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Asterisk Nose Magnets make you faster. No, really!

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Asterisk_AC-System_magnetic-nasal-dilation_cole-seely
images courtesy of Asterisk. photo by @coleseely

Ok so this sounds a little out there, but the motocross and protection specialists at Asterisk have developed a magnet powered system to make you breathe better and go faster. The way it works is that you essentially tape little metal discs to the side of you nose, and clip a pair of magnets onto the bridge of your goggles. Then when you put your helmet on and drop your goggles in place, the magnets comfortably pull against the side of your nose, opening up the nasal passages for better airflow. Jump past the break for a closer look at the AC system…

So better airflow means, more oxygen to the blood, which means better performance. It’s so simple. Magnets.

As you can see it is essentially the same concept as a Breathe Right strip, but here it doesn’t so much as press of the top of your nose, but rather uses the stiffness already there of your current set of goggles for a more comfortable feel.

Asterisk_AC-System_magnetic-nasal-dilation_kit-contents Asterisk_AC-System_magnetic-nasal-dilation_snap-in

The AC System kit sells for $60 with 1 goggle clip, 20  (10 pairs) stick-on steel nose stickers, 10 alcohol wipes, and 1 magnetic sticker applicator.

Asterisk_AC-System_magnetic-nasal-dilation_mtb-teaser Asterisk_AC-System_magnetic-nasal-dilation_goggles-detail

What’s also quite interesting, while the AC System was developed first for motocross and crossed over to downhill and maybe even enduro with the use of goggles, the company founder and most of the sponsored motocrossers all trail ride on mountain bikes. And now Asterisk just teased on Instagram yesterday that they are working on a 5th gen prototype now that will attach to a regular pair of riding sunglasses. So magic magnets and no goggles, coming soon..

Asterisk.com

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Gunnstein
Gunnstein
7 years ago

…right. If they claim improved performance, they have to explain why a million years of evolution didn’t give us bigger nostrils. That’s a simple change that evolution can do relatively quickly, yet it didn’t happen. Chances are our noses are the way they are because that works best: The nose heats the air and filters out dust. When we need more air we can breathe through the mouth. That’s not to say this cannot be a good thing, but if so we must assume that there is a significant downside to it, too.

Bill
Bill
7 years ago

Gunnstein – That assume’s evolution is done. We still die, still get cancer, and still have hair on our buttholes. The human body’s not perfect yet.

Smitty
Smitty
7 years ago

Essentially high-tech Breathe Right Strips?

Jim Mac
Jim Mac
7 years ago

@Smitty, was just thinking the same thing.

Cokie
Cokie
7 years ago

Phil Pearce uses something similar for training and racing- it clips to the inside of the nose though.
You can just make it out in this photo:comment image

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
7 years ago

@Bill, there’s no such assumption. As I said, bigger nostrils is a simple change that evolution takes care of quickly if there is a benefit to it, so it should have happened long ago. (Cancer and death, on the other hand, are not fixed by evolution because there’s little evolutionary benefit. Both affect mainly the elderly, who aren’t doing much reproducing, so whether they die at 50, or 80, or never, doesn’t affect the species.)

Chader09
Chader09
7 years ago

What happens to the magnets after use. Are they recycled into new strips or tossed into the land fill?

Seems like a real waste if trashed and a bad innovation compared to the BreathRight product.

Francois
Francois
7 years ago

“So better airflow means, more oxygen to the blood, which means better performance.” That statement implies that these magnets increase the VO2 max, which they probably don’t (I’m not aware of Breathe Right Strips every proving anything like that for their product).
I can see how it could increase comfort, give a sensation of being able to take in more air, and maybe help if you have a cold and a runny nose. But I don’t think it improves performances in any way.

mateo
mateo
7 years ago

Gunnstein nailed it. When you need more oxygen, you breathe through your mouth. Pay attention the next time you’re pushing hard. If you’re already breathing through your mouth, I can’t imagine much benefit from marginally expanding your nostrils.

Eric Hansen
Eric Hansen
7 years ago

These would work SO much better if you stuffed the magnets INSIDE your nose! /s

duder
duder
7 years ago

@Bill You have a fundamental misunderstanding of how evolution works. Not saying this product is good, but that’s not how it works.

C. Darwin
C. Darwin
7 years ago

You all fail my class.

arf
arf
7 years ago

Evolution hasn’t fixed this because you all keep mating with undesirable small-nostril specimens.

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

@Gunnstein – not to dampen your other points, but it has been shown that longer lasting grandparents were very key to the successful raising on grandkids to meet reproductive age. Long lasting grandparents were therefore an evolutionary advantage (at least with regards to women. Men? Sorry. We are kind of useless after age 50 or so.

