoors, the lens is absolutely clear, there is no indication that it will become tinted in sunlight. It looks like a standard Pinlock lens.

Image

Now the test. I set my DSLR camera to manual mode and set the shutter speed, ISO and aperture to a fixed value, so as to get a true representation of the progression of tint. I put a piece of white paper behind the faceshield. This first picture is after the helmet had been in direct sun for 2 seconds.

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After 4 seconds:

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After 8 seconds:

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After 16 seconds:

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After 20 seconds:

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After 28 seconds:

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After 34 seconds. I continued to take pictures after this, but measuring the tint in the images taken, it did not get any darker than it did in this 0:34 picture:

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As you may have noticed, I had half of the faceshield covered in the sunlit pictures. Taking it indoors, I took the cover off and snapped a picture of the faceshield to try to get an indication of the amount of tint - however, in the few seconds between taking it indoors, setting it down, and taking this picture, the tint had already started to fade. The time it takes to fade to clear is very close to the amount of time it takes to darken: about 30 seconds. The hotter the temperature the slower the transition from clear-tint-clear. It was approximately 80 degrees when I took these pictures.

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As a point of comparison, I put my everyday sunglasses next to the faceshield after it had been allowed to darken to full tint. The sunglasses are slightly, but not much darker - and these are relatively dark sunglasses.

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So how does it work in the real world? Amazingly well! The amount of tint is just about right - if I were riding on a sunny day in the desert with white sand all around, I might want more, but for everyday riding in real-life conditions, it's just about perfect. The transition from clear to tint and back is not noticeable - you learn to ignore it completely, and it becomes a surprise when you lift your faceshield and realize that the world is brighter when you lift it up. Riding through a tunnel is a non-event - the tint is not dark enough that you can't see in darker environments.

Overall I give the Pinlock Protectint sun-reactive lens a giant thumbs-up. Highly recommended!



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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by spiderjack » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:51 am

Awesome! I've always wanted something like this! I hate wearing sunglasses in my helmet, after an hour or so they hurt my head. Now I just need to buy a helmet that has a pinlock visor.

Hm, I wonder if they make a different visor for my helmet that has pinlock capability?

They have a list of helmet manufacturers and visors that they support, I found it here on their site: https://pinlock.com/shop/lenses/

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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by blallen58 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:37 am

Excellent review thanks I also do not like wearing sunglasses because I have to wear glasses to see anyway. I will check this product out. Thanks.

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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:52 am

After having ridden with this sunshield a few times, here are my comments:

The first time I rode with it, I thought; "hmm, this isn't working. I thought it would be much darker, and I haven't noticed it getting dark at all." Then I flipped up the faceshield - and was blinded! The progression is so gradual that you don't realize it is happening. After that, I realized that it WAS comfortable, even riding into direct sun. It's an excellent replacement for sunglasses.

I also did a test by placing a real set of "transitions" sunglasses behind the faceshield. The Pinlock sunshield darkened normally, while the sunglasses did not - which tells me that the sunshield is in fact filtering out the UV which would normally activate the sunglass tint.

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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by Eboness » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:53 am

Hi Folks, Wow what a great new product, definitely something to look into. There is a large segment of older motorcyclists who have
vision issues and need prescription glasses, so with this product they could still wear normal prescription glasses and see through these
Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshields while riding. For me I discovered something a few years back that made my riding so much more
comfortable. Reading or cheater sunglasses not only protect your eyes from the sun but you can also see your instrument panel and
other front mounted devices such as GPS's or satellite radio controls more clearly. With vision strengths between 125 to 225 most riders
can find the right ones for their needs. You can order on line or places like Walmart or Target have them. Come to think of it with
Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshields you could just buy reading or cheater glasses. Anyways just thought I'd throw in my thoughts and what
works for me.

Ride safe everyone.
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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by C-dub » Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:33 am

I just put pinlock shields on our HJC modular helmets. They are not transition or photochromic and since it is summer we haven’t seen their benefit yet. Our helmets do have sun shields built in that we are happy with. I have seen that photochromic pinlock shields are available for Shoei helmets and I have considered Shoei for my next helmet. However, I have a concern.

I have been looking for a new pair of sunglasses to wear after I get off the bike, particularly when standing in the sun with the PGR. One thing I’ve noticed when reading about many brands is that they do not recommend their use at night because even at their lightest, most light allowed in, they still block as much as 15%. I haven’t read much about the Shoei pinlock photochromic shields yet to know if it might be an issue.

Has anyone with this ridden at night yet? What are your observations?
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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:38 pm

C-dub wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:33 am
I just put pinlock shields on our HJC modular helmets. They are not transition or photochromic and since it is summer we haven’t seen their benefit yet. Our helmets do have sun shields built in that we are happy with. I have seen that photochromic pinlock shields are available for Shoei helmets and I have considered Shoei for my next helmet. However, I have a concern.