That said, we haven’t been “evolving” at all as we have not been living in a culture in which only the fittest are selected and only the fittest can rear offspring (not to mention what is deemed “fittest” varies depending on one’s situation). Evolution also doesn’t produce the best total package. A trait needed to reach sexual maturity (let’s say big nostrils) may harbor the gene that increases cancer risk at old age. Not all evolutionary changes are without consequence. Sorry. My pet peeve, but I get OCD when people start talking about “evolution” as this all conquering force that achieves the 100% best solution for all and every scenario.

Maury
Maury
7 years ago

^ 🙂

Forest Cat
Forest Cat
7 years ago

@ Bill… I’m not falling for that ” let’s stuff something in our nose ” idea again, did WAAAAY too much of that nonsense in the ’80’s! They tell me I had a good time, though. Now I just go fast on my Bikes

Forest Cat
Forest Cat
7 years ago

Whoops… I meant @ Eric Hansen. That’s really funny, considering my name’s Eric, also. I’m just gonna stop talking now…

Rob G
7 years ago

The science appears to be less conclusive about this type of ergogenic aide working at all. However there are plenty of anecdotal accounts from athletes both beginner and pros that state that they help. As with all new tech making claims of improved athletic performance look for pubs on the subject where studies were not funded in part or whole by manufacturers or the parent companies of manufacturers. Check the following: http://www.pubfacts.com/search/External+nasal+dilator+strip

Adam
Adam
7 years ago

Evolution isn’t real anyway

Ryan
Ryan
7 years ago

I’m going to invent a turbo for humans, a battery operated blower you stick in your nostrils.

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
7 years ago

@JBikes Fair point, but then again, for how long have we been living long enough to help raise our grandkids? Long enough to affect evolution noticeably?

“only the fittest are selected” – That’s not a requirement. All that’s needed is that the fittest are statistically more likely to be selected, and that’s still the case today.

scentofreason
scentofreason
7 years ago

Finally, the product that will get me that .00005th of a second, Olympic gold here I come!!!

Geoff
Geoff
7 years ago

Obligatory link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-agl0pOQfs
“F***ing magnets, how do they work?”

Hmmm
Hmmm
7 years ago

I don’t need these…I have an ebike! Braaaaaaaap!! (silent)

Larry Miller
7 years ago

When you use goggles they can smash down on your nose and restrict the breathing. This is a great idea if it actually works.

The non athletic guys are hating.

Mike
Mike
7 years ago

@Gunnstein Not to get all particular on this tangent, but if I remember the stats correctly, the low average lifespans historically are largely due more to very high childhood mortality than dying young once well into adulthood. As I recall, people could live pretty long if they made it to adulthood at all. This could just be in the last 2,000-3,000 years though, so not so relevant to evolutionary time scales. But the circumstance where kids routinely live into adulthood is a very, very modern development (like the last 100 or so years).

And, more importantly, are the strips Boost(TM) compatible?

Bald Ben
Bald Ben
7 years ago

F***in’ magnets, how do they work?

Jim Mac
Jim Mac
7 years ago

@Larry – this seems true, at least that’s how I recollect my nose feeling with goggles when I raced DH, but I alo remember doing a LOT of ‘mouth breathing’!

@Bald Ben – ICP, yeah you know me!

Colin M
Colin M
7 years ago

I’m definitely going to try a pair of these. Improved breathing and comfort sounds great.

Hugh Schnozz
Hugh Schnozz
7 years ago

If this works, I wonder how long it will be before athletes start having their nostrils permanantly enlarged by surgery?

@Gunnstein You are assuming that evolution optimizes only for athletic performance, but there are many other factors involved too. For instance in cold climates it is advantageous for inhaled air to be warmed up before it reaches the sensitive tissues inside, which is why Europeans have longer noses with smaller nostrils than Africans.

@JBikes Evolution keeps working as long as some people raise more children than others, and that’s certainly true today. Those people are the fittest.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

Gunnstein, we don’t need bigger nostrils to function, just like we don’t need a hematocrit of 55 but you will ride better with those things

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

@Gunn – almost all studies show that long lived grandmothers are extremely beneficial to a societies relative survival rates, and is thought to be one of the reasons that females live longer than males, even though females will cease to be reproductively viable well before males.
We have been living for some time where grandmothers have assisted in rearing children (one needs to remember that the breeding age of human was likely much lower thousands of years ago, so a grandmother of say 34 was very likely). This grandparent would be present to help ensure the grandchild gets the care/attention needed while the younger parent unit may be busy gathering/preparing food, defending area, fighting disease. Essentially, the greater the number of people in a society that can help raise/secure infants/children, the greater the chance those kids will live and pass on their genes. Men seemingly were poor parents or tied to food/protection so didn’t add value to that equation.

The myth of our ancestors lack of agedness is due to a skew of stats from high infantile death and death due to injury/illness. Not some genetic lack of ability to live beyond 40.

And now, back to bicycles…

NotAMachinist
NotAMachinist
7 years ago

@Ryan

A battery operated blower would be a supercharger. Turbochargers are powered by exhaust gasses, hopefully in this case exhaling. The other human exhaust port might work better powering an after-burner.