I have been looking for a new pair of sunglasses to wear after I get off the bike, particularly when standing in the sun with the PGR. One thing I’ve noticed when reading about many brands is that they do not recommend their use at night because even at their lightest, most light allowed in, they still block as much as 15%. I haven’t read much about the Shoei pinlock photochromic shields yet to know if it might be an issue.

Has anyone with this ridden at night yet? What are your observations?
To me, when it is clear, it looks 100% clear with no tint. I will however check it in the dark tonight, I'll do an actual measurement of the light level through it and without it and see if there is any difference.

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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by seabeechief » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:56 pm

I think I am missing something. The pinlock shield on my Nolan helmet covers approx half, the lower half of my face shield. Is this new shield larger than the regular pinlocks? Does it go up to the upper half of the face shield?

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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:40 pm

seabeechief wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:56 pm
I think I am missing something. The pinlock shield on my Nolan helmet covers approx half, the lower half of my face shield. Is this new shield larger than the regular pinlocks? Does it go up to the upper half of the face shield?

Chief
On my Arai it covers the whole thing - as you can see in the picture, only the smallest bit around the very edge is not covered by the Pinlock shield:

Image

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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by C-dub » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:27 pm

A Nolan pinlock shield may be different than the Arai. On my HJC modular helmet it doesn't come that close to the top edge, but it is high enough to be out of my line of sight. I can see the upper edge of the pinlock shield easily, but it doesn't bother me. So, a Nolan pinlock might be even lower from the top edge.
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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by seabeechief » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:43 am

Roger that, guys. Thanks. I wish other helmet makers would use the Nolan chin strap design. It might lead me to try another helmet.

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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by Sidcar » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:42 am

I ordered mine right after reading your review. I've now done about 120 miles with it, all in bright sunshine. If it went a shade darker I wouldn't complain but it does the job and I'm well pleased.

Sid

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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by WingAdmin » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:18 am

Sidcar wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:42 am
I ordered mine right after reading your review. I've now done about 120 miles with it, all in bright sunshine. If it went a shade darker I wouldn't complain but it does the job and I'm well pleased.

Sid
Yup, I agree. I've got several hundred miles on mine now, also in bright sunshine. My eyes are very sensitive to bright light, so I wear sunglasses constantly. I also wouldn't complain if it was just a slight bit darker, but it's tinted enough in the bright sun that I am 100% comfortable riding without sunglasses, even when riding into a setting sun.

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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by Scooter363y » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:36 am

I have installed the auto darkening pin shield on my HJC helmet this spring. Let me just say I love it!
Just a small taste of darkening that complements the internal pull down visor. And when riding at night the shield is clear! And don't forget about the no fog faceshied bonus!

Ride safe
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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by redial » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:44 am

When I used to be a heavy vehicle instructor, I found that these transition lenses would cause the oncoming headlight of night traffic to flare. The lights instead of being circular, they seem to flare and become more "starburst" - quite dangerous as you tend to look away, rather than at them.
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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by bluthundr31 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:58 pm

Great review, very appropriate topic!!!

Regarding the "I wouldn't mind if it was a bit darker" comment, , , will the Arai and HJC allow the deployment of the internal sunshade to combine BOTH sun/UV blocking features??? My HJC IS-Max2 internal shade rides just above my nose and curves like a pair of sunglasses, , ,and I think there is enough room for one of these Sun-reactive Pinlocks. It has pinlock tabs but I haven't had the need to use a pinlock shield. I just might get one of these though, , , they sure sound like a great upgrade to a more comfortable "SUNNY-DAY ride".

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Re: Pinlock Sun-Reactive Sunshield Review

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:57 pm

bluthundr31 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:58 pm
Great review, very appropriate topic!!!

Regarding the "I wouldn't mind if it was a bit darker" comment, , , will the Arai and HJC allow the deployment of the internal sunshade to combine BOTH sun/UV blocking features??? My HJC IS-Max2 internal shade rides just above my nose and curves like a pair of sunglasses, , ,and I think there is enough room for one of these Sun-reactive Pinlocks. It has pinlock tabs but I haven't had the need to use a pinlock shield. I just might get one of these though, , , they sure sound like a great upgrade to a more comfortable "SUNNY-DAY ride".
Arai does not make helmets with modular flip-ups or internal sunshields. Their reasoning is that their helmets are meant for protecting your head against impact, and any intrusion into the helmet shell for mechanisms uses up precious space that could better be used for EPS material that absorbs and slows impact.

That said, having spent several days at the GoldwingDocs Gathering where I spent all day riding in bright, sunny weather, I have absolutely zero complaints. I never had to squint, and just never even thought about it - the sunshield always just tinted down and lowered the brightness as needed. I love it!



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