Ol' Shel'
Ol' Shel'
7 years ago

@Ryan,

Back off, it’s my idea.

And the key is the operation to vent the base of the lungs out the athlete’s lower back, to allow for a constant flow of fan-driven, oxygen-rich air.

Again, MY idea.

Dave
Dave
7 years ago

Quacks and snake oil salesmen are still alive and well.

Rich W.
Rich W.
7 years ago

I am going to put a big magnet on my helmet and a big magnet at the finish line. The magnet at the finish line will pull me to victory! Me…for the win!

Dave
Dave
7 years ago

@Ryan clearly isn’t thinking like a Tour rider. A good supercharger would force more oxygen directly into the blood without needing to deal with human aerobic system inefficiencies. Figuring out the plumbing and how to fit the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine into a camelback is what will take us to the next level.

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
7 years ago

Sigh. Why are you guys so keen on assuming that I assume things?

@Hugh Schnozz “…assuming that evolution optimizes only for athletic performance…” I did not, and I did already mention the point about heating the air. See first post.

@Veganpotter If you ride better with them then you run better too, right? Which would make it easier to hunt bison, right? A clear survival advantage, I’d say. So why didn’t it evolve? Because we run just as well, or better, with the mouth open, right? (Admittedly, one advantage to keeping your mouth shut on the bike would be fewer inhaled flies – less a concern when running.)

To everyone who is championing grandparents, you may well be right. It’s not something I have studied and it’s anyway more about breeding than breathing, our main topic here 😉

goulash prakash
goulash prakash
7 years ago

The reason we have not evolved bigger nostrils is due to that large orifice on our faces. When you need air you just open it.

ascarlarkinyar
ascarlarkinyar
7 years ago

My idea is to have many drones flying over me with magnets. I glue magnets to my body and instant levitation or at least less weight to ride up the hill.

Pit
Pit
7 years ago

tldr

But to chip in, I have tried Rhinomed and the stick on nose openers. They help me get more air through my nose for sure. Everyone has different nostrils! We aren’t all born with perfect nostrils for sport breathing lol. So for some they hardly can breathe through their noses while riding, and breathe with the mouth almost all the time. I use a power meter and ride a butt load of miles and can duplicate effort and conditions on indoor trainer and local roads. I think the main benefit for me was that it added some comfort and convenience in humidity, it’s like a more relaxed face if that makes any sense. Also better breathing while eating and drinking was help for me which sounds weird haha. You know what I mean though when you try to ride fast and hork down an old style power bar, it can be hard to get air.

Pit
Pit
7 years ago

I did vo2 max intervals with the Rhinomed and in humidity it helps. One thing though it starts to feel unnatural in a way. Some of the arguments and assumptions make a bit of sense. It’s like, for long term is starts to feel a little odd, like too much inner membrane is exposed to the air and whatever floats in it. I woould not want to wear it in pollen season! For 5-20 minute extreme efforts it was good.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

Gunnstein… evolution isn’t perfect and doesn’t give everyone what they want/need. Why don’t we all have insanely high VO2 maces? Why can’t Usain Bolt hold his 100/200m pace for 1500 meters? Why can’t we fly or breath under water? Imagine how much better we’d be at hunting if we could do all those things?

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
7 years ago

@Veganpotter, you’re missing my point. Bigger nostrils is *easy*. Making a body part slightly bigger or smaller is a simple change, and happens all the time in response to changing conditions. See Darwins finches, etc. But evolving superpowers is *hard*. That’s the difference.

@Pit Fair points, makes sense.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

Gunnstein, maybe they are already bigger and keep getting bigger. We’re a pretty darn new species and we’re long lived. Evolution happens much faster when you’re talking animals with short lives

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

With your mentality, everyone in the US that came from Europe should have the skin tone of indigenous people by now…

Gunnstein
Gunnstein
7 years ago

@Veganpotter, Running fast has been a survival benefit since we came down from the trees (though less so now than it used to be). So if these big nostrils really offer such an athletic benefit, we have had hundreds of thousands to millions of years to evolve them, depending on when you start counting folks as humans.

In this time, we managed to evolve different coloured skin, hair and eyes, different kind/feel of hair, different shape of eyelids, different body height, and even different nose shapes! Why shouldn’t we be able to optimise nostrils for our needs in the same time?

As for Europeans turning into dark-skinned USicans, be serious. “happens all the time” does not equate to “produces obviously visible changes in humans every few hundred years”.

Chris S
Chris S
7 years ago

Open mouth, inhale.

Matt G
Matt G
7 years ago

People use airway strips, which as basically a piece of tape, for the same purpose and it is a proven method. I don’t have doubt that these silly magnets work, but I do have doubts that they work any better than just putting a piece of tape on your nose.

Aaron
Aaron
7 years ago

Thank you, Chris S., that’s exactly what I was going to say. It’s free and works better than strips or magnets.

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